Blast from the Fashion Past How the trends of the 1900s have resurfaced in contemporary high school style

Fashion trends change all the time, and sometimes even repeat throughout history. More recently, many trends linked to the 1980’s and 1990’s have returned to popularity as they are modified by the younger generations. With the effectiveness of social media, many of these trends worn by famous Instagram models and public figures have caught the eyes of young and on-trend teens at Walpole High School who are eager to add new styles to their closets.

Clear Aviators & Tiny Sunglasses

Both clear aviators and tiny glasses have become the necessary accessory in every trendy “hipsters” collection.

Clear aviators are wide-lensed and metal-rimmed glasses that stray from the usual protective eyewear as the glasses have no prescription purpose except to serve as a stylish compliment to any outfit.

The trend first surfaced in the fashion world in the 80's and soon was popularized by stylists of shows from “Friends” to “90210.” In 2017, the glasses made waves on the runway before transferring over to social media where popular creators on YouTube and celebrity models like Kaia Gerber inspired students at WHS to work the accessory into their own look.

Junior Claire Sullivan poses wearing rose gold rimmed aviators.
"Clear aviators are totally rad and super fun to style!"

-Claire Sullivan

As far as tiny sunglasses, they may remind you of John Lennon’s iconic tiny circular frames—only smaller. While Kim and Kanye inspired the resurgence of the trend, others are certainly doing their part in keeping it alive: Gigi Hadid even released her own collection of sunglasses in partnership with Vogue Eyewear, which offers four different options of narrow lensed glasses.

While sunglasses are a difficult accessory to work into a school wardrobe, senior Liv Claus has definitely incorporated the trend into her personal style opting for narrow, black rimmed frames she found online.

Senior Liv Claus poses with her pair of tiny sunglasses. Photo credits: Liv Claus.


Senior Gabby Donahue models a simple ponytail with a grey, velvet scrunchie.

It is hard to imagine that we spent so long without a pain-free option to hair ties, but this year the celebrated scrunchie stepped back out on the fashion scene.

Scrunchies are perfect for those who hate the restrictive and painful plain-black hair elastics that leave those circulation-cutting, red indents on your wrist. Scrunchies do not crease your hair after it is tied back in a ponytail for too long, and they offer a stylish alternative to the simple hair tie as they come in all colors, patterns, materials and sizes.

Scrunchies are perfect for long school days and alleviating the harsh effects of pinning your hair up for long periods of time, such as possible irritation of the scalp and sometimes headaches.

Urban Outfitters, an on trend 80’s inspired store, is the main contributor to these different styles: they recently released sequined, pastel-colored, velvet, and patterned scrunchie sets composed of a variety of colors.

This fashion trend rose to interest in the 1980’s and 1990’s as they made many appearances in television shows such as “Full House” with the trend religiously worn by Michelle Tanner, who was always seen sporting her iconic high ponytails.


Hoop earrings rose to popularity in the 80’s, and they made their comeback this year as featured on many models like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid. The earrings are seen today in all sizes, from tiny to shoulder-length—although through the 80’s people indulged in bigger hoops.

Junior Sara Stranahan grins wearing her hoop earrings and scrunchie.
"I love hoop earrings because they can dress up any outfit and you can see them easily no matter what your hairstyle is."

-Sara Stranahan

Sullivan also flaunts her silver hoop earrings.

They can be purchased almost anywhere—even for as little as $4.00 from Brandy Melville—which is the perfect price for high schoolers on a budget, so there really is no excuse to not complete your outfits with not only the simplest, but the cheapest of accessories.


Junior Julia Garrity wears a fluffy white turtleneck accompanied by some stylish ripped jeans and a floral yellow headband.

Being a comfy and slightly more stylish substitute for a regular sweater, a turtleneck is a cute trend that can be styled perfectly with some jeans or leggings. Whether it is for a comfy or a chic look, a turtleneck can come in all types of textures to fits, and can be the perfect winter outfit in your closet.

The turtleneck made its mark in the 1980’s and 1990’s with brighter, skinnier fabric than the latest, more bulky knitwear sweaters we see trending present day.

Every student has one class that is just always cold, so rely on a comfy, knit turtleneck to keep you warm in your coldest of classes.


Vans, a company created in 1966, has been consistently developing their unique styles of skater shoes for generations. Although Vans have been popular for such a long time, they hit a peak in sales this year once their new styles came out. Ask your mom and dad because if they weren’t wearing Adidas Superstars, they were most likely wearing Vans.

Junior Lily Ahmed poses wearing her checkered Vans and mom jeans.
"I like vans because they add more interest into an outfit rather than shoes with just one solid color"

-Lily Ahmed

Sullivan pairs her black high top Vans with black, ripped mom jeans.

Most popular around Walpole High School are the checkerboard slip-on Vans and the black or white “Sk8-Hi” high-tops. The comfy and stylish shoes go with all kinds of outfits and give off a sporty yet chic vibe.


Emerging as a primarily spring and summer fabric, metallic clothing has returned to the spotlight in the fashion world. From scrunchies to bags, the metallic trend spices up any outfit with a little flare. Although it may not look very sophisticated, the fabric is a fun addition to any outfit that needs that extra “oomph.” The trend first emerged widely in the 80’s, and made its comeback in the summer of 2017 on the runway in addition to the reappearance of holographic and clear materials.

Sullivan poses in a shiny, metallic skirt, paired with fishnets, clear aviators, a black mock neck shirt, and black, high top vans.
"Metallics are good for going out, but I also wear them to school all the time because I'm super extra."

-Claire Sullivan

Although it may take some guts to wear unusual clothing to school, junior Claire Sullivan and many other fashion-forward students do not shy away from the most unusual of fabrics, even metallic, and continue to incorporate the strange materials and colors into their own personal styles.

Mom Jeans

Sullivan smiles in black, ripped mom jeans, paired with a velvet sweatshirt and black, high top Vans.

Two-words that describe the 1980s? Mom jeans. The classic 80's style hinted at a comeback during 2017, and has entered 2018 as one of the most popular trends. Putting its own spin on the fashionable piece, the mom jeans now incorporate the rips that have flooded the jean industry throughout the year as well as cuffed up bottoms. The jeans lay out a wide, curvy waist which slightly slims down with length and was popular throughout the 80's as the casual style.

As a high-schooler there is not much motivation to wear anything else but sweats when rolling out of bed at 6:30 in the morning. However, mom jeans offer a comfortable alternative to annoyingly-tight jeggings or skinny jeans while still keeping things stylish.

Strutting in style does not have to break the bank either, juniors Claire Sullivan and Lily Ahmed have found the jeans for a generous price at nearby thrift stores like Savers.


Velvet, a popular 90’s trend, has made its’ mark on 2018. The unique fabric is perfect to add flare to any style, and it has raided all types of clothing; headbands, scrunchies, t-shirts, shoes, and sweatshirts. The Fenty Creepers have incorporated this fabric into their sleek shoes, and various clothing companies have created velvet pieces to sell in their stores.

Junior Melania St. Cyr wears a loose, black velvet hoodie.
"Velvet is cool because it's a material you can use in all types of clothing: velvet pants, velvet skirts, dresses, shirts, and chokers. It's very versatile."

-Melania St. Cyr

Sullivan poses in a black velvet, turtleneck sweatshirt.

At Walpole High School, students showed off both velvet sneakers and outerwear throughout 2017 to create a comfy yet fashion-forward look. Rather than sporting an athletic headband, students pulled hair back with velvet-detailed headbands—a more dressed up take on the popular “athleisure” style. While this material may seem very out-there, it is easier than it looks to dress up any casual outfit with a pop of velvet.

Comfortable, cute, and affordable headbands and scrunchies help keep your hair out of your face and prevent distraction during class or during tests.

Adidas Superstars

A pair of Adidas Superstars, very similar to the originals made in 1969.

Adidas released the first Superstars in 1969 and advertised it as a basketball shoe with two styles, the high top and the ankle height. The shoe quickly acquired the nickname “shell-toe” for its’ unique features on the tip of the shoe.

Recently, the black and white originals came back as a popular trend through social media, celebrity exposure, and on-trend fashion pages.

With the trend blowing up, Adidas released all new colors and styles of the shoe-creating a line of Stan Smiths inspired shoes, adding metallic colors, and using different base colors to improve sales.

At WHS, students have not been a stranger to the trend as a constant wave of the originals is always seen walking the hallways. The comfortable shoe provides a cushioned sole, perfect for any distance of walking, whether it is from class to class or around the city, the shoes keep you strutting in style.


Fishnets, a trend that first surfaced with the Flappers in the 1920's, has been repeating in history ever since. In the 1970's they were adopted by a more gothic and punk-rock style that ripped the tights to make the holes more drastic to subvert the mainstream image of typical women's clothing. Once again, in the 1980's the trend rose to popularity through the likes of Madonna, a style icon, who wore the trend frequently—from gloves to bodysuits to tank tops.

Sullivan pairs her fishnet tights with Vans and black, ripped mom jeans.
"Fishnets are great because they a. they make your legs look good and b. they can be worn under both jeans and skirts. Overall, I think they add another layer to any outfit"

- Claire Sullivan

The tights provide an alternate look to sheer or black tights, and give off a grunge and rugged look. Like pictured, the trend has been worn under ripped jeans, skirts, and dresses. The fishnet tights' success inspired stylists and big corporations to spread the fabric into different clothing categories, like socks and shirts, and on the runway fishnet dresses were even seen, weird enough as it sounds.

Although many students shy away from wearing dresses and skirts, trends never fail to inspire at least a few of the pack. Usually, the students at WHS are seen wearing the tights either under ripped jeans, to provide dimension and complexity, or under skirts and dresses, to add a grunge tint to the simplest of styles.

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.