Six Rad ’90s TV and Movie Style Icons

by Intern Jessica Butler

I’ve been pretty obsessed with ’90s fashion lately; and so, I decided to go straight to the source for some inspiration. The TV shows and movies from my childhood and tween years are a treasure trove of rad lady characters with killer style, and even though I definitely didn’t think I’d be revisiting shows I used to watch on Nickelodeon for my current style, I’ve come to terms with the fact that inspiration comes from the most unlikely of places! Check out six of my favorite characters, below, for some sweet outfit ideas!

Corey in Empire Records

Let’s face it, pretty much everyone in this coming-of-age flick dresses like a typical music- loving, angsty ’90s teen who works in a grungy independent record store should…in the best way possible. Liv Tyler’s character Corey has a special charm, though, with her sweet personality paired with tiny plaid mini skirts and cropped blouses. Don’t forget to lace up your favorite pair of Doc Martens when you head to the local music store for Rex Manning day!

Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks

Whether she’s knotting a cherry stem in the shape of a heart with her tongue or dancing alone in the middle of The Double R Diner, Audrey epitomizes mystery and seduction. Claiming that she always gets her way, she uses her charm and craftiness to investigate and interfere in everyone’s plans. Audrey balances the sultry with the sweet, pairing her bewitching personality with knee-length, high-waisted plaid skirts and tucked in ‘50s style sweater tops. She can also be seen sporting classic black and white saddle shoes, but of course once she gets to school she usually swaps them out for some red pumps to match her crimson lips.

Clarissa in Clarissa Explains It All

This show was the first Nickelodeon series to feature a female lead, inspiring a slew of even more lady-centric shows to follow. It focused on those angst-ridden teen years and that ubiquitous desire to be unique–all while remaining intelligent, funny, and honest. And Clarissa definitely held her own in terms of style! This girl wore everything I wish I had the guts to wear at her age: bedazzled baseball caps, polka-dot bike shorts, plaid vests, with denim and scrunchies abound.

Ms. Frizzle in The Magic School Bus

I remember reading the books and watching the TV show growing up. I also remember thinking Ms. Frizzle was just about the coolest teacher ever. Not only did she take the students on all sorts of insane adventures, but she also always wore the most wonderfully outrageous outfits. Usually clad in a dress with matching accessories, her frocks had crazy themed graphic prints that reflected the location the kids were traveling to, including volcanoes, spaceships, and amphibians, just to name a few. In the wise words of the woman herself, “take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”

Mia in Pulp Fiction

Seductive, powerful, and smart, Mia is one badass babe. Married to a prominent gangster and involved in some shady business, she’s one of the few strong lead female roles in this gritty Tarantino crime flick. With her sleek black bob, white collared shirt, and slightly-flared black trousers, she’s hard to miss while doing the twist at Jack Rabbit Slim’s.

Angela in My So Called Life

This was another great TV series focused around an intelligent, pensive gal trying to figure things out during those awful and confusing adolescent years. Several other shows during this time talked about controversial topics like sex, drugs, abuse, violence and censorship; however, unlike these other series, My So Called Life made it a point to involve them as constant and continuing themes throughout. While Angela was working through her problems, she also managed to get the ‘90s high-school grunge look down to a ‘T’. Layering sweaters over plaid, and pairing denim with Doc Martens, it’s no wonder she caught the eye of bad-boy cutie Jordan. 

Images courtesy of,,,,,

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