Easy 90s Fancy Dress: 41 Brilliant Ideas to DIY or buy!

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The 1990s was a time of diverse fashion trends, catchy pop anthems, and iconic TV shows. From grunge to hip-hop, the Friends cast to Clueless, there was something for everyone. Recreating a 90s look for a fancy dress party doesn’t have to be a chore – in fact, it can be a whole lot of fun! This guide will take you on a nostalgic journey through the decade, providing easy 90s fancy dress ideas that are affordable and simple to put together.

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Easy 90s Fancy Dress Ideas for Solos

We’ve compiled a list of easy 90s fancy dress ideas for individuals that will help you create an unforgettable 90s-inspired look. These costumes require minimal effort and can be easily put together with clothing items you may already have in your wardrobe:

Costume Idea Clothing Items Needed How to Achieve the Look Effort Image How to Buy

90s Skater Guy

Baggy jeans, graphic t-shirt, skateboard, beanie Capture the relaxed and casual aesthetic of the '90s skate scene Low 90s Skater Guy Make it Yourself

90s Neon Rollerblade Girl

Sparkly jacket, neon hot pants, over-skate socks and skatesCapture the high energy vibes and show-off your moves with the Rollerblader from your '90s dreamsLow90s Neon Rollerblade Girl

Steve Urkel from Family Matters

High-waisted pants, suspenders, glasses, plaid shirt Embody this iconic nerd with high pants and a quirky attitude Low Steve Urkel from Family Matters Make it Yourself

Sporty '90s Look

Windbreaker suit, white sneakers, headbandFeel athletic and chic with this bold, colorful lookLowSporty '90s Look

Pulp Fiction's Mia Wallace

White shirt, black pants, black bob wigEmulate Uma Thurman's iconic look with a faux bob and dance movesMedium

Baywatch Lifeguard

Red swimsuit, whistle, lifeguard floatDive into this beachy look. Don't forget to practice running in slow motion!MediumBaywatch Lifeguard

Cher from Mermaids

'60s style dress, red lipstick, curly wig Cher's retro-chic look from this '90s movie is a fun and stylish option High Make it Yourself

Billy Ray Cyrus

Denim shirt, cowboy boots, mullet wigEmbrace the country trend with this laid-back lookMediumBilly Ray Cyrus

Lara Croft from Tomb Raider

Brown shorts, black tank top, braid, toy gunsVenture out as the iconic video game adventurerMedium

The Dude from The Big Lebowski

White v-neck, baggy shorts, sandals, robeDress up as this cult classic character for a laid-back costumeLowThe Dude from The Big Lebowski

MC Hammer

Baggy gold pants, gold jacket, sunglassesGet ready to dance in this flashy '90s hip-hop outfitHighMC Hammer

90s Rave Attendee

Neon clothing, glow sticks, flared pantsRelive the rave scene with this vibrant, energetic lookMedium90s Rave Attendee Make it Yourself

Pretty Woman's Vivian Ward

Red mid length jacket, blue and white dress, black gloves, short blonde wigThis classic look is synonymous with Julia Roberts' characterHighPretty Woman's Vivian Ward

Ghostface from Scream

Black robe, ghost maskThis scary movie costume is simple but effectiveLowGhostface from Scream

Leonardo DiCaprio's Romeo

Black pants, button down shirt, toy swordRecreate the classic Shakespeare character with a '90s twistMediumLeonardo DiCaprio's Romeo

The Mask

Yellow suit, green face paint, hatTransform into this Jim Carrey character with a zoot suit and face paintHighThe Mask

Janet Jackson (Rhythm Nation)

Black military-style outfit, black cap, silver hoop earringsThis iconic pop star look is a bold, powerful costume choiceHighJanet Jackson (Rhythm Nation)

90s Pop Princess

Mini skirt, crop top, platform shoesEmulate Britney or Christina with this quintessential '90s pop lookMedium90s Pop Princess

Forrest Gump

Yellow shirt, red shorts, white socks, running shoes (box of chocolates optional!)Run, Forrest, Run! This iconic character is easy to replicateLowForrest Gump

Aaliyah

Baggy jeans, cropped top, bandana or bucket hatPay homage to the Princess of R&B with her iconic street styleMedium

Matilda

Blue dress, red hair ribbon, stack of booksEmulate the beloved, bookish '90s movie character with this simple outfitLowMatilda

DIY Easy 90s Fancy Dress Looks

To create an authentic 90s look, start by raiding your wardrobe – you might be surprised at what you can find. You’re probably best off picking a generalised look you want to achieve depending on what you have already. We’ve got a few suggestions below for creating the base of a classic 90s look using clothes you probably already have!

Going for the 90s Grunge Look

This look is characterized by its laid-back, effortless style! Think of channelling your inner Curt Cobain for example!

Baggy Jeans

Start your grunge transformation with the key to any 90s outfit ‚Äď baggy jeans. More often than not, you’ll have at least one pair of baggy or oversized jeans in your closet. Look for jeans that are loose, preferably faded or distressed, and far removed from the tight-fitting, sleek jeans of today’s trends. The 90s were all about comfort and individualism, and your jeans should reflect that.

If you don’t have baggy jeans, worry not. You can still achieve a grunge look with straight-leg or boyfriend jeans. Remember, the look is about the vibe, not the label. Cuff the jeans at the bottom for added authenticity and to showcase your footwear (more on that soon).

Oversized Sweaters

The 90s grunge look was all about comfort, and nothing screams comfort more than an oversized sweater. This should be your next port of call when creating your 90s fancy dress. Look for oversized sweaters or flannels in your closet. The ideal 90s grunge sweater should be large enough to drape over your body comfortably. It was an era of layering, so a band T-shirt or a worn-out graphic tee underneath the sweater can add to the authenticity of your look.

The beauty of grunge lies in its nonchalant nature, so your sweater doesn’t have to be in perfect condition. In fact, the more worn-out and vintage it looks, the better. Classic grunge colors include black, gray, and plaid, but feel free to experiment with other earth tones or even bright, unexpected colors for a unique twist.

Chunky Boots

Now, let’s move on to footwear. One cannot imagine the 90s grunge look without a pair of chunky boots. These were the quintessential shoes of the era, adding an edge to the otherwise relaxed ensemble. Black leather or suede, chunky-soled boots, like¬†Doc Martens, were a favorite, but any dark, hefty boot should do the trick.

If you don’t own chunky boots, combat or¬†military-style boots¬†can also work. Even¬†high-top sneakers¬†can fit the bill, as long as they have a rugged and worn appearance. Pair these with black or gray socks peeking out from your cuffed jeans to complete the look.

Going for the 90s Sitcom Look

Think “Friends,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” and “Saved by the Bell” for inspiration. With the right mix of crop tops, denim jackets, and high-waisted jeans, you can create a classic 90s sitcom look for your fancy dress party right from your existing wardrobe.

Crop Tops

When you think of 90s sitcom style,¬†crop tops¬†are one of the first things that come to mind. The crop top was a versatile piece in the 90s, worn by sitcom stars in all kinds of settings, from casual hangouts to more formal occasions. If you have a crop top in your closet, you’re already halfway to crafting your sitcom look.

Crop tops in bold colors, quirky prints, or with graphic logos are all excellent choices. If you don’t have a crop top on hand, you can transform an old t-shirt into one with a pair of scissors. Pair your top with a high-waisted bottom (we’ll get to that next) to balance out the proportions and channel the authentic 90s vibe.

Denim Jackets

Denim jackets were and still are a fashion staple, and they were ubiquitous in the 90s sitcom scene. A denim jacket serves as a practical and stylish layering piece, adding a distinct 90s flavor to your outfit. If you have an oversized or a washed-out denim jacket, even better.

For an authentic 90s look, try to find a denim jacket with a vintage cut, boxy and hitting at the waist. You can also enhance the retro vibe by adding patches or pins, a common trend in 90s fashion. This jacket can be thrown over your crop top or tied around your waist for an effortlessly cool sitcom vibe.

High Waisted Jeans

No 90s sitcom look would be complete without high-waisted¬†jeans. This staple piece defined the decade and was sported by almost all sitcom stars of the time. Their popularity isn’t surprising considering how flattering they are, cinching in the waist and elongating the legs. Look for your high-waisted jeans in a straight-leg or mom jeans style, and don’t shy away from classic blue or acid washes.

Complete your look by tucking in your crop top or wearing it slightly off-the-shoulder. For an added touch of 90s authenticity, pair your high-waisted jeans with a chunky belt.

If you’re lacking in these wardrobe staples, check out vintage stores like¬†Beyond Retro¬†or¬†Rokit Vintage¬†for a range of affordable options.

DIY Easy 90s Fancy Dress Celeb Hairstyles

Hair and makeup can dramatically enhance your 90s look. High ponytails, buns, or the infamous “Rachel” cut (named after Jennifer Aniston’s character on Friends) are all fantastic hairstyles to consider. Hair crimping, a huge trend of the decade, is another fun option.

Rachel

Baby Spice

Brandy

Claudia Schiffer

Meg Ryan

jennifer annistons 90s haircut example picture
Rachel: Start by getting a layered bob haircut with face-framing highlights. Blow-dry your hair using a round brush to achieve volume and flip at the ends. Finally, use a straightener to smooth the ends and add more definition to the layers.
Emma buntons 90s haircut
Baby Spice: Part your hair down the middle and tie into two high ponytails on either side of your head. Let a few wispy strands of hair fall out around your face for that quintessential Baby Spice look.
Brandy Norwood hair style in the 90s
Brandy: This style is best left to a professional because of its complexity. The stylist will section your hair into squares (or boxes), then braid each section from root to end. You can choose the thickness and length of your braids based on personal preference.
claudia schiffer 90s hairstyle
Claudia Schiffer: This hairstyle works best on medium to long hair. Ask your stylist for long, feathery bangs that can be parted in the middle. Blow-dry the bangs using a round brush and finish with a lightweight hair serum to add shine and reduce frizz.
Meg Ryan's Shag haircut in the 90s
Meg Ryan: Ask your stylist for a layered, shoulder-length shag cut. To style at home, let your hair air-dry and apply a texturizing product to give your hair that tousled, lived-in look.

Easy 90s Fancy Dress Celebrity Makeup Looks

The 90s makeup trends were all about a moody palette, muted hues, and a ‘less is more’ approach. Let’s delve into some iconic 90s celebrity makeup looks and tips to recreate them:

Winona Ryder

Drew Barrymore

Courtney Love

Britney Spears

Winona Ryder 90s makeup
Winona Ryder: Begin with a good primer to smooth out your skin. Then apply a matte finish foundation and set it with a loose translucent powder to achieve that flawless matte finish.
drew barrymore 90s makeup
Drew Barrymore: Use a brow pencil to draw a thin line following your natural brow shape, and then fill in with a matching brow powder. You can use concealer above and below the brow to give the illusion of thinner brows without the need for plucking.
courtney love makeup in the 90s
Courtney Love: To recreate this, start with a black or dark grey eyeshadow on the lids and smudge it out for a 'slept-in' look. Use a black kohl eyeliner on your waterline and smudge it out slightly. Finish with a coat of mascara.
Britney Spears 90s makeup
Britney Spears: Apply a shimmery eyeshadow on your eyelids and beneath your eyebrows for that sparkly eye look. A touch of clear gloss with glitter on your lips will give a nod to the trend without going overboard.

Falling short on a few of the key items to make these looks? Take a look at Superdrug for makeup products to perfect your 90s look.

Easy 90s Fancy Dress Ideas for Couples

Ready to rewind to the 90s with your partner in crime? Fancy dress parties can be twice as fun when you coordinate your looks, but we know it can be a challenge to come up with a unique pair that stands out. Fear not, we’re here to help! In this list, we’ve gathered 10 great picks for couple’s ideas or you can head over to our dedicated article on¬†90s fancy dress ideas for couples.¬†These are the most simple to put together, without needing to spend big or work too hard. Each idea includes the necessary clothing items and guidance on how to nail the look, and we’ve rated the effort level for each.

Couple Costume IdeaClothing Items NeededHow to Achieve the LookEffort

The Macarena Dancers

Matching button-down shirts, black pants, black shoesMaster the famous dance move and dress in matching casual attireLow

90s Hip-Hop Duo

Baggy jeans, colorful hoodies, bandanas, chunky gold jewelryEmbrace the oversized clothing trend and add bling for the complete hip-hop lookLow

Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake

(Denim Outfit) Matching denim outfits, sunglassesRecreate their iconic all-denim look from the 2001 American Music AwardsHigh

Wayne & Garth from “Wayne’s World”

Wayne: Black t-shirt, ripped jeans, cap, Garth: Flannel, glassesPerfect for same sex couples or friends, this iconic duo’s casual look is easy to replicateLow

Mortal Kombat (Sub-Zero & Scorpion)

Matching ninja outfits, face masks, colored beltsCapture the essence of these video game characters with matching costumesMedium

90s Grunge Couple

Both: Flannel shirts, ripped jeans, band t-shirts, converse sneakersGo grunge with this low-effort, comfortable lookLow

Carmen Sandiego & ACME Agent

Carmen: Red trench coat, fedora, Agent: Suit, magnifying glassTurn detective for a day with these ’90s game show character looksMedium

Kurt Cobain & Courtney Love

Kurt: Striped shirt, ripped jeans, Courtney: Babydoll dress, tiaraEmbrace the grunge couple look with these iconic musicians’ stylesMedium

Daria & Jane from “Daria”

Daria: Green jacket, black skirt, glasses, Jane: Red jacket, black shortsPerfect for same sex couples, dress as the cynically cool best friends from this MTV showLow

Men in Black

Both: Black suits, white shirts, black sunglassesTransform into these cool, alien-fighting agents with sleek suits and shadesMedium

Easy 90s Fancy Dress Ideas for Groups

Group Costume IdeaSuitable ForClothing Items NeededHow to Achieve the LookEffort

“Friends” Cast

6 peopleHigh waisted jeans, oversized shirts, 90s dresses, denim vestsMimic each character’s signature style from the sitcomMedium

“Spice Girls”

5 peoplePlatform shoes, little black dresses, track suits, Union Jack dressEach member embodies one Spice Girl – Sporty, Scary, Baby, Ginger, PoshMedium

“Saved By The Bell” Characters

6-7 peopleBrightly colored clothes, 90s denim, preppy shirts, Bayside High shirtsEach person dresses as Zack, Kelly, Slater, Jessie, Screech, Lisa, or Mr. BeldingMedium

“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” Cast

6-7 peopleBrightly colored clothes, preppy blazers, school uniform, baseball capsDress in bold 90s styles for Will, Carlton, Hilary, and othersMedium

“Backstreet Boys”

5 peopleAll black outfits, sunglasses, leather jacketsThink 90s boyband style – coordinated outfits, with each member having a slightly different lookLow

“Power Rangers”

5-6 peopleColor-coordinated outfits, gloves, bootsEach member picks a Power Ranger color and dresses in matching outfitsHigh

“Ninja Turtles”

4 peopleGreen clothes, colored masks/bandanas, shells (backpacks work great!)Each member picks a Ninja Turtle and wears matching colored mask and shellMedium

“Clueless” Girls

3 peoplePlaid mini skirts, knee-high socks, cardigans, feather boasEach member dresses as Cher, Dionne, or Tai, with coordinated schoolgirl outfitsMedium

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Cast

5-7 people90s casual wear, leather jackets, stake props, librarian chic for GilesEach member embodies a character from the show – Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles, Angel, etc.Medium

“The Craft” Coven

4 peopleSchool uniforms, gothic jewelry, black boots, black clothingEach member dresses as one of the witches from the movie, with a gothic/grunge twistHigh

Remember, the key to a great group costume is commitment to the theme, and of course, having fun! So pick your favorite 90s show or band, gather your friends, and start planning your epic group costume.

Conclusion: Achieving the Perfect 90s Look with Ease

Creating a 90s look for a fancy dress event doesn’t have to be complicated. By combining existing wardrobe pieces, adding a few key accessories, and taking inspiration from iconic 90s figures, you can effortlessly recreate this nostalgic decade. Remember to enjoy the process and let your inner 90s spirit shine through – after all, the most important part of any fancy dress event is to have fun!

Loving the easy 90s vibes? There’s more to explore! If you’re looking for more creative ideas, our¬†Creative 90s Fancy Dress¬†article is a must-read. If you’re after a bit of Hollywood inspiration, check out¬†90s Movies Fancy Dress. And hey, if you’re looking to make a statement with your partner, our¬†90s Fancy Dress Couples¬†guide has got your back.