Style Logs: 90s style favorites

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As I sat and thought about my style inspiration, I realized that my style is somewhat hard to put into a specific category. There is no box that I can check that clearly defines it. I pull inspiration when I need it, but more often, I just wear what I like. I’m not someone who stays on top of changing trends, or feels like I have to grab the season’s “must have” items.

I tried to be that person when I lived in NYC, but it was too costly to keep up with ever-changing style trends, and quite often, I ended up with a closet full of expiring trends. I freed myself of being that person, years ago. Nowadays, I’m back to shopping on sale racks or at thrift stores, which means that I am usually behind current trends. Allowing myself this versatility means that on any given day of the week, I can go from relaxed boho, to plain Jane, to something a little more edgy, and then jump to an entire different fashion era. I love various elements from almost every era in time, but two of my faves are the 80s and 90s.

Photo: Joyell

Photo: Joyell

My wardrobe choices are all over the map, however, there are two elements that I always keep in mind: ease and comfortability. I don’t want to spend hours getting ready and then be uncomfortable all day because of poor decisions. Therefore, the older I have gotten, the more I go for comfort. I take my hat off to all the folks in the world who choose cute over comfortable, but for me, those days are long behind me. Some days, I do wish my style was more defined, more mature, or more put together. At my current place in life, if my bank account could afford to keep up with that, my style would mimick Kyrzayda, full-time mom, blogger, fitness guru and fashionista. She’s fly, y’all! Most days she looks edgy and chic, yet she still manages to incorporate comfortability into her wardrobe. Kyrzayda makes me want to get a fly tappered cut, and, well, just do better with life. She is truly goals.

Now that I’ve devoted an entire paragraph to Kyrzayda, I’ll get back to the point of this post. As I previously mentioned, I love the 90s. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite trends from the era, as well as some of my least favorite trends that I wish I could banish from my memory. For anyone still rocking things from the latter list…well, I apologize in advance!

Elements from the 90s that I hope live on forever:

  • The overall relaxed look (back when people didn’t take life too serious), oversized anything
  • Minimalist makeup (because contouring requires so much effort), braids (especially bob style) full (barely plucked) brows, dark lipstick
  • Snapbacks with logos, reeboks
  • Leather jackets, high waist vintage jeans, overalls, crop tops, African inspired Kente printed er’thang, colorful windbreakers, distressed denim
  • Last but certainly not least, 90s pop singers and bands, particularly Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Spice Girls, TLC and Monica. Now I realize these artists aren’t actual wardrobe items, but I love them so much I had to include them. To me the list wouldn’t be complete without them.

Elements from the 90s that still make me grimace:

  • Pencil thin brows, unblended lip liner, white girls with bantu knots (nope…just never!)
  • Metallic anything (just yuck!), floral maxi dresses (especially with white t shirts underneath)
  • Grandiose shoulder pads (although I have to admit, I lived for these in college), light up LA gears
  • Golf visors worn as street style, wallets chained to pants, butterfly clips and ugly patterned vest

Anyone who shops at the thrift store probably owns a multitude of things on either list. I’ve previously admitted my Golden Girls obsession during my college years. While at Howard, the thrift store was the best and worst thing I could have discovered. I lived for vintage A-line skirts in all lengths, pencil skirts from the 80s, oversized blazers, suits with shoulder pads (I still cringe when I come across pictures), itchy & oversized sweaters, brightly printed blouses, statement waist belts and vintage jewelry and earrings (you know, the clip-on kind that someone’s grandma owned previously).

Photo: Joyell

Dominiece Johnson. Photo: Joyell

Thankfully, my style has calmed down a bit, these days. After college, I moved to New York City and was forced to purge a huge deal of my thrift store wardrobe because I knew there wouldn’t be much closet space in my apartment. I do still own some of my favorite thrift store finds but I have done away with anything with shoulder pads and a lot of the granny jewelry. Presently, my favorite 90s finds are an assortment of crop tops, all of my DIY distressed shorts, gold Reeboks, denim jackets, an African-inspired oversized vest, high waist acid wash jeans, plaid button ups from my husband’s closet and a sleeveless jean jacket that I snagged after digging through a box at a thrift store. These are all things to which I am committed. No matter how off-trend these items may be to the next person, I love them and I wear them confidently.

Dominiece is a native Baltimorean. She is a current Baltimore Corps fellow and serves as the Advancement Manager for The Contemporary Museum. A true Aquarius, she is independent, spontaneous and lives for adventure. She has lived in DC, New York City and China but is glad to call Baltimore home again. Her favorite things include morning meditation, Ankh jewelry, Asian food and reggae music. More than anything, she loves to travel and experience the people and cuisine of other countries.