The 1990s were a golden era for music, network TV and romcoms, but it was the accessories that made it the best era to be a teenager.
From the latest hair styles to unfathomable jewellery, kids of the ‘90s had cool on lock.
Here, Christine Atkinson from ImproMafia lists five must-have accessories for any '90s teen, ahead of their delightfully silly Brisbane Comedy Festival performance 'Heartfelt High'. Nostalgia time!
As pointless as their modern silicone incarnations, slap bands or slap bracelets were weirdly popular and often meant teenagers were walking around with random advertisements literally slapped on their wrists. I’m genuinely not sure why these were popular, other than their sprung magnet technology. Slap bands were invented by a school teacher which is pretty weird given they were frequently outlawed in school once teachers worked out they were flexible knives in colourful disguise.
Seriously, was there ever a toy so destined to drive parents mad as these miniature electronic pets? (Yes, recorders.) Kids with Tamagotchis had to feed them, play with them and toilet train them or clean up virtual droppings as they grew from eggs to adult creatures and finally died, all while beeping like a crazed pedestrian crossing. Mums and dads probably bought Tamagotchis thinking their kids might learn the skills needed to keep a real pet alive. Instead, they wound up in teachers’ drawers or taken to work so parents could keep ‘feeding’ them when their kids were at school. I told you not to bring your damn Tamagotchi to the budget meeting, Susan!
What’s better than a banana clip to keep your hair off your face? The practical and cute scrunchie, of course! While some girls would only venture as far as one scrunchie per head, those of us with waist length hair and a true sense of style knew the best way to rock them was in bulk. They were the fashion trend that anyone with a fistful of hair to pull off to look just like those stylish girls from 'Saved By The Bell' and 'Full House'.
For a fleeting moment before the company went bankrupt, the absolute must-have clothing of the early ‘90s was the Hypercolor t-shirt. These magic shirts combined casual wear and awesome science. The coolest kids were easily identifiable by the pink hand prints on their blue shirts. They weren’t great for warmer climates, or when your mum ironed it and then put it in the freezer to fix it, despite being a scientist and understanding that wouldn’t actually work. Thanks, mum!
With the arrival of compact discs, teenagers everywhere were calling out for a way to listen to music while hanging out at suburban shopping centres. Enter the Sony Discman. With the patented 15 second anti-shock technology of the portable CD player, we could skateboard and listen to our favourite songs for 15 seconds at a time. Until Apple’s reboot as a musical megacorp, the Discman was the only way to listen to 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' or 'No Scrubs' without parental noise complaints.
'Heartfelt High' plays Brisbane City Hall from 19-24 March.