Looking back, the '90s feels like a golden era—the Game Boy! The Spice Girls! The last cell phone-less generation!—most of all when it comes to '90s fashion. Scrunchies, acid-wash jeans, tube tops, and capri pants reigned supreme, along with crimped hair, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and punk rock. It was a glorious time, made only more glorious by the A-listers who blithely wore their '90s finest on the red carpet and out and about, secure in the knowledge that they would never have to look back on these iconic looks and feel anything other than pride.
Unfortunately, in the year of our Lord 2021, these looks...hit a little different. So sit back, grab a packet of Pop Rocks, and instead of wondering how 1990 can be as far away from the present day as 205o (!), enjoy these looks, which represent the very best (if "best" is the right word here) of '90s fashion.
No one did twinning better than these two. The Olsen sisters matched in black cardigans and fringe skirts at the movie premiere of Anna and the King in 1999.
The singer attended the 1997 Cable ACE Awards and proved then and now that the slip dress is a classic piece to have in your wardrobe. Try styling it with a velvet cape.
The only thing more memorable than Aniston's Rachel Green haircut/outfits was who she was dating at the time: Brad Pitt. We'll just leave this here.
The actress hit all the '90s fashion benchmarks in this outfit: the purple bandanna, the see-through matching purple shirt, a skinny chain belt, and slightly flared jeans.
The singer went for a head-to-toe gold look. Personally, we're getting Academy Award statue vibes.
The star and Janet Jackson dressed up in blazers to attend the 66th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in 1994. Bassett went with a bold fuchsia color while Jackson kept it classic in all white.
The supermodel attended the Second Annual Revlon's Unforgettable Women Contest in 1990 at the MET in New York City. She wore a striking halter neck red dress nude tights and red heels. We're eyeing the sparkly diamonds on her neck and ears too.
Who grew up watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch? Here's the actress, circa 1990, in a genie-like costume, complete with a long braid.
The star was a fan of rocking two pieces on the red carpet. She wore this flashy pink fringe outfit to the MTV Movie Awards in 1990.
Also in 1990, Jada Pinkett Smith debuted this shimmery green skirt and top set. We're getting mermaid vibes.
We love a '90s matching moment. Here, Brittany Daniel, Shane McDermott, and Sarah Michelle Gellar coordinated outfits in a promotion for Swans Crossing in 1992.
It seemed like everyone owned a lace slip dress back in the '90s. Here, Blair wore one at the premiere of Cruel Intentions in 1999.
The actress played one of the most stylish moms on TV in The Parent Trap and her fashion sense IRL was equally as good, as this blazer skirt (dress?) set proves.
The actress and singer showed off a matching graphic set in 1990. We're taking bets on what the print is.
The '90s supermodel's crop blazer top and high-waisted pants is a look we still love today.
The singer was known for adding a little glamour to her punk rock looks in the '90s. Here, Stefani arrived to the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards in a fuzzy blue bikini top that matched her icy blue hair and...face jewels.
Always known for pushing the fashion envelope with her style, at 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, Lil' Kim hit the red carpet in an unforgettable boob-baring one-shoulder jumpsuit. The rapper finished off the look with a purple wig.
This model duo owned the '90s with their fashion. Moss and Campbell were spotted leaving a London Fashion Week event hand-in-hand in 1991, wearing their own renditions of school-girl-chic attire.
Aaliyah mastered streetwear long before the term became a fashion phenomenon, as evidenced by her Tommy Hilfiger yellow tracksuit in 1997. The singer was the poster child for the modern-day phrase "chill but still a big deal."
Proof Dontalla Versace and J.Lo go way back. The two posed for the cameras while wearing some glitzy '90s fashion looks of sparkles and metallics.
The model casually out and about while rocking Versace. Iconic! We're getting Cher vibes, except Turlington's sheer top makes the outfit slightly more risqué than Alicia Silverstone's.
This laidback but classic '90s look by the singer and actor can easily be recreated present day. The Poetic Justice star tucked a long-sleeved boatneck tee into a belted pair of mom jeans and wore a newsboy cap over her long box braids.
In 1996, Mary J. Blige attended the Grammy Awards wearing a full leopard print ensemble with velvet gloves and dark sunglasses. It's safe to say this print will never go out of style. What a lewk.
Name a better duo than this King and Queen of Pop. In 1991, Madonna and Michael Jackson arrived to the 63rd Annual Academy Awards in the most glamorous Hollywood outfits. Madonna wore a glittery strapless gown, a fur stole, and Harry Winston jewelry while Michael went for a sequin cream blazer paired with his iconic gloves.
That time Julia Roberts stunned in a suit and tie at the 1990 Golden Globe Awards. The actress had stunned in a variety of dresses in Pretty Woman (released in 1990!) but we love her in this oversize masculine suit just as much.
Singer Mariah Carey stole the show at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards by baring her abs in a bandeau top and showing off her legs in a high-slit skirt. Mimi's glamorous bombshell style has continued to serve as style inspo for decades to come.
If you've never seen The Nanny, I don't know you. Fran Drescher's outfits on the show, which included teeny-tiny sweaters and body-hugging miniskirts, were iconic looks. Drescher's real life style was a little more toned-down glamorous, like this white halter-neck dress though she did find ways to jazz things up (see: her floral head piece).
If we were to name a more iconic duo than Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen that would be Tia and Tamera Mowry. The twins were the stars of Sister, Sister and their closets (both on the show and off) were amazingly good. Think everything from covetable denim overalls and bucket hats to these mini shift dresses with the scarves (!!). Someone bring back these exact looks on the runway, please.
Let this photo of Lisa Bonet in the '90s be proof that her daughter Zoë Kravitz is the spitting image of her. In addition to being a sought-after actress during that time, Bonet was known for her free-spirited, bohemian style. Her outfits, like the one on the left, were an expression of her artistic perspective.
The two took couple matching to the next level when they were spotted in Los Angeles wearing white button-down shirts and jeans.