10 Things You Wore To School In The 90s That Are Back In Style Today


1. Dr. Scholls.

Marc Jacobs revived the classic Dr. Scholls shoe for his Spring/Summer 2015 collection, which can really only mean one thing: Dr. Scholls are back in. The irony behind this is that the people who have never stopped wearing Dr. Scholls are the last ones to care that Dr. Scholls are now back in. My grandma Shirley, for instance, and the twenty other Shirleys who are fortunate enough to call themselves a member of the “Shirley Club” at the old age home in Massachusetts where she currently resides.

Obviously the shoes looked good on the models in the Marc Jacobs show; then again, his models could stick nipple pasties to their foreheads and I’d be smitten. The real question is: how will they translate to the less glamorous world of us peasants? And will they give me blisters? I really can’t buy any more shoes that are going to give me blisters.

2. Tevas.

If you told me Miuccia had been ransacking my childhood closet recently, I’d be flattered, yes, but I’d also believe you. Because, while her bejeweled Tevas do fit the new and popular footwear trend — slightly-ugly-but-only-in-the-coolest-way-possible — they also look like a dead ringer for my 1998 Tevas, if my pink Bedazzler had gotten ahold of them.

3. Barbies.

Despite all of the detrimental effects the white-washed, blonde Barbie with unrealistic proportions has had on our society and collective conscience, Barbie has still somehow managed to come back in. For his second season as Moschino’s creative director, Jeremy Scott designed a full-fledged Barbie-themed collection. It feels a bit outdated — Ken would, after all, need a couple tattoos, a Thrasher t-shirt and a more diverse ethnicity to get anyone’s attention nowadays. But, if taken lightly, the collection has the potential to be equally as fun as it is passé. Let’s just hope that it translates to the public well; let’s hope people see this less as an ode to the Ukranian human barbie trend and more as a nod to Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.” Naa’mean?

4. Lisa Frank stickers.

Google “vintage Lisa Frank ads” and you’ll find a very young and fresh-faced Mila Kunis in a bucket hat beckoning you to play stickers with her. Fast-forward twenty-one years and — oh, would you look at what we have here! Mila Kunis? In. Bucket hats? In. And so why shouldn’t Lisa Frank stickers also be in? Why shouldn’t we unleash our inner, tantrum-throwing kid? Our inner North, as it were?

5. JNCOs.

JNCOs — home to the beeper that I stole from my mother in 1997 and a canvas onto which I sewed Donald Duck patches — have come back around, as I was always sure they would. “The JNCOs are denim” Eric Schlösberg — one half of the brand Ammerman Schlösberg — told me at their presentation. And immediately I recalled the time I insisted on wearing JNCOs to synagogue for the high holidays, the epic, spank-laden fight that ensued and my final promise to my mother that, if not now, then one day JNCOs will come back in style! A rush of vindication washed over me and I felt as if the stars had aligned.

It’s also important to note that, with the reemergence of JNCOs, comes the inevitable revival of low-rise and board-short-style pants. A slight “F.U.” to the men out there who always prefer ass-cupping leggings? I think so. Beep me if you agree.

6. Puzzles.

When was the last time you sat down to play a puzzle? And no, I’m not talking to any of the dear members of the McCarren Park circus, whose average Sunday consists of practicing tight-rope walking and then collecting sap from nearby trees to style their mustaches into handlebars — you guys seem to still think you’re living in the 1920s, when puzzles were plentiful, so no, dear friends, I’m not talking to you.

But really, when was the last time? Tell me the last time you picked up a puzzle set that wasn’t in your attic, covered in dust, or being sold at some retro comic book store? (An acceptable answer would be: “1994.”) Which is perhaps why J.W. Anderson’s ode to puzzles in his Spring/Summer 2015 collection feels so fresh. They’re neither rusting, nor are they being sold at a stoop sale in South Williamsburg. His puzzle pieces are attached to bracelets and chokers and they’re glistening.

7. Jean Paul Gaultier’s ready-to-wear label.

Since 1976, Jean Paul Gaultier has been designing for his many labels, which include his namesake label, Jean Paul Gaultier, in addition to his couture label called Gaultier PARIS, JEAN’S Paul Gaultier, Eyewear Jean Paul Gaultier, Jean Paul Gaultier Argent and Junior Gaultier. Well this Paris fashion week marks Jean Paul Gaultier’s last ready-to-wear collection. And while he plans to use this extra time to focus on his couture label, which he started in 1997 and which elevated him to the prestige he has today, it’s his ready-to-wear label that we can afford, and so it is his ready-to-wear label that will be missed most. And not only did it reign in the ’90s, but it’s also been mired in the ’90s, aesthetically, ever since.

8. The rimless sunglasses from The Matrix.

The only thing that was as earth-shattering as the release of the first Matrix and the philosophical and existential questions the movie subsequently forced us to ask ourselves were the sunglasses that pervaded the movie. In 1999, when The Matrix first came out, those slick, rimless sunglasses evoked the same Y2K eeriness that permeated the entire movie. But then, four years later, when The Matrix Reloaded, it became less intellectual, less philosophical, and more…Jada Pinkett. And so, too, were the sunglasses repackaged in a cheesier light. Well now, ten yeas after that, the rimless sunglasses are back. Leave it to Georgia May Jagger to revive the un-revivable.

9. Jelly sandals.

Either I’m a world-class visionary or designers are running out of ideas. These jellies, you see, were a constant fixture in my wardrobe for the first seven-to-twelve years of my life. I distinctly remember buying them at The Gap near 86th and Madison in the spring of ’96. I also remember the clear jellies turning a sickly yellow shade after no more than three times of wearing them. So then why is it that I still find myself needing these Markus Lupfer jelly shoes? Don’t answer that.

10. Lunch boxes.

And if you never carried a lunchbox to school — because let’s be honest, who did? aside for Doug Funny — now’s your chance. And by “your chance” I obviously mean your chance to carry one made by Dolce and Gabbana in glass with metal and crystal embroidery and a gold handle. GOD, how could you be so vapid?