Style Inspiration: Nouveau Nineties

August 22, 2014

Style Inspiration: Nouveau Nineties | Peaceful Dumpling

In case you haven’t noticed, the nineties are back in a major way. Everywhere I turn I see: duster cardigans (those are super long cardigans for those of you too young to remember), vampy dark lips and nails, Birkenstocks, crop tops, little slip dresses, etc. While there are certain things I wish would never be resurrected (the “Rachel,” suiting vests, too-thin eyebrows, denim jacket + floral dress combo–eeek), the new look for the 2010s (oh my god, are we really 3/4 way through 2014?!) is more tailored, sophisticated, and polished. Here are some things that are on my fall shopping wish list–all vegan-friendly.


Knitz by For Love and Lemons Sweater Top and Skirt, $98 each

I absolutely adore this look. Crop tops of course were huge in the nineties (even more accepted than now!) but the monochrome pairing with a snug pencil skirt makes it more elegant and sexy. I can’t decide if I need to just get the top, or just the skirt, or go for broke and get both.


Vintage cameo sterling silver earrings from 1920s, $55 on Etsy

The nineties were influenced by Victoriana (chokers, cameos, lockets, etc)–these vintage earrings from the 1920s do that just right.


Nasty Gal Trench coat, $68

Trench coats were big in the nineties…literally. I like my trench coats more tailored than loose, no matter what the current trend. A single-breasted coat like this one is more streamlined and slimming. Wear with a little camisole dress, or a tee and jeans.


Topshop Lace Hem Slip Dress, $76

To update the lace slip dress, I suggest taking the boudoir look just a bit more in the subtle direction. This means layering (a cardigan will do just fine) and more polished hair and makeup to show you meant to wear it out (no bedheads, please).


Mia Faux Leather heels, $59

If you have seen my Pinterest board you will know that I’m crushing on ankle strap, pointy toe pumps. Does anything get more nineties than ankle straps? To stay current, pick zero- or almost-no platform, and stiletto heels.


Free People floral slip dress, $118

Ah prairie chic. Go ahead and indulge in becoming your inner nineties idol (#winonaforever).


Anthropologie cotton and nylon cable pullover, $98

I did you a huge favor at 5 o’clock on a Friday morning by finding this perfect cable knit cream sweater that is also vegan-friendly. Wear with absolutely everything.


Mia faux leather boots, $89.99

Do you love knee high boots? For the longest time I feared they cut my legs off at the wrong place but I’m beginning to get more into them. Every time I see them I think of Gwyneth Paltrow circa 1997. Pair with a turtleneck sweater and pencil skirt, sleek hair and dark red lips.


Kate Spade Saturday skinny jeans in Indigo, $110

At the beginning of summer Jennifer and I stumbled into Kate Spade Saturday (on a Saturday!) in Soho, and I bought a pair of their skinny jeans in Black. I debated the wisdom of buying skin-tight black jeans in June but man were those the best $55 (on sale) I ever spent–I’ve been wearing them all through the summer. They have just the right amount of stretch and shape your curves in all the right places (basically, super slimming), and look good with both heels and flats. Next, I have my eyes on you, Indigo.

Style Inspiration: Nouveau Nineties | Peaceful Dumpling

Julep nail polish in Coco, $14

For *the* most nineties thing ever, I nominate brown lipstick. Actually the very first makeup memory I have is seeing models with cocoa pouts and thinking, “gosh I want to look like that.” I don’t really have that same yearning for dark brown lips nowadays. But this Julep polish in coco is simply the best brownish red I’ve seen, ever. It’s so vampy, sexy, and sophisticated–so while in the same nineties moodiness, it makes you feel like a million bucks (and less like an angsty teenager). Plus, it’s a vegan, non toxic nail polish that’s available at Sephora–enough said.

Are you feeling the retro mood? What’s your favorite nineties throwback memory? Do share! 


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How to Update Your Wardrobe

How to Find Your Signature Style



Photo: Peaceful Dumpling; Nasty Gal; TopShop; Lord & Taylor; Free People; Anthropologie; Kate Spade; Julep

Juhea is the founder and editor of Peaceful Dumpling and the author of bestselling novel Beasts of a Little Land. Follow Juhea on Instagram @peacefuldumpling, @juhea_writes and Pinterest.


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