The ’90s are back in a big way, from beauty to fashion to movie reboots. And while ‘90s fashion may feel overwhelming, it’s pretty easy to add some elements to your wardrobe—and you may even already have some ‘90s-inspired pieces in your closet.
Here’s how to create a ‘90s minimalist wardrobe this fall.
Whether ‘90s or not, for any minimalist wardrobe, you need a designated color scheme to create a closet where synergy exists. This way, all of (or most of) your tops will go with your bottoms and vice versa. Pick a color that flatters you and one that you won’t get sick of, so you don’t end up purchasing more clothing if you can’t find something you want to wear. For minimalist wardrobes, shades of gray and blue are always easy to wear—and anything black always matches.
Skinny jeans may have been all of the rage in recent years, but in the ‘90s, straight-leg jeans that were loose-fitting were all the rage. They’re more comfortable than the skinny jeans we’ve become used to and go well with a range of items that are probably already in your closet (which is a bonus for a minimalist wardrobe). You can tuck one of your turtlenecks into this style of jeans or try them with a simple t-shirt and cardigan.
Plaid clothing, whether it's dresses, button-down tops, or pants, was a significant ‘90s trend that is easy to incorporate into a 2023 wardrobe. In an article for Mental Floss, author Abbey Bender wrote that “plaid has always been around, but in the ’90s it was everywhere, from the flannel shirts of grunge musicians to the yellow skirt suit famously worn by Alicia Silverstone in Clueless. Putting on a plaid piece is an easy shortcut to the boldness of ’90s style.”
To add some plaid to our fall closet, start simple with plaid flannel shirts. You can wear them tucked into your favorite denim skirt or layered over a black maxi dress. For even more of a ‘90s flair, wear a plaid flannel top tucked into a pair of light-washed, high-waisted jeans and a pair of plain white fashion sneakers.
According to Who What Wear, “velvet was the fabric of the '90s.” And luckily, it also lends itself well to fall fashion while also being a nice change of pace from many of the items that are worn day-to-day throughout the fall season. To give your outfit some ‘90s style, wear a velvet tank top in an autumnal color like burgundy or mustard underneath a hip-length neutral-colored cardigan. You can wear this with women’s black jeans, a pair of jeggings or even a high-waisted skirt.
If you’re feeling a little more daring, you can pick out a velvet dress to wear on a special occasion this fall — wear it to a friend's birthday party, celebratory work dinner, or on a fall date night with your partner.
Who What Wear noted that “printed leggings started in the '80s and went well on into the '90s.” And while the look is not something you’ll be wearing every week, most likely, it’s still a fun way to incorporate some ‘90s style into your more casual outfits. Printed leggings come in a range of colors and styles, so you should be able to find one that works for you easily. You can wear this look with a simple bum-covering white T-shirt the next time you’re lounging at home or running some early morning errands.
Your ‘90s minimalist wardrobe can be completed with the right accessories that you can reach for day after day. Small purses were a favorite in the 90s period, along with fanny packs. Both of these items can be brought to fall football games, to Sunday brunches, or along with you on errands. Get a few small purses and a casual fanny pack for the season.
To complete any ‘90s look, you’ll want understated lipstick in colors like brown or mauve. And as a bonus, both of these lipstick colors are as great for the office as they are for a night out with your friends. These simple lipstick colors are an easy way to add some ‘90s to your look, even if you’re wearing a very 2023 outfit.
The ‘90s were all about comfortable clothes that were easy to wear and could be easily worn with other items in your closet, which makes the style ideal for a minimalist wardrobe. Refresh your fall look with some ‘90s items, and you’ll be set for the season.