The 1990s brought us plenty of good things, from Nirvana to Jurassic Park, but there were also a few moments which we look back on with a definite air of shame.

The majority of those moments are classic fashion mistakes, some so bad as to be deemed criminal, that we wouldn't wear in our right minds now, because we're so smart and sophisticated now, obviously.

However, we weren't always so wise, so here are some of the worst decisions we ever made when it came to attire, and we're sure you did too.

The '90s windbreaker

We're not quite sure how to describe this windbreaker other than 'quintessentially '90s'. Complete with hood, quarter zip and random pocket at the front for God knows what, the day we purchased this was not our finest moment. The exhibit below is from Lacoste, but many of us would have owned a slightly cheaper version in the form of a Kickers-branded piece, or perhaps even Elesse. Mostly, they came in beige and navy.

Pic via RustyZipper

Popper tracksuit pants

For some reason that we can't explain, these tracksuit bottoms, which were neither functional nor stylish, caught on big time in the late '90s, and their popularity baffles us to this day. The only thing they were good for was having your mates pop open all the buttons on it in the middle of school in front of everyone, sometimes also jocking you for good measure, and you going a deep beetroot shade of red due to embarrassment.

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Football manager coats

Still worn to this day by some football managers (we're looking at you Arsene Wenger), they became accepted casual wear for a short period c.1995. The most notable examples were Liverpool fans (and managers) who went with the bulkiest, most synthetic material possible for their jacket of choice for a good four year stretch.

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Nike Air Max

Still hugely popular today, you were nothing if your shoes didn't have an airbubble in 1997, and we mean nothing. People would laugh and point at you in the streets, angry mobs with torches would hunt you down to try and fit you for a shodding in what is still one of Nike's clunkiest shoes. There were two colour options: navy with silver or silver with navy; take your pick.

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Five ladies can take full responsibility for this trend and they are called Scary, Baby, Sporty, Ginger, and Posh. The Spice Girls can probably take responsibility for a few broken ankles from wearing these bad boys too. Yes, if you were female in the '90s, you simply NEEDED to look like you were walking around on some kind of stilts. The higher the heel the better, and if they were knee-high boots? Well, you had it all. Shout out to the platform Sketchers which nearly killed all who walked on them on a daily basis.

Pic via Buzznet

Dog chains

For those who were really, REALLY into the likes of Metallica, Nirvana, Soundgarden and, in the later stages, Marilyn Manson, a dog chain was required on your person. You couldn't be seen without one of these on your school trousers or with a pair of superfluous keys hanging off the bottom of them. Yes, we thought we were James Hetfield reincarnated. It's just nobody explained to us that they could very easily be caught in the seat-arms of a bus and that they could also be used as a jocking device, if given the correct amount force. Dog chains were also worn in concert with the next item...

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New Rock Boots

Yes, nothing screamed "I'm a metaller / haven't washed properly in a few weeks" like a pair of ostentatious New Rock Boots. The boot-wearer thought he was Neo, but in reality he was Weekend Manager at your local video rental shop. The glinting metal and endless laces marked you as weird and probably a health hazard - one false step in these things and you were sent flying. Yes, a dog chain, a pair of New Rock Boots and an insanely over-priced Slayer hoodie jumper from Asha - the uniform of the Metalheads.

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The '90s were a time when some pretty tough life calls had to be - Oasis or Blur, Take That or East 17, or the crucial question for every teenager - are you a rocker, or are you a raver? If you chose the latter, as many did, chances are you owned something by either Eclipse or X Works. And chances are this was a pair of baggy jeans that were twice your size with a big X on the back, or some kind of top with a dude smoking a joint on the front. Your parents would have bought these for you too - simpler times.


Flared cords/jeans

Exactly what happened in the 1990s that made us think, "Bell-bottoms need to make a comeback!"? Nobody could have predicted the rise in popularity of the flared cords, or indeed, the flared jeans. Maybe it was a rebellion against the stone-washed, straight cut jeans of the 1980s that did it, but whatever it was, we're glad to see the back of them. You'd walk over a puddle of water and have the ends of them sopping wet.

Pic via Atom Retro


Ah Susst, if you were a girl anywhere between the ages of 11 and 15 in the '90s, you owned something Susst. Whether they were a pair of flare jeans, or those drawstring pants with the stripe that seemed to come in every colour, if you weren't rockin' something by Susst, you just weren't rockin' anything.

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