Can You Name These ’90s Hair, Beauty and Style Trends?

BEAUTY & FASHION

Ashley Linkletter

7 Min Quiz

Image: Alexa Poletti via YouTube

About This Quiz

Do you consider yourself a total Betty or a Baldwin when it comes to rocking the '90s look? Did you experience the decade firsthand, or are you enjoying the wild world of '90s fashion for the first time? Either way, those who enjoy the look are in luck because it's never been easier to score a babydoll dress or a velvet skater skirt. The '90s were full of bold hair, beauty and style trends, some that were classic and some that should stay buried in the past (Zubaz and microbrows, anyone?). On the other hand, long Ashley Laura-inspired dresses, pastel nail polish and bodysuits are holding their own as they're worn by a new generation of '90s-style fans and social media influencers. 

In terms of the clothing designers themselves, you may be surprised to see which brands have proven they can stay relevant, even it meant a relaunch in the past couple of years. Of course, fashion labels such as Calvin Klein, Versace and Alexander McQueen have become household names while continuing to make waves in the fashion world.

You might find it helpful if you slip into some clogs, put on your brown lipstick and turn up your CD player when you take this quiz; you'll need all the '90s inspiration you can get if you want to ace this test!


These pants were known for their extreme width (and for their ability to soak up rain or melting snow). What were they called?

JNCO (which stands for "Judge None Choose One") were THE must-have jeans of the mid-to-late '90s. Low waisted, wide-legged and deep-pocketed, JNCO Jeans were made for wallet chains and alien-themed suspenders — which were worn hanging down, of course.

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These boots were a fashion staple of the grunge era and were made by which shoe company?

Referred to as "Doc Martens" in popular culture, these shoes and boots were originally invented in 1945 by Klaus Martens after he injured his foot while hiking in the Alps. Since then, the brand has come to epitomize goth, grunge and punk culture (all while being podiatrist-approved!).

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Let's talk eyebrows. What was the ideal eyebrow shape for women in the '90s?

The microbrow trend became an official part of mid-'90s beauty culture with the help of celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Moesha and Drew Barrymore. This eyebrow shape remained trendy well into the early aughts, eventually shifting toward a fuller brow shape.

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Jennifer Aniston inspired which popular '90s hairstyle?

Layers upon layer upon layers — that's the best way to describe "The Rachel," a haircut worn by Aniston in the early seasons of show "Friends." Despite its popularity, Aniston was not a fan of the cut, claiming it took hours to blow dry and style.

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What kind of necklaces sat directly on the neck and were often made from ribbon?

Bonus points if your choker had a crucifix or Egyptian ankh pendant! The choker necklace was a must-have accessory because of its versatility; you could go soft and feminine with ribbon, lace or velvet, or it could become an edgier necklace when made of leather or chains.

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Which fashion-forward '90s sitcom featured the fabulous Fran Drescher?

Drescher's signature nasal laugh wasn't the only thing "The Nanny" was famous for; it also showcased Fran Fine's incredible wardrobe. Costume designer Brenda Cooper was responsible for the designer outfits; Nicole Miller, Moschino and Todd Oldham are just some of the labels Fran wore onscreen.

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Forget purses! The '90s were all about what kind of bag?

As a look that was both utilitarian and fashionable, fanny packs ran the gamut from neutral colors to neon to bedazzled in the early '90s. Fanny packs are making a comeback thanks to social media (They're even offered by designers now!).

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This kind of shirt looks just as great tied around the waist as it does when its being worn as usual. What kind of shirt is it?

TLC, Nirvana and the entire cast of "My So-Called Life" are just a few of the '90s icons who could always be found sporting a basic flannel shirt. Flannel cemented its place in the fashion world when it found its way onto the runway and into Vogue magazine.

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Who designed the unforgettable safety pin dress Elizabeth Hurley wore to the "Four Weddings and a Funeral" premiere?

Made from silk, lycra and some strategic gold safety pins, Hurley's Versace dress is thought to have propelled her to superstardom overnight. When responding to comments that the dress was too revealing, Hurley proclaimed that the dress was meant to show off the shape of a woman's body instead of hiding it.

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Which of the following '90s fashion trends were not worn by members of the Spice Girls?

The Spice Girls WERE fashion in the mid-'90s (as evidenced by their January 1997 Vogue cover). From Chupa Chups lollipops to a sudden increase in platform sneaker sales, the Spice Girls were major influences on the girl group music scene and on all facets of '90s style.

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You have a stack of '90s clothing catalogues and you're thinking of ordering some hip new clothes. Which catalogue are you flipping through?

dELIA*S was the go-to catalog for chunky sandals, long skirts with cargo pockets, hair mascara and bucket hats (and virtually every other teen fashion trend in the mid-to-late '90s).

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As if! This fashion-forward '90s comedy starring Alicia Silverstone is packed with aspirational outfits (even now). What is it called?

The brilliant costumes worn by Cher, Dionne and Tai were designed by Mona May, who was responsible for every amazing fashion moment in the film (including the red Alaïa dress, yellow plaid outfit and the white Calvin Klein dress Cher wears on her date with Christian).

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What was the best insect-themed hair accessory you could use for pulling your hair back in the late '90s?

Butterfly clips were hair accessory staples for a whole slew of late-'90s pop stars. Mandy Moore, Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson graced the covers of Teen Vogue, Rolling Stone and Teen People wearing butterfly clips, giving high school students at the time a brand-new method for styling their hair.

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Which of the following color and pattern trends were not a part of the '90s aesthetic?

While plaid and neon were staples throughout most of the '90s, paisley didn't arrive on the scene until late in the decade. Although argyle is a classic pattern, it didn't resurface as a trend until the early aughts.

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This shoe brand had a series of ads featuring Jenny McCarthy. What is the name of this company?

Candies reinvented the clog for the modern '90s gal using McCarthy in most of their print ads. Fellow '90s icons Mark McGrath and Alissa Milano also made appearances in the notoriously racy campaign.

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It's a rare shade of lipstick that flatters almost any skin tone. Black Honey is made by which cosmetics company?

Clinique has been making the lipstick shade Black Honey since 1971, but it wasn't until the '90s that it gained holy grail status. What's the big appeal? In the tube, the lipstick looks dark brown, but when it's applied to the lips, it becomes an instantly flattering shade on anyone who wears it.

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What kind of accessory was guaranteed to give the wearer a boost of floral freshness?

Courtney Love and Drew Barrymore were both early trendsetters when it came to the daisy accessory craze. From barrettes to necklaces and crop tops, daisies were a symbol of femininity in a sea of grunge-inspired plaid.

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When Meg Ryan chopped off her hair, it sparked the beginning of a new hairstyle craze. What kind of cut did she get?

The 1995 romantic comedy "French Kiss" was where Meg Ryan debuted an edgier, shorter hairstyle; 1998's "You've Got Mail" made the look even more popular. According to interviews with Ryan, the cut was accidental — a fairly large chunk of her hair was burnt off when it was singed on a hot curling iron.

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Which clothing designer brought structured power suits and elegant-yet-wearable basics to the forefront of the '90s fashion scene?

Donna Karan's label gave professional business women of the '90s a wardrobe of their very own. Her pencil skirts, fitted blazers, long-lasting hosiery and beautiful undergarments became symbols of powerful femininity.

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They were a staple of teen fashion in the '80s, and these PVC shoes made a splash again in the early '90s. What were these called?

Jelly shoes came in a wide array of styles and colors. From clear plastic to glittery neon, jelly shoes were worn by middle schoolers and twenty-somethings alike. The true origins of jelly shoes are unknown, but most fashion historians agree they're a product of the invention of plastic.

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Movies like "Go" and "Human Traffic" helped bring what kind of counterculture style to the mainstream?

Even if you didn't go to raves, you could easily dress the part thanks to the mid and late-'90s obsession with giant embellished shoes, impossibly wide-legged pants, statement wallet chains and glittery hair gel.

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If you were a skateboarder in the '90s, which of the following shoe brands would you probably wear?

Originating in Anaheim, California Vans has been making shoes since 1966. Long-associated with the west coast skateboarding scene, Vans skate shoes (their deck shoes in particular) were considered staples for both skaters and non-skaters alike.

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For a brief moment in time, this clothing store made khakis cool thanks to a series of star-studded TV ads. What is the name of the brand?

Commercials and print Gap ads in the '90s were on another level in terms of the celebrities and musicians who made appearances: Aerosmith, Run-D.M.C., Luscious Jackson, Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg and Joan Didion all appear in their ads.

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Which fashion-forwards TV show was named after a famous California zip code?

Who could forget the outfits on "90210"? Brenda, Kelly, Donna and even Andrea got to wear the coolest clothes in Beverly Hills on the long-running teen soap. Floral prints, Mary Jane shoes, thigh-high socks and plenty of matte dark lipstick (not to mention the tiny eyebrows) are just some of the trends now resurfacing thanks to this show.

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What is the name of the unisex perfume pictured above?

Citrusy and bright-smelling, cK One burst onto the fragrance scene in 1994 thanks to an edgy yet minimal ad campaign starring Kate Moss as well as the fact that it's a unisex scent (a fragrance feature that was novel at the time).

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Which clothing brand warned others you feared nothing?

Founded in 1989, No Fear originally sold energy sports drinks before moving on to clothing. No Fear t-shirts and hats were particularly popular; the shirts often denounced social norms and common fears, making them a favorite of rebellious teens everywhere.

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These floppy hats are named after an ordinary household object. What are they called?

Ongoing sartorial trends from the late-'80s hip-hop scene meant rappers such as LL Cool J and Rakim continued to make the simple bucket hat a crucial part of the early 90s streetwear look. The bucket hat would eventually go on to become part of the skater/snowboarder/surfer look in the mid-'90s.

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Guess the name of this '90s clothing line.

You guessed right! Thanks to the famous black and white ads featuring Claudia Schiffer and Anna Nicole Smith (both of whom credit Guess for launching their modeling careers), it became necessary to own a pair of Guess high-waisted jeans (bonus points if they were stonewashed denim!).

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It was always nice to treat yourself to a bottle of Hard Candy nail polish, especially because it came with what kind of accessory?

Bottles of Hard Candy pastel nail polish came with super cute plastic rings around the lid. Founder Dineh Mohajer was a pre-med student when she created Hard Candy's iconic pastel blue shade, "Sky." The nail polish became a must-have item overnight after Alicia Silverstone wore it on a 1995 episode of "Late Show with David Letterman."

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What kind of bracelet fastens with a strike against the wrist?

Snap bracelets are one '90s trend that was best enjoyed in large collections. Snap bracelets were made with steel measuring tape — it was the action of slapping the tape against the wrist that turned them into tightly coiled bracelets.

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Whether you wore Tevas or Reef sandals, you probably loved them for their liberal use of which fastener?

Reef and Teva sandals were known for their foam soles and velcro fasteners. The perfect walking sandals, this type of footwear could withstand water, long walks and hanging out at the beach (not to mention, they looked great with your hacky sack and Dave Matthews Band t-shirt).

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Made popular by professional wrestlers, these patterned pants quickly gained cult status under what brand name?

Zubaz were designed to be stretchy so that they could be worn while weight lifting (hence their popularity with professional wrestlers). Original Zubaz were patterned with tiger stripes, but as the brand took off, they took on a huge variety of over-the-top, in-your-face designs.

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Casio made what kind of clunky watches in the '90s?

First Casio introduced the G-Shock watch for men, and the Baby-G watch for women followed shortly afterward. The design for both watches was heavy on the '80s tech look; the men's watches tended to be black or camouflage while the women's watches were pastel pinks and blues.

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The beauty of this coat was that it could be folded into a small portable bag (it could also protect you from the elements). What was it called?

Although not all windbreakers were wind (or water) proof, their common design feature was a loose, puffy body with elasticized wrist cuffs and a mid-length waist. A big selling point for windbreakers was the fact that they could be folded into a compact bag. Some models combined two '90s trends into one and could be transformed into a fanny pack.

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The accessory pictured above was part-practical, part-edgy; what is it called?

Wallet chains looked best when tucked into the back pocket of wide-legged jeans (preferably JNCO brand.) Wallet chains came in a variety of lengths — some were comically and almost dangerously long — and were usually attached to a wallet made of clear plastic, vinyl or duct tape.

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That's all folks! Which Warner Bros. cartoon went from Saturday-morning standard to streetwear staple?

Urban streetwear lines like Southpole and FUBU helped bring Bugs Bunny and pals onto the fashion scene in the mid-90s. The Looney Tunes cast of characters also got a makeover, the could often be seen on 3XL t-shirts wearing baggy jeans, backward hats and designer footwear.

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This cold-weather jacket was adorned with sports team logos. What was the name of the company that made them?

In the early '90s, even if you didn't watch basketball or football, owning a Starter jacket was a symbol of fashion prestige. Teams such as the Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets and Oakland Raiders were especially popular with the Starter set.

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What kind of shorts are shown in the image above?

Made of spandex, lycra or any other ultra-stretchy material, bike shorts were a must-have unisex clothing item for riding your bike, hitting an aerobics class or just being super-fashionable (especially when paired with an oversized t-shirt and backward baseball hat).

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What was the hippest way to get around in the early to mid-'90s other than driving?

In-line skates (Rollerblades) were the coolest way to get from Point A to Point B in the '90s, especially when you owned neon elbow and knee pads. The one downside to getting around on Rollerblades? You not only had to carry around a pair of extra shoes, but you then had to hold on to your Rollerblades!

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Your mood was always on display when you wore what kind of ring?

Much to the disappointment of '90s pre-teens everywhere, mood rings can't actually detect the mood of the person wearing it. Although the ring does change colors, this is due to the stone's thermochromic properties (meaning it changes color due to the temperature of your finger — not your emotions).

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