By Kayla Freeman
Daily Texan Staff
Although the calendar may say it’s still the middle of winter, the recent blessing of Texan sunshine and balmy temperatures shout spring’s awakening. It’s time to put away the cozy — but unflattering — uniform of sweatpants and UGG boots and explore the emerging fashion trends for the new season.
Malinda Ballard, a retail merchandising senior and employee at the Buffalo Exchange clothing store, predicted that heavy floral patterns as part of a ‘90s revival will gain popularity. Hemlines, as well as eyebrows, will raise while everything mini, including skirts and dresses, will remain staples of a fashionable wardrobe.
Students who are fond of the flower trend can find fashionable pieces like floral patterned Mary Jane slip-ons, tights and jumpers at close-to-campus locations like Urban Outfitters or American Apparel on the Drag. Because of their classic nature, shoppers can find miniature-length skirts and dresses of both solid and printed varieties in nearly every apparel store in every price range from Savers to SoLa.
When asked about her thoughts on the emerging ‘90s revival trend, Cathy Casias, a former UT student and sales associate at Cream Vintage on Guadalupe Street, said fashion is frequently inspired by popular bands, like Sonic Youth.
“Everyone will always be into the Kim Gordon style,” Casias said. “Especially girls with alternative tastes.”
Casias predicted sized-down vintage dresses will also be popular, referencing a green-and-blue floral print sleeveless dress that had been bought and altered by Cream Vintage to a shorter, more flattering silhouette.
“One-of-a-kind, reconstructed and redesigned pieces are cool,” she said.
To recreate an authentic 1990s look, you can visit vintage stores such as New Bohemia, located on South Congress Avenue, or Cream Vintage, which has an additional location there. These stores often feature authentic vintage clothing reconstructed to be more flattering and attuned to modern style. Not only are reworked fashion items one of a kind, they also become economical and environmentally friendly by reusing old clothing instead of throwing it away.
If you’re searching for a rewarding challenge, try shopping at thrift stores such as St. Vincent de Paul on South Congress Avenue or one of the various Goodwill locations located on Lamar Boulevard and in the Lake Austin area. With a little bit of time and effort, you can find a plethora of authentic ‘90s pieces donated from closets rivaling those of the kids on Melrose Place. Unlike the vintage boutiques with in-house design teams like New Bohemia and Cream, you must make any alterations yourself when vintage shopping at thrift stores. However, it is worth the extra effort because the prices at Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul are garage-sale cheap, and a portion of every purchase will be used to fund charitable causes in the Austin community.
Some of these trends have already been spotted around campus as the spring semester commences. Zephyr Jarmon, an international relations freshman, sported a blue floral mini dress over lace tights Monday that channeled Courtney Love circa 1991. When asked about which fashion trends she was most excited about for the upcoming season, Jarmon said, “I want to get some really light-washed baggy jeans from the ‘90s, turn them into shorts and then wear them with girly floral shirts.”
It’s a new decade, a new semester and a new season. Students in Austin are becoming inspired to be both creative and environmentally conscious as they recreate the 1990s fashion era of grunge-rock, acid wash and girly florals.
Photography by Mari Kang