When were plaid skirts popular?

Dress code 90s

The 1990s are different from the previous decades in many ways. One of the most noticeable fashion trends of the time was the rise in popularity of "body art," including tattoos and piercings. Still, the 90s seem to have some similarities with the 70s. The clothing was minimalist and the use of color was on the back burner.

Ladies dress code

Early 90s

The fashion industry in the 1990s was dominated by 'supermodels' like Tyra Banks and Kate Moss. In particular, Calvin Klein model Kate Moss has been regularly criticized for her extremely slim to lean figure. Antagonists claimed that Kate's "heroin chic" style promoted eating disorders.

Neon colors

The early 90s was largely influenced by the clothing style (s) from the 80s. Thus, the use of fluorescent neon paints was still very popular with young people. Popular clothes for women were denim blouses, three-quarter trousers, bright colors or leopard print leggings, cycling trousers, black denim jackets, short dresses, dungarees and gauntlets. In addition to the bright colors, abstract motifs such as triangles, rectangles and spirals were also very popular (think of the clothes from the TV series “Saved by the Bell”). In terms of accessories, bandana’s (scarves worn around the head), white droopy (floppy) socks, Keds shoes, ballerinas, loafers and boat shoes were very popular.

Flannel shirts - Photo credits: Seth Carlson (Flickr.com)


Partly due to the influence of popular grunge rock bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, there was a new style of clothing in the early 1990s: grunge fashion. Young women and girls, for example, wore checked blouses, worn jeans, Dr. (Doc) Martins, Converse All Stars, ‘Mama Jeans’ (jeans that were worn to the waist), T-shirts (with or without band names), oversized sweaters and worn tights.

Garments were often worn on top of each other. T-shirts were often worn in combination with a flannel blouse (checked blouse) or a T-shirt with long sleeves was worn under a T-shirt with short sleeves. In addition, it was very 'fashionable' to wear your sweater and plaid blouse tied around your waist. The years 1993 and 1994 were the heyday of grunge fashion.

Leggings and sportswear

As in the 80s, tight-fitting sportswear such as ballerina outfits, cycling trousers and leggings were particularly popular. Many young women and girls wore a ballerina outfit as a top in combination with jeans. It was also 'in' to combine a short skirt or a short dress with dark tights and slack, socks or gauntlets that were slipping down. In addition to the All Star and Dr. (Doc) Martins, who were especially popular with grunge fans, were also very popular with the general public, kedsen (athletic sneakers).

Mid 90s

Women's clothing became more elegant and form-fitting in the mid-1990s and in relation to the past few years. Oversized sweaters and blouses were increasingly being replaced with tight-fitting shirts and sweaters. Comfortable 'lounge' clothes like oversized sweaters and sweatpants, which were previously used for everyday outfits, were increasingly kept at home.


Since 1994, the popularity of grunge fashion has gradually decreased among women and girls. The new focus on female fashion is said to have played a major role in the decline. The focus shifted to more glamor and sex appeal. Women increasingly wore tight-fitting skirts and tailor-made dresses. Pantsuits, undergarments, skinny jeans and stilettos also enjoyed increasing popularity.


Another notable trend was the transition to shiny or glittery fabrics. Clothes for going out, in particular, were often equipped with metallic or glittering materials. Shoes such as stilettos and pumps were also increasingly offered in metallic colors such as gold, bronze and silver.

School uniform

school uniform

One of the most popular "looks" for women at the time was the sexy schoolgirl look. Girls and young women wore checked mini-skirts, figure-hugging sweaters, underclothes, cropped shirts, high stockings or tights and possibly a striped tie.

This trend was driven by artists, popular TV series and films such as "Clueless". It was also around this time that the wearing of an umbilical piercing became fashionable. In 1999, the school uniform outfit was also used in one of the most popular music video clips of the period: Baby One More Time by Britney Spears

Jeans met wijde pijpen

Late 90s

At the end of the 1990s, a number of items of clothing that were popular in the late 1970s came back into fashion. Above all, these were faux lederhosen, halter tops, cropped and strapless shirts, turtleneck sweaters, knee-high boots and the well-known "flared trousers" (jeans with a trouser leg that falls wide from the knee). The bell-bottoms jeans were worn a little lower on the hips and in combination with a crop shirt and possibly a navel piercing. Women also wore a lot more color and camouflage patterns in the late 1990s than in previous years.

Casual chic

The casual chic dress code emerged in the late 1990s and items of clothing that fell under it were mainly jeans with a slight ‘washer’ (discoloration), tops with spaghetti straps, cropped shirts and sportswear. During this time, jeans were very popular in Europe and many clothing manufacturers took advantage of this growing trend.

In addition to jeans, sneakers with built-in air suspension from Adidas, Nike (Air Max) and Sketchers were also very popular. Faux leather and leather trainers were much more popular than canvas shoes back then (think Vans and All Stars). In terms of accessories, gold and silver hoop earrings were especially fashionable.

Versleten spijkerbroeken - Photo credits: Maegan Tintari (Flickr.com)

Men's dress code

Men's clothing in the early 90's was similar to that of the late 80's. Men, for example, still wore high-waisted jeans combined with a matching denim jacket. Boys and men often wore a polo shirt with a different color collar, leather jackets and T-shirts.


For both men and women, the early 1990s were dominated by grunge music. Bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam became more and more popular and many young people adopted the somewhat rough style of these artists. Popular items of clothing from the grunge style were loose flannel blouses or jackets, worn jeans, canvas trainers (mostly Converse All Stars), oversized sweaters, black leather motorcycle jackets, parkas, and fingerless gloves.


Early 90s

The beginning of the 90s differed significantly from the 80s. Although the emphasis in the 1980s was on materialism and sporting wealth, the early 1990s seemed correspondingly more focused on nonchalance. Men's clothing was usually quite simple and mostly focused on comfort. One trend that emerged from this ‘laidback’ style was the grunge style.

2Pac - Photo credits: Tupac Amaru Shakur (Flickr.com)

Mid 90s

The 'mod' (modernist) fashion trend emerged in the mid-1990s, growing out of the increasing popularity of Britpop. Bands that did well during this period were Oasis, Blur, Placebo, and The Verve. More and more boys and men dressed according to the example of these artists. Popular items of clothing included brown leather jackets, velvet blazers, paisley blouses and T-shirts with eye-catching prints, shoulder bags and boat shoes.

hip hop

A prominent subculture in America and Europe in the mid 1990s was hip hop culture. The trend spread mainly through the increasing popularity of hip hop artists such as 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. out. Typical clothes for hip-hop outfits were bagged jeans, oversized baseball jackets, and tracksuits. Camouflage patterns, bandanas and eye-catching diamond jewelry have also become an integral part of the hip-hop style.

Late 90s

At the end of the 90s, the baggy clothing styles such as hip-hop and grunge were replaced by elegant branded clothing. Around this time the so-called 'Kakker' look came into fashion and brands for the men who did it exceptionally well were Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. Europe was in the grip of denim and worldwide the use of color in fashion really increased. Popular items of clothing from this period were hoodies (sweaters with hoods), short jeans, basketball shorts, tracksuits and bomber jackets.

Entrepreneur clothing

At the end of the 90s, a new trend in entrepreneurial menswear emerged. The double-breasted "power suits" were gradually replaced by the European single-breasted suits in the 1980s. These suits typically had 3 or 4 buttons and the cuffs were cut. The men still wore relatively wide ties in dark colors. The motifs and stripes, which were especially popular in the 80s, went out of fashion.

Smart casual and business casual

Two new clothing styles that emerged in the late 1990s were the smart casual dress code and the business casual dress code. At this time, tweed jackets were not used because of their associative nature. For cheerful formal occasions, men often wore a single-breasted suit with a shirt and tie of a cheerful color. At this time, black patent leather shoes were also in fashion.