Photo by Josh Pereira on Unsplash

90s | Retro

Retro-tastic: The Most Iconic 90s Accessories

Photo by Josh Pereira on Unsplash

For those of us that lived through this decade, it’s hard to believe that the 90s were thirty years ago. This was the era of Brit Pop, the Spice Girls, the ‘Rachel’ haircut and a few memorable fashions - plus some that we’d rather forget.  We take a look below at a selection of the most iconic accessories of the decade.

Choker Necklaces

For women, the choker was one of the essential components of a stylish look in the 1990s. Worn with jeans and a T-shirt in the daytime, or with a bodycon dress and platform trainers at the club, the choker added a sexy, sassy vibe to every outfit, and this type of neckwear was sported by every fashion-conscious celebrity during the era.

Chokers could be seen in a range of materials and designs, from intricate, jewel encrusted pieces to leather thonged creations commonly adorned by festival goers.

Hoop Earrings

Hoop earrings were huge in the 90s, and the bigger the better! These accessories could be either delicate and elegant, or heavy and embellished; the main point was the size: ideally, they needed to scrape your shoulders and make your ear-lobes sway when you moved.

The 1990s was the decade when multiple piercings (beyond the standard ear lobe pierce) started to become mainstream - piercings higher up the ear, and of the nose began to break out from the punk scene and enter popular culture, with pop and film stars of the decade increasingly seen sporting more adventurous piercings.

Wraparound, Designer and Minimalist Sunglasses

Shades are never out of fashion, and the 90s was no exception. Wraparound, and other ‘sporty’ styles proliferated in this decade, with technology increasingly able to provide lighter weight, durable frames, and with increasing availability for those with more complex prescriptions, too.

Small, minimalist and ‘John Lennon’ style sunglasses were also much in evidence, and designer glasses came increasingly to the fore. Nineties style glasses frames have found favour again in recent times, and are making plentiful appearances in shops and online stores.

The Bucket Hat

Coming to you directly from the rave scene of the 90s, the bucket hat was a big thing during this decade, with superstar rappers and festival goers alike sporting the headwear, which has become synonymous with the times. Worn in bright colours to clash with the rest of an outfit, or selected to be a perfect match, the bucket hat reigned supreme as the head covering of choice for the best part of a decade, and protected many a Glastonbury-goer from sun exposure to boot.

Butterfly Hair Clips

For a time in the 90s, you couldn’t move for butterfly clips.

These tiny plastic hair accessories came in a multitude of colours and designs - the desired look was to wear as many as possible in your ‘do’ and to make them as visible as possible. Made popular by the chart dominating girl groups of the decade, butterfly clips were worn for trips to nightclubs, to the office, to class, to the beach - you get the picture. If you didn’t wake up with a rogue one that had been accidentally left in overnight poking you in the eye, you weren’t wearing enough.

Mood Rings

Mood rings were undoubtedly an iconic accessory of the 1990s. Most often seen on a silver band, the stone comprising the centrepiece of the ring was thought to change colour depending on mood - and who are we to challenge this?

Originating from the festival scene, mood rings hit the mainstream and remained popular for years - brooches and bracelets featuring the mood stone were also widely available.

The Hair Scrunchie

If a hair accessory could represent the style of a decade, the scrunchie would have a good shot at claiming the title. Hair scrunchies were massive in the 90s. These stretchy, fabric-covered bands were available in a vast array of fabrics, colours and patterns, and doubled as bracelets for the true scrunchie acolyte.

Often selected to be a perfect match, colour-wise, for the rest of the outfit, scrunchies were a hit with kids and grown-ups alike, and can be seen making cameo appearances in a host of TV shows and movies from the time.


Every self-respecting fashionista of the 1990s owned a bandana or two. Seen worn most commonly on the head or as a hair accessory, bandanas were also worn tied loosely around the neck, or could be spied purposefully peeking out of a back pocket.

Bandanas were usually paired with jeans and boots and, for women, white vest tops or crop tops, or worn with cargo pants and an oversized sports top.

The Return of the 90s

Fashion is a wheel and, eventually, everything comes back round. The same is proving true with the styles of the 90s; elements of key trends are beginning to make their appearance on the catwalk and the highstreet once again. So it could be time to raid the attic box, or the stuff stored under the bed - that leather choker and bevy of butterflies could be about to have their time once more….