Men’s fashion in the ’90s was casual and simple with a focus on self-expression. Influenced by grunge, rock, and hip-hop music, the ’90s inspired some cool trends that designers and brands are bringing back. From jeans, pants and shirts to hats, shoes and hairstyles, ’90s outfits had something for everyone. If you’re researching ’90s styles with the hopes of replicating a retro look today, there are many ways to mesh modern and classic clothes to achieve the proper aesthetic. To inspire your clothing and style with new ideas, check out our ultimate guide to ’90s fashion for men. Whether you’re looking for what to wear to a ’90s theme party, want to incorporate some throwback outfits in your wardrobe, or just curious about the popular attire of the decade, here’s everything you need to know to dress the look.
- 1 Men’s Fashion in the 1990s
- 2 90s Outfits For Men
- 3 Throwback Outfits For Guys
- 4 90s Hairstyles
Men’s Fashion in the 1990s
From grunge to boy bands, hip hop, and alternative rock music, the 1990s were a decade of innovative pop culture, evolving technological advances, and fashion trends that covered a wide range of subcultures, niche aesthetics, and mainstream movements.
While ‘90s fashion was unique and varied, featuring everything from preppy to urban fashion, the pervading theme was comfort, casual, and cool. In contrast to the bold, luxurious and excessive trends of the ‘80s, the ’90s embodied rebellion, streetwear, athleisure, sneakers, colorful clothes, and interesting accessories.
As men’s fashion from the 1990s starts to come back, guys may want to consider these stylish retro outfit ideas and pieces from the decade. Let’s explore the best ’90s outfits and style trends for men!
90s Outfits For Men
Baggy jeans became an iconic men’s style during the ‘90s. By the middle of the decade, this look had caught fire and moved out of the underground and niche subcultures of skaters, punks, and rappers and into the mainstream. If you’re looking to add some flair to your wardrobe, baggy jeans will do the trick.
The casual look of the windbreaker also highlighted the color blocks that transitioned from the ‘80s into the ‘90s. These windbreakers were light and casual and often paired with denim for an iconic aesthetic that is definitely back in style.
Like many fashion trends in the ‘90s, the graphic tee was inspired by a subculture of the time, in this case, the skater boy. In the 1990s, bands and skate labels had begun using the stylish t-shirt to promote their brands. Today, graphic tees run the gamut and are often humorous. You can also make your own with a classic screen print technique.
Much of the fashion in the ‘90s was inspired by the music of the time, including the classic snapback hat, which came along with the increasingly mainstream hip hop style. They often featured logos or statements and the popularity of the snapback among star athletes of the ’90s makes them an unbeatable retro piece.
Overalls with the Strap Down
The one-strap down overall look seemed to appear on every other ‘90s sitcom and several music videos as well. It truly represented the comfort and casual themes in fashion while also highlighting the ubiquity of denim.
Biker jackets in the ‘90s originated from the underground rebel scene that came with a fashion all their own. This edgy look has become a cool capsule piece for any wardrobe and transitions easily between punk and modern styles.
The turtleneck was a classic staple of any closet during this decade. This look was often paired with light denim jeans. Go for an intellectual style with light bulky threads or find a fitted and ribbed top for a more daring statement.
In the 1990s, bandanas appeared in many unique subcultures and niches. First adopted by hip hop artists and grunge musicians, the bandana can be worn around the head, neck, arm or even through a belt loop. Versatile yet classic, the bandana became a mainstream accessory.
Cargo pants have definitely had a glow-up since the 1990s and it’s hard not to love the new aesthetic. While cargo pants fully embraced the “comfort is king” credo of the time, modern cargo pants are just as comfortable but slimmer and more fitted to your form.
Ripped jeans epitomized the rebellious style of grunge. The popularity of denim in the ‘90s meant there was a pair of jeans to fit every guy’s sense of style. Edgy and cool for a casual look, ripped jeans were a statement that began in the ’70s punk scene and inspired grunge style of the ‘90s. In modern fashion, ripped jeans are no longer a symbol of the counterculture as they once were, but they’re still considered trendy, unique, and nostalgic.
The bucket hat first appeared with hip hop fashion, and it didn’t take long for this trend to reach the mainstream. Wear yours with confidence and probably a color block windbreaker to match this epic statement.
Combat boots originated in the military, but by the ‘90s, black leather lace-up boots had gone from being a fashion statement for niche cultures into the mainstream. This grunge-inspired look is available in a lot of different styles today, but you can always search army supply shops for the real deal.
There are few things as comfortable or casual as an oversized flannel shirt. Inspired by grunge artists like Kurt Cobain, flannel shirts were popular with men who wanted a bold and exceptional look. This style was paired with a graphic tee and ripped jeans or tied around the waist for an effortless ‘90s vibe.
Denim was a huge part of ’90s fashion for men. From jackets to jeans, denim outfits were a stylish look that guys of all shapes and sizes enjoyed. The most popular style that survived the decade is denim-on-denim. The typical dress code requires contrasting colors between pieces, such as dark denim pants with a shirt and mid-wash jacket on top. Nevertheless, guys can mix and match different dark and light color combinations to find the right attire.
While it’s been nearly 30 years since Kurt Cobain formed the band Nirvana, ’90s grunge fashion continues to influence men’s styles. Guys embracing a grunge style need wardrobe pieces like flannel shirts, ripped jeans, combat boots, Converse shoes, band shirts, leather jackets, cardigans, denim tops, and beanies. Ultimately, grunge fashion brings its own unique edge to your wardrobe and the trend remains alive among men who prefer a rebellious approach to their look.
Fashion for black men in the ’90s was defined by hip-hop music, rappers and black Hollywood celebrities. Inspired by the likes of Will Smith, Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, ’90s outfits for black guys focused on making a bold statement. From sagging baggy jeans and oversized t-shirts to Timberland boots, gold chains and diamond earrings as accessories, black men’s fashion epitomized a fresh aesthetic that transcended race and culture. Many of these styles can be found in modern streetwear trends today.
While winter fashion includes sweaters and flannel shirts with oversized jackets and leather boots, ’90s summer fashion for men is all about minimal and chill vibes. With graphic tee shirts and tank tops paired with shorts, loose jeans, high-top sneakers and caps, summer styles were meant to look effortlessly cool.
Throwback Outfits For Guys
Whether you’re attending a theme party and need outfit ideas or want a retro look for a trendy vintage style, the best ’90s throwback outfits combine complementary pieces to create an authentic attire for guys. The easiest way to dress the decade right now would be to explore 90’s style men’s clothing from streetwear brands, thrift stores, and athletic menswear companies like Nike and Adidas. If you’re just looking for what to wear to a 90’s party, then just get track pants and a logo t-shirt or long baggy shorts with an NBA jersey.
Bowl cuts were simple and easy to pull off, making this haircut a huge ‘90s men’s hair trend. Today, guys can get this look without regret by making this cut edgy and modern. Consider pairing your bowl cut with a fade or undercut on the sides and back and a full beard. Similarly, men can use the same cool haircut and style a french crop or side swept crew cut.
Middle Part Hair
The middle part made every boy band member dreamy and every skater cool. Also known as the curtains haircut, middle part hair for men doesn’t require much upkeep, but you’ll want to make sure you maintain your hair’s natural volume in order to fully achieve the Eric Matthews vibe you’re after.
Spiky hair has never really gone out of style, but the excess of gel that used to hold these ‘90s hairstyle looks in place has. If you’re after a bold and daring design, the modern version can be produced with healthier hair habits, less aggressive styling, and a texture-based look that isn’t so hard to wash out.
Inspired by black men, cornrows were a braided hairstyle in the ‘90s that transcended race. Made famous by Allen Iverson and Xzibit and later embraced by the likes of Justin Timberlake, cornrows became a major part of urban fashion for men. Masculine and fresh on both short and long hair, modern cornrows can be styled with many different designs, resulting in new hairstyles like box braids.
The Flat Top
In the 1990s, men with Afro-textured hair embraced this unmistakably cool and unique statement. Celebrities in the ‘90s like Will Smith popularized this look, while current artists like The Weeknd have modernized the flat top. This is a surefire way to throwback to styles these days.
Frosted tips were the pinnacle of any 1990s boy band style and helped to highlight the spiked edges of your cool hairstyle. Today, you can rock classic bleached tips by starting a platinum blonde dye close to the roots and then letting your hair grow out. Bleach blonde hairstyles continue to be popular for men, transcending any one decade’s fashion styles.
Long hair has always been a favorite among countercultures. Long hair men in the 1990s were often a part of grunge and rock fashion at the time. Trendy long men’s hairstyles pair nicely with oversized flannel and combat boots for an edgy style.