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1993: It’s Back

Fashion has a 20-year cycle. We know that, and yet we’re still surprised by the recycled trends. Why not stay ahead of the game? Check out these styles from 1993 and ideas on updating them. Babydoll floral prints and combat boots, anyone?

Girly girl is back (with an edge.)

While the grunge music scene was heading down to the basement in 1993, grunge as a fashion style was reaching new heights. That year, designer Marc Jacobs garnered the CFDA Award as Designer of the Year for his grunge line. Consumers weren`t impressed by the high-priced chiffon floral skirts and silk flannel shirts. Savvy shoppers had been picking up similar stuff at Sears for years now at a budget price. They weren`t about to change their habits anytime soon, no matter what the haute couture influenced pros might have said. Runway bragging rights didn’t necessarily turn into consumer sales but, at least for Marc Jacobs, the award did give him some more exposure. That itself proved to be very profitable for his career.

Frugality is back.

Grunge in the 1990`s was street-style fashion and remains that way to this day. The name may be the same but the look has changed. Look carefully for any signs of flannel because you’ll be hard pressed to see it in this photo. That’s the difference between a true-to-form style and one that is inspired. The photo above is “2012 London Street 90s Inspired Grunge Style” that doesn’t attempt to stay faithful to the style. If you’re wondering whether you can really call shopping at Sears a fashion statement, you’re not alone. That type of shopper isn’t exactly what anyone would call “fashion conscious,” though they were, and still are, interested in buying good looking clothes.

Lady Gaga’s inspiration?

Hugely high heels, which even Naomi Campbell couldn’t handle, were the talk of the town back in 1993. Actually, it was the fall that gained all the attention during her runway misadventure. Fortunately for Naomi, she was able to avoid panicking and continue on with the show. The tartan plaids and suits featured in this collection would eventually become part of Vivienne Westwood’s signature. But the heels? Well, it’s doubtful these runway fashion high heels will see the light of day again. Instead they’re likely to be another runway relic. Maybe combat boots would have been a better idea after all.

While Encyclopedia Britannica may not be the bastion of fashion sense, they are known for their fastidious fact checking. An entry for women’s fashion 1993 indicates that this was the year that “shorter, thinner and wispier” models replaced the curvaceous Amazon runway Goddesses. This time period saw a move away from the pristine model to the still attractive, everyday ordinary look. That’s good news for women of average build looking to wear 1993-inspired fashion this coming year. It’s always been a source of frustration for women. They see something that looks good on T.V. or in a magazine, only to find out that it doesn’t look that way on the average body.

Chucks were never out.

Converse All Star running shoes were another popular fashion item back in 1993, though the selection was much more limited than it is today. Since that time, Converse has expanded to include hoodies, T-shirts and tank tops. The variety of fashion items they offer has exploded over the past couple of decades, and they now have more available in one year than they had for most of their entire history. Converse shoes remain popular to this day and have found a loyal following in the Japanese Harajuku style. Not much updating required here, and you may wish to mix and match away to your heart’s content.

The 1992 blockbuster “Batman Returns” featured Michelle Pfeiffer as Cat Woman. The film’s success spawned a short-lived fashion style the following year with the catsuit. This suit, often made from latex, PVC or spandex, was frequently accompanied by high-heeled boots. It certainly wasn’t the most versatile piece of wardrobe available; it’s very hard to imagine anyone wearing a catsuit to work. Not only that, but latex and PVC were never the most skin-friendly materials to wear. Twenty years hasn’t really made much of a difference. One can only hope that if designers decide to bring this back, they will pick a better type of material from which to make the suit. Ideally the boots, minus the catsuit, will be the only thing returning this year. That’s more than likely since the catsuit never gained widespread popularity.