Is anything more 90s than an oversized flannel shirt? As a key element of the grunge look, they were worn with torn jeans and boots (I had hiking boots. My dad thought Docs were too combat.). For a current casual look, try a flannel with skinny colored jeans and cute flats. For a trendier style, try a high-low skirt and heeled boots.
The pants in the early 90s were loose and LOUD PRINTS. Eye searing. The least dated print you could work is a floral (because flowers are forever). In 1992, you may have worn floral pants with a floral top, denim jacket, and scrunchies on the wrist. That was 20 years ago. You can help this outfit grow up with a lesson from the 50s -- Match your top to one color in the print and wear coordinating flats. Very grown up. If you are less serious pants, then mix and match your prints. Wear a striped or spotted top with the pants.
I loved babydoll dresses, but since I went to private school, dress code didn't allow them. They're back in and being marketed as skater dresses. In the 90s it was all about contrast; these dresses were often worn with tough boots. Now instead of contrast, complement the floral print and short length with feminine heels and vintage-inspired jewelry.
My husband was really into the Christian ska scene in the late 90s (Yes, that was a thing, and we're super excited Five Iron Frenzy's putting out another album.), but I was the one with the plaid pants. For 2012, retire your button pins, choker and flatforms for a sophisticated silk blouse and heels. For a more casual look, try some oxfords and an oversized sweater. While you're rocking that grandpa style, be sure to tell kids about how cool Gwen was with pink hair and braces.
While the 90s started and ended with bright colors, I remember a very beige period in the middle. In fact, the outfit on the left is something I remember someone on Friends wearing. Suspenders with wide-leg pants were one of the few 90s trends I loved. That can easily be dressed up with professional clothes. A crop top, on the other hand, certainly wasn't my favorite. However, I do like a casual crop over a sexy dress. It can balance a tight dress for day wear; take the casual feeling further with chunky heeled boots. If the crop top you love bears some sort of really 90s graphic, either give it away or consider making a tee quilt.
Maybe your favorite crop top was more along the line of a fitted bustier. Wear it again with a full skirt for more of a pinup appeal. Pleat waist pants are also making a comeback. I paired them below with a slouchy neon top, but a long fitted top tucked in would also work nicely with such pants.
What other fashion trends would you like to see revamped for 2012?