5 Reasons to Buy ’90s Vintage for Spring

by Sammy in 2 Comments — Updated August 30, 2023

90s vintage fashion trends on spring 2012 runways

Hello and happy Friday, vintage lovers!!!

For those of you born in the ’80s like me, you know the ’90s fashion trends well — almost TOO well, since you lived the decade during your hormone-driven adolescent  years.

I was a teenager of the ’90s influenced by the fashion I saw on MTV, Seventeen Magazine and in the stores at the mall.

I watched Carson Daly’s TRL on a daily basis, taped the glossy pages of magazines to my bedroom walls and saved my allowance money to buy cheap jewelry at Claire’s. Oh yes — you remember those days, vintage lovers, I know you do!!!

Analysis of the spring 2012 trends has concluded now that the European shows officially wrapped, and one of the most shocking style influences to emerge is from — you guessed it! — the ’90s!

Don’t roll your eyes just yet, vintage lovers! Now that we’re officially in decade two of the new millennium, I argue that fashion of the ’90s is technically a vintage era, even if referencing a trend that’s less than 20 years old.

Thankfully for our vintage spring wardrobes, the trends designers were influenced by most were interpreted in futuristic, forward-thinking ways. Sexy, sporty mesh, practically posh windbreakers and lux silk shorts with rounded edges are some of the styles you’ll want to buy vintage to get the 2012 spring/summer look.

Keep reading after the jump for more on just how the last decade of the 20th century returned to the runways this year, and how you can get those styles from the days of their true vintage prime!

What I love most about this post is the realization that as I age, more of what is most familiar to my past becomes within accessible vintage reach.

The vintage fashion industry of vintage enthusiasts, buyers and sellers runs the gamut of ages and demographic. You have women in their twenties like myself who wear vintage in a modern, experimental way while women in their forties and fifties prefer a particular era that came before their fashion time, like the ’40s or ’50s.

Then there are still other ladies who only dress in the classics which are the most valuable and hard-to-find pieces of vintage eras from long, long ago.

While the ’90s seems like just yesterday, the reality is the vintage loving youth of today — think tweens & teens — did not live that style era and therefore view it as vintage from their personal perspectives.

So while you still may have those mesh shirts hanging in your closet, your 14-year-old cousin is going to look at it for its vintage worth more than you.

The world is an ever-changing, ever-evolving, ever-moving place. And I’m excited to announce that with the inevitable change in time, the ’90s are officially VINTAGE!

I would love to hear your thoughts on favorite ’90s style and your own memories from this epic fashion era! Let me know on Facebook, Twitter and email — cause the Internet was only available to the public beginning in 1991!!

have a great weekend everyone!

xx, SD



90s vintage fashion trends on spring 2012 runways

THE ’90s TREND: Mesh is one half sporty, one half sexy and when added together? So TOTALLY ’90s!

The “mesh” style could be found in a rainbow of colors and styles in the ’90s, but for 2012 the preferred mesh look is a practical pull-over or zip/button-up jacket in black or navy.

As seen on the Thakoon model, a nice touch is to layer a contrasting color shell below a dark mesh top rather than exposing your underthings beneath!

For a beach-babe vibe I love the mesh top look with cut-off denim shorts, which I predict will still be hot for 2012. So don’t toss those cut-offs into the trash quite yet!

GET IT VINTAGE: Long sleeve black mesh tunic top by Fabled Fancy, $44

90s mesh shirt trend spring 2012


GET IT VINTAGE [left to right]: Short sleeve blue mesh top with grommets by Vintalier, $11 // Button-up black mesh jacket by Story of Things, $36  // Short sleeve white mesh top by Telltalehearts, $40


90s vintage fashion trends on spring 2012 runways

THE ’90s TREND: Remember Nike, Asics & Fubu windbreaker jackets? They came in an array of colorblock/patchwork contrasting colors. Despite their feminine hues of bright pinks and turquoise, men wore these bold and bright pieces most!

For 2012, windbreakers in monochrome neutral hues — a la the white look you see on this Rag & Bone model — are most popular. For modern style, a few key ’90s windbreaker elements remain, including the practical “sweatshirt” pockets at the chest, a longer-than-your-waist length and hoods with toggle cords for tightening or loosening.

The Rag & Bone ’90s inspired breaker is a zip-up, which technically a “windbreaker” is just something you throw over your head. So arguably, the windbreaker accents of the ’90s have carried over into the new jacket of 2012.

GET IT VINTAGE: White jacket/windbreaker with pockets by Cat Skill Divine, $20 [no joke on that price!]


90s vintage fashion trends on spring 2012 runways

90s vintage fashion trends on spring 2012 runways

THE ’90s TREND: After doing some research on the origins of the “running short,” you could really say that it was first worn by men who played tennis in the ’20s. It was appropriate for men to wear short shorts then [us ladies were still wearing knee length skirts and/or dresses for our sporting activities].

Then, enter the ’70s: When running became a culture-embraced exercise regiment and the “marathon” a mark of the real athlete. The running short became short shorts with an elastic waist band and rounded edges. When made from a shiny polyester material of the ’70s era — there was no “wicking” material back then, vintage lovers! — the shorts looked a bit like women’s lingerie.

Enter the ’90s, when the trend was to wear bright running shorts with sweatshirts and sneakers as casual daywear. While the ’70s saw the shorts emerge for true athleticism, the ’90s rocked the look to class, to the grocery store, to the movies … you get the picture.

For 2012, the running short of the ’90s is worn for day again, but this time it’s made from high-quality materials with a silky sheen and the preferred color palette are pastels in pinks, mints and yellow. The short edges are rounded for that lux lingerie look, almost a spin-off of the scallop edge trend we saw last summer.

GET IT VINTAGE [from top to bottom]: Christian Dior shorts by Vintage Tees Online, $40 // Sweet mint running shorts by Laurie’s Custom Thingz, $15 // Cherry pink rounded edge shorts by Style Warrior, $17.99



90s vintage fashion trends on spring 2012 runways

THE ’90s TREND: We saw a lot of yellow in the ’90s. Maybe it was a rebellion against the electric blue, golds and silvers of the ’80s, or perhaps the ’90s was just a noticeably happier time and we expressed those feel-good vibes through cheery color choices.

It could also be that since the early ’90s was a grunge-driven look, that the latter ’90s would prefer solid hues to inspire faith and optimism.

Whatever the reason, “lemonade” yellow is making a comeback for spring 2012 to brighten everyone’s moods, no matter how much “occupying” of various Wall Streets there may be!

GET IT VINTAGE: Woolrich Yellow Anorak by FM Vintage, $44


90s vintage fashion trends on spring 2012 runways

90s vintage fashion trends on spring 2012 runways


THE ’90s TREND: While the “ombre” duo-hair-hued look was hot for summer/fall 2011, I predict that touches of electric color will quite literally “pop” for spring.

The happy hardcore “club kid” look was sought after in the ’90s thanks to trends in electronic music.

Today, we see a favor of the electric beat returning thanks to the popularity of shows like The Jersey Shore where “fist pumping” is a must as well as the recent explosion of the dub step computer generated beat.

As our technology continues to develop and broaden our DIY music making horizons from the convenience of our fingertips [and I’m not talking using a guitar pick here], the future of music will push acoustic bands farther into the past and made-in-the-moment digital tunes the preferred sound.

Thus, the future’s inevitable growth of electronic music genre will make our HAIR more electric with shades of brilliant blues, pinks and greens.

GET IT VINTAGE: Unfortunately I don’t recommend sourcing vintage hair dye — it may not be the healthiest thing for your lovely locks!

I did a bit of Googling and discovered that Splat Hair Dye in “Blue Envy” is the best shade to match Gwen’s look. You should bleach the areas of your hair you’d like the color first so that a clean palette can pick up the hues in all of their brilliance.

Sounds risky — but like the mantra of the club kids, you only live once: So dance [and dye!] the night away!


TRENDS: The 15 Most Wearable 1990s Fashion Trends
THRIFT: How I Shopped ’90s Clothing from a Salvation Army
FRESH PRINCE: How I Styled a ’90s-Themed Party


2 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Buy ’90s Vintage for Spring”

  1. Love the looks especially the mesh!

  2. Great post! As I’ve been telling everyone, the ’90s are back… Glad you agree ;-)

    As a child of the ’90s, you might enjoy the novel I’m publishing in April called LOST IN THE ’90s. It’s about a kid from 2012 who travels back in time to 1994 where he meets his teenage parents.

    There are tons of ’90s references — and the mom in the story is wearing a puffy pirate shirt and palazzo pants, a la Angie Everhart! Hope you will check it out and tell all your friends ;-)


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