This article was submitted by a guest, obviously as it’s from the perspective of a man, I didn’t write it myself! – Sophie
If I had to look back, I’d be very hard pressed to tell you what was the definitive look of the 90s; to me, it was a very wishy-washy decade, with no real defining style. The 60s, certainly. The 70s, definitely, and the less said about them, the better. The 80s just got silly at times; look at Adam Ant, or the Human League. But the nineties? Nothing really springs to mind. Although I can certainly remember my dress sense in those days…
A little bit of background. I’d just turned 18 in 1990. I left home in 1991, and had my first real job, and very little outgoing bills. I had a place of my own, albeit just a single room for the first few years. In short, the early 90s were probably the first time in my life where my mother had no active say in how I dressed. And it showed. I will, if you please, use this as the main argument in my defense.
I like rock music. Always have, always will, and in those days, my tastes weren’t nearly as selective as they are nowadays. In particular, I was a big fan of the heavy metal bands of the time, which in the UK, meant mostly Iron Maiden, Metallica, and a few of the more classical artists like Queen or Led Zeppelin. And my dress sense certainly accomodated this. My hair grew down to my waist (all the better for headbanging with), torn jeans became much in vogue, and I acquired an extensive collection of black t-shirts with album covers on. Especially prized were shirts which were purchased at actual concerts you’d attended, which was a shame, because such shirts generally had the durability of a wet tea bag. I think I wore my ‘Monsters of Rock’ shirt from the 1991 festival at Donington until it was an eclectic collections of holes and cigarette burns held together by greying thread.
Thrown over the top of this was one of two leather bike jackets, one bought, one given to me by a friend (a friend who I have a hard time believing it ever fit, but that’s another story). I never did get round to getting these personalized like so many others, with lurid, hellish paintings on the back, again usually taken from the cover of a favorite album. I can only say this was mostly because I didn’t know anyone with any artistic talent rather than any desire to look understated or respectable.
Rounding this spectacular ensemble off were a pair of calf-length suede cowboy boots, with cuban heels. Given that I’m 6’5″ in bare feet, this often led to headbanging of a very different and more painful kind, mostly when walking under doors and not paying attention. These were lost following a very foolish night where scotch was flowing like water, and I eventually threw up over them. If this has never happened to you, do try and avoid it: Nothing, I repeat nothing will remove vomit stains from brown suede.
Of course, nowadays I dress much more conservatively. Well, alright, that’s not exactly true. It’s still jeans and t-shirt, but they tend to be very plain shirts, or something with a horribly geeky slogan on them. The leather jacket I bought I still have, hanging in the closet, and frankly, given that it’s mostly designed to stop motorcyclists leaving a trail of epidermis along a 200 yard stretch of tarmac, it’s the most insulated thing I own. And given that I live in the Midwest, I really should be wearing it more in the winter. My hair is a much, much more respectable length, and has been since the late 90s, but this is mostly because I found long hair is a serious pain in the backside to keep from looking non-greasy and straggly.