From the late 1990s to the early noughties, 90s street fashion has been closely following the fashions and trends of the decade. There are many distinctive styles that have emerged in this short period. The most common ones are depicted here, in chronological order: the bumpy, scruffy look, so chic, and grunge. These are characterized by a combination of dyed denim, chunky pieces, hoodies, sweat pants, and sneakers. The 90s style is widely popular among teenagers and young adults today and has remained a staple in popular culture ever since.
Another notable aspect of the 90s street fashions is the “baggy” look, which was created by the Japanese during the 1970s. The key feature is the bag's wide width, which creates an appearance of the wearer's extra pounds. This fashion style has been greatly influenced by the cultures of Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong. In Korea, for instance, those who wore baggy clothing were routinely called “chosung” or “bags”. At the time, they represented a sign of being a member of the subcultures of the younger generation.
Hip-hop musicians of the era heavily influenced the trends of the era. It is common to see baggy jeans paired with brightly colored sneakers. The baggy look is prevalent among African American teenagers of the early 1990s and continues to be a mainstay in the 90s street fashion scene. Urban apparel brands such as Reebok, McDonald's, and other major brands have adopted elements from the 90s hip-hop fashion scene.
Another iconic aspect of the 90s hip-hop fashion scene is the ubiquitous bucket hat. Bucket hats are typically worn by youths belonging to the predominantly urban or inner-city ethnicities. Members of the Wu-tang clan are thought to have developed the bucket hat as an accessory for their street attire as early as the early 1990s. The symbol of the bucket hat, which has a loose fold at the base, can be seen on numerous clothing items for boys and girls belonging to the Wu-tang clan.
Costume jewelry became a staple item for many hip-hop artists in the late 90s. Huge silver and pearl jeweled chains with large buckles and chain links became the jewelry of choice for many artists. Similar to oversized baggy jeans, costume jewelry was also a way to make street wear more individualized. Largely used by youths from disadvantaged families in inner cities like Bronx, Brooklyn, and other urban areas, the trend toward costume jewels soon grew into a mass market item.
The late 90s saw yet another massive rise in the popularity of the grunge look. Gifted to middle class Americans by the Reagan administration, urban dwellers quickly embraced the fashions of the time and the work ethic instilled by the American dream. Clothes styled in the “Goth” fashion style soon permeated American culture. Clothes in all black, denim, and ripped vinyl or plastic were worn to work, school, the neighborhood gym, and more. The goth fashion look has remained popular throughout the 2000s and well into the new millennium.
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