As the comeback of 90s fashion heats up to a level rivaled only by Teyana Taylor’s VMA abs, one question looms large: of all the possible iterations of 90s style, which bygone item of wearable nostalgia is right for you?
If you’re as enthusiastic about the 90s as I am, the answer is “all of them, all at once.” However, after hand-ripping my flared mom jeans with a sawed-off slap bracelet and draining most of my body’s moisture through a series of absorbent terry-cloth wristbands I applied while revisiting the work of P.O.D., I realized I needed expert advice on how to surf this trend. Not from some fashion blogger being paid by corporate scum to tell me a chain wallet would really match my eyes, but from someone who truly knows me: the 4.5 billion year old solar system in which we live. That’s right—I needed astrological guidance.
To find out which 90s trend would compliment my zodiac situation—and yours—I reached out to Gabriela Herstik—NYLON astrologer, Fashion Is Dying editrix, and author of the forthcoming sorcery manual Inner Witch: A Modern Guide to Ancient Craft. Using a combination of astrological expertise and fashion know-how, Herstik paired each sign with a 90s trend that best suits their personality.
Aries: JNCO Jeans
“As the first sign in the zodiac, Aries are all about starting things with a bang,” says Herstik. “These people demand a trend as notorious and striking as they are.” What fills that order better than JNCO jeans, the haunting denim emblem of 1990s fashion? Like the pioneering JNCO designer who decided pants should also be fumigation tents, Aries’ motto is “Go big or go home.” These adventurous fire signs will try anything once, and they love the thrill of jumping on the bandwagon, even if it’s headed straight off a cliff. Like JNCOs and many Papa Roach tunes, Aries are bold, impulsive, and vaguely aggressive. It’s not style they’re after—it’s pure, high-octane impact.
Taurus: Vintage Babydoll Slip Dress
As a Venus-ruled earth sign, Taurus is all about glamour, pleasure, and reveling in the senses. What better sign to pair with the sort of vintage babydoll slip a half-stoned Courtney Love might wear while throwing a shoe at Madonna? According to Herstik, romantic Tauruses love the high drama of a lacy, racy garment and revel in the tactile pleasure of silky fabric against their skin. Stubborn workhorses who appreciate both long-lasting commitment and physical beauty, Tauruses also get a cheap thrill from the durable timelessness of vintage clothing. However, what really gets them about a good vintage babydoll slip is its lazy versatility. Half pajama, half passable outfit, it gives these notorious homebodies the option to languish all day in domestic bliss while also looking halfway fuckable when the Postmates man comes knocking with pad thai.
Gemini: Tiny Sunglasses
Creative and never-boring, Geminis don’t care how opthamologist-friendly their shades are—they just really like how tiny sunglasses make them look “smart.” As big talkers with quick wits and expansive minds, they like you to see how intelligent they are, and to them, small frames that recall a cat-eyed Ben Franklin is how that job gets done. Voted most likely to bite on the prescriptionless glasses craze, Geminis love eye-wear that allows them to express their multidimensional nature and love of transformation, especially when it changes the way they look or see things. And because Geminis are always on the go, flitting between social groups and situations at breakneck speeds, having a look they don’t have to commit to 24/7 is a major plus.
Cancer: Day-of-the -Week Underwear
“Cancer is sensitive and sweet,” says Herstik. “So their 90s look would definitely be something close to both the heart and the crotch.” Her recommendation? Day-of-the-week underwear, the saccharine-sweet butt-covering of 90s adolescence. Big on sentimentality, Cancers love how this trend recalls the halcyon days of picking out preteen-appropriate unmentionables at Limited Too with their mall friends. The innocent charm of underwear that’s also a calendar can send a single tear rolling down a Cancer’s cheek. However, these natural introverts would prefer to reflect on that particular brand of 90s nostalgia privately, at home, with some Hey Arnold! and a warm Toaster Strudel in hand than they would in public. Like underwear, they function best when they’re unseen.
Leo: Mood Ring
Leos wear their hearts on their sleeves, but they’ll also settle for a fistful of quintessentially-90s mood rings that broadcast their vital statistics to everyone within a 10-foot radius. Honest, bold, and suckers for attention, they love the excuse mood rings give them to talk about themselves—“Oh yeah, see this orange color right here?” they’ll ask the random, half-asleep person sitting next to them on the plane. “That means I’m feeling dare-devilish.” According to both Herstik and objective fashion history, mood rings are also the preeminent 90s accessory—an appealing fact to someone who gets off on clout and visibility like a Leo does. Big fans of passion and theatrics in love, these fire signs also find mood rings to be a convenient pick-up tool. “Look, babe” they say, pointing to their crimson-hued ring. “This color means I love you.” Does it, though?
Virgo: Popcorn Top
Virgos are detail and design-oriented earth signs with an eye for the pragmatic, which is why a teeny, tiny popcorn top that expands infinitely like the universe really gets them going. So practical! Such thoughtfulness! True lovers of aesthetics, intent, and organization, Virgos’ eyes roll back in ecstasy when they imagine how good the bumpy texture of a popcorn shirt feels—in fact, they want to buy one in every color and arrange them in a tiny rainbow inside their perfectly organized closets. However, while Virgos get giddy thinking about the practicality of a one-size-truly-fits-all garment, they’re also quick to deny they’re participating in any sort of “trend.” According to Herstik, Virgos are a little “too cool” to fan out over fashion fads—they’re a little emotionally removed from it all, but it’s only because they’re busy picking every microfiber and dust particle off their pristine popcorn tops with the laser focus of a brain surgeon. Cute.
Libra: Butterfly Hair Clip
If you grew up anywhere near the 90s and have a functioning memory, you might recall that butterfly clips were affixed to every girl’s highlighted hairdo for a good 10-year period. These things were iconic and loved by all, but they’ve since been forgotten…except by Libras. Memories of butterfly clips keep Libras up at night, tossing and turning as they fondly remember sharing their glittery clips with friends and coming up with the sort of wacky hairstyles only 47 small clips and a hearty dose of Clinton-era optimism could support. Selfless, kind, and equitable, Libras consider butterfly clips to be more than hair holders—they’re an extension of friendship (Libras hate to be alone). Herstik also explains that butterfly clips appeal to Libras’ tendencies to be imaginative, as well as interested in evolution and metamorphosis: Libras like to envision each clip transforming from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly that flutters delicately near their scrunchies forever. Must be nice, Libras. Must be nice.
Scorpio: Combat Boots … but Worn in the Summer
With their clunk and coverage, summertime combat boots convey just the sort of brooding masochism Scorpios crave. While everyone else is copacetic in their 90s platform sneakers and kitten heels, the darkness of the Zodiac prefers the passionate intensity of a weather-inappropriate shoe that says, “I’ll kick your ass but I’m also a semi-responsible father figure regardless of my gender, so let me make you a handmade pie, you dick.” Scorpios aren’t fooling anyone, though. Just like combat boots, they’re intimidating on the outside, but (too) warm and (way too) melty on the inside. Speaking of warm and melty, Scorpios are infamously passionate and seductive. They’re known for their ability to tease, which is why the two-hour process it takes to undo their combat laces and wrench each 10-pound behemoth off their feet makes them feel closer to whatever Sith lord they pray to.
Sagittarius: Wobbly Bucket Hat
In the 90s, there was no hair. There were only bucket hats. Everyone from LL Cool J to Britney Spears to Run DMC rocked them. Today, though, they’re still so tethered to that era that wearing one feels like kind of a joke. Good thing that’s exactly what Sagittariuses want. Never ones to take themselves too seriously, Sags’ charm and legendary poker face gives these good-humored fire signs the gumption to pull it off with a self-aware wink. Sags also love change and transformation, which is why this versatile headpiece suits them so well—depending on a Sag’s mood, a bucket hat can be a casual, cool, fishing-lure holder or the ultimate symbol of untouchable Gucci glamor. But whatever a bucket hat says, it does so bluntly. Bonus points if you can get it to wobble.
Capricorn: No-Nonsense Overalls
Like overalls, Capricorns are practical, structured, and utilitarian. Their demure shape satisfies shy Capricorns’ fetish for sensibility while appealing to their undying commitment to all things practical (51 pockets means you never have to carry a purse or a hammer). The history of overalls as workwear also symbolizes Capricorns’ discipline and ambition—you can accomplish just about anything in a getup that also functions as a purse, toolbox, and a worthy deflector of the male gaze. Although the 90s thing to do would be to roll one leg up or let one strap hang loose, that sartorial asymmetry impresses exactly zero Capricorns, Herstik explains. They’d rather apply their model sensibilities to wearing them the “right” way—with a silk blouse, strappy sandals, and a coffee-stained to-do list in hand.
Aquarius: Belly Chain
You may by the alien of the zodiac, Aquarius, but your far-out nature and probable involvement in the reptilian agenda don’t make you immune to the delectable fashions of the 1990s. Belly chains are you, personified—original, eccentric, and vaguely fantastical like a triple-headed Princess Leia-Aaliyah-Aguilera hydra. Allergic to boredom, you love that belly chains are wearable, conversation-starting torso parties—in fact, you throw them on specifically so your hordes of admirers can ask if you “got that at Claire’s” (you did). Like their semi-kinky 90s counterpart the choker necklace, belly chains also have a “you can’t have me” vibe, a clutch statement for an Aquarius, whose aloof personalities can be hard to pin down. Your element is air, which means you’re always in motion, so Herstik recommends grabbing a chain with some jingles or bells so you can belly dance your way to your favorite anarchist-humanitarian-seance like the extraterrestrial you are.
Pisces: Cobain Sunglasses
Pisces, you always see things differently, which is why Herstik has blessed you with Cobain sunglasses. Just like the Nirvana front-man (who’s also a Pisces, of course) you love to be in your feels, but don’t always love to be seen in them. Likewise, your intuitive nature means you’re often all up in other people’s feels, destined to play emotional sponge whether you like it or not. Cobain glasses to the rescue. With their girthy frames and famous history, Cobain sunnies give Pisces a temporary air of unattainable celebrity they can hide behind while they take a break from their usual routine of Mother Teresa-like compassion. Pisces always want to help and never want to be a burden—but sometimes, like in the shady anonymity Cobain glasses provide, they revel in the momentary pleasure of being able to tell the world to fuck off. Herstik recommends grabbing a pair of shades in your favorite color, Pisces, so you can cry in peace, no shame necessary.
For more sage Gabriela Herstik wisdom, follow her on Instagram: @gabyherstik. “Inner Witch: A Modern Guide to Ancient Craft” hits bookstores everywhere September 4th.