Justin Timberlake’s iconic song, “What Goes Around…Comes Around,” may have been released in 2006 after his split with Britney Spears, however, those lyrics may apply to more than the concept of karma. Timberlake’s style and fashion trends he started during the 1990s when he was a part of “NSYNC” are resurfacing.
The style and trends that rose in popularity during the 1990s were defined by carefree, minimalistic, rebellious, grunge looks the youth brought off from both the runway and streets. This was then normalized into their everyday wear.
Youth cultures all over the U.S. in 1990s emulated their favorite musical artists and celebrities through their clothing, accessorization and personal styles. A national style revolution, many University of Rhode Island alumni who attended URI in the 1990s remember these styles with looks of pain and a few laughs. Despite their beliefs that most of the styles they wore during these times were horrible and unflattering, students on URI’s campus are bringing the looks back.
Professor Kristen Cyr attended URI from 1991 to 1994, which she recalls was a time of fashion travesties.
“The style was really grunge, a lot of flannels, Doc Martens, polo and rugby shirts,” Cyr recalls. “It was all kind of comfy clothes, no one dressed up, it was the Nirvana era.”
Cyr, who now teaches classes at URI, said that she has seen a lot of the styles she wore during her years as a student on her students today. One of these trends that has resurfaced is scrunchies, which Cyr was in disbelief that it’s making a comeback.
“Scrunches were super big, I had one in every color for every outfit,” Cyr said.
Chris Schaufler, a URI alumni who attended from 1992 to 1996, recalled similar styles as Cyr.
“I can remember wearing plaid shirts, a lot of tees, brown leather bomber jackets and hiking boots,” Schaufler said.
“He really resembled Judd Nelson’s character from “The Breakfast Club.” John Bender who was labeled as the criminal,” Schaufler’s wife said jokingly.
Students attending URI today agree that styles from the 1990s have slowly but surely been returning to campus. One freshman student, Colin O’Connor, said that he’s going to bring the 1990s back after he was gifted a puka shell necklace, a staple for any boyband or actor in the
“Weezer is my favorite band so why shouldn’t I dress like Weezer,” O’Connor said. “I’m going to get frosted tips and a spray tan and I might even pierce my ears.”
O’Connor has been truly embodying the minimalistic grunge-boy-band style and mentality that defined the 1990s, breaking out of the fashion norms and diving into the 1990s aesthetic with full force.
All trends have to start or restart somewhere, so who knows, frosted tips, puka shell chokers and thrifted grunge outfits may make a significant comeback on URI’s campus.