Costumes, Music, Decorations and More: How to Host the Perfect 90s Party

Costumes, Music, Decorations and More: How to Host the Perfect 90s Party

Whether you were born in it, grew up in it or just lived through it, the 90s decade is a memorable one for so many reasons. The fashion, the music, the TV and the world itself were all so iconic in the 90s that there's no shortage of ideas when it comes to a 90s dress up party. If you are wanting to host your own party or just need ideas for a good 90s outfit, we've got you covered! Check out our 90s costume, party, music and food ideas below.

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Costume Ideas

90s Costume Ideas

The key to any great 90s theme dress up event is the fashion. Hair, accessories, makeup and clothing all had their distinctive styles in the 90s, which were on display on televisions and in cinemas and magazines. Wondering what to wear to a 90s party? Here are some instantly-recognisable looks from your favourite celebrities and characters from the 90s:

Group Looks

Do you and your friends want the ultimate 90s group costume? Check out these great ideas.

  • The Spice Girls - The Spice Girls were an all-girl music group that put out hits like 'Wannabe', 'Stop' and 'Who Do You Think You Are', and each of the five members had their own iconic style that you can easily copy for any 90s theme party. Bonus if you have a gang of five who can dress up as each girl!
  • Posh Spice was known for her dark hair worn in a sleek bob and little black dresses.
  • Scary Spice wore bold clothing and patterns like skin suits and leopard print with big, natural hair.
  • Ginger Spice had long red hair and wore flamboyant clothes - her most famous outfit was a Union Jack Dress with red boots.
  • Sporty Spice wore tracksuits, athletic shoes and a high ponytail.
  • Baby Spice often wore her blond hair in pigtails and wore pastels and platform sneakers.

Pair these costumes with some coordinated 90s dancing and you'll be on your way to girl-power supremacy!

  • The Matrix - Instantly recognisable due to their all-black costumes, the main cast of the Matrix (1999) all dressed in similar clothing that you can easily replicate at home. Slim fitting black pants and singlets coupled with long black trench coats and defined black sunglasses are all you need.

To really immerse yourself in the role, try bringing some blue and red lollies to represent the red pill/blue pill choice famous from the movie and offer it to others at the party!

  • NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys - the two most popular boy bands of the 90s each feature five members and have distinctive styles that you can copy for your 90s outfit. Spiked, frosted tips are a must, and if you have facial hair, try styling it into a defined goatee. Tracksuits, sunglasses and bold colours will complete your look, as well as a few snappy dance moves.

Couple Looks

Want a matching or complimentary costume to wear at a 90s party? Here are some that will be super fun to wear with your bestie or partner:

  • Cher and Dionne (Clueless, 1995) - one of the most fashionably famous looks to come out of 90s media, the two best friends of the movie Clueless are known for their complementing tartan two-piece outfits. Pair them with long white socks, heels and a fancy handbag for the complete look.
  • Agents K and J (Men In Black, 1997) - Slick suits, cool weapons and grotesque aliens… the MIB franchise has it all! You'll need a sharp black suit and tie for this outfit, plus black sunglasses and shiny dress shoes. Top it off with either a large or comically small futuristic toy gun.
  • Buffy and Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 1997) - vampires seem to appear as a cultural phenomenon every decade, and in the 90s it was in the hit TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For a couple's costume, Buffy and her enemy-to-lover Spike are easy to assemble but super recognisable.
  • For Buffy, a blond wig or blond hairspray is a must. Then pair it with flared jeans, a singlet and a leather jacket. Bonus points if you can find a wooden stake!
  • For Spike, again bleached blond hair is iconic for this character (but a wig or hairspray are a lot easier than actually bleaching your hair). Then grab a rough-looking leather trenchcoat, red shirt and slim pants to finish.

Individual Looks

Individual Looks

Strike out on your own with these 90s costume ideas for people wanting to be their own character.

  • Ghostface (Scream, 1996) - horror movie fans will love dressing as the creepy Ghostface, the mysterious villain of the original Scream movie and continuing franchise. Besides the iconic white mask (which can be purchased or made with papier mache) you'll need a full-body hooded robe, black gloves and a plastic or rubber knife. Try popping out from closets or around corners to really scare people!
  • Britney Spears - the golden girl of the 90s, Britney Spears has quite a few iconic looks you can choose from! A blond wig is a necessity, but otherwise you can choose to copy her outfits from any of her famous music videos. The schoolgirl outfit from 'Baby One More Time' (1998) is one popular example.
  • Will (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, 1990) - one of the most popular sitcoms of the 90s that launched Will Smith's acting career, the main character Will had an undeniable sense of fashion that is great fun to wear. Find yourself a neon snapback cap, brightly coloured strip t-shirt and baggy pants, plus maybe just a bit of bling and some funky sneakers. Learn the theme song of the show and you're ready!

Popular 90s Fashion

Popular 90s Fashion

Not sure what to wear to a 90s party but you know you just want to wear general 90s clothing, as opposed to being a specific character? Luckily there are plenty of 90s-era clothes and accessories you can find around - here are our favourite 90s clothes and accessories.


  • Jelly shoes - see-through coloured sandals that were often made in light colours and had glitter on them, plus they were super squishy too! Almost every little girl in the 90s had a pair.
  • Martens Combat Boots - chunky, tough and badass, if you were into rock, grunge and other heavy music then you probably had a pair of these.
  • Chunky Sneakers - super comfy and always colourful, the chunky sneaker is actually in the middle of a comeback, so you won't have any trouble finding a pair for yourself!


  • Baggy pants - the baggier the better! Feel free to go for fully patterned pants or just a flat colour. Wear low to mid-rise, and have them gather at the ankle if possible.
  • Wide jeans - also baggy but wide at the bottom. Often a pale blue.
  • Skirts - think pleats, tartan and denim, all between knee and thigh length.Tops
  • Strappy singlets - often belly-baring and in a single colour, singlets with spaghetti straps showed off the wearer's shoulders and back as well.
  • Windbreaker jacket - warm but light, these jackets were often worn in block colours and were quite baggy.
  • Flannelette shirt - worn baggy (are you sensing a theme here?) and either open with a t-shirt or wrapped around the waist.


  • Bucket hats - every child's favourite sunhat, this comfy hat also provides moderate sun protection! Look for ones with bright block colours.
  • Snapback caps - these have been back in fashion for a while, but they originated in the 90s. They were usually worn facing the front.
  • Bandannas - okay so not strictly a hat but they can be worn on your head! Or around your neck. Camo and other detailed prints in all sorts of colours were popular.


  • Butterfly clips - pinch your hair into tiny sections with sparkly butterfly clips! The smaller the better.
  • Chokers - worn tight around the neck in all sorts of colours. Go black if you want to look formal, otherwise make it bright.
  • Scrunchies - pile your hair high and then keep it in place with a chunky, funky scrunchie.
  • Friendship bracelet - whether you made these or received them, friendship bracelets were only shared between besties. They were usually made of colourful plastic beads, and could even spell your name!


  • Blue eye makeup - whether it was eyeliner or eyeshadow, 90s makeup enthusiasts loved a bit of blue on their eyes - or a lot!
  • Body glitter - highlighter's over-the-top cousin, body glitter was big in the 90s. Use it on your face, chest, back, arms and legs, but make sure you are buying glitter made for body application and not just slapping on your old school glitter with an adhesive.
  • Smudged eyes - bring a little grunge into your look with smudged eyeliner or a dark eyeshadow. Make it a little messy too!
  • Lip Gloss and Liner - shiny lips penned in with lip liner was definitely a thing back in the 90s. Make sure the liner is a shade darker than your gloss to nail this look.

Hosting a 90s Themed Party

Hosting a 90s Themed Party

Now that you have your 90s outfit sorted, let's move on to hosting the perfect 90s party! There are three things we are going to focus on so you can get the vibe of your party just right - music, decorations and food.

90s Music

Every decade has its hits, but people growing up in the 90s will insist theirs is the best, and with good reason! There is a wonderful selection of pop, grunge, R&B and more - there really was something for everyone. But if you want to throw the perfect 90s party, you need the most popular tunes. Here are our top 10 tracks that are guaranteed to get people dancing and singing along:

  1. Baby One More Time - Britney Spears, 1998.
  2. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana, 1991.
  3. Wannabe - Spice Girls, 1996.
  4. Mambo No.5 (a little bit of…) - Lou Bega, 1999.
  5. Cotton Eye Joe - Rednex, 1995.
  6. I Want It That Way - Backstreet Boys, 1999.
  7. That Don't Impress Me Much - Shania Twain, 1997.
  8. U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer, 1990.
  9. Blue (Da Ba Dee) - Eiffel 65, 1998.
  10. Doctor Jones (Aqua), 1997.

There are, of course, heaps more where that came from. Curate your favourite 90s playlist using these songs as a start and make sure you brush up on your dance moves like the cha-cha slide and the running man! And remember, for a dance/song combo that everyone will know, you can always rely on the Macarena.

90s Decorations

Along with its fashion, the 90s had awesome pretty iconic decorations when it came to parties. If you can't find anything buried in your costume chest or tucked away in the attic, there are plenty of decorations available today that you can use. Try:

  • Making a CD wall out of your old discs
  • Hang metallic curtains across doorways and over walls (they make a great photo backdrop!)
  • Hang slinkys from the roof or position them across tables.
  • Colour your cutlery, plates and other tableware in neon colours.
  • Use glow sticks as decorations - make them into chains or just hang them from bannisters and hooks.

90s Food

90s Food

If you ever attended or hosted a children's party in the 90s, you know it was all about the sugar. Kids needed immediate energy to play of course! But mostly, these treats were both delicious and easy to make (or buy) for parents. The following treats and snacks will ensure your guests won't go hungry during your 90s themed party:

  • Ice cream cake - a staple at any kid's party, especially if it was at a play centre. Choose one that is coloured rainbow with sprinkles on it for maximum nostalgia.
  • Fairy bread - easy to make and so, so tasty despite the fact it's only 3 ingredients - hundreds and thousands, butter and white bread.
  • Chocolate crackles - a huge chocolatey hit in a small treat, chocolate crackles will satisfy any chocoholic.
  • Party pies - these marvellous little pies are served at parties even now, that's how good they are! Make sure to give your guests tomato sauce for squeezing onto their pie.
  • Sausage rolls - the other savoury meat treat loved at parties, sausage rolls can be made at home or bought in store. Again, a must-have with tomato sauce!
  • Cheese flavoured snacks - think Twisties and Cheezels. Anything with yellow powder you'll want to lick off your fingers afterwards!

A key rule of party food is you need to be able to eat with one hand - keep your snacks small so people can eat while they dance or chat without spilling their food.

Throw the ultimate 90s party with Spotlight

We hope reading this article has gotten you excited for your 90s dress up party! Here at Spotlight we have a great range of 90s costumes, as well as decorations and other party supplies you can use to host the perfect 90s party. If you want to see our stock in person, head to your nearest Spotlight store and our friendly staff will help you find the perfect party supplies.




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