Party Like It’s 1999

Let’s talk about this dress. It’s pretty nice, huh? It was $12, it’s a French label, and it’s comfy. Putting all of that aside, you know the first thing I thought when I saw this peaking out from a rack at Talize?


Not five seconds after I uttered those words, I had to stop myself:

“…Did I just think that? Butterflies? Really? Is it 1999? Is She’s All That still in theatres?”

After I regained my composure and paid the cashier, my mind went back to the butterflies. I spent the last ten years fairly confident I’d never get excited about butterflies again. That scene was played right out in 1999, and I made the most of it. I had butterfly shoes, butterfly shorts, and way too many butterfly hair clips. Butterflies were IT (I still know all the words to Crazy Town’s Butterfly. My dad can recite whole Coleridge poems and I can recite Hey sugar momma, come and dance with me / The smartest thing you ever did was take a chance with me. Terrible song.)

Anyhoo, the butterfly comeback got me thinking: what else from 1999 is on it’s way back? What’s already here? What never left?  While I welcome the return of the butterfly from its millennial cocoon, there a few trends that should probably stay buried with my Soul Decision CDs. If you are uninterested in platforms and sticky lip gloss, hop off this bus right now, because it’s headed straight down Memory Lane, accompanied by a wicked soundtrack of All Saints and Robbie Williams.

First up:

Body Glitter. Or face glitter. Or hair glitter. Or glitter of any kind actually. I vividly remember slathering my eye lids with gooey, sparkly gunk. Every time I blinked the dried goop would pull on my taught skin. Not a pleasant feeling. Plus I’d have to spend extra time removing sparkle crusties from my eye lashes at bedtime, followed by the intense burn of my Oxy Acne Wash.

Is it coming back? I don’t think so. I really hope not. Kesha’s doing her darndest to make it happen. But I think we’ve become immune to her powers. Although I just thrifted earring on account of their overall…sparkliness! Uh-oh. Curse you Kesha! You wily sphinx!

Inflatable furniture: I remember thinking getting an inflatable chair would be the BEST THING EVER. The problem was they were intensely uncomfortable, and a real pain to keep inflated. I had to force myself to sit in it, as I read Ella Enchanted and blasted my sister’s Sixpence None the Richer CD (most late-90s memory ever).

Is it coming back? I’m going to say no. I think that one has run its course. Unless you have a pool.

Centre parted bangs. Okay, this one is a little more subtle. Let me paint the scene: You’re just about ready go over to your friends house, where you will do nothing but read embarrassing moment stories in Seventeen magazine. You put your hair in a quick pony tail. You throw on your Sketchers. You’re almost ready to go. But wait! Your hair! It’s not quite done. You need to make sure you loosen your centre-parted bangs, and let them hang down the sides of your face, separate from your pony. NOW you look awesome. Let’s go to Bootlegger. Still not visualizing it? Who better to illustrate the dominance of this style than my two favourite ladies from 10 Things I Hate About You?

Is it coming back? Meh, I’m not too worried either way. 1999 hairdos weren’t nearly as offensive as stuff from the 80s, so we’ll see where it goes.

Celebrities with three word names: Jennifer Love Hewitt. Freddie Prinze Jr. Joseph Gordon Levitt. Rachael Leigh Cook. Sarah Michelle Gellar. You weren’t anybody unless your name was at least five syllables and had two spaces in between.

Is it coming back? Three words: Carly Rae Jepsen.

There are just a few more things worth mentioning before we close the book on 1999 again. And I’m talking about dudes. Turns out we were pretty on the money when it came to the hunks. I don’t need to ask if they are coming back, because they never left! Someone over at Buzzfeed scanned in some amazing pics from 1999 teen magazines. To all my fellow ’99 teenagers, high-five for good taste! Our crushes have aged like fine wine! Also, they call Joseph Gordon Levitt “Joey”. Cute.

Oh…with a few exceptions:


Still though, even Fred Durst’s stupid hat and Kid Rock’s unwashed hair can’t sully the legacy of 1999. It was a simpler time, when everything tasted like vanilla icing and Claire’s was a plastic paradise; a time without bald Britney or American Idol. And you know what? If butterflies mean a little more of ’99 sneaking back in style, I’ll welcome it with open arms, covered in temporary tattoos and WWJD bracelets.

If you’re still hankering for more ’99 trends, some blessed soul uploaded an entire 1999 Delia’s catalog. It’s bursting with camouflage, cargo pants, jelly sandals, Hawaiian shorts and so much more. Recommended musical accompaniment: This song. Unlike Crazytown, I still think it’s amazing. You’re welcome.

41 thoughts on “Party Like It’s 1999

  1. lmao ! I cant with the body glitter or the butterfly clips… but I am so down for bringing back boy bands, “Spice Girl shoes”, and the New Radicals. Omgahhh ‘get what you give” was my jammm. Awesome post!

  2. hahahah! Wow you really hit the nail on the head with this post….forgot about so many of these! Especially the centre parted bangs, my sister was the queen of those!

  3. Love it. Love it. Love it! Oh man, that totally brings me back. I definately had those butterfly clips in every colour and used the “classier” black ones for my grade 8 grad portraits! Yikes! Also, I recall doing the hair of various friends and they’d freak if I didn’t leave out “the pieces”, “I’ve got to have the pieces just perfect!” Oh man.
    By the way, what a lovely dress.

  4. Julie, your posts are always great but I loved this one! Love the butterfly dress and I totally parted my bangs in the middle, all the way through highschool :)

  5. Love your butterfly dress! You are definitely not channeling the tacky Mariah Carey butterfly trend at all. Super sweet. (And how horrible was her load of glittery butterfly shit?) Joseph Gordon Levitt. I never want him to go away. Rarr.

  6. OH GOD, this post had me laughing so hard because you were RIGHT ON! Geez I just listened to that stupid crazytown song on youtube the other day after seeing American Reunion and hearing all those awesome 90s hits.Made me so nostalgic! This post is missing one thing though..a BSB vs NSync collage. Or a mashup, because you know their songs are the shit. BAHAHA!

    1. I must confess: I was worried my deep and intense love for the backstreet boys would completely overtake this post. I loved them SO MUCH. I have a picture with a Kevin lookalike. Kevin was my least favourite (wasn’t he everyone’s?) and it was still the greatest day ever. Actually, let me revise that: Howie was definitely the worst.

      1. You can’t see this, but I’m laughing so hard my sides are hurting. In my opinion, it’s a toss up between Kevin and Howie for who’s the worst. In other news, I just cranked out my greatest hits of Spice Girls. To go along with that, a little S Club 7. That’s right, THEY’RE BACK. I have no shame.

  7. thank you for the trip down memory lane! holy cow, this is such an awesome post! lol I was 13 in 1999 and SO wanted to be cool like the older girls, but only got to shop at Kohls because Delia’s was too expensive (and trashy, according to my mom).
    gyahhhhh love this post. haha

  8. I just looked at that Delia’s catalogue and eVeRyThInG iS wRiTtEn LiKe ThIs – yikes! Also, ad for gurlpages in the back! hahaha

    1. That is TOO FUNNY. I’m 100% serious: I had that in there first! I changed it last minute because I thought I should put maybe ONE link that wasn’t totally embarrassing. I love that Venga Bus though. I love it so much.

      1. haha perfect! There’s nothing like chanting, “we like to party” to get the good times rolling!

  9. CTFU! So funny! I was surprised you didn’t bring Mariah’s Butterfly era into the mix (remember how she would cut the edge of the waistband off her low-rise jeans for like five years???) but perhaps the horror was too great and you have blanked it out :-) WIsh I could! I wrote a nineties nostalgia post here, and we seem to have complemented each other’s selections (I totally forgot about the body glitter, and centre parted bangs LOL)

    1. Uggh! she DID do that! Maria Maria, why? I’m a little surprised I left her out too! I mean, didn’t she even have a movie called Glitter? *Shudder*. I DID listen to Heartbreaker on repeat back then though…

  10. I had completely forgotten about my inflatable chair till 5 minutes ago. Wow what were we thinking? and those butterfly hair clips, they always broke! still wore them though… with gwen stefani twirlies in my hair. oh the 90s… thats a decade that is better off in memory lane… and nowhere else. unless you were fiona apple.

  11. Oh my I loved and still love a lot of those things. All those boys I still have crushes on. 10 things I hate about you is still awesome. I always read YM, liked the butterfly clips but never wore them, and my mom bought us those plastic chairs which are so not practical. New Radicals, the video is good too haha.

  12. Oh my god you’ve brought me back to the 90s big time! I had like a million of those butterfly clips and I had a pink inflatable chair…that my sister jumped on and popped, which was actually quite fortunate because like you said they weren’t the most comfortable things out. Is it bad that I still am drawn to butterfly-ed clothing? Butterflies are just too pretty! And so is your dress!

  13. I love the print of your dress, and what a fun flashback :) I love Freaks and Geeks although I didn’t have the sense to watch it when it was originally on. I was super inspired by your post on A is for Ampersand and happy to have found your blog! I just posted on my blog today, I’m starting a mini challenge for 5 months, thank you for the motivation to do something like this!

  14. Such a cute dress. Am I crazy? I can’t remember much about 1999 except going to a New Year’s party and dancing to Prince. All I remember about 1990s style are the grannie-Annie floral sack-like dresses (like the ones Phoebe from “Friends” wore) – and I NEVER thought I’d like those again, but guess what? A few have crept back into my wardrobe from the thrift shop!!

  15. 90s nostalgia is my favorite thing of all time. Also, thanks for reminding me of how much I wanted blow-up furniture.

  16. “Let me paint the scene: You’re just about ready go over to your friends house, where you will do nothing but read embarrassing moment stories in Seventeen magazine.”

    Yes, yes, yes! Haha I loved this post! I had the butterfly clips in every color, and I actually loved my inflatable chair. Although, now that I think about it, I have no idea what happened to it…And actually, I just watched 10 Things I Hate About You the other day. That’s still a good movie ;)

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