It’s funny how time changes how we think about things. And nowhere is this as pronounced as in the fashion industry. What was considered stylish one year is old hat the next. While trends that were derided for years, are suddenly everywhere.
90s fashion is the perfect case in point. Over the last couple of years, the 90s aesthetic has slowly come back to mainstream acceptance. Some of the 90s men’s fashion items on this list weren’t just considered out of style a few years ago, they were actively derided. Sweater vests, baggy jeans, patchwork, and plaid (especially plaid) were more likely to be the butt of a joke than featured in a fashion publication.
Not so much anymore. While most of us were still squeezing into our skinny jeans, those ahead of the curve began to bring the above items back. Oversized t-shirts were probably the first widely accepted item. And it’s easy to see why. They are accessible, flattering, and go with much of your existing wardrobe.
But once we had that first taste, it wasn’t long before the 90s influence on fashion began to take a deeper hold. And all of a sudden 90 men’s fashion is everywhere. People are wearing patchwork, cardigans, oversized blazers, tiny little sunglasses, and looking great while doing so.
Personally, I’m overwhelmingly for the 90s look—precisely because it is such a departure from what we’ve been used to over the last few years. Getting into the 90s aesthetic is the perfect excuse to freshen up your wardrobe with pieces that you may not have considered even 12 months before.
I’m all about the loud shirts and lightly tinted sunglasses. Summer is here after all. I’ve also already jumped onto the cardigan train, and I’m keeping an eye out for patchwork pieces—although that might wait till the weather cools down again in fall.
Here are some of the top 90s men’s fashion trends that are making a comeback today.
90s Men’s Fashion Trends to Wear Right Now
The entry item to 90s fashion. These t-shirts have been around for a while and you may even own a few. If you don’t, you’ll find them in most popular retailers. I grabbed the Bretton shirt in the above image from Uniqlo and it’s a great example.
Baggy denim the other headline 90s men’s fashion trend. But while oversized t-shirts are an easy sell, wide jeans provide more resistance, especially if you’ve become used to more skinny styles. If you’re unsure, perhaps consider straight-leg styles before going and splashing out on a pair of JNCO.
Bucket hats are the 90s summer style accessory. They’re also practical as they provide 360 degree protection from the sun (no more burnt necks). We wrote about why we love bucket hats in this article.
Plaid gets a lot of stick at times, but it’s actually super easy to wear (actually, that might be why it gets so much stick?). Wear your checked plaid shirt open over a t-shirt with a pair of wide leg denim and some converse for a real 90s grunge look.
The 90s wasn’t a time for subtlety. channel your inner Fresh Prince by donning a shirt with bright colors and loud patterns. It’s easiest to experiment with summer shirts due to the general brightness and optimism of the season.
Cardigans seemed to disappear off the face of the fashion earth around ten years ago. But they’ve made a comeback recently. For a 90s Kurt Cobain-inspired look, make sure yours is oversized and thick-knit. Or do what I did in the image above and channel your inner Chandler from friends.
Trucker hats are the other type of 90s headwear making a comeback. Look for faded designs, denim, and netted backs. It’s only a matter of time before Von Dutch makes a comeback IMO.
The 90s was a time when DIY culture went big. Reflect this in your clothes with patchwork. Ideally, you’ll make these items yourself. But you could always do what Harry Styles did and splash out on a JW Anderson piece.
I don’t think any item has come in for as much stick as the poor old sweater vest. In many ways, it’s nice to see it finally get a moment in the sun. Just choose a color you like and wear over a button-up shirt.
Oversized tailoring, specifically blazers, are very 90s and a huge departure from the type of suiting we’ve become used to. These pieces feel more informal than typical tailoring, making them perfect for the post-pandemic office.
Small, Lightly Tinted Sunglasses
Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance brought tiny sunglasses back into public awareness. And smaller styles are becoming more prevalent. Also, look for sunglasses with lightly-tinted lenses.