Flash Back Fashion: Mood Rings & Butterfly Clips

It’s 1996 and tonight’s that momentous occasion you’ve been waiting for.  It’s your middle school dance and you are beyond pumped.  You ordered your dress from Delia’s two months ago, picked up some gem tattoos from Claire’s, and Tommy, the class JTT doppelganger and your crush since birth (or 5th grade), is your boyfriend date.

Did I mention you are excited?  If you are even a little uncertain of those prepubescent feelings, just take a look at that cool mood ring you’ve been sporting since the summer.  Try to get past that silly green stain it’s left behind on your finger and really just focus on the beauty that is this precious, all-knowing gem.  What’s that? You’re blue with a little yellow? How does it know you so well!? You ARE optimistic for a good night, but still a little anxious – what if Tommy tries to hold your hand?  Mood ring, you nailed it.

Now that your “true” feelings have been squared away, it’s time to work your magic on your hair.  Round up your girlfriends and tell them to bring over their butterfly clip collection – sparkly, two-toned, animated (the ones with the springy wings) – you want it all, you’re going to look so good tonight, like, so good.  Bust out that spray gel and get to making that twisty-cornrow-esque looking do, secure them with butterfly clips and bam, it’s like they effortlessly flew right out of your stomach and onto your head.  With an affirmative mirror check and a quick mental note to “always do your hair this good,” you’re off and you’re looking like the little diva you think you are.

Fast-forward 17 years and we’re 20-somethings, we’re nostalgic, and we’re judging.  Let’s face it, we’ve all been there.  Questionable fashion choices have been around since the beginning of time and in the spirit of equality, we’ve all been victims.  Rarely, if ever, has anyone gotten out of life, let alone teenage/prepubescent years, without one, two or 32 fashion faux pas that they’d rather forget.  At the end of the day, they are all experiences that have helped shape who we are both in our clothes and out in the real world.  Besides, going through that old box of photos (yes, “box of photos,” sorry, Facebook, that’s where these live) just wouldn’t be quite as amusing if we always looked like we stepped off the cover of Teen Vogue.  What a perfect reminder that fashion should be fun and always be a representation of ourselves – even if that ‘self’ is a little bit silly.

What’s your favorite ‘regrettable-but-awesome-at-the-time’ fashion choice?


TSV Signature

Hair clip image via ShutterStock.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=17801143 Melanie Schmitz


    – stirrup stretch-pants (yes, that’s what they were originally called.)
    – Jelly shoes (ouch. Blisters.)
    – peel-off nail polish
    – unicorn sweaters
    – denim overalls
    – baby tees
    – tie-dye tee shirts
    – scrunch socks
    – scrunch-ies
    – My entire wardrobe from 1999
    – plastic baby hair-bows
    – plastic baby binky necklaces
    – white platform sneakers

    I mean, I could keep going, but this is getting embarrassing.

  • http://www.thestyleverdict.wordpress.com The Style Verdict

    Melanie, I’m laughing out loud because this also was my life. I probably should have put a “Part 1″ in the title because one post really isn’t enough. Is it wrong that I still have a collection of jellies, scrunchies, and stick-on earrings (days of the week, of course) somewhere in the time capsule that is my attic? Probably, but 90s fashion was too amazing to throw out.
    Thanks for reading and commenting! xo

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=660096841 Britney Barber

    Can’t forget about body glitter, white eyeliner, and watch rings. Oh, the 90s… how I miss thee.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10034404 Sarah Rhea Reveles

    I had a giant collection of springy butterfly clips thanks to my aunts. I loved those things. I think my hair was in the corn row style for my 6th grade graduation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1143799237 Juliet Wallace

    Let’s see….I loved (no make that LOVED) my platform sneakers (even after I skinned both knees because they were difficult to walk in), I thought I looked awesome in camouflage tanks (especially the blue and black one) and overalls with only one strap buckled…of course, and I had a stuffed animal backpack (raccoon)….almost forgot Airwalks! I begged for a pair for weeks in 7th grade.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=865240260 Clein Clarein Bear

    This is my favourite Hello Giggles post EVER!
    I still have a ton of butterfly hair clips. In a Simpsons bag, no less! I was a massive hair accessory fan and have a, frankly embarrassing, amount of them left! Including Diamante ‘ANGEL’ hair slide/bobby pins. Classic!
    Do you remember the plastic/rubber bracelets?! In England they were sometimes called ‘shag bands’ hahaha! I have a few of those knocking about! Ah, the memories! 😀

  • http://www.thestyleverdict.wordpress.com The Style Verdict

    Hi Britney! I, too, was obsessed with body glitter and I’m not sure I’ll ever really understand why. My favorite place to sport it was on the outer corners of my eyes – how sexy, right!? Also, watch rings – totally forgot about those. There was something so innovative about checking the time on your finger :)
    Thank you so much for reading and commenting with some pretty amazing 90s fashion statements!

  • http://www.thestyleverdict.wordpress.com The Style Verdict

    Hi Sarah! I’m so happy you could relate to this post. Were butterfly clips and twisty-cornrows not THE go-to hair style for dances, proms and graduations!?
    Thanks for giving my post a read and for the great comment!

    P.S. The springy clips were the best 😉

  • http://www.thestyleverdict.wordpress.com The Style Verdict

    Hi Juliet! Oh my God, I completely forgot about the camo tanks. I think I indulged in one from Limited Too (R.I.P <3 ). And, platform sneakers were like the best and worst thing to happen to me in middle school. I'm with you on how difficult they were to walk in. But, on top of that, I had these ones that were draped in a type of faux leather with an oil slick (?) design on them. Don't even ask. They were completely ridiculous. Ah, 90s. . .
    Thank you for reading and commenting! :)

  • http://www.thestyleverdict.wordpress.com The Style Verdict

    Clein, you are too sweet! Thank you so much for the kind compliment – I’m so glad you enjoyed this article! I love how you found your old hair clip collection in a Simpsons bag, that is priceless. Of course, I remember those rubber bracelets! I’m certain I started borderline hoarding them like they were some sort of currency. Also, “shag bands”!? How funny – it’s always interesting to hear of the different names people have for some of our favorite items!

    Thank you again for reading and for your thoughtful comment! :)

Need more Giggles?
Like us on Facebook!

Want more Giggles?
Sign up for our newsletter!