90s style
Fashion

Let These Iconic ’90s Style Moments Inspire Your Summer Look

From Mariah Carey to Elle Macpherson, here's who we're channeling this season.

Nostalgia is a word we throw around a fair amount in this industry. It seems nearly every day there's a new decade's style sense we're fixating on. Though each era has its merits, we can't help but find ourselves repeatedly drawn to the '90s for their fashion choices, specifically in the summertime. Certain images continue to resonate with us to this day, whether that be for a particular fashion choice or an all-around energy we're striving to emulate. It was the era of the supermodel, hip-hop culture was starting to take hold, and minimalism reigned supreme. We've asked our staffers to share the imagery they simply can't stop thinking about. Hopefully, something will inspire your style this summer.

"This photo of the queen Mariah Carey walking her pup on the streets of New York in low-rise jeans, a spaghetti-strap tank, and a boom box has been etched into my psyche since I was seven years old. She was, and still is, a whole mood." —Nia Porter, Social Media Manager


"I find all the images from Princess Diana's summer of 1997 in the French Riviera to be both incredibly beautiful and haunting, and this one is nothing short of iconic. Likely the reason that my swim collection is primarily high-cut one-pieces at this point, I will never not think of this image whenever I see a Hunza G." —Caroline Dunn, Affiliate Coordinator


"I remember looking at photos of Elle Macpherson frolicking on the beach and thinking This is the epitome of summer energy. There's this carefree spirit she embodies that has always stuck with me." —Jess Teves, Head of Content

"My idols. No one defined grunge fashion like these two. Kat Bjelland arguably iconized the baby-doll dress (not Courtney Love)—a feminist 'fuck you' to white corporate America who feed the myth that women should dress a certain way. And Jennifer Finch just did whatever she wanted. And no one could duplicate it." —Greg Brossia, Managing Director & Chief Digital Officer

"First of all, anyone with big, curly hair is automatically a winner in my book, as I feel we have kindred spirits. Secondly, I love finding images from prior decades that look like they could just as easily be from today—it proves how timeless the clothes are. Most people have the items to recreate this look, so it's great for summer inspo!" —Camille Freestone, Associate Style Editor

"Aaliyah will forever be that girl for me, whether she's rocking baggy tomboy looks or opting for sexy tops like the one above. I love that tanks with cutouts are coming back in style as we crawl out of our pandemic bubbles. I guess you can say that showing skin and carrying tiny bags is my M.O. for summer 2021." —Nia Porter, Social Media Manager

"I'm obsessed with this Claudia Schiffer Vogue shoot from the '90s—partly because the travel bug is hitting me so badly right now. It makes me want to dress like a cupcake and stroll around the streets of Rome." —Camille Freestone, Associate Style Editor

"I recently saw a meme that said 'I just want to dress like Kim Possible this summer,' and I could not relate more. We've spent the last year or so in pj's, and I'm ready to show some skin. Low-waisted cargo pants paired with a tiny tank has been my go-to this summer. This fit is perfect for drinks with friends that turn into late nights dancing until your feet are sore. A great place to find amazing vintage Abercrombie cargos from the '90s and early aughts is The Society Vintage." —Halle Lagatta, Creative Producer

"Kurt, Krist, and Dave. Zero explanation needed." —Greg Brossia, Managing Director & Chief Digital Officer

"You can't go wrong with an all-white monochromatic look, but Claudia Schiffer has me wondering if the drama of a headscarf is the piece that my summer wardrobe puzzle is missing. I imagine that I would look exactly like her if I tried to recreate this (lol), but I think I'll leave this one to '90s Vogue for now. So classic." —Caroline Dunn, Affiliate Coordinator

Who can forget Marc Jacobs' 1992 'grunge' show? It shocked the industry and got him fired from Perry Ellis. Critics panned it, but Marc was ahead of his time and everyone had to admit it later. It was genius and still is. —Greg Brossia, Managing Director & Chief Digital Officer

"Miuccia Prada is definitely up there on my list of my favorite designers. Prada's spring/summer 1992 collection encapsulates that tailored ladylike look that I find myself being drawn towards in the summer. Think Brigitte Bardot in matching '60s-inspired separates." —Nia Porter, Social Media Manager

"Who said a bodycon dress can't be chic? Of all SJP's major Carrie Bradshaw looks, this one has always been my favorite. She is defining the elevated basic and looking extremely effortless as she does it—exactly what we all want in a summer look, and an extremely imitable one at that." —Caroline Dunn, Affiliate Coordinator

"Winona forever." —Greg Brossia, Managing Director & Chief Digital Officer

"Never would I have thought I'd be convinced to wear a backwards baseball cap, but leave it to Carolyn to convince me otherwise. Will also likely be donning this sweater and button-down combo soon, as it's easily re-creatable with items in your closet. Now my only missing accessory is JFK Jr..." —Camille Freestone, Associate Style Editor


"Nineties-to-'00s Madonna will always be my go-to for fashion inspiration. I recently bought a sheer top, but frankly, it's too sheer and I felt naked wearing it. I had an 'aha' moment layering my mesh Cuup bra with it. Turns out two sheers make an impermeable layer of fabric. Because unlike Madonna, I'm not quite ready to show my parts in public." —Halle Lagatta, Creative Producer

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