Have you noticed a resurgence of 90s style of late? It seems like all the cool kids these days love nothing more than hopping into the fashion trends of thirty years ago (hold on, was it really that long ago?). If you’re anything like me, you spent the halcyon days of your youth in the 90s enmeshed in the style of the decade, never realising that it would someday be considered retro! However, I’m not saying that simply ALL of the fashion trends in the 90s should make an instant comeback. Wearing Cross Colours and backwards jeans was never cool then, or now. No, what I’m talking about is how we big men can bring some uniquely cool style elements of the 90s to bear on our fashion wardrobes. Flannel shirts, bomber jackets, boots, and jeans come at me! The 90s are back baby!
Unless you are Jonah Hill in 22 Jump Street do not wear your flannel shirt like this
If you listened to the likes of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Tumbleweed, the flannel shirt was your 90s uniform. I basically lived in one of these for the duration of the decade. Having sourced my flannel shirt from the local Op Shop, I could never get the stale smell of old people and mothballs out of it. Nevertheless, flannel shirts are on the comeback big time. And they are a great look for us big men. Effortlessly cool, the flannel shirt should either be worn fully untucked and unbuttoned (say over a white undershirt), or alternatively buttoned right up (yes, even the very top button). Roll the sleeves up if you wish. At no stage should we big men wear a flannel shirt tucked in. No one should be out there looking like a farmer (unless you are one, of course) or a serial killer, or both.
Big man in a bomber jacket: a quintessentially cool look
As their name suggests, bomber jackets were originally designed to keep pilots warm during WWII. However, they looked so cool that, after the war, the youths began to adopt them as a fashion statement. The early 90s is when the bomber jacket enjoyed its heyday. Fuelled by such iconic late 80s films as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Top Gun, the bomber jacket burst onto the scene, sported by such 90s Hollywood heavyweights as Nic Cage. These days, we big men can achieve the perfect retro look by opting for a monochrome coloured bomber jacket. You can dress it up by layering over the top of a nice jumper. Add a pair of classic jeans and you are set to rock it.
Essentially, the 1990s were the age of boots. And 3 big names dominated the decade: Doc Martens, Timberlands, Rollers. If you aren’t sure of what Rollers are, you obviously did not go to my high school where they were all the Rage. And boots are making a big resurgence today. Comfortable, durable and cool, what’s not to love? Nothing says street cred like a big man in a pair of boots. Or, you might be trying to conjure up the utilitarian big man look. Whatever the case may be, boots are your new style asset in stepping out from the norm. As the old English proverb goes: “The man in boots does not know the main in shoes.”
“That guy in super skinny jeans looks super manly,” said no one ever.
When it comes to finding the right pair of jeans to top off your 90s inspired look, we suggest going after a slim or relaxed fit for big and tall men. Big men should avoid skinny jeans (edit: that should read “all men”). Slim jeans certainly afford the big man a more ‘structured’ look. Grab them in a dark colour and you are ready to partay at your next smart-casual occasion. A more relaxed fit pair of jeans will not only be super comfortable, they are also a great option for day-to-day casual wear. A nice pair of classic blue jeans really does pair with just about anything in your big man’s wardrobe.
So, there you have it. 4 essential style tips borrowed straight from the 1990s that we big men can use to big up our look today. Take a leaf out of your younger self’s style game and harken back to a simpler time. A time before smartphones and social media. Ahh, the 1990s: crazy times, great memories, and most importantly, no evidence.
By Anthony Cheadle