What You Need to Know About 90s Minimalist Fashion
By: Olivia Marrone
While each decade comes with unique trends and aesthetics, the minimalism of the 90s is one that has managed to stay. Three decades after its debut, there are still subtle nods to 90s minimalism spotted on our feeds and in the streets to this day.
To infuse the essence of 90s minimalism into your wardrobe, you need to know the basics: the top designers of the time, the muses behind this aesthetic, and signature wardrobe staples. Keep reading for a quick crash course in 90s minimalist fashion.
The 1990s brought a new wave of fashion, with Tom Ford at Gucci, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Helmut Lang, and Miuccia Prada defining the decade with innovative approaches to fashion. While Calvin Klein and Tom Ford capitalized on sex appeal, Miuccia Prada and Donna Karan made practicality fashionable. Although each designer had a definitive aesthetic separating one from the other, simplicity was the common theme on the 90s fashion scene.
The 90s saw the rise of supermodels and celebrities becoming more regularly recognized for their everyday style choices. From the late Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and Gwyneth Paltrow to Naomi Campbell, and Kate Moss, powerful women served as muses while also bringing about the origins of street style.
The Wardrobe Staples
The key to achieving the 90s minimalist aesthetic is to keep your silhouette straight and streamlined. Slip skirts and dresses, cropped t-shirts, long fitted skirts, and straight-legged pants are essentials to achieve this effortlessly chic look. Additionally, adding a thin knit (i.e. a cardigan) on top of your outfit will automatically help you achieve the relaxed vibe of 90s style.
The Color Scheme
Neutral tones were a popular 90s choice, as they showcase a laid-back, seemingly effortless approach. This is still true today. Cashmere knits and slip dresses have been worn by It-Girls of the past and present for their comfortable and elegant approach.
90s accessories were often kept to a minimum and chosen thoughtfully. Subtle jewelry, oval sunglasses, and baguette bags were some popular accessories of choice, adding just the right amount of detail to any look. For footwear, sneakers, kitten heels, loafers, and heeled black boots are all stylish and practical shoes reminiscent of the 90s.
Catapulting the idea of the “capsule wardrobe” into the fashion industry, 90s minimalism was ahead of its time. While we’ve come a long from the 90s, the minimalist fashion from this decade will live on for generations.