Fashion Trends of 1998

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What styles of clothing were popular in the year 1998? It was nearing the end of a decade and new styles were popping up. Here I'll explore some of the many fashion trends that I recall seeing in magazines and in real life-mainly in women's fashion.

Submitted: February 09, 2017

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Submitted: February 09, 2017



By the year 1998 fashion was evolving to what would become the "millenium wear", a term I think of whenever I see a fashion catalog of the period of 1998-2000.  Some elements of 1997 carried over into 1998, but overrall the once popular "Seventies" look vanished and became something else.

Around this time we bagan to see the popular cargo pants and the carpenter jeans. I myself had a couple of these.  The popular colors to have were olive green and beige or white.  This isn't to say that other types of pants weren't popular.  I recall a lot of teens and preteens wore track pants (kind of a revisiting of the early 1990s gym suits).  Actually I recall that a lot of my classmates in seventh and eight grade wore matching track jackets, made of that kind of material that whooshes whenever you move.  Now that I think about it, it was about being comfortable than anything.  Back in 1998 sporty was cool.

Shirts in 1998 tended to be slim and usually hit at the waist exactly.  I recall that three-quarter sleeves were very popular and some had these self-ties at cuffs.  In regards to necklines, boatnecks and v-necks were in.  Sweaters tended to come in these same necklines-some were made out of chenile. 

One thing I remember about 1998 fashion was the very utilitarian looks.  This meant the lack of frills, ruffles, and glitz that once had been so popular.  A lot of fashion came in simple colors, sometimes even a little drab-like grays and burgundy.  A good example of this trend is the popular messenger bag (that I don't think was too much in use until 1998).  Its shape was perfect-smooth and to the point, and a lot had these latch closures or used velcro to close.  The latches and velcro were part of the utilitarian trend.  I even had these burgundy convertible pants that came with a belt that closed with a plastic latch.

Jewelry too had a uniqueness that I haven't seen since.  Overall necklaces were simple, usually made out of silver and was one single strand.  I recall seeing mini flowers and rhinestones.  Seedbeads were very popular.  Most of the necklaces were in the form of chokers, unlike the long chunky necklaces that became hip some ten years later.  We also wore these "barbell" necklaces and wire rimmed sunglasses. And recall the butterfly hair clips that had these springs that made the wings "flap"?  Yup, these hair-clips became popular around this time.  You'd also see simpler ones that are more like butterfly-claws.  I also recall seeing hair-clips in forms of dragonflies and beetles. 

Some TV shows from 1998 that might showcase some of these styles are Felicity, Dawson's Creek, Sex and the City, and Charmed.

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