’90s Bollywood-inspired fashion: The good, bad and the ugly

Laugh over the worst but take inspiration from the good, suggests Shagun Gandhi about ’90s fashion, inspired by Bollywood

The ’90s are largely considered as a time when film fashion choices were the norm. However, it was difficult to find attire you could replicate in real life, even for a costume party! This is the only reason why the fashion moments were so rare. We grew up watching Kajol, Rani Mukerji and Aishwarya Rai at the movies. As kids, most of us would try to dress up like them. And of course, our mothers too would take cues from the ’90s film fashion trends. This is the impact Bollywood has had on us! The decade started with films like Baazigar, Hum Aapke Hai Koun, Dil, etc. Let’s dig in and discover the best and worst trends that it offered.

The nasty

Sheer tees

There was nothing more horrifying that the Bollywood actors giving us a clear view of the chest through the sheer tees. Don’t forget the over-exaggerated snake charms and other accessories.

Chunky jewellery

Too much gold and shine! Wearing jewellery is one thing, but actresses in the ’90s used to over-do it majorly when it came to jewellery, may be due to fear of theft! This was the last time so much gold was ever seen on screen. The hideous plastic jewellery in rainbow colours also made its way into street wear in the ’90s, thanks to Bollywood.

Make-up overdose

The ’90s were all about shimmer, pink cheeks, and green-blue eye shadow with fake eyelashes. The make-up demonstrated a peculiar style of winged eyeliner curving beyond the eye. It is absolutely a relief that the actresses today play with minimalism and have abandoned the fake painted face.

Dungarees nightmare

’90s Bollywood-inspired fashion: The good, bad and the ugly

Among all the trends, the dungarees were a weird trend especially for men. We also saw Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan sporting them in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya. The actresses managed to carry it off in a trendy way. This trend definitely made the actors look like four-year-old boys…and not in a cute way!

Weird hair-dos

’90s Bollywood-inspired fashion: The good, bad and the ugly

Salman Khan created real havoc by parting his oily mane with a geometrical scale in the film Tere Naam. And obviously, right after that there were guys on the roads who took the hairstyle way too personally. Bhai fans loved it, but the rest of the sane world never did! Also, don’t forget Karisma Kapoor being inspired by the French-maid costume during Andaz Apna Apna.

Unflattering denims

The tapered denims in the ’90s had a very unflattering silhouette. Every kind of body type looked shapeless in them. During those days, an ugly, ill-fitted pair of denims was a common sighting and was sometimes even paired with uglier tops.

And the nice!

Off-shoulder tops & dresses

This trend was absolutely loved by everybody back then and now. It continued to make its way over the years.


’90s Bollywood-inspired fashion: The good, bad and the ugly

The trend of athleisure started in India right after the film Dil Toh Pagal Hai. This film launched the style of dressing up in sportswear everyday. We love to see celebrities sporting the athleisure look in different styles now.

Satin & chiffon saris

It all started with Madhuri Dixit’s legendary attire in Hum Aapke Hai Koun. We were also crazy about Karisma Kapoor’s silk saris in Biwi No 1. Also, the quintessential chiffon sari Bollywood look continued in the ’90s – but with better blouses.

Royal lehengas

The costumes were extravagant, royal and mesmerising just like every outfit of Aishwarya Rai in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Every girl adored her ensemble in that hit film.


If you are ’90s kid then you would have definitely worn the chokers that have made a massive comeback. Chokers were a thing! And we are so glad they are back.

High-waist pants

It’s no secret that high-waisted pants keep coming back in fashion. They look flattering for the lower body and usually make one look taller and leaner.

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