Summer dresses from ’90s films that are so NOW

I've been coveting these dresses for over twenty years. SEND HELP.

I was stressing out about writing a snazzy, well-versed, achingly cool and oh-so informative intro for this piece… but at the end of the blaaady day, the title kinda manages your expectations, no?

~throws out all the old skool SEO training from circa 2010 because no Google, I don’t GAF if I’ve stuffed 32942875 key words into or not tbh~

So here we go… summer dresses… from 90s films… that wouldn’t look out of place on the ol’ Insta grid RIGHT! NOW!


Liv Tyler, Stealing Beauty

Liv Tyler dress Stealing Beauty

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Stealing beauty? I’d certainly steal this floaty floral chiffon beaut. I mean, if Liv Tyler’s wardrobe in Stealing Beauty isn’t all your summer dress dreams at once, I despair, I really do.

The whole look and feel of this film (and yup; Liv’s entire wardrobe) is just dreamy summer perfection.

Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman

Julia Roberts dot dress Pretty Woman

I’m dotty about dots, etc. No but seriously, the last three dresses I’ve bought have all had a polka print, yet not one of them matches up to Julia Roberts AKA Vivian’s fancy frock for the posh polo match.

It’s the 90s brown ground, slinky fabric and just-right scoop neck that does it. I’d leave the ‘mom-style’ white court shoes and matchy-matchy boater hat firmly in 1990, instead updating with espadrilles and a basket bag for a look that’s so very RIGHT NOW. Huh.

Kate Hudson, Almost Famous

Kate Hudson Almost Famous dress

An Oriental-inspired jacquard shift dress, just like Pennie Lane’s is currently right on my radar. Although ffs, I actually used to own one myself in the 90s, godammit. Although upon reflection, perhaps mine looked a little bit ~too~ authentic, like I should be waitressing in China Town or summin’.

I’m currently coveting Oriental embroidery on dresses and accessories and spotted a cute mini rucksack in Primark – bit too try-hard 90s for an Elder like me, though. Maybe a little A-line skirt, (like this one from New Look), paired with a slogan tee is actually the best way for me to tap into this trend…

Winona Ryder, Reality Bites

winona ryder floral dress reality bites

I’d basically take both of the dresses on show here, but Winona’s ditsy print maxi really is summin’ else.

Imagine effortlessly floating along in this beaut, paired with white Converse hi-tops, maybe layer over a tight white cap-sleeve tee. Add a leather jacket if it gets chilly (hello, I live in the UK. It’s ALWAYS bloody chilly).

Gwen Stefani, Don’t Speak


As an extra ‘bonus’ dress, I’ve added in one from a 90s music video, Don’t Speak featuring EVERYONE’S then style icon, Gwen Stefani. The thing is, I STILL want that polka dot tea dress. Always have done, always will.

It really is the perfect dress.

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