Following the launch of new E4 series My Mad Fat Diary, we've decided to have a look back through the '90s to discover what was better: Then or now
As we sat on the sofa watching My Mad Fat Diary with a packet of ham last night, watching the familiar sights of the '90s (the E4 series is set around 15 years ago), it got us thinking about everything we miss from the bygone era. The decade that feels like it was just the other day has been reduced to nothing more than a perfect theme for club nights and fancy dress parties. A time of big hair, skirts over trousers and crop tops (after puppy fat, before puberty). A time of pretending you were in a girlband with your three best mates and destined to marry Ronan Keating from Boyzone. And a time of trying really hard to get good at yoyos.
But that's not all the '90s was good for, loads of even better stuff happened during that time - and shaped the future of fashion, music, celebrities and more. So let's look back at all of the cool stuff the '90s created - and what it means for us today. OK? OK.
Rubber shoes: Why wouldn't we start with rubber shoes?! Back then we had the amazing creation that was jellies. In all colours of the rainbow (glittery pink being the obvious choice of course), they were staple beach wear of all kids - and a few tragic adults - in the 90s.
And now? Well. We have Crocs. 'Nuff said...
Boybands: The 90s were the golden age for boybands. With matching dance routines and shiny outfits, a variety of perfectly quaffed cheese balls graced the bedroom walls of teenage girls around the country. The 90s had the Backstreet boys, 5ive, and the kings of camp videos, Take That.
In the last year or two, boybands have returned - but they're fresher, cheekier, slightly less choreographed and equally groomed (in a messy on purpose sense). And, thanks to Twitter, modern day fans are even more obsessed than we were at school. You cried at a Take That concert? Big deal - our cousin ditched school to get a train to Nandos in Primrose Hill after Harry tweeted that he fancied piri piri chicken one time.
Girlbands: It was the decade that five feisty young ladies taught us the meaning of girl power. The Spice Girls had little girls (and a few boys) everywhere fighting over who gets to be who (were you Sporty Spice? Sucks for you!). Playgrounds were full of kids learning dance routines - and little girls pushing the boys around for once.
Today, it's hard to pick a definitive girlband that fills the Buffalo shoes of the Spice Girls, but there are plenty willing to try. And while we love The Saturdays and Girls Aloud, Little Mix are probably the biggest defenders of girl power in this day and age.
Justins: Back then a young Mr Timberlake, with his very cool curly hair (complete with frosted tips) was everyone's favourite Justin. As part of N Sync (did you know the band name is just the last letters of all their first names? Complicated but true!), Justin was at the start of what was set to be a rather impressive career, with dance routines a-plenty.
Now, Justin Bieber has stolen the crown of 'everyone's favourite Justin'. Set to become the most successful artist of all time, 7 singles from Justin's first album made it onto the Billboard 200. And with an army of dedicated Beliebers cheering on his every move, it looks like this young man will be around for some time (which could get awkward, because Justin Timberlake announced his first single in six years).
Tie dye: The swirly, whirly patterns of tie dye were a popular trend in the 90s. Part of the fun was never knowing how your design would come out and this hippy-inspired design was one that could brighten up any t-shirt (we still can't believe we liked this trend either).
Thankfully, tie dye has disappeared from the high street. What you do get instead, however is dip-dye... on your head. Adding a bit of brightness to otherwise boring hair, people are often seen experimenting with the tips of their locks, colouring them from blonde to blue. Or if you're Nicki Minaj, pretty much every colour in between and all at once.
Big hair: Remember that time before hair straighteners? God forbid. It was an era of hardcore blowdrying, crimping and handfuls of hair gel - anything to stop the frizz! Big, side swept hair was everywhere, from the red carpet to the high street, with everyone attempting to get the Rachel from Friends, but ending up with Zac from Hanson.
Nowadays, we've been saved from the frizz monster, but big hair has made a comeback through back combing galore. At least this time it's by choice and we're all a little sleeker when it comes down to it (thank God).
Celeb couples: Madonna was dating Vanilla Ice, the gorgeous Johnny Depp was with Winona Ryder and Neil Patrick Harris was with Christine Taylor.
They didn't last. Some for more obvious reasons than others. Nowadays, reality stars like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West fill our celeb pages. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt take home the prize for the most ridiculously beautiful couple and on this side of the pond we're all excited about Rochelle from the Saturdays and Marvin from JLS's unborn child. And just like the 90s, we are still as hooked to celebs hooking up as ever.
Leggings: It was perfectly acceptable in the 90s to wear your leggings as trousers, with just a t shirt - a topic that still sparks debate today! A great fashion statement or best left for the gym? Who cares, they're comfy as can be!
We're still divided - but leggings have evolved, become patterned, denim, leather and even woolly. However they have changed, it's clear that this is one trend that has survived into the new millennium. They're just so damn handy!
TV shows: Everyone's favourite buddies chilling in Central Perk were the perfect companions for dinner in front of the telly. Friends proved to be one of the most loved shows of the 90s, as we all laughed along to 'could you BE more [insert quip here] and rooted for Ross and Rachel to get together! And we can't talk about 90s TV without mentioning the classic, Fresh Prince of Bel Air. It's the show that threw Will Smith into the limelight and gave us the most memorable theme tune of all time. The ultimate test to prove if you're a true 90s kid? Knowing every. Single. Word.
Today, TV is getting more shocking with Girls and Skins, The Big Bang theory and New Girl provides the giggles (apparently canned laughter wasn't left in the last millennium) and reality TV shows like Big Brother, X Factor and I'm A Celebrity are everywhere. Sherlock, Dr Who, Homeland and Mad Men bring the drama - but the TV theme tune to epitomise this decade? Still to be confirmed.
And finally, mobile phones: The decade that sparked the alternative use of the word 'brick'. In the early 90s these chunky devices (bigger than your average house phone) were only owned by a select few. Rich kids and children with really safety conscious parents. When we weren't pranking our mates and downloading the latest Destiny's Child ringtone, we pretty much played Snake during the whole of the 90s.
Today, kids as young as eight are running around with shiny new iPhones! Text speak is no longer necessary and calling people is just one, minor feature of the phone-camera-computer-music player-diary-calculator-games-console thing that we call a Smartphone. With apps for absolutely for everything, phones have transformed more than we could ever have imagined. And, in case you were wondering - you can still get Snake.
For more '90s nostalgia, look back on the best teen shows ever here!