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Article: 90s Fashion: How to Dress Like the Britpop Bands

90s Fashion: How to Dress Like the Britpop Bands

90s Fashion: How to Dress Like the Britpop Bands


It's time to look at another niche style from vintage fashion history!

Previously we visited the style of the New Romantics from 80s fashion. This time, we're going back to the 90s for another music inspired fashion moment that's sometimes forgotten amongst the decade's bigger trends. Britpop!



What was Britpop?

Britpop was an iconic 90s moment in music when bands like Oasis, Blur, and Pulp battled it out on the UK music charts with guitar riffs, strong regional English accents, and down-to-earth lyrics.

Britpop didn’t take itself too seriously or put itself on a pedestal. Rather than trying to appeal to the mass music market in America or follow in the footsteps of 80s glam rock, Britpop was the UK version of American 90s grunge. It was a youth rebellion against the high fashion and eclectic music of the 80s, bringing it back to the roughness of reality. 


What was Britpop music like?

Despite being called "pop," Britpop was more of an alternative indie rock sound. The bands took a lot of inspiration from bands like The Beatles and The Who, being "lads with guitars." But instead of grunge rock like American 90s bands were doing, Britpop had a clear, crisp sound with a satirical, self-deprecating tone.


90s britpop

Popular Britpop bands that defined the genre and fashion: Oasis and The Verve


What was Britpop fashion like?

A bit scruffy, a bit cheeky, Britpop bands dressed like any lad on the street would. Going on stage in football shirts and tracksuits was a style that was both anti-establishment and anti-fashion for the time. These were the clothes you'd wear to the pub for a pint to watch the football. Not the clothes of rockstars or performers.

They blended these sports clothes with influences from 60s Mod looks. Adding that bit of alt rock from wearing jeans instead of tracksuit bottoms, vintage military jackets and the bowlcuts and colored lens glasses of The Beatles.

This created a whole new style that made Britpop stand out as a unique fashion on its own.



How to dress 90s Britpop

1. Preppy Polo Shirts

90s britpop polo shirt outfit


The polo shirt was a Britpop staple. It was sporty but preppy, and you could dress it to match any look. It came from the watered-down 60s Mod look that Britpop drew from. Mod fashion in the 60s was all about straight lines and sharp collars, and the polo shirt was the casual way to channel that look. By buttoning the polo shirts to the very top, it kept the same vibe of the sharp-suited 60s styles.

The alternative way to wear it was unbuttoned and un-ironed. This was the casual style within Britpop that kept itself down-to-earth and relatable. Less edgy than American grunge, it was more about being scruffy,

90s polo shirts

Polo shirts from ThriftTale's collection of vintage 90s clothes


Some of the most popular brands for Britpop clothing were preppy brands like Fred Perry and sportswear brands like Ellesse, Fila, and Kappa. Polo shirts from these brands were worn in solid colors, or Mod-inspired stripes; the most important part was having a visible brand logo of the right kind.




2. High Neck Track Jackets

vintage track jacket

If you are going to add one thing to your wardrobe to get the Britpop look, it has to be the high-neck, zip-up track jacket.

This was pretty much the uniform of the Britpop boys. Worn zipped all the way to the top (another callback to Mod fashion), these 90s track jackets were an iconic look of the time.

90s track jackets

90s track jackets from ThriftTale's vintage 90s collection


Which brands of track jackets were the most popular in 90s Britpop fashion?

  • Adidas
  • Puma
  • Ellesse
  • Kappa
  • Fila
  • Fred Perry

90s track jackets

90s track jackets from ThriftTale's vintage 90s collection 

Slim fit and zipped up to the chin or a looser bomber style, either way, the key part of the Britpop look was the sports brand logos and stripes. Pair with straight-leg blue denim jeans and a bucket hat for a proper Britpop outfit.




3. Vintage Football Shirts90s vintage football shirts

 90s football shirts from ThriftTale's vintage 90s collection


A lot of the Britpop bands started out as football lads. They grew up supporting a football team and going to watch matches, not concerts, at stadiums. The culture of British football lived on through the style they kept wearing on stage themselves.

To get the real Britpop fashion, look for vintage football shirts from the 90s with the stripes and collared shirts. 





4. 90s Straight Leg Jeans90s men's jeans

90s men's jeans from ThriftTale's vintage 90s collection


Britpop really kicked off in the second half of the 90s. This means the jeans in Britpop fashion were less like the late 80s high-waisted jeans and closer to the Y2K bootcut styles.

Men's jeans in 90s Britpop fashion were relaxed fit. Not quite flared or bootcut yet, and not as wide or baggy as 90s skater jeans. Somewhere in between, they were loose, straight-leg jeans.

The washes of these 90s jeans were usually dark blue with some faded distressing. Popular brands of jeans for the 90s Britpop style were classic, like Levi's and Lees.





 5. Military and Parka Jackets

90s jackets

 90s jackets from ThriftTale's vintage 90s collection

A favorite style of 90s Britpop band Oasis was the fur-lined, hooded parka. In shades of khaki, green, and black, the hooded parka became such a huge part of the look that Oasis were famous for performing on stage wearing them.

Liam Gallagher, the lead singer of Oasis, even said he could not fit all of his parkas into his house. With hundreds of parkas, he said he'd rather move house than get rid of any of his signature coats.

Along with the parkas, Britpop artists also had a love for vintage military jackets. This is another callback to 60s fashion, when army surplus stores had become the shopping ground for alternative fashion, before alternative fashion was even catered to.





6. Bucket Hats

90s britpop outfit

There's no better way to finish off a 90s Britpop outfit than with a bucket hat. Somewhat part of practical wear to get through outdoor festival concerts, and somewhat just for plain style.

Along with the bucket hat, Britpop accessories include round glasses with yellow or orange tinted lenses, a striped scarf, and, of course, sports sneakers.




What shoes were worn with Britpop fashion?

The most popular kind of shoes in 90s Britpop fashion were the Adidas Sambas. Still just as popular today as they were in the 70s, these shoes have a history that goes from sportswear, to football fan terracewear, to becoming a part of the rock and indie music style.

Styles like Superstars and Gazelles were also popular, with the rubber shell toe becoming just as signature a look as the three stripes. With a flat sole and simple, less sporty style than other trainers or sneakers, they fit the laid-back, casual style of the Britpop look that was somewhere between athletic streetwear and alternative rock.




Where can you buy vintage 90s Britpop fashion? 

At ThriftTale, you'll find authentic vintage 90s clothes from the real decade. Our collection is packed with styles from 90s Britpop that we've hand-picked and hand-checked for authenticity. With a huge range of 90s sportswear brands like Adidas and Puma, you can shop the real brands and iconic styles from the Britpop era online and in-store.


Shop for vintage 90s clothes here



vintage sportswear