Butterflies and Buns: Pulling Off Those ’90s Comeback Trends

Some say that what happened in the past should stay in the past, especially when it’s kind of embarrassing to look back on. But in the fashion world, part of the fun is recycling old trends and trying to update them for present styles. If you’re a ’90s kid, meaning you were either a child or teenager during the decade, you probably remember fondly (or not so fondly) so of the much-loved fashion trends. Chokers, crop tops, and even cute little butterfly hair clips were super popular, and now they’ve made a comeback. The question is, can you pull them off, or should they have stayed in the ’90s? Here’s how you might attempt some of the looks without looking like you’ve gone back in time.

Crop Tops

Not all trends from the 1990s are easy to spot, but it’s hard to miss when everyone is getting their midriff out. Crop tops never truly went away, and they’re especially good for an athletic look, but they’ve come back in a big way over the last year or two. If it’s warm enough to wear one, or sometimes even if it’s not, they’re a great way to show some skin. However, they’re only for the brave, as many don’t feel comfortable getting their stomach out in public all the time. Crop tops are perfect for going out on the town, wearing to the beach, or pairing with some short shorts for a festival look.

Butterflies and Buns: Pulling Off Those '90s Comeback Trends


The accessory of the ’90s had to be the choker. Everyone was wearing them in various styles, although often with something dangling from them. They ranged from simple, stretchy chokers you could pull over your head to velvet necklaces with cameos for that heirloom look. Check out stores today, and you’ll find them suddenly full of chokers again, but often with a more adult twist. For something more sophisticated than you might have worn 20 years ago, try a gold choker with a fine chain and a small pendant. You can easily make a choker look more grown up and avoid looking like a little girl. They can work well for any occasion too, depending on the outfit you wear them with.

Butterfly Hairclips

This might be one trend you’re sure you’ve grown out of. As a child or tween, maybe butterfly hairclips were cute, but should anyone really be wearing them as a fully-grown adult? The answer is yes – but not the cheap plastic, sparkly ones you wore a couple of decades ago. There are much classier options available if you feel like jazzing up your hairstyle a little. Instead of plastic, go for metal clips and slides to keep things a little more toned down. Aim for a cute look inspired by nature, rather than candy colors that look like they were inspired by Barbie.

Wide Jeans

It’s been all about skinny jeans for a while now, but they’re not for everyone. There are other styles available, and some girls just want to feel comfortable. If you don’t already own a pair of mom jeans, you need to get some. There are days when you just don’t want to squeeze into a tight pair of pants. A pair of wide-leg jeans might seem kind of frumpy, but you can pull them off if you dress them up correctly. Avoid the double-denim and choose a stylish top and tailored jacket instead, so you can be smart-casual on top and just plain casual on the bottom.

Butterflies and Buns: Pulling Off Those '90s Comeback Trends

Brown Lipstick

Some of the makeup trends of the ’90s included metallic makeup and, yes, brown lipstick. You’ve probably spotted it in magazines or on the red carpet, but maybe you’re unsure about how to use it yourself. It doesn’t exactly seem right for a daily look, but you can work out how to use it for your evening makeup either. Like with all colors, the first thing you need to do is find the right shade for you. You might also want to mix brown with pink to make it a bit more subtle. Try a more copper or bronze color if you don’t want to go fully brown.

Bucket Hats

Surely not? You’d think there are some ’90s trends that really don’t deserve a second go around, but it turns out that people still like them. Bucket hats are definitely not for everyone, but there are plenty of trendsetters and celebrities who have been spotted wearing them. Not everyone can even pull off a hat, and this particular style can be even more difficult to make work. If you’re not sure whether it’s for you, go and try some on to see how they suit you. It’s a pretty casual style so you might ultimately decide it’s not for you.

Heat-sensitive Colors

Ok, so Hypercolor T-shirts probably aren’t coming back anytime soon. These ’80s throwbacks managed to sneak their way into the ’90s too, but they, fortunately, died out after a while. However, just because they’re not coming back, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a bit of color changing coming your way. In fact, one thing you might have seen recently is heat-activated hair dye. Is there really a point to your hair color changing when it gets hot? Not really. But is it a bit of fun if you’re bored with your hair? Absolutely.

Butterflies and Buns: Pulling Off Those '90s Comeback Trends

Platform Shoes

Platform shoes will make a lot of people think of the 1970s, but they were also a thing during the ’90s. Platform heels, sandals, and even flip-flops were big back in the day, and now it’s time to enjoy them again. Summer might be coming to an end, but there is still time to get out some platform flip-flops with your favorite summer dress or romper. Even when it’s a little colder, you might not wear a pair of platforms during the day, but they could be an awesome addition to your little black dress at night. Just practice walking in them before you go out.

Fanny Packs

There are some trends you’re not sure should ever make a comeback. And of all of them from the ’80s and ’90s, fanny packs are probably the trend you were sure no one would ever take to again. But if you’ve been watching what people have been wearing to festivals this year, you’ve probably noticed at least a few of them. While some might not see the appeal at all, others can get with their practicality and the huge array of patterns and colors you can find. If you want to take all your essentials but have both hands free at all times, it could be better than a handbag. And with pockets ever-absent from women’s clothes, it’s not as easy for us as it is for men to just shove your wallet in your pocket. Fanny packs are like a clip-on pocket, with plenty of space.


Remember that two-tiny-buns look? It’s back and as cute as ever. Like many ’90s cutesy trends, you might be worrying if it’s really suitable for an adult woman, with a proper job and responsibilities. The answer is yes, it is, although it’s maybe not the right look for the office. They are great for going to the beach or a night out at a party, bar or club, though. Whether you go for an up-do or a half-up, half-down look, you can still make them look pretty cute as an adult.


Here’s another slightly childish look that you can make more adult if you know what you’re doing. Some people think overalls are the reserve of five-year-olds and pregnant women, but you can rock them too with the right knowhow. It’s all about what you choose to wear them with, so think carefully about the rest of your outfit. A long-sleeved shirt can help you avoid looking like a painter-decorator or a plumber, which a T-shirt can put you at risk of. Choose something with a stand-out pattern if you want it to pop. As for your shoes, you can go for casual or maybe dress your outfit up a bit with some heeled boots.


If off-the-shoulder tops aren’t for you, you’ve probably been having a frustrating time this summer. They’re not ideal if you don’t want to flash your bra straps or you’re not the kind of girl who can go without a bra. There’s also often not much shape to them, so they’re really not great for bustier women who want to avoid looking pregnant. But if you do like them, you don’t have to put them away when summer is over. They can look great with your favorite jeans or a pair of shorts (with tights or leggings for cooler days). With the right look, you can even dress them up a bit if you work in a smart-casual office. A button-down top with smart jeans and heels can help you look less casual.

You might not be drawn to every ’90s trend that comes back around, but there are probably a few you love and maybe remember fondly. There’s no harm in trying them out.

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