A Primer: 90s Fashion for Women

This summer’s tastemakers are channeling nostalgia with 90s fashion for women, so we asked five Scouted experts for the 411 on how to modernize these retro trends. As we embrace this fashion revival, it’s time to strap on your jelly sandals, trade in your skinny jeans, and turn up the volume on that Mariah Carey or Pearl Jam tune, as you prove once again—or for the first time—that you’re all that and a bag of chips. Search The Scout Guide directory to find a fashion expert in your area.


A coup for crops

Blu29 Frame Compact Stripe Cardi
FRAME Compact Stripe Cardi from blu29

From cardigans and tees to button downs and camis, midriff baring styles have made a comeback, Heather Stefani, owner of blu29 in Asheville, North Carolina, says. Cardigans are one of the most versatile ways to adopt this style, whether worn atop a fitted tee or buttoned up and rocked as a shirt, they work with everything from jeans to dresses for a cute, adaptable look. If you’re adverse to showing your tummy, Victoria DiSilvestro, owner of Airotciv by Victoria in Virginia Beach, Virginia, recommends playing with proportions. “Opt for a cropped style shirt with high-waisted pants, so your midriff doesn’t show.”


Hoop it up

Airotciv by Victoria Boca Earrings
Boca Earrings from Airotciv by Victoria

DiSilvestro confirms that hoops, big and small, will remain a style staple this season. This easily executed statement earring has a timeless that makes it especially versatile with every look. She recommends styling hoops with a high neck top, and going dainty with your necklace choice or skipping a necklace all together.


Comfortable denim 

Blue29 Nili Lotan Astrid Denim Skirt
Nili Lotan Astrid Denim Skirt from blu29

Skinny jeans have taken a backseat in favor of denim options that are equal parts comfortable and cool. Catherine Justice, co-owner of Punch Boutique in Roanoke, Virginia, explains that the best thing about shelving those skin-tight styles is the size and shape inclusivity that comes along with 90s-style denim, like a baggy jean or a denim maxi skirt.


The return of jellies

The Row Mara Flat
Mara Flat by The Row

In another nod to 90s nostalgia, Dallas-based stylist Emily Dawson of Emily by Design, is singing the praises of the return of the jelly sandal. “Comfortable, breezy, minimal, and perfectly chic, I will be styling mine up and down,” she says. “Pair with a strapless silk top and loose-fitting wide-leg jeans for a comfortably cool dinner look, with bermuda shorts and a square neck tank top for Saturday morning errands, and with a blazer and tapered trousers for an unexpected twist.”


Slip into style

Blu29 L'Agence Jodie V-Neck Slip Dress
L’AGENCE Jodie V-Neck Slip Dress from blu29

Fashion experts across the board agree that slip dresses are undeniably hot right now. “This sleek and simple dress is easily one of our most beloved pieces of the season,” Whitney Eversole, co-owner of Punch Boutique in Roanoke, Virginia, says. Offering modern sophistication with an understated elegance, Eversole notes that designers are reintroducing this staple silhouette in both solid minimalist palettes and fun prints in beautiful fabrics. Endlessly versatile, Dawson recommends styling your slip dress in a multitude of ways. “Wear it under a double-breasted blazer, layered with something more 3D and textural on top, like crochet, sheer organza, or an open eyelet weave,” she says. Combining a slick and shiny fabric with a heavier, tactile weight on top creates contrast and adds interest. “Depending on the look you’re going for, anything from a sneaker, a t-strap flat sandal, or even a pair of stilettos, can pair magically.”

On the lookout for summer essentials to add to your wardrobe? Or colorful frocks to rock on these sunny summer days? Discover more fashion trends you need to know about right now in our Style & Beauty section.