Drip or drown?: fashion comebacks from the 20th century

Hannah Holycross ‘22, Opinion Editor 

Grace Robbins ‘22, Photo Editor

From bell bottoms to banana clips all these things have one thing in common: they are resurrected fashion trends from the past. Whether it be TV shows, old family photos, or social media, there is always some kind of spark that brings back the fashion staples of the 20th century into the closets of modern day teens. 

 Claw Clips: 

Claw clips first became popular in the late 90s and early 2000s. They were easy to use, and still are in order to create cute hairstyles such as a casual french twist and a half twist ponytail. These clips don’t cause any damage to hair, unlike the average hair tie. Different sizes of claw clips are made for different hairstyles and different types of hair: smaller clips can be used for half up-half down looks, while larger clips are able to keep all the hair up throughout the day, even for people with thicker hair. 

Banana Clips:

Banana clips became popular in the 1980s. The most popular hairstyle to create with this hair clip is a ponytail. This hairstyle is not only flattering, but it protects the hair more than a hair tie can. The banana clip is simple and easy to use. On one end, it is hinged, and on the other end, you are able to connect the sides to hold the hairstyle together. These clips are rounded, which makes it very comfortable to wear during the day. 

90s Blowout/Hot Rollers/Dyson Airwrap and other tools:

With claw clips and banana clips making a comeback, so are some of the other hairstyles from those eras. Having more accessories to use that are not damaging to the hair (ex. claw and banana clips) are especially helpful when creating the glossy, voluminous, and shiny 90s traditional blowout. Doing this hairstyle can be time consuming. More people are wanting to create the look in a faster and easier way with less work. Using traditional velcro rollers can be difficult for beginners, so companies like Revlon have produced tools in order to make the look more attainable for normal people. 


In the 80s, bodysuits were typically worn over leggings for an exercise class. Now, people wear them to get the tucked-in shirt look to stay “tucked-in” all day long. There are tank tops, t-shirts, and long sleeve bodysuits in different colors and fabrics, so women can wear them for many different outfits. 

White Gogo Boots:

White Gogo boots became popular in the mid to late 60s with the help of Nancy Sinatra’s song “These Boots Are Made For Walkin”. Gogo boots back then sat right below the knees, but now they have become a shorter boot, resembling a traditional ankle boot, while still featuring the classic gogo boot heel style. 

Collared Shirts:

In the 1980s, collared shirts were popular to wear for playing sports, and athletic events. They have made a comeback in recent years. Many people have ordered faux dress shirt collars to layer with any crew neck sweatshirt or sweater. The preppy look is coming back, and faux collared shirts are coming forward to modernize this style.

Tennis Skirts/ Skorts: 

The first version of skorts dates back to as early as the 1930s and was typically worn by sports players. Primarily seen on equestrians, cyclists, and mountaineers, they gained notoriety in 1931 when Spanish tennis player Lilli Alvarez began wearing a ‘divided skirt,’ made by couturiere Elsa Schiaparelli, at tournaments. Skorts have been in circulation for the past 70 years but have gained recent popularity due to TikTok and a rise in a “preppy” look that many girls go for. Tennis skirts/skorts are very comfortable yet stylish which is why they were able to gain popularity so easily. Various popular clothing stores such as Urban Outfitters, PacSun, and Brandy Melville have added tennis skirts to their collections, and many athletic wear carriers are now sold out of this trendy yet comfortable item. 

Flare Jeans/Bell Bottoms

Once popular in the 70s, flare jeans/bell bottoms have made a comeback. Something that one would have typically seen in The Brady Bunch can now be seen sported by a trendy Gen Z’er. With the resurgence of ABBA’s popularity and 70s fashion on TikTok, it is no surprise that these wide-legged pants followed suit. 

Clothing brands such as American Eagle and Zara now have a whole category dedicated to flared jeans demonstrating the prevalence of their rebirth. 

Round Sunglasses

The classic, round Ray-Bans that John Lennon used to sport are making a comeback. Popular in the 60s and 70s, this style of sunglasses were popular before Lennon came into the scene, yet coined the ‘Lennon glasses’ title due to his repetitive use of them. These lightly tinted lenses that come in a variety of colors have been selling out like crazy. With many 70s styles making a comeback, it was only a matter of time until these stylish frames joined the scene. Although they are not the most practical when it comes to protecting your eyes from the sun, their stylishness cancels out their lack of practicality. 

Colored Eye Make-up

One would never think that the vibrant blue eyeshadow of the 80s would come back, but slowly and surely, it did. The one responsible for this unlikely comeback? HBO’s hit show Euphoria in which many of the characters sport colorful and sparkly eye makeup, sparking a trend reminiscent of the time our parents were in high school. 

The new rise in colorful eye makeup sparked a lot of creativity in not only makeup artists, but also regular girls looking to spice up their look.
This new craze is not only limited to eye shadow, colorful eyeliner and mascara are just as prevalent within the trend. 

The trend grew even more when girls realized how some of these certain bright colors can bring out their natural eye color (Ex: purple helps to bring out green eyes). 

Although it is hard to master, this bright new trend (if practiced enough) is well worth it in the end. 


Once popular in the 80s and 90s, scrunchies grew in popularity again in 2017 and still remain a trendy hair accessory to this day. The big scrunchies that were seen in the 80s did not cause much of a stir, but the average-sized scrunchie seen often in the 90s came back with a bang. 

Although originating from a past time in fashion, the scrunchies popular today do have a modern touch: many of the floral patterns and pastel colors are parts of more modern trends blended with this 20th century comeback. 

Plaid Skirts 

Plaid skirts became a fashion staple in the late 90s and early 2000s after Britney Spears’ “..One More Time” music video, which sparked an interest in the “schoolgirl” look. Plaid skirts are yet another trend from the 90s that has come back for a vengeance in recent years. These stylish skirts started growing in popularity around the same time many other 90s fashion trends came back in style, but they hit their peak when TikToks started going viral of girls at Catholic schools dancing, sporting the flowy yet short plaid skirts. Look in any department store and this item can be found in any skirt section or under any skirt tab on a clothing website.   

From hair to makeup to clothes, trends of the past are always bound to make a return. Whether they are hit or miss, drip or drown, the familiarity of the past will always be around when modern day fashion loses its luster.      

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s