1990S JEWELRY STYLE
(HOW TO RECREATE THE LOOK)
This decade had it all from popular TV shows in the 90s like 90210, Clueless, Friends, and Baywatch to amazing fashion trends that we still love today. We all symbolically danced the Macarena together and drank the style Kool-aid in our spaghetti straps. Every decade had a dance craze, and we were all Gettin' Jiggy With It and Livin' La Vida Loca while dripping in 90s style bling.
What do we remember most about 1990s jewelry trends? The chunky gold chains, huge hoop earrings, and layered necklaces. The 90s was the era of excess when it came to accessorizing. We wanted to make a statement and be seen. And what better way to do that than by sporting some serious hardware?
Let's look back at some of the most popular 1990s jewelry trends.
The diamond necklace trend was beyond fly in the 1990s for one big reason: Titanic. Ruby earrings, pearl & diamond bracelets were all featured prominently in the epic romance movie and instantly became trendy. Titanic fever swept the nation and everyone wanted to get their hands on some sparkly jewelry.
Another reason for this hot trend is that several popular celebrities were spotted wearing luxe necklaces in the mid-1990s. Megastars of the 90s, including Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey, embraced diamonds as their signature pieces.
Big, bold statement necklaces were considered the most appropriate for high-profile events because their glittering presence turned an average outfit into a star ensemble. You could see big-name celebrities parade around big big big necklaces at awards shows, movie premieres, and other red carpet events.
Consequently, women of the '90s wore luxe necklaces as the ultimate status symbol. Big, bold statement necklaces were all about the flashing bling. They were longer, chunkier, and dripped with diamonds.
90S CHOKER NECKLACES
Did you know that choker necklaces were the fashion accessory no woman could go without in the 90s? Even celebrities like Jodi Foster, Cindy Crawford, and Drew Barrymore wore them! They were also featured in many movies like The Craft, Little Women, Titanic, and of course Pretty Woman.
Every woman had a choker necklace in her wardrobe and probably even more than one. It wasn't only about fashion, but also about sex appeal and looking sexy. It was a very overt symbol of feminine sexuality and power. Indeed, the choker hinted at something hidden, something dark and forbidden. This hidden mystique, of course, only made it more alluring.
When it came to 90s chokers, there was always a style for everyone. Some chokers in the 90s were big and bulky for a more heavy metal look, while others were dainty and looked like something out of the 1800s. Still, others were beaded or even made out of lace.
Choker necklaces were one of the hottest trends that refused to go away. Singers like Janet Jackson, Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, Posh Spice & Gwen Stefani wore them too, contributing to their staying power. Even men like Mick Jagger, Prince, and Lenny Kravitz got in on the choker action.
The choker began to disappear in the early 2000s, but its legacy continues.
90S RAPPER CHAINS
The early 90s started a new era for long chain pendant necklaces. Their popularity was greatly influenced by 90s r&b and hip hop artists such as Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Salt-N-Pepa, Missy Elliott, MC Lyte, etc. Not only did these amazing works of art make an appearance on the necks of the biggest names in 90s music, but they also appeared in music videos and were worn day to day by teenagers across the country. These costly chains became an accessory on their own, hanging lower than one's belly button and solidified with either a solid silver or diamond pendant in block letters.
Moreover, pendant & medallion necklaces captured the era's decadence and were worn with pride. In the 90s, your oversized pendant necklace was a testament to your success. On the streets of New York, on the red carpets of Hollywood, or around the neck of every girl in your grade, it was impossible not to notice a gleaming chain necklace.
Rocking chunky gold chains became a way to show off in the 90s. The trend started with rappers, who often wore multiple chains of different lengths and thicknesses. Non-rappers then adopted this look as a way to show wealth and success.
Likewise, chain link bracelets ruled wrists. If you ruled the middle school hallways in the early 90s, there's a pretty good chance you owned a matching chain link bracelet. It wasn't an optional accessory; you just weren't cool if you didn't have a fly bracelet to match your heavy, oversized chain necklace.
90S CURSIVE NAME NECKLACES
Your name on a chain became a hot trend in the 90s because so many TV show characters wore them. Blossom wore the most popular name on a chain necklace on "Blossom" and Angela Moore on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." The name on a chain necklace was a must-have for any teen who wanted to keep up with the latest fashion trends.
Cursive name necklaces came in different styles and materials. For example, some custom necklaces displayed a beginning initial or a word from a popular phrase. In contrast, others were simply a nameplate engraved necklace with anything from a child's name to its owner. Cursive name necklaces were simple, personal, and super stylish.
One of the reasons the nameplate necklaces trend was so popular was that it allowed you to show off your personality. If you loved your name, you could wear it proudly around your neck for everyone to see. And if you hated your name, you could use a nickname or even just your initials instead. No matter what, wearing your name around your neck was a cool way to show the world who you were.
In the 90s, if your nameplate necklace was outlined in diamonds, you were the most popular kid in school. But even if your necklace was just a standard silver nameplate, it still made a statement. You were unique, and you weren't afraid to show it off.
POPULAR 90S EARRINGS
In the 90s, huge chandelier earrings were a popular trend, and something not a lot of women could pull off. So if you were rocking it, you could thank Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality for that one.
Every woman was crazy about chandelier-style earrings in the 1990s for many reasons. Not only did huge chandelier earrings provide a burst of color to the face, but they gave 90s women an elegant sassiness that let everyone know they were independent women—even if they had young kids at home and didn't have time to go out much.
What made chandelier earrings one of the most popular 90s earring trends was that they were unique, attention-grabbing, and frankly, a bit over-the-top. They said "I'm here, I'm fabulous, and I don't care what you think." And we loved them for it.
Another reason chandelier-style earrings were the hottest accessory on the market is that they looked fantastic with all different kinds of other big jewelry pieces--pendants, cuff bracelets, statement necklaces- that's part of what made them so appealing. Thankfully, many of these large and heavy ornate styles were clip-on earrings, making them much lighter to wear.
Do you remember when everyone was wearing those giant chandelier earrings in the '90s? If you do, then you probably also remember how difficult it was to find a pair that didn't give you a headache by the end of the day. But we wore them anyway because they made us feel powerful and fabulous.
90S STATEMENT HOOPS
The 90s were a strange time for fashion, and nowhere was this more evident than the ever-present hoop earrings of the era. Statement hoops grew in popularity around 1996. They were often hinged hoops and were usually large enough to cover the wearer's entire ear lobe and sometimes even the upper portion of the outer ear.
Loved by many because huge hoop earrings à la Blossom or Clarissa or even Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes accentuated 90s women's outfit choices. After all, they were HUGE, and 90s women needed a little extra something for those oversized graphic t-shirts they rocked.
While it's hard to say why bold hoops became one of the most popular 90s earring trends, some believe it could be due to their simplicity. Unlike other earrings styles of the time, hoop earrings were easy to put on and take off. They also didn't require any special styling or hair-dos. So all you had to do was put them on and go.
Another reason might be that hoops represented a sense of freedom and rebellion against the traditional "buttoned-up" styles of the 80s. In a time when grunge was becoming popular, hoop earrings offered a more flamboyant and carefree look.
Whatever the reason, hoop earrings were a mainstay of 1990s fashion. If you want to channel your inner 90s girl, there's no better way than by donning a pair of big, bold hoops.
90S STUD EARRINGS
Glitzy studs were big in the 90s and beloved by women & men alike. They were simple, easy to put in and take out, and had no issues.
Have you ever wondered why stud earrings were so popular in the 90s? It was mostly thanks to the Spice Girls. When trendsetter Geri Halliwell, an icon of the 90s, came out wearing her signature earrings, almost every woman wanted her own pair. In the 1990s, geri-isms were everywhere, from her "babyshambles" dress, Union jack gear, to her glimmering stud earrings.
Moreover, sparkling studs were a staple for many other fashion icons, including Madonna, Drew Barrymore, and Jennifer Lopez. While choker necklaces were trending, it wasn't uncommon to see chokers paired with simple stud earrings.
COOL 90S RINGS
Diamonds were on everyone's fingers. The 1990s era featured round rings that showcased a flashy evolution of diamond shapes. The 90s jewelry business changed with the addition of prong settings and halo settings, which allowed jewelers to make bigger, more extravagant style rings.
In the 90s, you couldn't go to a wedding without seeing the bride sporting an enormous, sparkling cluster ring on her left hand. Several celebrity couples added their own unique embellishments to the style, like double bands or rows of diamonds, but they all had one thing in common: They were massive in size.
Not surprisingly, cocktail rings in the 90s became the ultimate "go-to" jewelry accessory. While today's cocktail ring styles are just as on-trend as their predecessors, they tend to be more subtle (unless you step up the bling factor). Glamorous cocktail rings were worn by Hollywood trendsetters like Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, and Winona Ryder, making the dramatic ring style cool again with 90s women.
Non-jeweled rings in the 90s were also large and ornate. Thick bands with different-sized, interconnected hoops were a massive hit with younger adults, like pinky, signet, and inital rings. Students often received signet rings from schools featuring a shield with a rad letter like "S" on it. The "S" stood for "school spirit."
CUTE 90S BRACELETS
A sparkly 90s bracelet trend featured rhinestone crystals, hanging charms, and dazzling colors evoking the decade's energy. The charm bracelet craze in the 90s was so intense, every girl wanted to have one, and every girl wanted to have all the charms that could be put on her bracelet. Girls began collecting charms that meant something special to them. They collected charms from their families, favorite TV shows, books, movies, sports teams, or just cool-looking charms.
Gold bangles were all the rage in the 1990s. Women loved to pile on as many bracelets as they could, creating an arm party long before it was even a thing. It was not uncommon to see women sporting a dozen or more bracelets at a time. They were everywhere. They came in all shapes and sizes and were seen on almost every female celebrity, from 90s pop stars like Jennifer Lopez to reality TV starlets like Jennifer Aniston.
90S BODY CHAINS
The aesthetics of the 90s sure was different. Grunge was king, sportswear chic was huge, and people were really into exposed abs. So what does this have to do with body jewelry you ask? Well, quite a lot. The 1990s saw a significant change in how body jewelry was worn (and its practicality).
Did you know that body jewelry in the 90s was actually functional? That's right, people wore body jewelry to hold up their pants. It was not uncommon to see people sporting a chain around their waist with their pants slung low.
Did you know that in the 90s, many celebrities wore body jewelry? 90s pop stars like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, and Pink. They sported accessories like floating naval piercings resembling diamond dots with everyday attire and made it acceptable for others to do the same. Parents had no problem with their children wearing them because they had been advertised by popular celebrities. And then there was even an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 devoted to the issue!
Whether you were wearing an earring in your nose, a long body chain necklace, or multiple piercings on each ear, body jewelry is one of those trends that never seemed to go out of style in the 90s.
Well, there you have it! A comprehensive guide to all the different types of jewelry that were popular in the 90s. We hope you enjoyed reading this article and maybe even found some inspiration for your own personal style. So whether you're looking to add a little bit of nostalgia to your wardrobe or just want to try something new, consider incorporating some of these iconic jewelry trends into your look. After all, what's more fun than channeling your inner 90s child?