Popular ’90s Cherry Red Fashion Looks

Cherry red is back for 2024, baby! Red has come and gone in popularity, but made a come back last year, according to Madé Lapuerta of Data, but Make it Fashion. Fashion forecasters are predicting it will continue into this year. In this post, we’ll glance back to see how the color appeared in fashion and style throughout the 1990s.

Defining cherry red

So, what exactly what color is cherry red? The color is defined as resembling the color of blood or cherries or tomatoes or rubies. It’s an extremely bright red color that often symbolizes youthfulness or risk taking. That being said, there are many shades of red that fall under the cherry red umbrella. Simplicable breaks down the different shades of the color, which I’ve summarized here:

Why cherry red is back in style

In 2023, every shade of red exploded all over the runways, but people seem to be gravitating most towards this shade of red. I pose this is because people are excited about life again as a whole. It’s something new, fresh and exciting. But, let’s turn to the experts. Here’s what fashion historian Ryan Yip told InStyle last year:

Red is associated with seduction and sexiness, but I think this year’s trend’s usage is to give vitality or a reminder of vitality, like a wake-up call to remind us that we’re still alive. Could it be that red is a type of spiritual armor to help us go through political and economic turmoil?

Ryan Yip, fashion historian

How the color showed up in the 90s

Cherry red showed up in many different ways throughout the 90s. Most popularly in red lipstick, which never goes out of style. Fashion-wise, super models often wore bright cherry red dresses when they were “off duty.” In magazines geared towards teens, the color was interpreted in an easier to wear way via plaid and more muted tones of the shade.

Off duty super models

The Off Duty Super Model in cherry red look is all about the dress. I love how the looks here range from sexy va-va-voom bodycon dresses to casual sheath dresses. These looks play up the drama of the color and immediately grab attention.

Shop this look

Ribbed Halterneck Midi Dress • Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini • $509
Sequin Mini Dress • P.A.R.O.S.H. • $598
Wrap Mini Dress • Mason by Michelle Mason • $495

Cherry red statement jackets

Cherry red statement jackets and coats were also popular in the 90s. They served as the focal point of of outfits, the main event if you will, but the red became a bit more subdued with the introduction of other colors. A lot of times, jackets appeared in high contrast and were often paired with black and white pants or skirts.

NIKKI LUND Women’s Water Repellent Michaela Jacket • $163
Belted Hilfiger Yacht Jacket • Tommy Hilfiger • $119
Faux Leather Moto Jacket • Elie Tahari • $375

As a complimentary piece

In acknowledgement that maybe not everyone loves red, we also saw red as a complimentary piece. In other words, looks where it was eye catching but not the main star. Cherry red can be incorporated into prints like polka dot or a a non-flamboyant piece of the outfit.

Shop the look

Reina Olga Tie-Detailed Skirt • Reina Olga • $135.87
Argyle-Knit Virgin-Wool Tank Top • MSGM • $307
Lace Crop Camisole • BDG • $34

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for checking out this post on cherry red. I hope this gave some ideas of how to replicate the way people wore this shade in the 90s. For more ideas, check out my Pinterest board on the color.


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