Do you remember when...?




Fads 1990-1999


1. Grunge

After the glitz and glamour of disco and the excess and pomp of hair bands, it was inevitable that the music pendulum would swing. That shift created grunge -- a genre of music categorized by dissonant harmony, lots of guitars, and cynical lyrics. Grunge was initially delivered by young men and women from the Pacific Northwest who dressed in flannel shirts and ripped jeans. Groups like Nirvana and Pearl Jam were the first to emerge on the scene around 1991, but when the indie scene exploded into the mainstream, groups like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Stone Temple Pilots became household names.

2. The Macarena

"Macarena," a catchy tune from Spanish group Los del Rio, became a worldwide phenomenon in 1996, smashing records by staying at number one on Billboard's Hot 100 chart for an astonishing 14 weeks. The jovial, bouncy tune (that repeats itself over and over and over again) had its own dance, making it two fads in one. The group remains popular in their home country, but once the Macarena had played itself out a year later, the song and the two men behind it were only a distant memory in America.

3. Hypercolor T-shirts

Clothing manufacturer Generra created these fad-ready T-shirts in the late '80s, but they really caught on in the '90s. The shirts were dipped in temperature-sensitive pigment, which meant that when heat was applied to the fabric, the color would change. Shirts would turn vague shades of blue, yellow, pink, and gray depending on the level of heat they received.

4. The Waif Look

While they weren't exactly "full-figured," 1980s supermodels like Cindy Crawford were zaftig compared to the half-starved, heroin-chic look embodied by models like Kate Moss, who weighed in at barely 100 pounds. The super-skinny look was a worldwide trend in fashion and came with some serious backlash. Girls everywhere were literally starving to look like the women in the fashion magazines. The waif look garnered much criticism and controversy, but it only fueled the fire. Not until the 2000s did the pendulum begin to swing to the "real women are beautiful" direction -- in the 1990s, thin was definitely "in."

5. Tattoos and Piercing

Human beings have many pierceable body parts: ears, noses, lips, tongues, eyebrows, and bellybuttons, just to name a few. In the last decade of the 20th century, no cartilage was safe from the needle of a piercing gun. If you had your fill of metal rings and studs, you could move on to some ink and round out your counterculture look. Both tattooing and piercing were all the rage in the 1990s and many people today have the tats and scars to prove it.

6. Hip-Hop Fashion

When hip-hop music became more mainstream in the early '90s, its fashion style became a trend as well. Rappers such as The Fresh Prince, Kid 'N Play, and Left Eye of TLC sparked a trend in wearing brightly colored, baggy clothing and baseball caps. Often the jeans were so baggy that they hung down several inches below the waist, making the question, "Boxers or briefs?" irrelevant. An offshoot of the hip-hop fashion was the fad of wearing clothes backwards, which was popularized by teen rappers Kris Kross

7. Price Tags

As hip-hop music gained major ground in the '90s, the luxury lifestyle of rap artists and hit makers was emulated by the masses. Rather than assume that everyone knew how much you spent on your hat, jeans, or shoes, teens took a more obvious route -- they just left the price tag on the clothes. (Minnie Pearl did it first)

Viewer Question: What were your favorite 90's fads?


These songs by women of the 90s 

Some of my favorite songs.










QUESTION: Who were some of you favorite female singers?


1980 -1989 Fads that changed everything.

Hard to pick but here is the list.

1. The Walkman
Though the technology looks ancient to us today, we wouldn't have the beloved iPod if it wasn't for the Walkman. In 1979, Sony introduced their first portable music player in Japan. By 1980, America had jumped on the bandwagon, and there were dozens of portable cassette players on the market. They were heavy, didn't deliver great sound quality, and initially cost upwards of $150, but it didn't matter -- they were delivering tunes to the masses, one tape at a time.


2. Atari
The name of the gaming system that started them all loosely translates from Japanese to mean "prepare to be attacked." Thus, it's fitting that the first video games were simple UFO shooting games or games such as Frogger, which required players to move a frog across a busy road without getting squished. Atari, Inc., was formed in 1972, and five years later one of the most successful gaming consoles of all time -- the Atari 2600 -- was released. Millions of consumers bought the devices and spent hours (and days) glued to the TV set, playing Q*Bert, Pac-Man, and Space Invaders. The Atari company consolidated a few years ago but still has a hand in shaping today's much more advanced gaming world.


3. Break Dancing
When DJ Kool Herc took the dance break sections off vinyl records and remixed them into one another to create a longer, funkier song, break dancing was born. These extended breaks gave NYC street dancers all the time in the world to showcase their gravity-defying moves, including the pop and lock, the windmill, the freeze, the moonwalk, the worm, and the closing "suicide." It's believed that the first break-dancing trend occurred among rival gang members who used the dance style to settle disputes. As the media attention grew for this competitive, visually exhilarating dance style, so did its popularity. The fashion, the music, and the dance moves themselves became hallmarks of '80s youth culture.


4. Parachute Pants

If you're thinking about break dancing, you'd be wise to consider your outfit -- not only do you need to look "fresh" and "fly," you need to be able to slide, slip, and spin on a dance floor and regular pants just won't do. Baggy in the thigh and narrow at the ankle, parachute pants increased mobility for dancers who needed more flexible clothing. The pants were often made of synthetic materials (you can backspin way better in a poly-blend than you can in cotton) and usually came in bright colors. As break dancing became cooler, the clothes of these street dancers became the "in" fashion trend and even kids in the suburbs were donning parachute pants.


5. Swatch Watches
In 1983, the Swatch Group, Ltd., of Switzerland had an idea. They thought that watches could be less of a financial investment for the stuffy and time-conscious and more of a disposable, funky accessory. Their idea was a big hit. Swatch watches came in hundreds of different colors and styles, and some were even scented! Many people chose to wear several styles at once, loading up two, three, even six Swatches on their wrists at the same time. If you wanted to know what time it was in the 1980s, you probably got your information from a Swatch watch. Swatch Group is still the largest watch company in the world, although it is hard to find someone using a Swatch as a ponytail holder these days.



6. Preppies
While some kids were break-dancing, and others were coiffing their hair sky-high with hair spray and mousse, preppies were busy wearing chinos and loafers, talking about sailboat races, and working with their financial advisors. Preppie was a word used to describe the clean-cut teens, twenty and thirty-somethings of the '80s who could usually be spotted wearing pink and playing tennis. With the release of the tongue-in-cheek (but frighteningly accurate) Official Preppy Handbook in 1980, it was easy to spot a preppie -- or a preppie wannabe -- anywhere.


7. Hair Bands
The heavy-metal music of the 1980s was typified by a heavy, guitar-and-drums-centered sound with highly amplified distortion, fairly raunchy lyrics (for the time), and plenty of dramatic builds. The heavy-metal lifestyle was typified by beer, girls, leather, and really big hair. As the music got louder and bolder from groups like Warrant, Motley Crue, and Poison, the hair got bigger and fluffier -- and we're not just talking about the girls. These "hair bands" were so named because of the impossible-to-ignore hair swung around by the guitar-playing men onstage.



Viewer Question: What were your favorite 80's fads?