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The ‘90s are still a permanent reference point for today’s fashion landscape because, let’s face it, it never truly left us. And given our forever obsession with THE ‘90s movie Reality Bites, we wouldn’t have it any other way. From our fondness for sentimental music to those so very grunge style moments (hello, pretty much everything Winona Ryder wears), Reality Bites hits that nostalgic sweet spot. All the slush in NYC has us feeling grungier than usual, and we’re indulging our very ’90s kind of mood by revisiting some of the best style—and musical—moments in Reality Bites.

We could write a dissertation on Winona Ryder’s ‘90s looks, but for brevity’s sake, we’re doling out our love for Lelaina’s casually elegant Reality Bites wardrobe. Floral dresses were sort of a hallmark then, and Lelaina’s long vintage dresses and almost-frumpy baby doll tea dresses definitely hit the mark. Then there’s the iconic white “doily” dress (no, Troy, she does not look like a doily) she wears to her reality show’s premiere. That drop-waist dress was definitely a vintage ‘20s-ish piece—a throwback within a throwback, if you will. Of course, the idea of taking cues from the past isn’t a new phenomenon.

However, we like Lelaina best when she’s doing her androgynous thing: sleeveless silk tops, vests and low-slug trousers. It makes all while dancing in a 7/11 to “My Sharona.” Mostly, it makes us want to find a spiffy boho vest and play “Turnip Farm” by Dinosaur Jr. while contemplating our existential youth.

We can’t give Lelaina all the credit here. Lelaina’s color palette was on the more neutral side of things, but Vickie’s (Janeane Garofalo) outfits gives us excellent pops of color via bright yellow tights, fitted dresses and chunky heels. Hilariously, Vickie’s foray into retail at The Gap is more-or-less an exact representation of last year’s Normcore trend.

As much as Troy (Ethan Hawke) kind of sucks, we have to give the proper shout out to the super grungey looks, from the bowling-inspired button-ups to the dad jeans that are so terrible, they’re actually amazing. We’re okay with Troy’s existence in this movie because without him and his temporary departure, we wouldn’t cry every time Lelaina’s lying there in loose-fitted jeans and a unisex tee, with U2’s “All I Want Is You” playing in the background.


BAGS INSPIRED BY REALITY BITES – BUY OR BUILD YOUR OWN 

The ’90s gave us a pretty large spectrum of looks, but if you’re going for that more muted Lelaina wardrobe, here’s a practical yet stylish carryall.

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CARRYALL | Matte Italian Leather in Brown, $515

Then you can switch it up and get this chic briefcase in your forays as an aspiring professional.

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BRIEFCASE | Matte Italian Leather & Neomesh in Black, $370.

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February 04, 2015 by Robert Cordero