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Feeling Nostalgic? 10 Way To Bring Back The 1990’s

Feeling Nostalgic? 10 Way To Bring Back The 1990’s


Oh, To Be A Nostalgic Millennial

I was born in 1993, with memories as far back as when my brother was born in 1996. I was lucky enough to celebrate the year 2000 at the military base in Hawaii watching the firework spectacular across from Honolulu. My childhood was filled with tv shows such as Blue’s Clues and Out Of The Box; movies such as Beauty And The Beast, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and The Road To El Dorado; with playing video games on my Nintendo Gameboy Color and the N64; seeing Britney Spears in concert (because my older brother was obsessed) and knowing every word to Barenaked Ladies’ songs; and watching the clean parts of Friends because my mom loved that show. I grew up with Harry Potter, walked home from school listening to a portable CD player, and used Tivo. My first camera had film, my first email was AOL, my first social media was MySpace, I loved vampires before they were sparkly, and I went to midnight showings for movies such as Harry Potter, Iron Man, Pirates Of The Caribbean, and Sweeney Todd.

It is weird to think of how the first fifteen years of my life are ancient compared to the other thirteen.

There have been many studies that show that Millennials are faced with an enormous sense of nostalgia and a homesick feeling for places we have never been. This is partly due to the overwhelming change in technology in our growing years – we remember what it was like before The Age Of Information. We remember what it was like to write letters, to have to use a dictionary for class, and research things at a library. We remember what it was like to have to be home to see a tv show, to learn of world events from newspapers, and what it’s like to lose people after they move away. We remember what it was like to use the “house phone” and having to set a strict time and place to meet up with people. We remember what it was like to road trip with only a map, to wake up for Saturday morning cartoons, and to learn things about people over time.


Millennials are stuck between two worlds. 

There is this underlying need to revive the past, to bring back the sort of simplicity we experienced growing up… to bring back a time before the world got so small and so complicated. And, funnily enough, we can do this by accessing the bipolar parts of our lives: ordering old toys on eBay, binging old shows on Disney+, and streaming 90’s music on Spotify. “Nostalgia, in a digital age, no longer relies on an individual or specific memory, desire, or event,” writes Vicky Spratt on Grazia Daily. “It is fed and encouraged online, topped up relentlessly by easy access to an infinitely recyclable and shareable past.” We have the tools to go back in time, and we’re not afraid to use them.

So! If you are feeling nostalgic, here are 10 ways you can bring back the 1990’s:


1. Nostalgic Fashion

Fashion has a way of rinsing and repeating and there definitely has been a noticeable influence over the past couple of years based on what was popular in 1990’s. Here are some of what the most significant trends then and now include:

1. Minimalistic style and design and color-blocking.


2. Earth tones and being monochromatic.

3. Hairstyles akin to The Rachel and the Curtained.

4. A resurgence of Doc Martins and rollerblades.


5. Revival of grunge clothing and makeup.

6. Previously “Hipster” styles such as oversized sweaters and chunky sneakers.

7. Rebirth of the Little Black Dress and the classic black leather jacket.


8. Vintage sunglasses, headbands, and jewelry such as chokers.

9. A new love for cardigans and velvet.

10. Floral prints and pastels all year round.


Dressing inspired by the past doesn’t have to mean it looks out-dated, old, and in need of a thrift-flip. In fact, it can be rather on-trend to have selective items inspired by the decades before. But, what’s most important is that you love what you’re wearing and it helps you feel confident. 

2. Nostalgic Music

New In The 1990’s

Rock And Roll – Pearl Jam, Smash Mouth, Creed, Weezer, Matchbox 20, Foo Fighters, Rage Against The Machine, Our Lady Peace, Evanescence, Nickleback, 3 Doors Down, Coldplay, and Blink-182.


Pop – The Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child, Ace Of Base, and Boyz II Men.

Country – Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Dixie Chicks, and Kenny Rogers.

Popular In The 1990’s 


Rock And Roll – Queen, Nirvana, Jane’s Addiction, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hootie And The Blowfish, Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls, The Smashing Pumpkins, No Doubt, Pixies, Metallica, Radiohead, Motley Crue, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Van Halen, Def Leppard, and Aerosmith. 

Pop – Michael Jackson, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Elton John, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey’s, Aqua, and Whitney Houston.

Country – Garth Brooks, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Reba McEntire. 


3. Nostalgic Films

Fun fact: the highest-grossing film of the decade was Titanic (’97) featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

Fun fact: the first full-length CGI movie was Pixar’s Toy Story (’95).


Fun fact: aside from Disney, some of the most popular animated features were Anastasia (’97), The Swan Princess (’94), Kiki’s Delivery Service (’90), and Thumbelina (’94).  

Fun fact: as for Disney animated features, we were given the “Renaissance” with Beauty And The Beast (’91), Aladdin (’92), The Nightmare Before Christmas (’93), The Lion King (’94), Pocahontas (’95), Hercules (’97), The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (’98), Mulan (’98), A Bug’s Life (’98), and Tarzan (’99).

For Disney live-action films there is The Mighty Ducks (’92), Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (’93), Hocus Pocus (’93), The Santa Clause (’94), Angels In The Outfield (’94), Flubber (’97), George Of The Jungle (’97), Jungle 2 Jungle (’97), The Parent Trap (’98), Halloween Town (’98), My Favorite Martian (’99), Smart House (’99), and Zenon: Girl Of The 21st Century (’99).


Lucas Film gave us Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (’99). 

Other notable movies in the 1990’s are:

1990 – Ghost, Home Alone, Pretty Woman, Black To The Future III, Goodfellas, Misery, Driving Miss Daisy, Ghost, Where The Heart Is, and Edward Scissorhands.


1991 – Hook, The Addams Family, Father Of The Bride, and The Silence Of The Lambs.

1992 – Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Death Becomes Her, Batman Returns, The Last Of The Mohicans, Alien 3, FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Single White Female.

1993 – Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park, Heart And Souls, Sleepless In Seatlte, Searching For Bobby Fischer, Groundhog Day, Addams Family Values, Mrs. Doubtfire, Robinhood: Men In Tights, The Sandlot, and Super Mario Bros.


1994 – Interview With A Vampire, The Mask, Forrest Gump, Four Weddings And A Funeral, Richie Rich, and The Shawshank Redemption.

1995 – French Kiss, While Your Were Sleeping, Clueless, Jumanji, Braveheart, Sabrina, Apollo 13, Father Of The Bride II, Batman Forever, and The Indian In The Cupboard. 

1996 – Romeo + Juliet, Matilda, The Craft, Fargo, Mission: Impossible, Scream, Twister, Independence Day, Happy Gilmore, Jingle All The Way, From Dusk Til Dawn, Space Jam, and Flipper.


1997 – Dante’s Peak, Men In Black, The Fifth Element, Gattaca, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Batman & Robin, Good Will Hunting, Liar Liar, Princess Mononoke, Spice World, and Life Is Beautiful.

1998 – What Dreams May Come, You’ve Got Mail, Meet Joe Black, Sphere, Practical Magic, Ever After, Shakespeare In Love, The Man In The Iron Mask, Psycho, The Truman Show, Saving Private Ryan, Sliding Doors, and The Wedding Singer.

1999 – The Matrix, The Boondock Saints, Galaxy Quest, The Mummy, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Sixth Sense, American Pie, Cruel Intentions, Fight Club, Notting Hill, Runaway Bride, Sleepy Hollow, The Blair Witch Project, She’s All That, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Wild Wild West.


4. Nostalgic Television

New In The 1990’s

1990 – Zorro, Twin Peaks, Talespin, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, Law & Order, and Beverly Hills 90210.


1991 – Dark Shadows (reboot), Clarissa Explains It All, Rugrats, Doug, Darkwing Duck, and Home Improvement. 

1992 – Are You Afraid Of The Dark?, Melrose Place, Batman: The Animated Series, The Little Mermaid (tv series), The Addams Family, Nickelodeon Guts, Mad About You, and X-Men (animated series).

1993 – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Walker: Texas Ranger, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Adventures Of Sonic The Hedgehog, The X-Files, Legends Of The Hidden Temple, Fraiser, Boy Meets World, and The Nanny.


1994 – Babylon 5, Ellen, Sister Sister, All That, Inside The Actors Studio, Aladdin (tv series), The Magic School Bus, ER, Friends, Gullah Gullah Island, Gargoyles, and Spider-Man (animated series). 

1995 – Get Smart, Star Trek: Voyager, Sailor Moon, Pinky And The Brain, Xena: Warrior Princess, Timon & Pumbaa (tv series), and Goosebumps.

1996 – Dexter’s Laboratory, 7th Heaven, Superman: The Animated Series, Blue’s Clues, The Incredible Hulk (animated series), Dragon Ball Z, Everybody Loves Raymond, Beast Wars: Transformers (animated series), Judge Judy, Sabrina: The Teenager Witch, Hey Arnold!, and The Crocodile Hunter.


1997 – Antiques Roadshow, King Of The Hill, Just Shoot Me!, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Toonami, Smart Guy, Power Rangers Turbo, Johnny Bravo, Stargate SG-1, South Park, 101 Dalmations: The Series, Dharma & Greg, and Men In Black: The Series.

1998 – Dawson’s Creek, The Closer, CatDog, Teletubbies, Sex And The City, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, That 70’s Show, Hercules (tv series), The Wild Thornberrys, Pokemon, The Rosanne Show, The King Of Queens, Felicity, Will & Grace, Rolie Polie Olie, Charmed, Out Of The Box, and The Powerpuff Girls. 

See Also


1999 – Ed Edd ‘n’ Eddy, Batman Beyond (animated series), The Sopranos, So Weird, Zoboomafoo, Family Guy, Futurama, Spongebob Squarepants, Good Eats, Digimon: Digital Monsters, Rocket Power, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Sabrina: The Animated Series, Judging Amy, Law & Order: SVU, The West Wing, House Hunters, The Amanda Show, and Courage The Cowardly Dog.

Popular In The 1990’s

Roseanne, Cheers, The Cosby Show, Growing Pains, Family Matters, Saved By The Bell, Designing Women, The Golden Girls, Who’s The Boss?, Seinfeld, and Full House.


5. Nostalgic Video Games

Video game consoles released in this decade included the Super Nintendo/Super Famicom, Neo Geo, Atari Jaguar, 3DO, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, and Dreamcast; while Portable video game consoles included Game Gear, Atari Lynx, and Game Boy Color. Super Mario World was the decade’s best selling console video game, while Pokémon Red and Blue was the decade’s best selling portable video game; Super Mario 64 was the decade’s best selling fifth-generation video game, while Street Fighter II was the decade’s highest-grossing arcade video game.

Popular notable video games of the 1990s include Metal Gear Solid, Super Mario World, Doom, Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong 64, Pokémon Red and Blue Versions, Pokémon Yellow Version, GoldenEye 007, Super Mario 64, The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, Gran Turismo, Mario Kart 64, Half-Life, Super Mario Kart, Radiant Silvergun, Rayman, Gunstar Heroes, Banjo-Kazooie, Soulcalibur, Star Fox series, Tomb Raider series, Final Fantasy, Sonic The Hedgehog series, Story Of Seasons series, Tony Hawk’s series, Crash Bandicoot series, Metal Slug series, Resident Evil series, Street Fighter II, Spyro The Dragon series, Commander Keen series, Test Drive series, Dance Dance Revolution series, Monkey Island series, Dune series, Mortal Kombat series, Warcraft series, Duke Nukem 3D, Tekken series, EarthBound, Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game, and StarCraft.


A lot of these games can be found and still played on their original console or have been re-released on the newest generation system or online. 

6. Nostalgic Polaroids

Luckily there has been a revival of instant film cameras, including from the Polaroid brand. These instant film cameras can be found in common places like Walmart and Target, technology-driven stores like Best Buy, but also in weirdly awesome places like a college campus bookstore! There are a few different types and some hybrids that have digital screens or use blue-tooth to connect with your phone. There are various types of film, all at a reasonable cost, in the form of color or black and white. And! Because of the nostalgic beauty of it all, there are many different accessories to help display all your prints. 


But also, popular to contrary belief, there are still places that take disposal film cameras and give you your prints! So, why not pick up a disposal camera from places like Walmart or drug stores, from various online outlets such as Amazon or Urban Outfitters, and have a truly authentic 1990’s experience? For just a little while don’t take a million shots on your phone, don’t worry about the absolutely perfect composition and focus… have fun and take real candid shots that show a true, unedited glimpse into your life.

7. Nostalgic Letters

When going through my late grandparent’s things, I found a letter I had written them on September 12th, 2001. “Hey grandma and granddad. How are you today? I’m so happy that you are coming for Christmas. My mom and dad are too. All of my family is excited that you are coming. I did not have school on the 11th and the 12th. So, how is it there? My dad said we had to not be by our house because bad people flew planes and made people die on the 11th. Love, Molly.”


All of the military wives of my family wrote letters to their husbands while they were away. We found letters between my late grandparents from across the world. There is something so… personal, fanciful, and romantic about letter writing. So, why not do it now?

Surprise your friends and family with a handwritten letter! You could get all fancy with a stationary set or use simple printer paper. Your personal mailbox can be used for pick up, community mailboxes have outward bound slots, or you can go to the post office. It is an easy, cheap, but an extremely special way to show someone that you were thinking of them. And it is a physical item that can be treasured for decades. 


8. Nostalgic No Technology Night

This isn’t exactly a new concept, often at the instruction from parents. But! Here are a few adult ways to make it a super fun night. 

Instead of doing just a straight “no technology”, you could make it nothing that accesses the internet and social media. So, no cell phones, no computers or tablets, but also no tv shows or movies…. And there can be a drinking game for those who use their devices.

This would be a perfect opportunity to bring out video games on the N64, GameCube, and Switch like Mario Party, Mario Kart, and other multi-player games! Or your group can pick different board games to bring and card games to play. Plus, you can pass out disposable cameras to all guests and have fun with instant film cameras. 


It is a great way to reconnect with loved ones and something that could be done at least once a month.

9. Nostalgic Black Out Party

This is actually a really fun idea I came up with after watching an episode of Friends


Take advantage of the use of candles, or at most, warm string lights, turning off all the other lights around. Play music via CDs in a boombox or from your phone via blue-tooth speakers. But! Try not to use your phone or other technology for anything else. Have an array of board games and card games options to play throughout the night. Have snack foods, soda, and make it bring your own booze! 

It is a fun, throwback, nostalgic way to have a themed party and make unique memories with your loved ones. 


10. Nostalgic Road Trips

Though a lot has changed over time in America, the next decades as different from the ones before, there is one thing that still rings true: no matter where, no matter when, a road trip can be of the most thrilling and unique experiences a person can have. The freedom that comes with being able to drive across North America, from coast to coast, from the Canadian border to the edge of Mexico… anywhere there is an open road is anywhere you can go. 

Fresh air rolling in through the open windows, blasting 90’s music from the speaker, taking pictures next to state signs – there are so many exciting moments to be shared with family and friends. Whether you are on a mission to make it to The Museum Of Modern Art to see Van Gogh’s The Starry Night or down to Walt Disney World in Florida, the continental United States offers many amazing and one-of-a-kind things for everyone to enjoy. So, adventure awaits!


It’s Been One Nostalgic Week….

There is nothing wrong with being nostalgic. It is not about us not wanting to grow up, it is about us trying to reconnect with our past. In that reconnection, we find a part of ourselves that was lost in The Age Of Information. Comment below any other amazing 90’s thing and keep an eye on Society19 for other throwback tips and tricks!