Every Angela has a Jordan, every Rachel has a Ross. So for those left out by our ladies' edition of quintessential 90s Halloween costumes, we present the male counterpoints. While I am not one to police good taste, and I enthusiastically support the right of everyone to dress like Dennis Rodman at least once in their life, let's remember that no acceptable costume in 2016 includes blackface.
You can't talk about the '90s without discussing Will Smith. No other artist owned the decade from beginning to end, crossing from music to television to film. In 20 years we'll all be dressingup as Jayden and Willow, but first let’s celebrate their father. You can go for Fresh Prince mode in bright baggy clothes and a goofy hat, celebrate Independence Day in army fatigues, or get jiggy with it in a bright floral-print suit.
Before Jordan Catalano, the tortured Gen X masculine ennui was embodied by Ethan Hawke. It didn’t even matter what he was acting in, he was still that aloof, pretentious poet who reminded you of the guy in your English Lit course, who, when he deigned to show up, started every sentence with "Actually..." While he doesn’t have the same visual range as Will Smith, you can choose from being a jerk to Winona Ryder at the Galleria , being a jerk to Julie Delpy in Vienna, or being a jerk to Uma Thurman IRL. So find some skinny black denim, slightly torn white undershirt, a soul patch, and a tattered copy of Kerouac's On the Road, and get out there and act distant and noncommittal to some ladies!
Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, every generation has a tragic figure whose premature death is a seminal moment. Before Tupac, Selena, and Aaliyah, there was Kurt Cobain, tortured soul, heroin aficionado, founder of grunge and lead singer of Nirvana. Most people in my generation remember where they were when they found out that he committed suicide, and for some, it’s the defining moment of the decade. Find a large flannel button-down to wear over a t-shirt and find some loose denim and chain wallet to complete the look. Accessories include either a guitar or a messy blonde in a babydoll dress pretending to be Courtney Love. Note: Going as Kurt Cobain is probably more iconic (and legal) than going as the Nevermind baby.
Perhaps more known for his antics off the court than as a power forward for teams such as the Pistons, Spurs, and Bulls, Dennis Rodman embodied 90s excess and eccentricity. In addition to being an NBA champion multiple times over and the seven-time rebound leader, Rodman also dated Madonna and Carmen Electra, popularized male nose piercings, and snatched Wesley Snipes’ hair from Demolition Man. Before his recent scrimmage matches with his buddy Kim Jong-Un, Rodman infamously married himself for all the world to see. So commemorate this bonkers moment in time by finding a cheap wedding dress, some fake tattoos, and blonde wig.
Thanks to the rise of the Spice Girls, bubbly pop acts surged in the late 1990s. Fangirls (and boys) fell into two camps—you called in your TRL votes for Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC. In the battle of the boy bands, one person emerged victorious and continues to be relevant to this day—Justin Timberlake. Before he aped the style and blue-eyed soul of a pre-douche Robin Thicke, he was the ramen fro’ed, twinky tenor of the greatest boy band of all time. Why not emulate the original (and to some, only) Justin with baggy jeans, puffy sweater, and a puka shell necklace. Complete the homage by memorizing the “Bye Bye Bye” hand choreography and performing it on command.