The resurgence of '90s fashion over the last few years has brought back everything from plaid to grunge, inspiring many of us to look like we're characters in Empire Records or headed to a Nirvana concert. Personally, as a '90s baby, I'm a much bigger fan of the '90s look than the Y2K look, so my closet is filled with retro pieces that I've thrifted or swiped from my mom and brother. But do you know what people too often forget when they're styling their 90s 'fits? The shoes.
When you're going for an all-around retro look, you have to pay attention to every detail, and shoes are a huge necessity. And, sure, leather boots and pumps have always been popular and match with just about everything, but if you're looking to party like it's 1999, then why not go all the way? Sell it and pick a shoe that's straight out of the greatest decade of all time (I'm biased). Below, some essential categories.
To me, these platform sandals induce a sudden surge of nostalgia. Get very late 90s/early 2000s with a pair of chunky Madden slip-ons, or try one of these other retro fits. Personally, I love a good platform sandal in black: They match with everything, and the added height lends a funky flair to even the simplest of outfits.
Madden Girl Cake Platform Wedge Sandals
Mia Skyler Sandal
Stuart Weitzman Summerlift Flatform Sandal
Zodiac Shoes Halle Slide Sandal
Steve Madden Billion Platform Thong Sandal
From the dad sneaker to the platform sneaker to the pair of Jordans, '90s sneakers were all about the chunky, sometimes oversized-looking fit. Go classic and unisex with a pair of Jordans or Nike Air Maxes, or spice it up with a more contemporary, colorful pair.
Fila Disruptor II Premium Sneaker
Nike Blazer Mid '77 Sneaker
New Balance 608 V5 Training Shoe
Adidas Forum Bold Shoes
ASOS Design Devoted Canvas Sneakers in White
I absolutely lived in jelly sandals as a little kid, and am delighted to discover that adult versions exist. This style is just plain fun, and adds a youthful touch to any outfit. Grab them in the classic, fully transparent style, or go for a more colorful, opaque look.
Madden Girl Escape Sandal
Veronica Beard Davina Jelly
Coach Women's Ulyssa Jelly Pool Slides
Steve Madden Women's Harlin Jelly Block-Heel Sandals
Stuart Weitzman Goldie Jelly
Coach Natalee Jelly
These minimalist sandals add a touch of a class to the tried-and-true flip-flop with their short heel. When I was in elementary school, I had a pair of these with a big ol' rose attached to the top, and I—no lie—miss them every day.
Aeyde Wilma Thong Sandals
Steve Madden Jaam Sandal
TOTÊME Leather Sandals
Circus by Sam Edelman
Sam Edelman Daphney in Black
Nine West Nest Thong Sandal
This trend survived well into the early 2000s. Clogs, with their clunky-chic look and the distinctive sound they make (talk about making an entrance!), are set to make a comeback this year. Grab a pair in classic black or in a more subdued beige, tan, or light pink color, and pair with a floral midi skirt for the full '90s/Y2K look.
M.Gemi The Greta
Steve Madden Women's Brooklyn Wooden Platform Clogs
Silent D Georgia Slingback Heeled Clogs
Korks Tammy Clog
Aqua Women's Soho Clogs
Madewell The Jordyn Clog in Woven Leather
Gabrielle Ulubay is an E-Commerce Writer at Marie Claire and writes about all things fashion and beauty. She's also written about politics, gender, and sex for publications like Bustle, HuffPost Personal, and The New York Times. As a film school graduate, she loves all things media and can be found making art when she's not busy writing.
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