1993 Fashion Trends: Grunge glam, rainbow stripes and laid back looks

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3 different styles of outfits of 1993 fashion trends

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Oh hey! Fancy seeing you here in 1993. Take a look around.

Turn on the TV and you’ll find the debut episodes of iconic shows ‘The Nanny’ and ‘The X-Files’. These very different shows had one thing in common: fashion icon female leads. Miss Fine and Miss Scully, we salute you and your wardrobes. 

Head to the cinema and catch the premiere of ‘Hocus Pocus’, the witchy classic. Or, check out ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’, one of the best comedy films of all time (in my humble opinion). 

The runways were a site of major cultural events in 1993. For example, Naomi Campbell famously tripped over her platforms on Vivienne Westwood’s runway, wearing a plaid skirt and midnight-blue velvet jacket.

via GIPHY

Head over to the Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis ‘Grunge’ show and hear the shocked, disgusted whispers from the critics at the now-celebrated collection. 

The red carpets, always a site for prime fashion peeking, were rife in 1993. Celine Dion wore a sheer lace dress and black thong at the Grammys. Note her very 90s black choker necklace.

Cindy Crawford wore a stark white, figure-hugging bandage dress with bustier cups at the Academy Awards. This Herve Leger dress would be seen again (and again) in the 2000s, in a shorter, tighter style on the likes of Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian. 

Here are our favorite fashion looks and moments of 1993!

OTT-Glam courtesy of Fran Fine from ‘The Nanny’

I have such fond memories of watching ‘The Nanny’ on carefree evenings after school, sighing with longing as I gazed upon what I thought was the utmost example of style.

Fran Fine was my fashion hero. I loved her mini skirts with sheer tights and tight sweater combos, her big hair, her bright, structured blazers, her animal-print sets, and her moments of sequined black-tie glam. What I loved most was that Fran was brave and bold, and she had fun with her fashion! 

Try it: 

  • Try on a mini skirt and flared jacket set. Or, you may feel more comfortable in a midi-skirt suit with a longline blazer. Branch out with bright colors or even a print and see how it feels and looks. Just try it
  • In Fall/winter, throw an animal print jacket or faux fur-lined coat over high-waisted cropped black trousers and a fitted sweater
  • Tuck an animal print blouse into high-waisted jeans, curl your locks and throw on a headband 

Eclectic grunge-glam from the notorious Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis show 

Grunge fashion took the runway in 1993 when Marc Jacobs designed the Spring ready-to-wear collection for Perry Ellis. (Versace also grunged-up the runway, but in a more high-shine way). Marc Jacobs was brave and unabashed with this show, and like all excellent creative ventures, not everyone loved it. Pish posh. It was fantastic. 

There were ethereal looks, with Kate Moss in a marshmallow-pink slip and blazer, with loosely-tied boots. There was a taupe skirt set with a sleeveless jacket and Birkenstocks.

Tyra Banks wore an all-purple ensemble with velvet, print, and tie-dye, while Yasmin le Bon wore a plain black slip with chunky lace-up boots. There were plaid, florals, lace, unexpected layering, beanies, boots, and crochet.

Most importantly?

It was attainable for women then, and now

Try it: 

  • Take inspiration from the look Naomi Campbell wore: look for a merino, wool, or cashmere long-sleeved black maxi dress with a crew neck and body-hugging fit. Pair with Doc Martens or black lace-ups. Long-sleeved knit maxi dresses are so versatile and lend themselves to everything from work-wear to going out depending on the styling. The silhouette is sexy but the coverage brings it back  
  • Channel this pastel look by layering a long-sleeved top under a sleeveless vest with a knit maxi in contrasting pastel tones. Or, swap them for brights, black, or neutrals to suit your preference. Swap out the Converse for a more robust fashion-sport shoe such as Nike Roshe 

Get Inspired: Ways to Wear Naomi Campbell’s Printed Legging Look

Drew Barrymore’s disheveled jeans and a shirt on the cover of ‘Seventeen’

Drew Barrymore was a 90s teen hero, with her pillowy lips, carefree attitude, and sultry grunge style. Her ‘Seventeen’ magazine cover in May 1993 perfectly summed-up Drew’s casual style, and the just-woke-up look of 90s grunge youth fashion. She wore an oversized white shirt with open top buttons, blue jeans, bare feet, and hazy matte-nude makeup. 

Try it: 

  • Find a white linen shirt and size up. Tuck one side into your blue jeans and roll the sleeves up 
  • For 90s airport-chic add a black or deep brown leather belt and leather Chelsea boots or lace-up boots 
  • Swap the jeans for a column-style maxi skirt sitting on the hips and switch out the boots for Birkenstocks (inspired by Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis)

Read: 15 Awesome 90s Female Fashion Icons (That Stand the Test of Time)

Rainbow stripes and grunge on Anna Sui’s Spring ‘93 Ready-to-Wear runway

Did you wear those colorful, striped knee-high socks that were all the rage in the 1990s? I sure as heck did. In fact, I got a pair from my best friend for my 10th (I think) birthday. But I digress. The rainbow stripe trend was seen in 1993 on the runway of Anna Sui’s Spring Ready-to-Wear collection. 

This colorful grunge show featured other 90s staples such as butterflies, platform shoes, bare midriffs, plaid, muted florals, Mandarin necklines, and beanies. This is an incredibly interesting show to pore over, fusing grunge with high-glamour details such as sequins and lace, and 60s/70s silhouettes such as flared trousers. 

Try it: 

  • Find a bias cut slip dress with spaghetti straps and layer with a sheer lace wrap cardigan and knee-high lace-up boots 
  • Accessorise with oversized flower brooches, embellished beanies, and metallic brown lipstick 
  • Pair a colorful horizontal-striped sweater with wide-leg jeans, black boots, and an open satin jacket with a Mandarin neckline. It may sound unappetizing, but sometimes the least obvious combinations are the best 

Let’s Throwback: Our Choices of the Best 90s Dresses You can Still Buy Today