twenty something stuck in 1990 something

Have you noticed anything strange lately? Are you suddenly having déjà vu every time you turn on the tv or go shopping? It’s not really news that the 90’s have made a comeback, but it isn’t dying down either. We first noticed the flannel, the crop tops, the high waisted everything, and the spaghetti straps, but now it’s leaking from comeback fashion, into current fashion, music, films, and everything else. Why here? Why now? Why do we feel compelled to run back to this decade? I have one answer. Nostalgia.

I was born in 1987 and growing up, I felt I just missed the cut off for truly enjoying the 90’s. I drooled over Clueless and Jawbreaker. I totally understood Cher when she whined over needing her most capable-looking outfit. I think the skirts were plastic in Jawbreaker, but I wanted a hot pink plastic skirt too. Reese Witherspoon dressed way cooler in Fear than she did In Legally Blonde. I had the plaid skirt and frilly socks, I just needed a leather jacket and Mark Wahlberg. I loved all the Alicia Silverstone Aerosmith videos, belly button ring? Yes please! I rocked out to Pearl Jam and Nirvana and decided I would wear flannel and Doc Martens too. I was counting down the days for my first parent free trip to the mall so I could get some platform shoes and a choker. The day finally came, but the dream had ended. I was thirteen and everything was Y2K, all my most coveted treasures were replaced with metallics, patent leather, and glitter. I was so disappointed. I played Mall Madness all these years for what?

I know I wasn’t the only one. Everyone my age was disappointed and our dreams slipped into our subconscious. Then one day we saw something that awakened us. I saw a girl wearing one of those black stretchy tattoo chokers on my Instagram, I froze. Is this cool?  She is cool, so I ran out and found one too. My eyes became more open. Chunkier heels are in the aisles, and they are so much easier to walk in than the 5 inch stiletto with platform that has been in for way too long. Daisy covered skater dress? Sunflower pants? I started to see more and more. I know we’ve all seen the flannel for a while now but it suddenly dawned on me that maybe it’s because my fellow grunge rock lovers are in charge now. There are Clueless brand knee highs stockings in the mall. Jelly sandals live there too. You like it. You know it.

I almost fell over when I heard Full House, 90210, and Boy Meets World were back on tv. The big screen did one better with the release of Jurassic Park and Terminator. I was there for Jurassic Park with the old school t-shirt on and velociraptor calls newly polished. While Jem and the Holograms and Goosebumps will be in theaters soon, Jumanji, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and The Craft, also being re-made. Yes I said Jem and the Holograms.

Even on the radio, I’ve been hearing everything 90’s on the rock and hip hop stations. Why? Because it was the best, and all 28-year-old DJ’s know it. Did you know who toured this summer? Dashboard Confessional and Third Eye Blind. TLC, New Kids on the Block, and Nelly. 90’s Fest just happened in Brooklyn and featured Lisa Loeb, Coolio, Smash Mouth, Naughty by Nature and Tonic. Yes.

Who is putting all this dopeness together? We are. The millennials. The kids that were raised by the TV and saturated with 90’s glory during our most impressionable years. The kids that had older brothers and sisters who were able to have a life and watch MTV and drive in their friends Jeeps while we played with play dough. Generation “Y the fuck weren’t we born 5 years sooner.” We all grew up and entered the working world. We got our creative juices flowing and were making things happen, for one last shot, at awesomeness. AWESOMENESS! We missed our shows, we missed our movies, but what we missed the most is everything we were slightly too young to experience. Everything that stayed in our subconscious came out when we set to work. We became directors, retail buyers, fashion designers, marketers, producers, writers, icons, and we brought it back.

I don’t know how much longer this will last, but I love it. Maybe we will all get to our 30’s and give it up. Maybe we’ll box up all our treasures for the nursing home, or maybe we won’t. Of course there are things I won’t bring back, like brown lip liner with frosted lipstick or butterfly clips. And I swear I won’t use Sun-In or highlight my hair with a cap (OUCH!) And I definitely can’t wear a romper or a plaid skirt because all I wore were tie dye “jumpers” and plaid on plaid on plaid as a style deprived child. However, my birthday just passed and my youngest sister sent me a burgundy snap up suede skirt and crop top so I could have my very own, most capable-looking outfit. Oh snap!


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More about Erika Lauren

Erika Lauren is a Boston born French girl spending her days as a workin girl and dog mom, and her nights as a nocturnal writer. She's a content creator for The Haute Mess, XOJane, and Email:

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