Children's Clothes in the 1990s

Updated February 21, 2017

Children's fashion in the 1990s was marked by bright colour, designer names and baggy denim. Influenced by grunge rock, hip-hop culture and popular television programs, kids adopted mainstream looks that were casual yet flashy. If you were a child of the 90s and are in the mood for a bit of nostalgia, the provided information will help you remember the styles of your time.

Baggy Denim

As hip-hop and rap culture went mainstream, children and young teens began to favour the baggy jeans worn by their favourite artists. Cargo and carpenter trousers, equipped with large stash pockets near the knee, also became popular. Though most trousers were designed to be baggy when worn properly on the waist, many wore them low to accentuate their loose fit. Many teens also added rips and tears to the knees or bottom edges of their denim to create an edgy, distressed look.

Grunge Fashion

Youths also gleaned fashion tips from the grunge rock music scene in the early 90s. A flannel button-up, a pair of high-top sneakers and worn, acid-washed jeans was the outfit of choice among grunge band frontmen like Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) and Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam). Young fans adopted this look and made it their own with iron-on patches or pins from their favourite bands. T-shirts emblazoned with band names or graphic art often complemented the grunge look.

Designer Names

Big name designers began producing clothing lines exclusively for children in the 1990s. Apparel often included the designer's name in large print in addition to bold, solid coloured patterns. As designer clothing became more popular, the presence of the manufacturer's name on a garment became a symbol of status and fashion consciousness. As most designer apparel was on the expensive side, generic companies emerged and offered similar clothing at a more affordable price.

Puffy Shoes

Large, oversized shoes complemented many children's outfits. Nike's high-top basketball sneakers were very desirable among most children, but they tended to be quite expensive. One manufacturer produced a basketball shoe with a light-up heel powered by an LED bulb that was more affordable than most comparable sneakers and thus quite popular on the schoolyard. Puffy-tongued skateboard shoes also received fanfare in the mid- to late-90s.

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About the Author

Brandon Getty began writing professionally in 2008, with columns appearing in "Thrasher" magazine. He received a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lives in Stockton, Calif.