a 90s and 2000s fashion guide to stepping back in time

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By Giovanna Fischborn and Leticia Mouhamad

posted on 07/17/2022 09:00


(credit: Playback/Pinterest)

Sweatshirt set, very pink, all denim look, cargo shorts, low waist, micro top, mini skirt… Breathe in! It’s hard to define the fashion that filled the 1990s to the 2000s: mix of chaos, fun and freedom.

At the time, people were talking about the end of the world and experts were warning about the millennium bug — a technological failure that threatened that there would be no more electricity and the circulation of cities would collapse, precisely from 1999 to 2000. The bug did not happen and remained also known as Y2K (year 2000).

The period is one of extremes — it goes from preppy (school-age style) to skateboarding. It is characterized by artificial elements: a lot of shine, alteration of the volume of the body, transparency and leather. “From organic, there are still prints of insects and butterflies, usually on baby tees (short, tight-fitting t-shirts)”, points out fashion designer and professor Rafaela Asmar, from the IFB.

Shorts, skirts and cargo pants are strong!  In Confessions of a Teenager in Crisis, Lindsay Lohan, who was very successful, transitioned from grunge to skater
Shorts, skirts and cargo pants are strong! In Confessions of a Teenager in Crisis, Lindsay Lohan, who was very successful, transitioned from grunge to skater
(photo: Playback/Pinterest)

Some of these pieces rehearsed a return to the international catwalks in 2019, but only in 2022 they became a cool reference, save for some controversies. This return has moved the cultural market and, in the fashion world, inspired unbridled trends.

Despite the tone of novelty in productions now, the specialist considers this a predictable return. Anyone who follows fashion matters must have heard of the “20-year cycle”. That is, from time to time, you rescue what you wore two decades earlier. “This movement happens because we have a strong foundation in the past, in childhood. With clothes, we want to return to this affective place, where we build ourselves aesthetically”, she justifies.

But wasn’t 2007 — the year that more or less marks the end of Y2K fashion — just around the corner? According to the teacher, it is normal for this interval to vary from 15 to 20 years, so the revival was minimally anticipated. Another curious point is that the 1960s to 1970s were turbulent. The same happened from 1990 to 2000. And the same happens today. So, every 20 years, it seems that it’s not just the clothes that are repeated, the social scene is also similar.

Whether you think it's corny or because you see potential there, the Mean Girls looks will catch your eye.  Tight blouses with simple prints composed with short skirts are frequent appearances in the long
Whether you think it’s corny or because you see potential there, the Mean Girls looks will catch your eye. Tight blouses with simple prints composed with short skirts are frequent appearances in the long
(photo: Playback/Pinterest)

With this in mind, fashion consultant Nanda Gomes, from Ouija Consultoria, believes that the new generation felt an intrinsic desire for renewal, especially in the post-pandemic period, identifying with the desire for freedom of the body of the 1990s and the exaggeration of the decade. from 1980.

There are so many trends… what to bet on?

For those who felt lost with so much information, no panic! Fashion consultant Nanda Gomes, from Ouija Consultoria, which also includes specialists Sarah de Melo and Laís Menezes, brought enlightening tips for those interested in these aesthetics:

Open your family’s wardrobe and discover it without fear. Surely, there will be some vintage pieces that can be adapted to your style.

Pants with a much lower waist than we wear today and a casual sweatshirt outfit, like the one in the photo, scream Britney Spears.  Detail for sports shoes
Pants with a much lower waist than we wear today and a casual sweatshirt outfit, like the one in the photo, scream Britney Spears. Detail for sports shoes
(photo: Playback/Pinterest)

Bet on timeless pieces, such as the slightly longer denim jacket and without so much information; in addition to tailoring and its composition with not so obvious pieces (sweatshirt plus tailored pants, for example).

Invest in neutral colors, which are great when putting together a look in which you can exaggerate the accessories. For print lovers, put your chips in the polka dot or stripes.

Mom jeans, tights (a trend driven by the e-girl aesthetic), cap as a fashion accessory and baguette bag (which came back in different shapes, sizes and colors) are interesting bets, which were well accepted.

  • The defunct Destiny’s Child group using micro tops, chain belts and body chain. Navel piercing was also fashionable.
    Playback/Pinterest

  • Proving that the past comes back revamped, PRISCAVera fashion brought the structured corset with cutouts in a modern proposal with baggy pants
    PRISCAVera/Disclosure

  • The sporty button-up shirt was especially popular with men, who had a more practical wardrobe at the time. The scene is from the 2003 movie Amor de Aluguel.
    Playback/Pinterest

  • The turn of the white regatta? Prada’s Fall/Winter 2022 collection encouraged this movement with a simple look, which featured a narrow midi skirt. Bottega Veneta and Chloé also strategically brought the piece
    Prada/Disclosure

The mini clothes, which came back with a vengeance, especially with the MiuMiu collection, end up becoming jokers and can be used in the Brazilian winter, in combination with neutral or colored tights, and, in the summer, alone.

Get to know your own body and style and be aware that the piece speaks or not to your personal taste, so that it doesn’t sit still and forgotten in the wardrobe.

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