First, it was a Sailor Moon rolling backpack. Years later, most likely a Lisa Frank knapsack — unicorn and alien stickers included. Eventually I graduated to a "mature" sky blue Jansport that I, for some reason, had all my friends sign — in Sharpie. Ah, '90s back-to-school accessories: 50 percent cringe-worthy, 50 percent perfectly nostalgic. With the world currently stuck in throwback mode, past decades are proving to be influential forces in the fashion field. Case in point: shopping modern versions of '90s back-to-school essentials. Time to break out the denim, tie dye, and glitter pens.
The thought of first day ice breakers and final exams terrify me, but if it's an excuse for retail therapy, I'm all in. I mean, I'm already knee-deep in the whole '90s resurgence anyway, so why not take it a notch further and deck out back-to-school shopping in same fashion? There are already enough choker shopping guides and manuals on how to dress like Kelly Kapowski to fulfill every millennial's inner '90s girl. What the world deserves is a school edition of '90s goodness.
With class in session soon, it's best you get started on that back-to-school checklist now. After all, do you really want to be the lone soul in your recitation that didn't scoop up that hologram backpack? You may have left embarrassing childhood memories in back in the '90s, but that doesn't mean you should be the last to hop on '90s back-to-school shopping.
1. The Transparent Backpack
Teenage Dream Backpack, $38, dollskill.com
There's no room for secrets here — transparent backpacks show it all. Most likely to be found in every high school hallway in the '90s, clear backpacks were perfect for the storaging and showcasing your beloved Lisa Frank notebooks.
2. The Lunchbox
Girl's Gotta Eat Lunch Bag, $24, bando.com
Every '90s girl had this cafeteria classic: the plastic lunch box, featuring either A) Disney characters, B) Sanrio characters, or C) My Little Pony (me: guilty of all of the above). For a modern update, look no further than the holographic lunch tote that could also double as space-chic handbag.
3. The Backwards Cap
Planetary Cap, $28, shopjeen.com
Take a cue from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and rock the backwards cap for the first day. Denim toppers were especially all the rage in the '90s, and luckily, you can still nail the look today.
4. The Book Bag
Local Heroes In A Mood Denim Patch Tote Bag, $55, nastygal.com
Happiness for the '90s elementary school kid meant the Scholastic Book Fair. Nothing could ever truly rival the beauty of persuing the catalog, making a mental wishlist, and then begging Dad (then Mom) for money when the fateful day came. But how does one wear the book bag in the year 2016? Easy — with denim patches, of course (bonus points for the avocado).
5. The Friendship Jewelry
Laser Kitten Best Friends Whatever Pin Set, $22, urbanoutfitters.com
From colorful lanyards to heart necklaces, jewelry commemorating friendship was everything in the '90s. After all, you and your clique had to assert dominance in the lunch room, and what better way to show unity then with matching friendship gear? Sadly, it's no longer 1995, and while you and your bestie may have since matured from neon woven bracelets, you can still stay true to the girl code with this Cher and Dionne pin set.
6. The Pencil Box
Monki Holographic Pencil Case, $8.09, asos.com
Before the dawn of laptops, guess what — students actually suffered through handwritten notes (the horror). I'll never forget my trusty purple Spacemaker pencil box that I drowned in glitter pens and scented markers. If you still want to keep it old school, skip the keyboard and go for a holographic pencil case instead.
7. The Flip Phone
Local Heroes Rainbow iPhone Case, $30, dollskill.com
Originally reserved for the "cool girls," flip phones were the unspoken status symbol (exhibit A: basically Cher and Co. in Clueless). Unfortunately, the flip phone has since been dethroned by the kingdom of smartphones — so unless you really want to make a statement by reverting back to a flip phone, you can simply give your iPhone a new '90s-inspired 'fit for the school year. I'm particularly digging this rainbow phone case because of the Lisa Frank vibes.
8. The Secret Diary
Dear Diary Bag, $28, dollskill.com
Raise your hand if you also had a secret diary where thoughts were spilled on boys, best friends, and beyond. Whenever I see composition notebooks nowadays, I get hit with an instant wave of nostalgia — I mean, where else could I perfect my cursive that would never be utilized again for the rest of my K-12 education? Diary or not, pay respect to your childhood with this brilliant composition book-turned-bag.
May your nostalgia never sleep.
Images: Courtesy Brands