90s Fashion Trends and Style in Singapore

90s Fashion Trends and Style in Singapore

Today’s post is dedicated to our readers who have had the privilege of growing up in the 90s era.

For TV, we have the legendary Power Rangers, Captain Planet, Biker Mice from Mars, TMNT, Transformers and Bananas in Pyjamas.

For Music, we have Michael Learns to Rock, Backstreet boys, The Offspring, Eminem, Spice Girls and Westlife.

In this article, we are going to take a trip down memory lane and flash back in time to take a look at some of the most common men fashion trends back during that era.

As 90s is an era when we take great influence from the western pop culture, you can bet that most of the fashion trends mentioned happened in other countries like the US and UK.

>> If you like this post, also check this one where we talk about the ‘Ah Beng’ Fashion trends back in the 90s.

The list curated is geared more towards the context of Singapore and we are pretty sure most reader can relate to at least one or more of these fashion trends.

Without further ado, let’s get to the list.


Tight Fit Tees with Big Logo


As soon as we recalled the tight fit tees, these brands immediately came to mind – No Fear, Spitfire, Rolling Stones etc.

This fashion trend was popular with guys of all shapes and sizes.

Our deepest memories came from seeing the ‘meaty’ guys in these. They were commonly sighted wearing the tight fitting ones that almost get them out of breathe and sucking in their stomach thinking they look fit.

The original tees are sold at skater shops like 77th Street and Miz29. Fake ones can be found at Pasa Malums and some places like Bugis street, Chinatown and even Queensway Shopping Centre.

One funny thing about buying the fake ones is that they usually shrink! Making the already tight top even tighter and shorter – OMG! But still, these were wore with pride and usually matched with the following items…..


Bell-bottom Jeans


Before your chinos and tapered pants, there were these, the bell-bottoms.

Famous in the 70s, the Bell bottom jeans actually gained back in popularity in the 90s for a couple of years before the next style catches on….


Baggy Jeans

 One brand popped out Loud and clear – Alien Workshop! Mainly carried at 77th street.

Oh yes, we are talking about REALLY baggy jeans with giant width pockets so big they can fit an elephant’s leg (ok maybe not literally, but they are huge!).

The pockets were normally all the way till the bottom! As crazy as it sound, its true and infact, a few of our editors were guilty of this.


Crumpler Bags

Crumpler Bags (also featured in this article) was in its prime back in the late 90s due to it positioning in pricing as well as funky designs and color.

Lots of imitations soon followed but don’t seem to affect their sales or branding then.

Meanwhile another type of bag also made its way to gain popularity…


Big Logo Sling Bags

Till date we have no idea why the popularity but yeah, these chicken logo bags were once considered as trendy.

Honestly, we don’t even remember where to buy the original ones but have seen quite a lot of imitations at Pasar malam and in Malaysia.

If we are not wrong though, the original ones can be bought in Taiwan (together with the next item).


Adidas Sneakers


The white Adidas sneakers were one of the most desirable items back in the 90s, with different variation of colors popping out almost every other week.

And you know it’s doing really well when fakes and imitations started coming out from everywhere (bear in mind this is an era without the easy access to china products via sites like Taobao or Alibaba).

These sneakers were sold even till today!


Onitsuka Tiger Sneakers


These Asics sneakers caught the fire soon after the Adidas sneakers and Singaporeans traveling to Taiwan just had to bring back a pair or two.

That lasted for quite a while until shops in Singapore started bringing them in (as well as Onesuka opening their own boutiques) that its popularity slowly died off.


Nike SB / Dunks


Nike SB (Skate Board) and Dunk series of sneakers were also going crazy.

People literally queued up to get their hands on one of the few hundred pairs of limited edition sneaker released.

We remember how people will be queuing outside Limited Edition’ shop at Queensway like how people are queuing up for Apple iPhone release now.

Some of which can see an immediate increase of at least 50% in price on the internet (eBay, Forums) right after the release. Usually the popular sizes fetch the highest price (exactly like the iPhone).


Wallet with Chain


Works on both long and normal sized wallet, this trend started off with metal chain and evolved to woven and even leather straps.

These are usually matched with men accessories like neck chain, bracelet or ring.


Bandana


The Bandanas’ trend started off being worn on its own until the fashion evolved into being worn underneath the cap. Navy blue and red Presley was the most common and popular back then.

Shops like 77th Streets were selling these like hotcakes (we know because back then we bought all the colors from there!).


Backwards Cap

There seems to only be one way to wear caps back then – backwards.

Wearing it normal way (the way a cap should be worn) just doesn’t seems cool and people even judge if you did wear a cap the normal way back then.

That is of course changed completely when Jay Chou came out in 2003 with the (then) iconic ‘face hidden under the cap look’.

jay-chou-in-cap


Center Parting

Nick Carter
Picture Credit

Not so much of a fashion, but this hair style goes hand in hand with the above-mentioned fashion trends.

The center parting lasted almost throughout the entire 90s as celebrities from both eastern and western countries all did it.

Think Aaron Carter from the Backstreet boys, Bryan from Westlife and Bratt Pitt. In the Chinese music industry, we have the famous Aaron Kwok, Nicholas Tse, Alex Tu, and Jimmy Lin.

These hairstyles are usually done in combination with the (then) famous GoodLook hair gel.


Sweater over shoulder or waist

Sweater over shoulder
Proto Credit

This is in line with the long center parting hairstyle where guys are going after the flowy hair, artsy look.

Even the ladies were doing it. We remember that almost all celebrities at SBC / TCS (now known as MediaCorp) wore the sweater over their shoulder or ties it around their waist in almost all the TV romantic drama (anyone remembers Kuang Huai Fang Shi (關懷方式)?).

And to round up the list, this next item is definitely one of the biggest highlights and definitely must be included…


Pager


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If you know what these urban code meant, you have truly lived the 90s era!

To think that we can do WAY more than sending some numbers over with what technologies have to offer today, back then, this simple form of connection can make one’s day (at least until the mobile phones came out).

These pagers normally go with a metal chain and are clipped onto the belt.

Motorola as we all know dominated the entire pager market hands down and SunPage’s business was blooming for a while till Nokia came out with the (then) revolutionary mobile phone and the rest is history. (Sunpage is still in business today by the way)

>> And yes, you can still buy a pager today!

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And there you have it, the trip down memory lane of the 90s.

If you like this compilation, do also check out this post on the commonly sighted school ‘Ah Beng’ fashion trend back in the 90s (we had so much fun writing this, you will love it!).

>> Check out other Singapore related post here.


After reading this post, did we managed to bring back any good (or not so good) memories?

How many of these have you tried back then or even until today?

And did we miss out any classic ones you would like to share with the community. We would like to hear from you, do leave a comment or drop us an email.

Talk again soon.

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