Who wears the 90s best – YOU magazine’s beauty expert ROSIE GREEN or her teenage daughter Sophia?
- When Rosie dug out her old castoffs, the pair couldn’t resist having a huge try on
- READ MORE: Gisele Bundchen embraces 90s fashion wearing an oversized denim jacket as she leads celebrities at the Frame Dinner Party amid New York Fashion Week
I know the fashionistas among you will be rolling your eyes and (rightly) thinking that the 90s has had more comebacks than Bojo – but readers, Autumn 2023 is different.
It sees the return of the 1990s trends that I love. Those sleek slip dresses as worn by a 20-something Kate Moss – accessorised with only a Marlboro Light and Johnny Depp.
Cycling shorts teamed with big sweatshirts that paid homage to Princess Diana and simultaneously hid my childbearing hips and flattered my legs.
Then there are the camisoles, just the right side of risqué, that channel season one of Sex & The City. Add crop tops that show a sliver of stomach. And Mary Janes that are an alluring mix of girlish, demure, quirky and sexy.
Not forgetting flannel shirts that nod to the Seattle scene and have an edgy, borrowed-from-your-lead-singer-boyfriend-vibe (but crucially are not because then they would be deeply unflattering).
Rosie likes to let statement pieces, like this Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti dress, do the talking by keeping accessories to a minimum. Sophia wanted to make it more youthful, so she teamed the sheer dress with a chunky jacket and trainers
Oh, and scrunchies. Who’d have thought they’d be cool again?
Now, suddenly, I’m seeing these looks everywhere: on celebrities (everyone from the Hadid sisters to Jennifer Lopez is sporting those biker shorts) and the catwalk (low-rise jeans are now sanctioned by Isabel Marant).
Crucially, I’m seeing them on teenagers. More specifically, my teenager.
Recently I registered that Sophia was returning from shopping trips with high-street reworkings of looks I wore 25 years ago.
This inspired me to go up into the loft to look for my old castoffs. Head torch on, I searched among the spiders for fashion treasures and found them – not neatly catalogued and in acid-free tissue paper, I’m afraid, but in a Sainsbury’s bag.
In the mid-90s I was a skint fashion magazine intern. I couldn’t afford the satin slip skirts I saw the Vogue staffers in, so I shopped at M&S.
I teamed mine with a boy’s V-neck from John Lewis school uniform department and hoped I looked like Amber Valletta on the Prada catwalk (I didn’t).
When I skipped over to work at Elle, supermodel Yasmin Le Bon was guest editing and was papped wearing a Disney kids’ T-shirt. I went and bought the same one. It was under £10 but it made me feel like a style queen.
While Sophia teamed the 90s camisole with a boho skirt to create an effortless look, Rosie paired it with some jeans to give the outfit balance
As I progressed from intern to employee, I could afford Kookaï and, for very special occasions, Joseph. I saved up for some Chloé low-waisted jeans that I wore on repeat.
After gaining visibility as a stylist, I was given some samples. I accumulated Gucci slash-front knits (Tom Ford era), Dolce & Gabbana crop tops – as worn by All Saints – and some Chanel pieces.
I wore them all. To death.
I threw down three bags from the loft. The Chloé jeans were there. So was the Dolce leopard top. Some cheetah-print Russell & Bromley boots that were always very tight on the calves. A Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti dress with an open back and beautiful beading on the waistband. A D&G slip dress with lace trim that looks like a nightie.
My daughter and I stripped off and started throwing it all on. It was fun. We might fight about the state of her messy bedroom and phone use, but in our love of fashion we are united.
I started educating (read: lecturing) her on the different designers, fabrics and trends.
What I didn’t expect were some really rather good pointers from her on how to style the pieces for 2023: never underestimate the power of a teen to surprise you.
Sophia, it turns out, has both a natural eye and vast amounts of knowledge gleaned from the internet. She makes me see different ways of wearing things – belting them, teaming them with accessories I wouldn’t have considered.
Rosie teamed the crop top with a high-waisted skirt to reveal only a slither of midriff, while Sophia created an edgy look by wearing the sparkly top with faux leather trousers
She makes me realise my colouring has changed in the past two decades. I used to be pale skinned and dark haired. Now I am more tanned with lighter hair. I need to choose my colours accordingly.
She takes the super-glamorous, overtly feminine pieces I own and turns down the temperature by pairing them with chunky shoes or jewellery.
She makes me consider silhouettes I previously would have discounted because I worry about my hips (have you picked up on an insecurity here?).
Her love of 90s fashion was fuelled by watching every single Friends episode over lockdown. Twice.
She tells me she ‘loves their style. Phoebe is whimsical and hippie, Rachel and Monica more preppy. The whole 90s look just really appeals to me as it seems low-key and accessible – things you can wear on the street. Not like the 80s when it was all power suits and fuchsia lipstick.’
I ask her if she would consider it embarrassing to wear her mum’s old things.
‘I feel lucky that I have them,’ comes the reply. ‘When those clothes came down from the loft, they showed me the person you were back then. Seeing that past version of you was magical.’
Like I said, never underestimate the power of a teen to surprise you.
Sophia wore the Mary Janes with a preppy jacket and skirt to make the look more ‘teen’ while Rosie paired them with simple shapes to save the outfit from looking too girlish
THE SLIP DRESS
Backstory This Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti dress was gifted to me by the designer after I styled Kate Winslet in a sky-blue version for an Elle cover.
This Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti dress was gifted to Rosie by the designer after she styled Kate Winslet in a sky-blue version for an Elle cover
Sophia wears it with: ‘dad’ trainers and a shearling coat
SOPHIA: Jacket, £150, anthropologie.com. Trainers, £95, New Balance, schuh.co.uk. Earrings, £198, dowerandhall.com
I think slip dresses are effortlessly chic. You can dress them up or down, but I prefer down.
Teaming it with the chunky jacket contrasts with the sheer fabric of the dress and makes it cooler and more age appropriate. Ditto the trainers.
If the slip dress had a simpler shape, I might wear it with a T-shirt underneath.
Rosie wears it with: sky-high sandals and not much else
ROSIE: Shoes, £225, russellandbromley.co.uk
I’ve always been super-minimal on accessories, letting the main piece do the talking.
I’m taking that approach here, but my daughter’s love of jewellery has rubbed off on me so I add a bracelet. I can see that it makes a subtle difference to the outfit.
Backstory This is from Sabbia Rosa, the celebrated Parisian lingerie store, and I bought it as a young fashion assistant. I wore it pretty much nonstop for a decade.
Rosie wore this camisole from Sabbia Rosa, the celebrated Parisian lingerie store, almost non-stop for a decade
Sophia wears it with: a boho maxi skirt
SOPHIA: Skirt, £78, freepeople.com. Earrings, £198, dowerandhall.com. Shoes, £59, marksandspencer.com
Because the colour is so bold, I wanted to team the cami with a neutral to create contrast. I like the way the cream skirt mirrors the camisole’s trim. The skirt feels a bit boho, so it makes the top seem less sexy – more natural and effortless.
Rosie wears it with: dark denim
ROSIE: Jeans, £250, michaelkors.co.uk. Shoes, £169, penelopechilvers.com
Teaming the camisole with denim felt right. I like the ease of the jeans and they make me feel more comfortable about wearing something so sexy on top.
My daughter chose the high-heeled clogs as she liked the 70s vibe. I’m always wary of being too tall but she encourages me to embrace it.
THE CROP TOP
Backstory I wore this Dolce & Gabbana top to a fashion party attended by Kate Moss, Kylie, Oasis and pretty much every 90s celebrity there was.
Rosie wore this Dolce & Gabbana top to a fashion party attended by Kate Moss, Kylie and Oasis
Sophia wears it with: pleather trousers and chunky-heeled boots
SOPHIA: Blazer, £350, jigsaw-online.com. Trousers, £428, veronicabeard.com. Earrings, £198, dowerandhall.com. Boots, £315, whistles.com
I love the sparkles and the shimmer of this top. I feel like it’s a statement, but still wearable. The faux leather trousers add edge – they feel a little bit punk. They stop the top looking too ‘glamour’.
Rosie wears it with: a fitted maxi skirt
ROSIE Skirt, £139, karenmillen.com. Shoes, £30, schuh.co.uk
I’d never normally wear a skirt like this – too utilitarian – but it felt good. The leopard print plus the sparkle and the exposed bra straps look is full-on, so Sophia and I agreed it needed a neutral piece to anchor it.
It’s high-waisted so it showed just a subtle sliver of midriff, which feels more age-appropriate.
THE MARY JANES
Backstory These Marc Jacobs Mary Janes went down his New York catwalk back in the day (worn by Gisele Bundchen) and feel like a piece of fashion history. They are agony – but I didn’t let that put me off dancing in them.
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen wore these Marc Jacobs Mary Janes down his New York catwalk
Sophia wears them with: a denim kilt and varsity jacket
SOPHIA: Jacket, £1,000, gant.co.uk. Waistcoat, £15, beyondretro.com. Skirt, £180, self-portrait.com. Earrings, £198, dowerandhall.com
Mary Janes are my favourite type of shoe. High heels can feel too grown up for me, too overtly glamorous, but the style of these gives them a playful edge. The preppy jacket and skirt make the look more ‘teen’.
Rosie wears them with: a bodysuit and denim skirt
ROSIE: Bodysuit, £150, citizensofhumanity.com. Skirt, £177, Triarchy, theoutnet.com
I was so happy to rediscover these. Post-pandemic I’ve been pretty much flats only, but these have tempted me back to heels.
I’ve teamed them with simple shapes because, as my daughter points out, they could look a little girlish and ridiculous with anything too flouncy.
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