Fashion Trends of 1997

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
What trends were hot in the year 1997? Here I'll attempt to identify some of the many fashion trends that were popular in 1997-as well as fads that came out then (and perhaps have never been seen again).

Submitted: January 30, 2017

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Submitted: January 30, 2017



For me the year 1997 was a year of fashion overload that was brought over from the previous year of 1996.  Recall that in 1996 we suddenly had some very 1970s elements brought onto us, like the return of bell bottoms and platforms and the smiley face.  Well, by 1997 we were in full swing.

Among some of the retro items to be worn most often by teenage girls were halter tops, sheath dresses (mainly made out of mesh and embellished with little flowers or vines), plastic jewelry (I recall seeing pacifiers), and nylon pants (sometimes with stripes running down the sides).

It was also a time for prints.  There was paisley, there were floral, fruits, and suns and moons.  There was texture too.  In 1997 it was common to see shirts in terry cloth and velour.  Corduroy, denim and pvc was also popular.  In terms of color it was common to see pastels as well as the typical 1970s colors like greens, yellows and browns.

Anyone who was a pre-teen or in high school in 1997 might recall the use of face and hair glitter. Many stores sold the roll on tubes of multicolor glitter (I myself had a huge one by Jerome Russel). They also sold glitter eyeshadow, glitter lipgloss, loose glitter-if it had glitter, it was hot!

Here is a listing of other popular 1997 trends- stripes, tweed, colored sunglasses, embellished denim, mod prints, platform sneakers, bowling bags, Adidas gear, faux fur jackets, finger watches, and a favorite of mine, the clear plastic bags. These were often in the shape of a box and had metallic bottoms and tops to give them shape. It reminds me of those clear makeup cases they sell. These bags were very trendy and unfortunately I haven't seen anything similar in all these years.

Some might call the trends of 1997 somewhat kitschy and this is very apparent if you watch some of these TV shows- Ally McBeal, Breaker High, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and City Guys.


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