Bring Back the ’90s With These Gorgeous Fashion Throwbacks

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The ’90s revival is upon us, bringing with it a host of slip dresses, velvet chokers and don’t-mess-with-me boots. If you were a teen during the decade of 'The Rachel' haircut and Cher Horowitz’s yellow tartan two-piece, then you’ll recall what a game-changing decade it was for fashion – and that certain ’90s trends are probably best left as regretful memories!

Twenty years on the style revolution of the ’90s has swung into favour again, bringing the best bits of grunge, minimalism and casual streetwear back into our midst (with subtle 21st-century makeovers). Thankfully, the benefit of hindsight has made us all a little smarter at picking out ’90s investment pieces that’ll stand the test of time, rather than simply piling on the plaid and (shudder) body glitter. Celebrities such as Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Rihanna have all demonstrated that working one ’90s-inspired element alongside chic modern pieces helps to create a balance between nostalgia and the now.

This throwback style movement isn’t just for the wispy waifs, however – curvy girls need to show the ’90s some love, too. Ready? Let’s time-warp… 

1. Velvet Choker



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Gone are the days of boho pendants and endlessly layered chains: The It Girl necklace of choice right now is a tight choker. In a nod to ’90s grunge and the teen witches of The Craft, a judiciously worn choker is the hallmark of cool, and everyone from Taylor Swift to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has been getting on board.

Pair a satin black ribbon or velvet choker with a spaghetti-strap top or slip dress for maximum style points. Or even better, switch to studs, leather and metalwork on your choker for the evening.

2. Denim Jacket



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Autumn and its blustery winds are upon us, but we’re not quite ready to don our winter coats yet. Enter the trusty denim jacket, a style staple for more than 100 years that’s experiencing a huge resurgence on the catwalks of brands such as Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga.

A dark-wash cropped jacket is perfect for curvy ladies, as the nipped waist and abbreviated length flatter hourglass figures. Embrace the denim revolution with a sharp-edged trucker jacket, or a retro shearling number for off-duty cool. 

3. Brown Lipstick



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While we’re all on board with ’90s clothing, when it comes to the decade’s beauty looks it’s worth proceeding with caution: Heavy lip-liner and kohl-rimmed eyes can make you look dated in all the worst ways.

A satin brown lipstick with a rosy tint or a sparkly copper-brown is a contemporary upgrade that’s flattering for most skin tones. Remember to build up the lipstick gently while you road-test it – you can always intensify the colour later on.

4. Satin Slip Dress



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A fresh-faced Kate Moss had paparazzi bulbs flashing when she ventured out in a sheer pink slip and little else – and the humble satin dress has rarely left the spotlight since. Pair a barely-there satin slip over cropped blue-wash jeans for cool-girl layering, adding a belt to nip in a small waist. If you’re feeling daring, work the underwear-as-outerwear trend with a slinky chemise for a flirty, feminine look. 

5. Dr. Martens Boots

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Nothing signalled the return of ’90s grunge fashion more clearly than the revival of the signature clodhopper of choice, the Dr. Marten boot. The heavy-duty boot was, and is, synonymous with anti-establishment cool, and it’ll lend a bit of grit to curvy girl daytime dressing.

Mix Dr. Martens with a delicate slip dress to skim the hips, or draw attention to your waist with a crop top to create a masculine-meets-feminine vibe. Alternatively, look to Dr. Marten T-Bars for maximum wearability.

6. Crushed Velvet Dress



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Think back to velvet in the ’90s and chances are that Gwyneth Paltrow and her red Gucci by Tom Ford suit springs to mind. But fear not: The garish velvet of yore is long gone, and in its place is a raft of fluid slips and crushed velvet blazers.

Choose one statement velvet piece and build a contemporary outfit around it: A velvet dress paired with a ribbed-knit top and flatform shoes, for example, will strike the perfect balance between ’90s nostalgia and modern sophistication. A longline velvet blazer, meanwhile, will provide a relaxed fit around the rear and hips. Pair with a statement necklace to draw eyes up-top. 
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7. Mom Jeans



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They’re slouchy, they’re flattering and they ooze a too-cool-to-care vibe – no wonder mom jeans have risen in popularity again. A pair of high-waisted cropped denim jeans will accentuate an hourglass waist and highlight petite ankles, giving proportion to curvy ladies who weren’t made for bleached drainpipes. Wear with a chunky Western belt a la Kendall Jenner, or a lacy bustier like Claudia Schiffer in those classic ’90s Guess adverts. 

8. Scrunchies



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The jury’s still out on whether scrunchies should remain a dodgy ’90s memory or be restored to their former glory. Velvet scrunchies may be super-retro but you needn’t look like you're just about to start pre-school. A sleek, modern hairstyle will keep you from looking dated: Opt for a low nape-of-the-neck ponytail, messy bun or thick French braid to keep things fresh.

Add some tailored culottes (the curvy girl’s trews of dreams) and adidas Stan Smiths into the mix and you could be starting a style revolution.

9. Mini Backpack



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Some 21 years on from classic teen comedy Clueless and the inimitable Cher Horowitz (with her 60-plus outfit changes), the mini backpack has come back into vogue. Mini backpacks might have been all the rage in the playground back in the day but their style is thoroughly grown-up now, making them the perfect compact accessory for all your daytime essentials. 

10. Mohair Jumper



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Rock a fuzzy mohair jumper on a crisp autumn day and you can face just about anything. Instead of swamping your figure in an oversized shaggy sweater, look to a cute cropped piece worn over a fitted dress to flatter your silhouette.

The candy shades of the ’90s have evolved into a new palette of purples, browns and blues. Try a mixture of mohair and sparkle to brighten up a dull autumn day.

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