11 Trends That Made You Cool in the 90s
11 Trends That Made You Cool in the 90s
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11 Trends That Made You Cool in the 90s

By Olivia Harlow
Aside from boy bands, one-shoulder overalls, and obscure hairdos, the ‘90s are characterized, in large, by eclecticism and multiculturalism. With movements in grunge, hip-hop and rave music, as well as the rise of technology (Cable! Internet!), revolutionary niche groups formed.


NSYNC and Backstreet Boys pretty much ruled the world. With their similarly trending bleached bowl cuts, oversized shirts and shiny Reeboks, these groups of hotties made girls swoon with their cheesie lyrics and synchronized dance moves.


The late ‘90s marked an uprising in video gaming. With the evolution of handheld devices, gaming was eventually made portable… and therefore, constant. As technology quickly advanced, games like Pokemon, Super Mario, and Donkey Kong gained immediate popularity among crazed pre-teens who were interested in sitting on the couch for hours, numbly snacking on Doritos and Pepsi. Gameboy and Nintendo 64, anyone? All of the sudden, a generation of pot-smoking gamers was born!


These bean-stuffed little characters made their debut in 1993 and rapidly earned praise, becoming among the most endearing “pets” of the ‘90s. By mid-96 Ty Inc. was selling more than 100 million Beanie Babies worldwide. Youngsters commonly begged parents to drive across town to all McDonalds restaurants—after spring of ‘97 when certain critters were included with Happy Meals—obsessively collecting the miniature Beanies by the dozens.


Aka, Jennifer Anniston’s hairstyle in the iconic TV sitcom, Friends. During the ‘90s, many women tried to emulate this voluminously layered, straight fringe. In fact, it was the most copied hairdo of the decade!


As if the bowl cut wasn’t embarrassing enough of a trend, boys started to bleach the front tips of their hair, using gel for lift: “frosted tips”. Others would overload on styling gel, molding their hair into spiky, grass-like terrain.


Jam out to some 50 Cent hip hop and cruise around the neighborhood on blades—not to be confused with skates, which were also very popular. (Skates have two sets of two wheels, while a rollerblade has just one single line of wheels.) And of course, there was always the alternative option: Razor Scooter.


What better way to tote around your Walkie Talkie, Ring Pop, Lipsmackers and a few extra bucks than to wear a purse-like baggie on your hips? Also known as a belt pack, belly bag, waist purse, butt pack, waist wallet, and bum bag, this small fabric pouch made carrying around necessities much easier! Considered dorky for every day use in today’s world, the fanny pack is still regularly worn at music fests and college-themed parties.


Three games certain to get you a smooch or two. Spin the Bottle was all about matchmaking fate, while Seven Minutes in Heaven was more like a free pass for a closet make out session. Truth or Dare could lead to a variety of vulnerable and risqué shenanigans.


This brand of sour candies was originally advertised as “extreme” candy, with an intensely tart flavor. Considered daredevil-ish, only the bravest of middle schoolers would stuff a few of them in their mouth in one sitting. Once the PB+J sandwiches were all gobbled up, it was time for the ultimate dare: destroying your taste buds with these mouth-puckering bitters.


With the development of the lunchbox, only losers carried lunch in a brown paper sack. What superhero was on your lunchbox? How colorful was it? Plastic or insulated cloth? And more importantly, what did Mom pack inside? If it’s Lunchables and Dunkaroos, not only will you be dubbed the ‘cool kid’, but you should probably prepare for kids to flock around and expect free handouts!


AKA the “butt part”, a meticulously combed straight line down the center of the head, dividing hair into two halves. Girls braiding their hair would continue the line to the back of the head, rehearsing the line over and over again to ensure absolute perfection. Yea, we know—you’re feeling all sorts of nostalgic right now. Want to relive those glory days and experience the epic decade all over again? Send us your favorite home videos from this lovably odd decade, so we can convert them into digital forms. #tbt, here we come!
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