Growing up in the 1990s wasn't just fun — it was da bomb! We tend to look back on many of the decade's fashions, movies, bands, and technologies as a bit dated, but at the time these trends were totally cutting-edge. Naturally, though, much of ’90s life just simply wouldn’t fly today, no matter how rose-tinted our spectacles are. Here are 40 of the most cringeworthy elements of the ’90s.
40. Long hair with a central part
In the ‘90s, center-parting was a super popular hair trend for women. Scraped apart in the middle, it would often be accessorized with two loose strands that were allowed to hang down the front to frame the face. These days the style is only used if someone wants a throwback look, however. Oh, and as for the male equivalent? It was called “curtains.” But even before the ‘90s ended, it was curtains for that floppy style.
39. Recording songs off the radio
The youth of today have immediate access to pretty much every song ever created on Spotify, iTunes, or YouTube. They will never know the simple pleasure of listening to the Top 40 countdown on the radio, waiting for your favorite song to come on. As soon as those first notes hit, you would hit record on your blank cassette tape and capture that bad boy forever. Well, “forever” meaning “until you taped over the song with something else.”
38. Brown lipstick
If you fancied yourself a rebellious cool girl in the ‘90s, chances are you rocked brown lipstick. A shade of reddish-brown, ideally, because that looked kind of gothic and grungy. All the edgy starlets were wearing it, from Drew Barrymore to Gwen Stefani and Winona Ryder. Nowadays this trend is occasionally resurrected by semi-ironic fans of retro ‘90s chic, but it never seems to stick.
37. The “Rachel” cut
Few hairstyles are as synonymous with the ‘90s as “The Rachel.” Worn by Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green in the decade-conquering sitcom Friends, the highlighted, layered, and bouncy shoulder-length style was imitated by women all over the world. It’s probably best left as an artifact of the ‘90s, however, as even Aniston admitted that she struggled to recreate the salon-quality style when left to her own devices.