What To Wear To A 90s Party

Showing up as the best-dressed guest is a breeze when you combine your style with our inspiration for what to wear to a 90s party.

Man and woman dressed for a 90s party.
Fashion / April 26, 2023

The 90s are cool again, and that means that a huge trend in party throwing is making it nineties themed! If you’ve received an invite, there are so many choices when it comes to what to wear to a 90s party: it was an eclectic fashion era of grunge, coastal hip-hop, supermodel glam, Clueless-inspired preppy, and more.

We’re here to deliver tips, ideas and inspiration: all you have to do is have fun and work the style like it’s 1999! Ready to get started? Let’s go!

The Basics of 90s Fashion

Whether you were delivering on the trends during the 90s or you’ve just seen the styles re-emerge on social media, it’s important to know the building blocks of 90s style. Some of the most iconic trends from this decade include grunge, hip-hop, preppy, and more.

While you’re deciding how to dress for a 90s party, keep in mind that foundation pieces are key for pulling any party-ready look together, as long as they’re on trend. For example, flannel shirts, Doc Martens, and baggy jeans were all staples of the 90s grunge scene. You may find you already have some key pieces available!

90s Party Themes and Outfit Ideas

One of the most fun parts of attending a 90s party is choosing a theme for your look and creating an outfit that matches it. Some popular 90s costume inspiration comes from Clueless, Fresh Prince, and Spice Girls.

  • For a Clueless-inspired outfit, try pairing a plaid skirt with a matching blazer and knee-high socks.
  • For a Fresh Prince-inspired outfit, opt for bright colors and patterns, such as a neon tracksuit or a bold print shirt.
  • For a Spice Girls-inspired outfit, channel your inner girl power with a crop top and platform sneakers.

Not one to be put in a popular culture box? Not a problem! Mix and match different clothing items to create a look that's uniquely you. For example, pair a grunge band t-shirt with high-waisted jeans and a denim jacket for a grunge-inspired outfit. Or tap into your inner supermodel with shoulder pads, over-the-top buttons, and big hair to channel your favorite fashion maven from the decade.

How to Put Together a 90s-Inspired Outfit on a Budget

Not keen on breaking the bank for a look you may only wear once? There are plenty of ways to put together a great outfit without spending a lot of money. Thrift and vintage stores are treasure troves for clothes to wear to a 90s party. Because the 90s were so eclectic and all over the place, there’s no pressure to match everything perfectly.

When putting together your outfit, mix and match different items to create a cohesive look. For example, find a babydoll t-shirt and pair it with a cute skirt for that Gwen Stefani ska-goddess look (circa the Tragic Kingdom era). Or channel your favorite friends character with a basic blazer (or a bohemian maxi dress if you’re channeling Phoebe). Remember, the key to nailing the 90s fashion vibe is to have fun with it and make it your own.

90s Outfit Splurges

Versace t-shirt, perfect inspiration for what to wear to a 90s party

If you're willing to splurge on a statement piece for your 90s party outfit, it’s an opportunity to invest in a designer piece that embodies the over-the-top aesthetic that almost every designer couldn’t get enough of at the time. The 90s was a decade that saw the rise of several luxury fashion brands, such as Versace, Moschino, and Tommy Hilfiger, all of which have embraced the bold and colorful aesthetic that defined the era.

To channel the high-end 90s fashion vibe, look for pieces that feature bold prints, bright colors, and oversized silhouettes. A vintage Versace shirt or a Moschino logo belt can add a touch of luxury to any outfit. And for those who prefer a more casual look, consider investing in a pair of high-end sneakers or a designer denim jacket.

90s Party Style Inspiration for Men

90s party outfit idea for men, man in a windbreaker listening to a walkman.

While 90s fashion is often associated with women's clothing, what to wear to a 90s party for males can be inspired by plenty of iconic fashion trends from the decade. From oversized clothing to streetwear, the 90s saw a lot of experimentation with men's fashion.

To channel the 90s fashion vibe as a man, start by incorporating oversized clothing into your outfit. Think baggy pants, oversized t-shirts, and bulky jackets. Pair these items with a pair of sneakers or combat boots to complete the look. You can also embrace streetwear by wearing a tracksuit or a bomber jacket with graphic prints.

For those who prefer a more formal look, opt for a preppy-inspired outfit with a button-up shirt and khaki pants. A graphic polo from Tommy Hilfiger will do in a pinch for 90s clothing, and let us never forget the rise of the turtleneck during this iconic era.

90s Party Style Inspiration for Women

woman in a purple jacket and purple shirt, dressed 90s style

Women's fashion in the 90s was all about self-expression and individuality, which is what makes exploring how to dress for the 90s for females so fun! From grunge to preppy to hip hop, there were endless ways to channel the 90s fashion vibe as a woman. Here are some outfit ideas to help you get inspired:

  • For a grunge-inspired outfit, wear a pair of ripped jeans with a vintage band t-shirt and a flannel shirt tied around your waist. Complete the look with a pair of combat boots or Doc Martens.
  • To channel the preppy trend, wear a plaid skirt with a white button-up shirt and a cardigan sweater. Add a pair of loafers or Mary Jane shoes to complete the look.
  • If you're feeling nostalgic for the hip hop trend, wear a tracksuit with a pair of chunky sneakers or high-top sneakers. Accessorize with a gold chain necklace and a fanny pack.

Wondering what to wear to a 90s party as a black female? All you have to do is turn to some of the iconic looks from hip-hop superstar Lauryn Hill or Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks on Fresh Prince. From urban to preppy, all that’s missing is your unique take!

Find Your 90s Party Inspiration!

If you want more inspiration for what to wear to a 90s party, why not choose from our extensive list of fashion magazines? With 90s fashion being back in style, all you have to do is choose your favorite, hit subscribe, and the hits will be delivered straight to your door faster than you can “Spice Girls.”

Browse our fashion magazine selection here.

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