90s & 2000s Staple Styles Make Comeback Among Gen Z

Vintage basics return to mainstream style

Ainsley Pflaum, Contributing Writer

2021 – a year of innovation and transformation, inspired our generation to begin an embrace of low-rise jeans, sweater vests, and platform sneakers – a look that was popular in the 90s and 2000s. Additionally, oversized classic rock band tee-shirts, polos and long socks are other articles making a comeback from earlier decades.

Why are they coming back now? And are these neo-retro styles worthy of becoming trendy again or should they have just stayed in the 90s?

“I’d say that the 90s fashion is probably my favorite fashion of all the decades,” says Kiana Poul ‘24.  She continues, “I love mom jeans; they’ve been my favorite style of jeans. Low-rise jeans, I’ve really been wanting to get a pair because I’ve noticed that they’ve definitely come back as a trend.” 

Zellie Olson ‘25 similarly asserts, “I actually love low-rise jeans. I feel like the 90s is really a key decade right now for fashion.”

When prompted about why these looks might be returning, Olson states, “We really like to imitate the past. I feel like that’s kind of our culture now; referencing the 90s, referencing the 80s, that’s kind of a coveted thing.”

Like many fashion trends, celebrities and influencers lead the charge.  Zoe Edinburgh  ‘23 says, “You see Kendall Jenner with those sweater vests, or rocking the mom jeans or something like that, or biker shorts with a puffer jacket. I feel like when we see that on a celebrity we kind of think, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s fashionable – we can do it as well’”

While these retro styles gain popularity in 2021, we wonder how long they will last and which decades will revive next. Shoulder pads anyone?