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Article: The Perfect 90s Party Outfits (That Still Look Cute Today)

The Perfect 90s Party Outfits (That Still Look Cute Today)

The Perfect 90s Party Outfits (That Still Look Cute Today)


So, there's a 90s theme party coming up, and you don't know what to wear. Or maybe you're just loving 90s fashion and need some inspiration to take it up a notch for your next night out. Either way, you want an outfit that says 90s, but also... keep it kinda cute? 

As a 90s kid myself, I didn't make it to many cool parties at the time, but I coveted the magazine fashions that I could get my hands on, and my Spice World movie on VHS. I've created this lookbook of 90s party outfits by peeking back at the outfits I wore to discos in the 90s, and the outfits I remember wishing I could wear!

We're not going for costume here, we're channeling those 90s supermodels and grunge icons.  And probably the Spice Girls, too, because, like most 90s kids, they were everything to us.



90s Party Outfits

It's 1996. The Spice Girls are playing on your personal cassette player, and you're practicing the Macarena in the mirror. You've just come back from the hairdresser after requesting The Rachel haircut, and now you're trying to decide which dress to pair with your glittery platform sandals and plastic choker.

Let's take a look at your options for your perfect 90s party outfit:



1. Red velvet, please

90s velvet outfits 

Party outfits in the 90s were all about the textures. Silk, lace, chiffon, and of course velvet.

Because 90s fashion was so minimalist (we were all a bit sick of the crazy 80s looks), all of the silhouettes and designs of 90s clothes were very simple. Think A-line mini skirts, plain tank tops, and simple button-up shirts. It was the material that turned each piece into party wear.

Velvet added a little bit of luxe glam, and a little bit of that 90s grunge. It took a plain top from t-shirt to disco. One of my favorite party outfits was a black velvet maxi skirt paired with a silver velvet top (and black glittery platform sandals, a plastic choker, and matching ring, of course).

But it was those deep red colors like burgundy that really screamed 90s glam. It was that perfect mix of romantic and grunge. 


90s velvet party outfits


Nineties velvet outfits could be fully velvet or just a little touch of velvet on one item, like velvet roses or a velvet trim. For your 90s party outfit, layer a velvet shirt over a lace dress or pair velvet with other shiny fabrics and rich colors.





2. The Little Black Dress

90s little black dress outfits


Now, the LBD is a classic fashion trend that's been around a while and isn't going anywhere, but the little black dress had a huge fashion moment in the 90s.

In the 90s, the black dress went from being a classy garment worn to black-tie events to something that was risqué high fashion and edgy grunge. The LBD got a rep for making a statement. From Princess Diana’s off-the-shoulder revenge dress moment to Elizabeth Hurley’s famous Versace Safety pin dress, these LBDs rocked up to their events to say, "Don't underestimate me."



Starting with the essential 90s LBD, we're talking short, simple, and strappy. This was the Posh Spice special. Paired with strappy black heels and the straightest hair possible. 

90s long black dresses

90s little black dresses from ThriftTale's vintage 90s collection


One step up from the Little Black Dress was the statement Black Dress. This is what we're talking about when we say the safety pin dress and the revenge dress.

A halter neck, a leg slit, or maybe a bit sheer. This was the edgy way to wear your LBD. Making a statement with a 90s black dress like this doesn't need any other accessories for your 90s party outfit.




3. See Sheer 

90s sheer outfits


Talking of sheer, your next choice for a 90s party outfit takes inspiration from the minimalist styles of the 90s supermodels. 

Sheer black tights were the go-to legwear for 90s outfits. This look of semi-see-through fabric became a trend as underwear worn as outerwear. Kate Moss was famously photographed in a completely see-through dress, and Baby Spice often layered sheer babydoll dresses for her costumes.

The sheer trend could either be completely see-through, or the sheer fabric would be sewn over an underlayer, still giving you the sheer look but without the skin. But completely sheer clothes were perfect for 90s layering. Under or over a dress or top, this was the way to grunge up your outfit.


90s sheer black dress


Sheer panels in clothes are the easy wear to wear the trend in your 90s outfit. The layering has already been done for you. Having a color like red or green peeking out from under the layer of sheer fabric created a beautiful wave-like effect on the fabric.

 90s sheer outfits





4. Button It Up

90s button top and skirt outfit


The 90s loved a button front: Shirts, skirts, dresses, or vests - they could all be given the button-up treatment. Here, you're going for the kind of look that Rachel from Friends would wear, or the main character in any 90s chick flick movie.

This is the laid-back 90s party outfit. It's less formal than an LBD and less disco than something sheer, but the fabrics keep it cool enough to make it on the party wear list. A simple silk blouse with a mini skirt was the 90s version of the smart casual party outfit. 

90s skirt and top outfits





5. Slinky Dresses

90s slinky party dress


And I have to finish off with the Spice Girl favorite - the slinky dress. Now this is more than just the Posh Spice LBD, this is the whole Spice rack of dresses. Silk, sheer, velvet animal print, checked, glitter, spandex - the only rule was that it was slinky and strappy.

Halter neck or spaghetti strap, either flowy like a babydoll dress or tight like bodycon. From satin slip dresses to velvet minis. You cannot go wrong picking from any of those here.
90s mini dresses




What to wear with your 90s party outfit

For the 90s party look, you'll need some accessories. These are the things we would have worn at the time:
  • Sheer black tights - about 15 - 30 denier; glitter is optional but a plus
  • Strappy platform sandals
  • Plastic choker necklace - I wore mine with a matching bracelet and thumb ring too!
  • Claw clips

But to tone that down, you can channel the 90s vibes with a 2020s twist for an outfit that still looks cute today. Swap the plastic chocker for a short, silver necklace. Ditch the tights if that's not your vibe, and go for classic heels.


Where can you buy vintage 90s clothes for your 90s party outfit?

At ThriftTale, we've searched high and low to bring you the best of the 90s trends. Not just 90s inspired clothes, our 90s collection features only authentic vintage clothes from the decade itself.

There's something extra special about wearing clothes that have really lived a life before you. These little time capsules of the 90s have been to their own parties back then. Now, you take them out to re-live it your way!



Shop for vintage 90s clothes here