With so many nostalgic trends circulating, is 90s rave fashion still popular?
We’ve seen the return of 70s disco fashion, Y2K fashion
and indie fashion, so what about 90s rave fashion? Y2K encompasses the iconic 90s, but rave style hasn’t quite made its return. Certain aspects of it have never left and others evolved over the years, but let’s first answer the question, what even is 90s rave fashion?
What is old school 90s rave fashion?
Old school 90s rave fashion was bright colour clothing, tie dyed and often covered in smiley faces. Other pieces included bomber jackets, flat top baseball caps and bumbags. A lot of fashion derived from the lifestyle at the time. The bright colours and boiler suits, along with the masks were quite often there to enhance the effects of psychedelic drugs, which we wont quite get into.
It’s important to remember that 90s rave culture was less about the fashion and more about breaking societal norms. It was escaping your ‘normal’ life and entering an exciting new dimension. People attending raves simply wanted their clothing to represent their fun and happy lust for life, particularly in the early 90s.
Early 90s rave fashion
Early 90’s rave fashion was mostly functional. As rave music began to enter the mainstream music scene, so did the fashion. Many of it could be seen during the day time. Items like bucket hats, tie dye were all worn during the day and during the evening raves. The fashion was described as functional because many of the early rave scene was held outside and people needed some form of defence from the British weather.
Late 90s rave fashion
The 90s to early 2000s rave fashion took a bit more of a turn. It became a lot more extravagant and wild, which is how many people remember ‘rave fashion’ to be. Neon tank tops, string vests and hair bands is exactly what we think of when we think rave fashion.
The late 90’s became more about the fashion and less about the music with the girls wanting to look good and the men wanting to dress far from what they wear in their day to day. Wearing something small and brightly coloured was still the go-to for ravers.
90’s rave fashion women
There wasn’t a huge gender split between the fashion during this time as everyone was dressing for the elements. In the late 90s, women began dressing to look good instead of dressing for the British weather. Soon, the focus became smaller, sparkly outfits and the dreaded fluffy boots… As rave fashion makes a return though, there are less smiley faces and more neon clothing, with the occasional bumbag and thankfully, no fluffy boots.
Rave culture is still very much a wear what you want, but as we saw evolving in the 90s, it has become much more of a fashion show. Techno festivals and festivals in general, take Coachella for example, is very much a dress to impress event. Fashion and expression go hand in hand. It makes total sense that raves have been a place to express yourself on many levels, as well as through clothing. So yes, we would say 90s rave fashion is still popular!