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These are the most popular ‘90s accessories in the US and UK

By Marjorie van Elven


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The biggest fashion trend of 2018, hands down, was nostalgia. “1990s fashion”, “1980s fashion” and “grunge fashion” topped Google’s list of most-searched fashion terms in the United States last year. Big logos, baggy jeans, scrunchies, jelly shoes, chunky sneakers and butterfly clips have all made a comeback, as did brands like Fila, Champion, Fubu and Juicy Couture.

While some see it as fashion’s natural cycle, in which every trend is bound to come back someday, others offer a socioeconomic explanation for the nostalgia wave: Millennials are so frustrated with their student debts, low wages and sky-high rents that they cannot help but long for the days when life didn’t seem so difficult. Basically, they’re buying back their youth.

Whatever the reason is, the fact is savvy retailers are turning nostalgia into profit. However, they should know not all ‘90’s-inspired items are made equal. Due to their inexpensive nature, accessories are selling more than apparel, according to data analytics firm Edited -- and some accessories perform better than others. Here’s how retailers can best maximize their assortment to benefit from the ‘90’s trend.

Fanny packs

Fanny packs have seen major growth year over year among US and UK fashion retailers. There has been a 265 percent increase in fanny pack offerings in the UK and a 115 percent increase in the US. Now, premium and luxury retailers are picking up the trend as well.

Bucket hats

US retailers offered 504 percent more bucket hats in the last twelve months than in the previous twelve months. In the UK, the growth has been much smaller, but still quite impressive, at 163 percent.


If you’ve got the feeling that the world has been flooded by scrunchies, it’s because it has. This item experienced an 81 percent increase in the UK and a 99 percent increase in the US year over year.

Beaded bags

Accessories retailers are also betting on beaded bags. US retailers increased their assortment of such bags by 48 percent in the last 12 months, while UK retailers expanded their assortment by 36 percent.

Hair clips

While hair clips in general haven’t seen a growth as impressive as the products mentioned above (there has been a 7 percent increase in the UK and a 2 percent increase in the US), if we break down the category we can see that some types of hair clip are enjoying a surge in popularity. UK retailers expanded their assortment of shell hair clips by 200 percent in the last 12 months. In the US they are up 112 percent. Pearl hair clips are also popular, having experienced a 41 percent uptick in both the UK and the US.

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Images: Asos Facebook, Accessorize Facebook, Zalando Facebook, Supreme Facebook