Stunning 90s Latina Trends You Can Wear Today

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Last Updated on June 18, 2022

Jennifer Lopez, Selena, Gloria Estefan, and Thalia popularized it.

Missy Elliot, Christina Aguilera, and other pop and hip-hop artists made it hot, and soon enough everyone was wearing the 90s Latina trends.

The unapologetic attitude coupled with the edgy and sexy aesthetic became hugely popular among the masses, be they of Latino roots or not, making Chicana-style ensembles with giant hoop earrings and dark lipsticks must-haves.

But, what were the key items that made the look work?

Read ahead to find out how you can replicate them and celebrate this rich culture yourself!

Dark lip-liner with lighter lipstick

Celebrity inspiration
Dark lip liner with paler lipstick or gloss was a cornerstone of the 90s Latina beauty look. Hip-hop goddess Missy Elliot often rocked this trend, (and made it hot) complete with big gold earrings and frosty eyeshadow.

Destiny’s Child stunner Kelly Rowland also wore this lip, (often with a crop top to show off those enviable abs). Dark-lined lips have made a comeback in recent years, thanks to the Kardashians and Instagram beauty culture borrowing from classic Latina trends. 

Missy Elliot GIF by Alex Bedder - Find & Share on GIPHY
Source giphy.com

How-to: 

  • Start with a brown nude liner a couple of shades deeper than your natural lip color. Slightly over-draw the lips and fill them in. Take a paler nude lipstick and dab over the lips, keeping the color in the centre of the lips to preserve the deeper liner. Use a brush or your finger to fuse the two shades in the center of the lip. Add a pale gloss to the center of the bottom lip to make your pout juicier

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Matte Lipstick, Siren

  • Copy Pamela Anderson and pair a matte plum or brown liner with a frosted pink lipstick 
  • Play around with different extremes in the comfort of home to find your sweet spot. Try a grunge look with black liner, or a Baywatch-babe look with nude lip products and bronzed skin 
  • Make it modern with dewy skin, bushy brows, and subtly-contoured eyes with lots of mascara 

Large gold earrings

Celebrity inspiration
Large gold earrings, especially chunky hoops are a must-have when creating a Latina-inspired look. Becky G shows us how to rock gold hoops in 2020, while Aaliyah, Missy Elliot, and the girls from TLC brought the look throughout the 90s and early 00s. 
Zooted GIF by Becky G - Find & Share on GIPHY
Source giphy.com

How-to: 

  • Scour thrift stores or costume jewelry stores for chunky gold earrings of different shapes and sizes. (Disinfect them and use an earring coating to protect sensitive ears)
  • Frame the earrings by wearing your hair up, or half-up-half-down with face-framing bangs 
  • Double-up on the gilded glamour by layering gold necklaces and bangles for a Cleopatra-meets-Chicana revival 

Read: Nineties Jewelry Trends: A Complete List of Items by Style

Bandana headbands

Celebrity inspiration
Latina icon J-Lo ‘Jenny from the block’ herself was the queen of the bandana, copied by the likes of Christina Aguilera and even Lizzie McGuire (Hilary Duff). Who remembers J-lo’s loved-up photos with Puff Daddy, with their matching white outfits?

J-Lo wore an embellished bandana, hoop earrings, white crop, and low-rise white jeans for the ultimate Latina pop star moment. 

https://giphy.com/gifs/jennifer-lopez-idk-jlo-CTMz15CXgoDv2
Source giphy.com

How-to: 

  • Tie the bandana at the top of your head and wear with your hair bundled into a loose bun, with a red lip and winged eye for a 1940s-meets-Chicana style
  • Thrift stores and second-hand stores are often full of silk scarves and bandanas with unique patterns and colors 
  • Pair with gold hoops, a slip dress, and small reflective sunglasses for a casual summer look. Like any 90s aesthetic, throw on a baggy denim jacket when the sun goes down

Read:

How to Style a Bandana for any Look

How to Wear a Slip Dress with Style

Chola Style, Looks and Fashion Trends from the 90s

Baggy jeans and crop tops

Celebrity inspiration
When poring over photos of Chicana beauties in the 90s, there’s no doubt that crop tops and boy-style baggy jeans defined the era. Toned, tanned tummies were on show, juxtaposed with the covered-up casualness of baggy denim.
Times Glamour GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Source giphy.com
Crop tops and baggy jeans styles

How-to: 

  • For weekend nights out, pick slightly more tailored jeans or wide-leg jeans and pair with a long-line cropped tee, heeled boots, and even a chic belly chain for extra 90s love

Voluminous curls and big hair 

Celebrity inspiration
Strong Latina women Gloria Estefan and Selena Quintanilla showed the world how to wear big, voluminous hair with tumbling curls. The Nanny (Fran Drescher) also borrowed this style (paired with plenty of animal print!). Put away the straighteners and embrace those long, thick locks just as they are.

Gloria Estefan Latina GIF by Identity - Find & Share on GIPHY
Source giphy.com

How-to: 

  • Use a volumizing or curl-enhancing mousse or dry spray to lift your hair at the roots and define your curls
  • Try out a fringe or bangs to frame the face (but be prepared, as bangs and fringes can be high-maintenance)
  • Create extra height by creating a half-up half-down look, securing your locks on the top of your head to cascade down 

Bandana Tops

A popular style for date nights and going out, bandana tops were a key fashion statement in the 90s. This casual top involved wrapping a patterned bandana around your front and tying it up at the back. These were backless tops that offered a relaxed look if you were okay with showing some skin!

Bandana tops were most popular in red bandanas, but blue, purple, green, and pink colors were seen often too. These pair well with blue denim, whether you opt for shorts or jeans is up to you! Celebrities loved this style and it quickly trickled down into mainstream fashion, everyone embraced this Latina style!

How-to:

  • To start you should find a large bandana to tie up, however, you can also buy pre-made tops that mimic the bandana look.
  • Make sure you style your hair in bouncy curls to add some extra Latina style to the outfit.
  • Pair the top with low-waisted jeans for a true 90s outfit.

Read: How to Style a Bandana for Any Look

Flannel Shirts

Though flannel shirts are often associated with the grunge movement, they were also popular within Latina fashion too. Instead of being worn in a laid-back style, Latina fashion adopted these casual shirts differently. They were often worn with the sleeves rolled down and the first button was done up. Add a cute crop top or bralette underneath for a flirty look!

How-to:

  • While you don’t need an extremely oversized shirt for this style, it’s good to get a shirt that’s one or two sizes bigger than your normal size. This is to make sure that the shirt doesn’t sit skin tight, and it also gives you more comfort.
  • While blue flannel shirts were popular, you can also play with black, white, and gray colors too. Go super colorful if you feel bold!

Read: Flannel Look: Inspiration, Outfit Ideas and Style Tips

Ripped Jeans

Ripped jeans are another example of fashion repeating itself within different subcultures! This style has been seen in punk, grunge, and Latina style too. In Latina style rips weren’t just on the knees, they also went horizontally up the thigh to add extra detail. Jeans with these extra rips are great for a more risqué look, however, you can also pair them with a casual tee for a daily outfit.

How-to:

  • Opt for figure-hugging jeans to make the rips more flattering. This is popular with jeans with a high waist, as the look is complimentary to your legs.
  • Pair a cropped tee or a halter neck cami with the jeans for a summer outfit. For a winter look add a cropped, roll-neck jumper!

Low Rise Jeans

Low-rise jeans were rife in the late 90s and early 2000s. While this trend doesn’t seem comfortable today, it was a go-to for most girls. Denim is a versatile fabric and great for daily wear, so jeans are always popular for street-style fashion. The low-rise cut was popular within the Latina community and this was adopted by celebrities too.

How-to:

  • Pair your low-rise jeans with a cute crop top to show your midriff. Sparkly or metallic fabrics were popular, adding some glam to a standard outfit.
  • The jeans were also popular in bootcut or straight-legged styles. Ultra-skinny jeans weren’t popular yet, so opt for a looser silhouette!

Celeb Styles

Do you love taking inspiration from celebs? Here are some Latina celebrities that were rocking the style in the 1990s.

Salma Hayek

It’s no secret that Salma Hayek is one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood. This Latina icon has experimented with some of the best styles over the last few decades, on and off of the red carpet.

Salma is known for her figure-hugging dresses and low-cut tops that show off her womanly figure. Pair these bombshell outfits with her signature dark locks and a glam face of makeup and you’ve got great party outfit inspiration!

Read: How to Dress for a 90s Party (42 Awesome Ideas You Can’t do Without)

Selena Quintanilla

The late singer Selena Quintanilla was an iconic Mexican-American star. Not only was she extremely kind and talented, but she had some of the best styles on stage and on her days off too.

Selena was known for her cute stage jackets and bra tops, however, her fluffy bangs and bright lipstick were copied by girls worldwide. Selena also loved messy up-dos, as well as soft waves, giving hairstyle envy to everyone that watched her perform. If you need some Latina-style inspiration, Selena Quintanilla is a must-see!

Check Out: 54 Hip Hop Party Outfit Ideas