Some Thoughts on the Return of the Nineties

I recently found myself on the Topshop website.

I love Toppers. I mean, I really love it. I swore off it for a bit when Philip Green was accused of whatever-the-last-thing-he-was-accused-of was, and lasted all of a month. I decried the false gods of Fast Fashion and swore I would only buy second-hand (VINTAGE, DAAHLING) from now on, and lasted all of a fortnight.

You see, the thing I love about Topshop is that not only did I never leave my teenage years behind, having shopped at the same Temple for the past twenty (um, thirty?) years, but my teenage years are now actually back in fashion, complete with things I really, genuinely wore. I am SO glad I never threw out that sparkly bra top. Although, to be fair the only place that top is going now is under several very thick layers where it will never be seen, save for perhaps the tiniest flash of sparkle. No one wants to see the midriff of a woman of almost thirty-nine, more’s the pity (or do they? I’ll wear a bikini in the swimming pool and channel Madonna, who at sixty could out-manouvre all the Insta-yoga bunnies ten times over, and whose best look was surely the seventies-inspired, leotard-clad roller disco of her 47th year.

So the other day, I found myself at the altar of Ol’ Phil’s Empire of Fast Fashion yet again, purchasing a pair of stretchy black leggings that flared out at the lower leg, because IT’S THE NINETIES AGAIN, and we have now moved on from 1992 (sorry, but I am NOT lowering myself to a scrunchie guys. Remember Carrie’s wise words in Sex And The City? No one in New York would be seen dead in a scrunchie) to, like, 1996 when I owned said pair of black flared leggings and wore them to the rugby club disco with my kid brother’s pyjama tops.

I have no idea where I am going to wear the leggings this time around. They are extremely comfy, but the risk of looking like an over the hill woman in last decade’s boot cut jeans is looming large. Is it too soon for the return of the flare, one must ask oneself? Can The Flare now only be pulled off by nineteen year old clubbers in bra tops I last wore in ’97? If, I ask myself in these dark times, you wore it the first time round, are you definitely too old to wear it now?

No, I tell myself. I was wearing flared leggings before the yoof of today were even born, and I shall wear them once more. As long as I’m not pairing it with a non-existent, over-plucked eyebrow as in the Actual Nineties, as opposed to the watered-down fake Nineties of today, I will surely not look like an ageing relic in fancy dress, or a member of Steps on a reunion tour. Anyway, no one moans at the Gallagher brothers for having worn the exact same anorak and haircut since Supersonic was in the charts.

Yes, I am old enough to still have the gear from The First Time Around, at least that which didn’t disintegrate in the intervening years, and wear it I will.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. catbf79 says:

    Loved reading this. I was a teenager in the nineties too, such lovely memories but I didn’t feel like they were that long ago really, until, as you say, popular fashions etc start coming back and I remember it from the first time. I wore my bootleg leggings to work when I was eighteen and worked in an office.thought I was just about the best dressed person there. (I wasn’t!)
    But the thought of wearing them 20 years and three kids later fills me with dread! ??

    1. Min says:

      Yes, it definitely doesn’t feel like 20+ years ago. I was trying to explain the plot of Dogma (1999) to some teenagers today and found myself starting with the words “It’s this really old film from 20 years ago…” then nearly cried because I am so old.

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