​#tbt: what we miss about the 90s

Feeling nostalgic about what we wore, what we watched and what we sang along to.

by Tish Weinstock
28 January 2016, 5:40pm

Close your eyes and cast your mind back to a time before Tumblr, where the only pictures you Pinned were those on your wall. It was the age of Britpop bad boys and eurodance hits about Barbie; an age where you could entertain yourself for hours with a pad of paper or even settle down for a Tamagotchi and chill. Bands like All Saints and Offspring would blast from your Walkman, while cult supernatural shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed were all you lived for. Then, of course, there were the clothes; from flares so wide you could house a small child with to the ever alluring appeal of boob tubes, 90s fashion was one of a kind. With the recent rash of 90s nostalgia permeating all levels of today's pop culture, we thought we'd throw back to our favourite decade with a list of all the things we missed. As Calvin Harris should have once sung, "I've got love for you if you were born in the 90s".

What We Watched
Coming of age during the 90s was a particularly sticky affair; especially if you were an anxious teen full of teenage angst, the kind who no one got and nothing fit with. But at least there was My So Called Life to guide you through it. Following the emotional travails of Angela Chase, the hit TV show was there for you when you needed it, even when you're IRL friends weren't. For lessons on love, though, there was Dawson's Creek; a love triangle (or was it square?) like no other, the fraught tensions between Dawson, Pacey, Joey and Jen shaped many a moody teen's idea of what a relationship should be like. Other tales of impossible love (because being a teenager is always impossible) included Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Roswell, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch; all examples of how falling in love with a vampire, alien, witch, or just anything otherworldly, is never a good idea. Other cult classics included: Clueless, Cruel Intentions, Dazed and Confused, The Craft, Twin Peaks, Sunset Beach, Gladiators, (remember Jet, Lightning, Panther and wolf?), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Clarissa Explains It All, Boy Meets World, Saved By the Bell - the list goes on, but lucky for you we won't.

What We Listened To
Kicking the decade off with MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice, when it comes to 90s music, it was all about extremes.As the decade raged on, the divide widened. In one corner you had girl bands like B*witched, Spice Girls, All Saints, Alisha's Attic, En Vogue, and TLC, ramming their turbo charged femininity down the throats of frenzied fan girls everywhere, while in the other, boy band mania had reached its peak. From Another Level to Five, East 17 to 911, it was all about open shirts, greased hair, matching outfits and synchronised movements. Elsewhere, bands like Hole, Nirvana, Garbage, and Blink 182 provided the soundtrack to your teen angst, while tracks like Kiss Me by Sixpence none the richer and Lovefool by the Cardigans were the songs to fall in love to. Then there were the Britpop bad boys Blur and Oasis, who birthed a whole new lad/ladette culture, meanwhile who could forget Danish Eurodance group, Aqua, who sung about everything from Barbie dolls to cartoon heroes - whatever that means. If you didn't have Aquarium blasting through your Walkman, then you're, well, just a liar.

What We Wore
While most 90s trends are still very much en vogue, there are those which have been gladly left behind. However, in the true spirit of #tbt we thought we'd drag them back up. For girls, it was all about cargo pants, handkerchief tops, boob tubes, sweater vests, rave gear, Buffalos, kitten heels, peddle pushers, crimped hair, body glitter, skirts worn over trousers, and anything with a dragon or flame adorning it, while the boys kept it fly in cross colour, windbreakers, Timberlands, retro sportswear, tank tops, t-shirt and suit combos, Fila jackets, very pale blue jeans with one leg rolled up, beige capris pants, middle partings, and anything from Skidz or Zubaz. When it came to accessories more was definitely more: think stick on earrings, scrunchies, slap bracelets, wrist bands, mood rings, butterfly hair clips, bindis (culturally appropriated, obvs) Baby-Gs, square shaped sunglasses, dolphin jewellery, yin and yang everything, chains, midriff belts, trainers that lit up, bucket hats, men with hoop earrings on each ear, backwards caps, tattoo chokers, and a spritz of CK1.

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