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Halloween is just around the corner and, if you’re anything like me, you haven’t quite figured out the perfect costume. (Procrastinators and perfectionists unite!) After taking some time to find a simple solution, though, I realized that there are so many ‘90s Halloween costumes based on my favorite TV shows, movies and musical artists from that era. In other words, the ‘90s were filled with looks (a lot of which are coming back into style now) that are perfect for easy Halloween costumes.
As someone who is no longer in college but doesn’t have a family of their own yet, Halloween can be a weird in-between time where you’re not really sure what kind of costume is the most appropriate. While in school, students would make any costume sexy, but people with kids go a tame route—So what’s left for me? Most ’90s-inspired costumes are the right amount of sexy and fun—especially for going out to parties, bars or just hanging out with friends as an IRL adult.
While not all ‘90s TV shows, movies and music are the same, most of them have a similar style when it comes to style. Clueless and Friends are completely different entities, but those ‘90s vibes don’t really vary at all. And, because the 1990s were filled with sitcoms featuring people in their teens or twenties, you can likely create costumes from items already in your closet. Other ‘90s pop culture icons like The Spice Girls or Space Jam might take a little more work to recreate but are equally as creative (and totally worth the effort).
Below, you’ll find a ton of ‘90s-inspired Halloween costumes. Hopefully, your friends are into 1990s culture and can understand who you choose to dress as—or join in on a group costume with you!—but even if they don’t get it, you’ll know you did the ‘90s proud with your Halloween costume.
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Cher Horowitz From Clueless
Not include Cher Horowitz in our ’90s Halloween costume round-up? Ugh, as if! This throwback costume is so easy to recreate with a yellow plaid matching set—or, if you want to DIY it, you can find a yellow plaid mini dress or even wear a yellow flannel to get a similar look. Just don’t forget the infamous Cher attitude.
Everyone loves a good ’90s Britney Spears vibe—and you don’t need much to DIY it. Grab a pink crop top to show off that midriff, put your hair in pigtails and add some colorful makeup (including shiny lip gloss, of course). Before you know it, you’ll having your friends requesting a performance of “…Baby One More Time.”
Before Beyonce was the solo queen to whom we all bow down, she was in the legendary ’90s group Destiny’s Child. This is such a fun group costume idea that’s easy to DIY. All you’ll need are you two closest pals, a few halter or bandeau crop tops and either flare jeans or some skin-tight skirts.
The Friends Gang
They’ll always be there for you—even when you forget to plan a costume. Choose your favorite Friends character to dress up as this Halloween, or grab your five closest friends to go as the entire gang. Just make sure you have some ’90s denim looks, simple white tees and maybe a few eccentric Pheobe-esque pieces on hand.
The Cast Of Sex And The City
Next up, we have Sex and the City. Quite frankly, there are almost too many incredible fashion moments from this show. It makes it hard to pick just one (or four, if you and your friends are going as a group), but you can’t beat the classic ensemble worn by Carrie Bradshaw in the opening credits. All you’ll need is a pink tank top, a tulle skirt and high heels to get the iconic look.
If you want a seriously “baller” look this Halloween (Pun intended, thank you very much!) you can’t go wrong with a Space Jam costume. Throw on that old basketball jersey you’ve inevitably stuffed in the back of your closet and a pair of bunny ears to get the iconic ’90s movie look.
The Spice Girls
Another great group costume idea? The Spice Girls, of course! Whether you go as Scary, Sporty, Posh, Baby or Ginger Spice, you’ll be living the dream—if only for Halloween night. But no matter which member you choose to dress up as, you should definitely watch Spice World to get inspired.
Paris Hilton was just coming into her prime in the 1990s and what better way to honor the impact she’s made on pop culture than by dressing as the mogul for Halloween? All you’ll need is a slinky slip dress (So ’90s!) and chunky flip-flops. And, if you really want to go all-in, find a way to recreate Hilton’s infamous fringe bangs from that era, too.
Wayne & Garth from Wayne’s World
Ripped dad jeans? Check. Black T-shirt? Check. Oversized plaid flannel? Check! Looks like you’ve got all the elements to create the ultimate Wayne’s World costume. Luckily, trucker hats are super on-trend this year. Oh—and memorize all the words to “Bohemian Rhapsody” while you’re at it.
Trinity from The Matrix
When in doubt, choose a costume that lets you wear head-to-toe black. Going out on Halloween often means that you end up feeling freezing at the end of the night, but Trinity’s leather look from The Matrix actually includes a full pair of pants and a jacket. Whip out the maximum-hold hair gel to achieve her slicked-back hair look.
Juliet from Romeo & Juliet
Whether you go as the version from the actual movie or just Jules’ version from Euphoria, this costume is a winner. All you really need to buy is a mini pair of wings. The white maxi dress is probably already hanging in your closet!
The Power Puff Girls
Who needs the reboot when the original is this good? Good luck choosing who in your friend group gets to be Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup. Dibs on that all-pink look!
Elaine Benes From Seinfeld
Before there was Hailey Bieber, there was Elaine Benes on Seinfeld. Quite frankly, she walked so that Hailey Bieber and every other blazer-loving fashionista could run. Pay homage to this iconic ’90s character with an oversized blazer and suiting skirt (or jeans for a casual Elaine look) this Halloween—topped off with some chunky gold earrings.
Romy & Michele from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
Hallie Parker & Annie James from The Parent Trap
Hallie’s leather jacket look while playing poker is nothing short of iconic. Wear a lived-in denim jacket if you’re going for Hallie’s vibe, or choose something posher to emulate Annie’s look. Plus, when else will you get the chance to wear a cute-as-hell tweed matching set? Just make sure to perfect your British accent before the big night.
Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction
Be honest—you’ve probably dressed up as Mia Wallace even if you haven’t seen the iconic movie. No shame! If you’ve already got the trendy bob haircut, pull out an oversized white button-down, a black tank and a pair of black slacks and you’ll be good to go. Get her signature bloody nose by using your favorite red lipstick.
Fembot from Austin Powers
Is this costume basic? Maybe a little. But is it still a hit year after year? 100 percent! If you don’t want to DIY your own pink feathery mini dress, Amazon has tons of options for you to shop.
The Members Of N*SYNC
Now is your time to show off the fact that you know all the words to “Tearin’ Up My Heart.” Don an all-white ‘fit, grab your matching bandana and memorize a few very boyband-esque dance moves. Frosted tips are not necessary but will really show your dedication to the craft. If you don’t want to actually go as the members, try being a N*SYNC superfan and wear all the retro merch.
Fran Fine From The Nanny
Fran Fine’s fashion was truly in a league of its own on The Nanny. From the designer matching skirt sets to the over-the-top prints, she clearly knew how to dress. To copy her look for yourself this Halloween, opt for a micro mini skirt or an A-line dress with a micro hem. Style it with a pair of thick black tights and a pair of black heels. Or, head over to @WhatFranWore on Instagram for some outfit inspiration.
Tia & Tamera From Sister, Sister
Grab your BFF and go as Tia and Tamera from Sister, Sister this Halloween. It was one of the best Disney sitcoms of the 1990s and makes for an iconic costume choice. Throw on a long-sleeve tee, some denim pieces—a vest, overalls or just high-waisted jeans—and top it all off with a plaid bucket hat.
A version of this article was originally published on October 14, 2015.