As decades go, the 1990s were pretty awesome. The 90s gave birth to some incredible music, whether it was Nirvana and Pearl Jam leading the grunge sound or Biggie and Tupac elevating hip-hop from opposite coasts.
We’ve been reminded of 90s awesomeness a lot in recent years as many of those events celebrated their 20th or 25th anniversaries. This past summer saw the 20th anniversary of the movie Clueless coming out in theaters. And 2016 marks a host of iconic rap albums turning 20 as well, including Snoop Dogg’s The Doggfather and Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt.
The 90s were also an important time in fashion. Streetwear label Supreme consistently celebrates its birth in 1994 and mines cultural touchstones from the decade for many of its pieces. Other designers also look to the 90s for inspiration on a consistent basis. But what happens when you go back to the same well too often is that well can start to run dry.
That’s what we are starting to see in menswear today, as trends — that weren’t even cool when they first came around in the 90s — find themselves being rejuvenated. Before things get carried away too far, we thought it would be a good idea to highlight six style moves from the 90s that should stay in the 90s.
A deodorant brand used to have the tagline, “Never let them see you sweat.” Well, Hypercolor shirts did the opposite. Using technology that it called “Metamorphic Color System” (it was really just a dye), these shirts would change color when they came in contact with body heat. Why anyone thought having a shirt with a handprint on it was cool is beyond me, and hopefully it will be beyond future generations too.
OVERALLS WITH ONE STRAP UNDONE
We may be too late on this one. A$AP Rocky, the men’s style icon of the moment, just collaborated with uber-90s denim brand Guess? on a pair of overalls. Doesn’t Rocky watch Moonshiners? Has he seen how ridiculous Tim looks on that show? And he wears his overalls with both straps.
We’ve already seen the first seeds of a move away from slim pants. Let’s pray that the pendulum doesn’t swing all the way over to silhouettes reminscent of the 90s raver pants. For whatever reason, sucking on pacifiers and rocking JNCO jeans that you could fit your entire torso into comfortably was a thing during the formative days of EDM. Leave the big and tall shopping to the people that really need it.
BOY BAND HAIR
The success of groups like NSync and Backstreet Boys brought with it some truly awful hairstyles. Whether it was the frosted tips or the Caesar cuts or the Caesar cuts with frosted tips, there were so many bad men’s hair cuts going around that the man bun seems tame by comparison. Hopefully we’ve learned from the error that was parting hair down the middle and will keep parts on the side forevermore.
WEARING CLOTHES BACKWARDS
Kriss Kross made you “Jump! Jump!” but they also made you wear your clothes the wrong way. Not only were backwards clothes uncomfortable because, you know, they were designed to fit the other way, they also were incredibly hard to put on. And trying to take a leak in backwards jeans is a torture I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.
PUKA SHELL NECKLACES
For most of human history, men have limited their jewelry wearing to watches. But in the 90s, the puka shell necklace reared its ugly head. It didn’t matter if you’d never been to Hawaii or even the beach, dudes everywhere were rocking these shell necklaces. If you put your ear up closely to the shell, you could hear the ocean whispering, “You look like a dork.”