The reappearance of the 90’s in fashion is everything to me – I was born in 1990, and I hold the 90’s very, very close to my heart. If I had to compress 90’s fashion into one word, the word would doubtlessly encompass bohemian, grunge, “mom” wear, baggy, skinny, cropped… And I can go on and on and on. Basically, there was so much happening with fashion in the 90’s, and two of the biggest hitters – denim and flannel – have reappeared during NYFW, and I ain’t mad – I ain’t mad at all.
So, when I say that 90’s fashion has reappeared during NYFW, I don’t mean that the designers’ collections candidly offered the impression of 90’s fashion – I actually mean that the streetstyle during NYFW was yelling, “Look! 90’s! Denim! Flannel!” I saw lots and lots of cuffed and ripped denim, and I saw flannel tied around the waist. The difference between denim and flannel now and denim and flannel in the 90’s is how these staples – timeless staples – are falling into fashion in a way that allows them to surpass the bohemian and grunge stereotypes – I feel like denim and flannel are revisiting the 90’s in a really unforeseen and classy way. And I suppose that’s not really surprising, right? Here we are, 15 years later, and everything is so, totally different; naturally, clothing worn popularly in the 90’s will be worn differently now. But still, this fashion phenomenon boggles my mind.
Looking at the accompanying photos, you’ll see that typically grungy denim – cuffed, rolled, ripped, high-waisted – is being worn with boots and heels with current and progressive styles, and this arrangement of old and new is really what allows me to see that 90’s denim is happening now, but it’s neat and not messy, elegant and not seedy. It’s still grunge, y’all, but it’s much, much more than a footprint of the 90’s – it’s a way of mixing old fashion into new fashion, and it’s nodding to the effortlessness of a decade that was unforgettably cool. And tying flannel around the waist? Too cool. Especially over dresses and over lots and lots of layers, as seen in the accompanying photos.
For my friend’s birthday a few weeks ago, I wore black leggings, a black, cropped t-shirt, and black boots with a 6-inch wood heel. And I wore a red, yellow, green, blue, and black flannel, tied around my waist. I was nodding to 1994, but I was rooted in 2014. I didn’t look sloppy, and I didn’t feel sloppy. That nod to the 90’s was that little, surprising something I needed to pull my look together. And now, when you go out over the weekend with your girls (and boys), remember that a nod to the 90’s – especially through denim and flannel – is a winning (and current) accent.
Khafra, Trend Warrior.
During my junior year of college, I was completely immersed in upping my GPA to correct my pretty unsuccessful sophomore year. And when I say, “completely immersed,” I mean that I was literally all about school. I was so all about school that I abandoned my sense of fashion and my sense of style, and I ended up wearing sweatpants to class every day. Every. Day. Really. I was brutally cognizant of how uncool (and unkempt…) I probably (like, 99.9% probably…) looked wearing sweatpants to all of my classes, but I didn’t worry about how I dressed. I worried about that one assignment or that one paper or that one professor I needed to talk to. But, I digress.
The point: I was shamelessly wearing sweatpants in public way, way too much. Sweatpants are supposed to be the go-to, “comfort” clothing you wear when you’re not feeling well or you’re going to the gym or you’re going to sleep and etc. – I was wearing sweatpants casually – the baggy, wide-legged, terribly unflattering type of sweatpants I wore in gym class in the 6th grade. Of course, now I see my error. But the sweatpants suffering appeared as a good memory for me when I reviewed many designers’ Fall/Winter 2014 collections at NYFW. Sweatpants are happening in a really good and really effortless way – for men and for women – and though these sweatpants aren’t at all nostalgic of the ones I wore during my junior year of college (or during 6th grade gym class), I like to believe that I was far, far ahead of the trend – and maybe I’m actually a trendsetter.
Menswear has been teeming with sweatpants, and womenswear is borrowing the effortless style from the boys. My favorite, favorite looks for womenswear sweatpants come from Rebecca Minkoff’s F/W 2014 collection. She turns the volume up higher and higher by offering sweatpants in metallic silver, metallic gold, and vertical stripes. The silhouette for the metallic colors is a little baggy, but tapered through the leg and fitted at the ankle with (elastic, I assume) cuffs. The boldness of the metallic colors and the shape of the sweatpants is, I believe, a flawless marriage. And the vertical stripes? Slimming, and a smooth way of mixing prints into a wardrobe. I’m the biggest fan of Minkoff’s collection, and I believe that these sweatpants will be massively successful off of the runway.
My next favorite look comes from J. Crew’s F/W 2014 collection. Black, tapered sweatpants with a type of sateen, silk finish are paired with a dark charcoal, menswear-inspired car coat, white button-down, and black bow tie. The look is finished with a feminine, gold-detailed heel, stunning red lips, and effortlessly and elegantly styled hair. All of the neutral colors work wonderfully together – the black, the charcoal, and the white – and they work seamlessly with the pop of gold to the feet and the pop of red to the lips. The style is completely smooth, and the menswear-inspired details really affirm how “borrowed from the boys” is actually borrowing from the boys – these designers are borrowing menswear looks and pulling them into womenswear with classic and feminine silhouettes and fits. It’s spirited, and it’s winning my heart more and more.
If I wore metallic silver sweatpants to gym class in the 6th grade, I would have attracted a little attention (and a little attention is always good, right?). And if I wore J. Crew’s sweatpants to class all during my junior year of college, I have a feeling that I would have been anonymously deemed the most casually comfortable and the most successfully and intelligently dressed boy on campus. What I love about these styles is that you can dress them up and you can dress them down – they’re loud enough to make a statement, but the volume of the statement depends on how they’re worn – what they’re worn with. Metallic silver sweatpants can be completely casual if worn with a black, crewneck sweater and running sneakers (how about black and white Nike Flyknit sneakers?) or a neutral- and solid-colored oxford shoe. (But, let’s be brutally honest – metallic anything is always going to attract eyes, but that’s not a disadvantage – standing out is always an advantage!) And metallic silver sweatpants can be dressed up with a printed, cropped t-shirt and the highest heels in your wardrobe. There are countless ways to style these sweatpants, and I know I’ll be wearing them endlessly – dressing them up and dressing them down – next Fall and Winter.