Ah, the Nineties. I love the Nineties. Who doesn’t?
As a child of the Nineties taking her first small steps away from Barbies and towards boys, I have some great memories.
My first crush was Luke Perry from Beverley Hills 90210, and I even took my Beverley Hills 90210 branded ring-binder and pencil case to school. Those were the glory days. (Although what I used the ring-binder for is anyone’s guess.)
I also happily recall what some might deem the ‘horror that is’ Nineties fashion. I love it. I vividly remember my mum buying me a sheer floral print blouse from Tammy Girl, that I wore to death with a white jersey roll neck underneath, and a black leather thong choker necklace with a silver dolphin pendant.
My twin sister wore exactly the same outfit; think we were trying to be Surrey’s answer to Tia and Tamera. Except that we’re non-identical, so it didn’t really work. Classy, eh?
Sadly, my days of shopping with my mum in Tammy Girl are long gone. I take some small respite in the fact I can watch my favourite Nineties movies over and over again, and perhaps even take away some small wardrobe inspiration from their most awesome outfits.
Yep, believe me, there really were some rockin’ outfits back then, even if mine weren’t quite up to scratch. Here are five Nineties movie characters we could all take a style tip or two from…
Sue Ellen in Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead (1991)
One of my most favourite films, ever. Possibly the reason why I wanted to work in fashion, too (sadly I have yet to encounter a boss as cool and nice as Rose; they’re more like Carolyn the snotty receptionist). Sue Ellen’s outfits start off awesome, and then become even more awesome when she raids her mum’s wardrobe for power dressing work staples. Get me a frilly collar and oversized fan earrings this instant. I’m also going to be taking a picture of Christina Applegate’s hair in this movie to the hairdressers; love that fringe!
When Brian takes Sue Ellen on a ‘quirky’ date to the supermarket, Sue Ellen’s high waisted, baggy lime green tapered trousers are obviously what make him fall in love with her. So SS11 it hurts.
Sarah, Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle in The Craft (1996)
This movie was THE staple of girlie sleepovers back in the Nineties. Pretty sure it was responsible for my sister’s purchase of black lipstick, too. Goth-gone-sexy was the look we were all trying to emulate in 1996, with black mini skirts and braces, as well as trying out ‘light as a feather, stiff as a board’ during lunchbreaks on the school fields. To pull of this look today, you’ll need chokers, plenty of black, knee-high socks and a bad-ass witch attitude.
When all four girls walk through the school grounds in slow motion, wearing their ‘sexed up’ witchy school uniforms; cleavage baring white tops, rosary beads and short-than-short skirts.
Lucy in Stealing Beauty (1996)
First of all, Liv Tyler in this film is so enchantingly beautiful it’s impossible not to feel jealous. Then you see her wardrobe; cute floral summer dresses and flippy skirts, perfect white blouses and coloured Converse. Lucy is what I picture every time I try and pull off the summer dress, bare legs and Converse look, forgetting every time that I sadly don’t possess the lithe limbs of Liv. Ah well. Such a gorgeous movie overall; if you haven’t seen it, you really must do soon.
Lucy’s mother’s dress, that she wears to the big party. A drapey, ruffly floral maxi dress that is simply beautiful.
Alabama in True Romance (1993)
Dozens of my female friends still reference Alabama Whitman as their true fashion icon (fellow Le Blow-er Amy Rycroft, I’m looking at you). Leopard print, hot pink, bleached blonde hair and cowboy boots is a look that just won’t die, and for good reason; because even though she is a proper nutter, everyone wants to be a little teensy bit like Alabama. She’s just so goddamn cool (and whilst I don’t think any of us would want her life, I do know a few who wouldn’t mind a Nineties Christian Slater look-a-like).
Without a doubt, the pink leopard print jeans. Simply iconic, and copied the world over to this day.
Cher in Clueless (1995)
I tried, I really tried to avoid this most obvious, even slightly clichéd choice of Nineties movies fashion. It can’t be avoided though, because there is a reason it’s so overused; because it’s so bloody brilliant! Probably my all-time-number-one-film-ever-and-ever, I know every single word and every single outfit. Oh, to have a computer that matches your outfits for you in the morning. It’s 2011 and I still don’t have one! I miss fluffy backpacks, feather pens and large mobile phones. Le Blow salutes you, Cher Horowitz, for the undoubted impact you had on the future shaping of our wardrobes. I mean, hands up who doesn’t raise a smile when they see a matching tartan mini skirt and blazer?
Near-on impossible to pick one, but if I had to chose (which I do) then I’d go for the Calvin Klein dress that Cher’s father thought looked like underwear. And of course, the sheer white jacket thing she put on top of it. If only my mother had let me dress like that.