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Funny and Unique Fads of the 90s

The 1990s was a decade that gave us many exciting, strange, and memorable fads. The fashions of those years varied from time to time, but many were unique to that era for the most part. The musical genres of rave, hip hop and grunge also contributed to the fads to a large extent, but so did the popular movies and TV shows. 

Just about every decade has a few funny and very unique fads that are fondly remembered but not always brought back. The top fashion trends of the 80s also contributed to the fashion sense of the 90s, but each decade still has its own interesting looks. Let’s discuss some of the 90s offerings now: 

Fanny Packs

Fanny Packs

We could see fanny packs becoming popular in the late 80s and on into the 90s. This was partly because of their practical use back then; remember, technology was gradually giving us more devices to carry around. Now, we have one smartphone that holds our music, our contacts, and even our reading material. In the 90s, the cool kids simply couldn’t be seen without their bulky cell phones, Discmans, beepers, etc. 

Fanny packs were quite convenient for this function; they were likely a roomy purse strapped to your waist. Today, however, the fanny pack is mostly left to the tourists. They’re a major fashion no-no, so you might want to save this one for a 90s-themed party or your next sightseeing trip. 

Grunge Fashion

If you know anything about the history of grunge music, you’d also be aware how the grunge look is central to its philosophy. Grunge became quite popular with several groups in the 90s, both in the musical and the fashion sense. 

The music video and song by Nirvana ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was a majorly influential one that changed the music scene for good. The band made flannel shirts a cool trend, along combats booths and androgynous dressing. 

Many grunge bands of the 90s are still active and even touring in the 21st century. However, the grunge fashion trend hasn’t survived quite so well. You could get away with the grunge look in the 90s to some extent, but better leave that look for the concerts and yard work now!


Grunge wasn’t the only musical genre that had an influence on clothing and fashion in the 90s. Covering all these would take too much time, so let’s just consider the overalls trend for now. While we might wear overalls on occasion today, hip hop artist in the 90s changed the look by only buckling one shoulder, wearing a belt and letting the flaps hang about, or don half shirts with their overalls. 

Of course, these crazy styles found their way into the mainstream fashion trends of the 90s. Kids who listened to hip hop, grunge, or alternative rock would start wearing costumes that mimicked the artists. 

Beanie Babies

Beanie Babies were stuffed animals that had tiny plastic pellets for their filling. At a glance, they weren’t anything particularly impressive, but they did spawn a huge craze back in the 90s. Admittedly, this was mainly due to the intense marketing campaign by the company behind these toys. They managed to create an artificial demand by keeping supply low, under-delivering on their shipments, and discontinuing the most popular items. 

The strategy seems to work quite well, with people thrown into a buying frenzy for the little stuffed animals. There were fan websites, fan clubs, auctions, and even magazines dedicated to the collectors of Beanie Babies. 

In addition to the marketing, there was also the concept of Beanie Babies being a sound financial investment. The reasoning was that the discontinued products would be worth quite a lot in the future. While you could technically sell your collection today, many of the recent Beanie Babies auctions online haven’t gained many buyers or any high value. 

High-Waisted Women’s Jeans

We now know them as ‘mom jeans’, but these high-waisted options were made very popular among young women in the 80s and 90s. There were several appearances of these jeans in shows such as Beverly Hills 90210 and Friends, which meant that their audiences quickly adopted them as very day clothing. 

It also didn’t hurt that these kinds of jeans are comfortable and easy to wear as well. Most of the designs had elastic waistbands, a high cut that came above the navel, and plenty of space in the crotch and leg area. You could easily bend over, walk  about, and get everything done without worrying about ripping your pants, so this fad did make a bit of sense. While many still wear these jeans and secretly prefer them to any other, the design isn’t usually considered trendy anymore.  

Butterfly Clips or Snap Clips

These tiny, glittery butterfly clips don’t get much attention now, but they were considered one of the coolest trends in the 90s. They were quite versatile, as you could use them as part of an elaborate hairstyle or your everyday one. 

These clips were among the funnier trend of the 90s, as they weren’t of much use in holding your hair in place. They also stuck out from your head, giving it an almost prickly look. Plus, most of the clips you could buy at low prices were made of cheap, flimsy plastic. If they came under your feet, the pain was worse than stepping on a Lego. 

Snap clips were more practical, but the cheap, colorful ones are mostly reserved for little girls now. Some might say they’re trending again in larger, metal varieties. 

Frosted Tips

Bleached tips and bleached hair in general was a mystifyingly popular trend, especially when it came to the males. Pull up any boy band music video from the 90s or an episode of Jersey Shore, and you’re likely to see at least one of the artists with such hair.

The frosted tips look was achieved with blond hair dye, spray peroxide, or some other potentially dangerous and iffy method. Instead of fading away, this fad would even continue into the 2000s. Today, we can look back on this trend as one of the funniest and strangest to date. 


Some iconic fashion trends of the 90s might be making a comeback now. While the trends and fads we’ve discussed above seem quite silly and unique only to that decade, they might still become popular again within our lifetimes. For now, it’s probably best to remember the fun we had with all those trends and smile at the memories. 

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