Tourist Trophy Garage

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Born in 1971, I wore J Crew chinos in the 90s and I knew nothing about clothes except that I liked them plain and simple. J Crew chinos in those days were cut baggy and without pleats and fairly well made. They were available in stone, khaki and olive. The pockets were cut on seam, but not deep enough that I didn't lose a half-dozen pen knives in friends' sofas. I had a few pair with the button fly, but most had zippers.

I didn't know what size shirts to buy then and they were certainly all Large even though I had a 39" chest. I've recently found sport shirts with letter sizing from the same era at the thrift in my size (now a solid L with 42" chest) and the collars are spare and the shoulders dropped. The 90s were well influenced by David Byrne's big suit and it took a long time to recover. The baggy look of that era made it difficult for a fellow to pick clothes if he didn't know what actually fit and only wore off the rack casual stuff from mall stores and mail order houses where there was no supervision.

I had a job around that time that required me to wear a shirt and tie (slinging cocktails) and figured out how to measure my neck and sleeve, so dress shirts actually fit me pretty well, went through a ton of 15.5/34 Stafford tab collar shirts from JC Penney. They had an "athletic fit" that was slim in the waist. I pressed a shirt every day and wore them until the collars were frayed. I was required to wear black trousers for work and the only ones available had pleats. It was impossible to find black pants without pleats then for some reason, and I hated it.

J Crew had straighter-cut chinos with frog mouth pockets by 96 or so, and I had a pair of those, too. (oof!)I can remember wearing them with a white BB OCBD and boiled wool v-neck sweater from Gap on New Year's Eve (must have been 96 or 97)
 

ricardofrancisco

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I grew up in the 90's and in my opinion it was a period where it was all about comfort and the "accept me for who I am (because I'm a slob)" attitude hence most of the youth ended up wearing either extremely baggy clothes such as those worn by hip-hoppers or the "just-rolled-out-of-bed" look preferred by grunge rockers. Luckily, my parents taught me not to be too trendy.
 

Duvel

Connoisseur
Ah, good old George. He's definitely trad, and he's definitely 1990s, but his clothes reach back, fortunately, to eras well before the 1990s.
 

WillBarrett

Super Member
What you just posted is actually the uniform of mid-to-late 2000's east coast frat boys rather than a trad 90's get-up.

That's been the getup of SEC and ACC frats since the early 90s, at least, and I've seen pictures of Greeks in the late 80s sporting worn out Duck Heads, polos and grey new balances. That look is close to twenty-five years old in this neck of the woods.

And it's a solid look, too, as a casual stepping stone towards something more traditional.
 

WillBarrett

Super Member
J. Crew did have a great color palate back then. They also made some decent button fly chinos. Actually, they had the 9 to 11" inseam shorts and a de rigeur anorak pullover thing.
I recall the inverted stripe shirts, where the background would be light blue, or sometimes pink, with widely spaced white stripes being popular.
I believe this is the era when the Gap, BR , etc. started selling ties too.
I worked at Gap in 2000 for about nine months, and back then we still sold lots of solid basics - good polos, sturdy chinos (and shorts!), heavy denim, sweaters and the Big Oxford. It wasn't perfect, but lots of good stuff to be had. Truth be told, I wish I still had my big oxfords I bought back then.
 

WillBarrett

Super Member
and while we're at it...

J. Crew in fall 2003 was ON FIRE. I still wear some poplin tartan shirts and a rugby I bought that year. Had a nice lambswool rollneck that I finally unloaded on e-bay. Khakis were solid...man the middle ground has just collapsed.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
and while we're at it...

J. Crew in fall 2003 was ON FIRE. I still wear some poplin tartan shirts and a rugby I bought that year. Had a nice lambswool rollneck that I finally unloaded on e-bay. Khakis were solid...man the middle ground has just collapsed.
Agreed, even until probably +/- '08, J.Crew had yet to go full on skinny, so you could still get classics in classic sizes. While I still do well with the brand - I am very skinny so some of the slim stuff fits me like regular clothes fit others - it was, to your point, on fire in the first years of the 2000s.
 

Duvel

Connoisseur
I bought some pretty good things around 08/09 at the Crew, but yes, quickly after that they went all skinny-trendy. Their tartan button-downs around 08/09 hit it out of the park, and I still wear a couple of them to this day. It was almost like they'd started eavesdropping on Style Forum streetwear forum and were alarmed that all the hipster kids were liking all the weird San Francisco men's clothing stores.

Agreed, even until probably +/- '08, J.Crew had yet to go full on skinny, so you could still get classics in classic sizes. While I still do well with the brand - I am very skinny so some of the slim stuff fits me like regular clothes fit others - it was, to your point, on fire in the first years of the 2000s.
 
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corey

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
The early 90s were not a particularly proud span of years on my clothing timeline. Graduating high school in '94, I owned waaay too many articles from the now-defunct Chess King mall retailer (e.g., Z. Cavarrici’s, B.U.M. Equipment). However, I do miss the mid-atlantic chain, Britches Great Outdoors, along with A&N Stores...
 

katon

Super Member
1990 is now as far away from 2020 as 1960 was from 1990; anything becoming clearer?

What about the preppie-at-a-Phish-concert look? :)

I want to say that the 90s was when Lands' End started pushing repro-vintage baseball caps of the sort that the Cooperstown Ballcap Company used to make, which lead to modern companies like Ebbets Field Flannels (although I think Cooperstown is still around in some form as the Ideal Cap Company; little hazy on the connection.)
 
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