With crushed velvet, baby doll dresses, and black nail polish trending this fall, it hit me: 90s style is back. And I’m all in. So let’s turn up some Pearl Jam and scribble Mrs. Jordan Catalano on our Trapper Keeepers while we figure out how to grab those items that make 90s style work for us — only this time with a thoroughly 21st century twist.

Because not every 90s style trend is still a great idea.

Looking at you, light-up LA Gear sneakers and overtweezed eyebrows.

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Related: 7 cool ways to tie scarves and get your fall accessories game down.


How to wear 90s style today: A velvet statement piece, like this bomber jacket at J. Crew.

The 90s were all about crushed velvet, and we’re seeing this look all over the place again. I say skip the crushed look altogether — it’s can easily feel too costume-y — and modernize this trend with sleek statement pieces instead.

This velvet bomber jacket at J. Crew in midnight navy is a stylish (and comfortable) way to dress up a pair jeans; and you can also throw it on over a LBD for a night out when you want to look more funky than fussy.

Or, add a little velvet to your everyday look with a pair of velvet flats by Lucky. They let you make a fashionable effort, and no one has to know they’re actually the easiest, most comfortable shoe in your closet. (Seriously, I wear mine every single day.)

Just don’t wear them with the velvet jacket, okay?

Related: 7 amazing beauty products that maximize the ones you already own

Babydoll Dresses and Shifts

How to wear 90s style today: Babydoll dresses, at Target

My standard attire in the early nineties was a babydoll dress, opaque tights, and black lace-up boots. Usually with a sweater tied around my waist, you know, just in case. Well, this uber-comfortable style is back…although my hemlines need to be slightly longer than they were back then. Then again, that’s what leggings are for, right?

If you love this nostalgic look popularized by the likes of Courtney Love and the cast of 90210, you can find babydoll dresses all over the place, but I’d start with Target. They have about six gazillion options there, including this floral-print bell-sleeve dress in the juniors department that offers a little more coverage for those of us well out of our teens. And it’s super-affordable, which is always great when you’re dealing with trends that can go as fast as they come.

Babydoll dress updated for the 21st century: High neck black lace shift from Target

You can even go dressier with an option like this black lace high neck shift dress which is flattering and forgiving for a lot of body types. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have arms and legs like the model, here. But you do you and feel good about it!

(And psst…notice the velvet booties she’s wearing? Nice touch!)


Must-have 90s-style wardrobe items: Overalls | photo via Klaire Osborne on Instagram

The oversized, baggy 90s overalls — with only one shoulder buckled — may be gone, and now I’m seeing so many cute modern updates to replace them. To make this look work, you really have to embrace it. Don’t cover up that bib with a sweater or jacket. And don’t go too skinny.

(I am betting the overall-jeggings look is one we may come to regret.)

If you have a slim build, try my current favorite: the Madewell Skinny Overalls, as shown in this cute pic Klaire Osborne posted to Instagram. Great look! You can also check out the Washed Denim Overalls from Free People in 12 different fun colors.

If you have more curves, try the look with a choice like these gorgeous and dressier Robert Rodriguez black silk overalls. (They’re now sold out of Nordstrom online but might be available at a location near you.)

Flannel Shirts

Must-have 90s-style wardrobe items: Flannel plaid shirts, whoo!

A flannel shirt and jeans has been my standard everyday uniform in the fall anyway, so I’m glad it’s finally back in fashion! (Do I get to say I’m a trendsetter?)

When I saw these flannel tunics at Target the other day, I loaded up on a few because the plaids are so great. But note that the name is accurate: they’re actually tunics — covering my entire rear end in the back. A little long for jeans, but perfect for leggings.

How to wear 90s style today: Buffalo checked black and white flannel shirt at Old Navy

When I want a more traditional fit, I grab my go-to Old Navy flannel shirt instead. It has a fitted cut and hits at the hips and the price is fantastic. This buffalo-check print really helps update it into the 21st century and I love the black and white.

Docs, obviously.

Must-have 90s-style wardrobe items: Dr. Martens, obviously

The Dr. Martens 1460 boot is not going anywhere, no updates needed, no changes. Just maybe skip the opaque tights.