Empire Records Style Is Still So Relevant 25 Years Later

Erin Parker
·5 mins read

What would ’90s nostalgia be without the beloved coming-of-age flick? From Clueless to Cruel Intentions, the decade informed wardrobes, triggered sexual awakenings, and catapulted the careers of Hollywood mainstays like Brittany Murphy and Reese Witherspoon—but few teen classics were well-received by critics. Empire Records was nothing short of a flop when it hit theaters in 1995 (exactly 25 years ago on September 22—feel old yet?), but it soon grew into a cult hit—and what the movie lacked in critical merit, it more than made up for in the costume department.

<h1 class="title">, 7599upg, upgraded</h1><cite class="credit">Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection</cite>

, 7599upg, upgraded

Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

Despite spanning just one day of teenage dirtbags’ misadventures working at an independent record store, the film’s sartorial influence has now spanned over two decades, with no signs of slowing. Liv Tyler’s and Renée Zellweger’s fuzzy knitwear and pleated skirts could be seen on red carpets 10 years later in 2005, and the spritely yet edgy mash-up is a no-fail combo among today’s TikTokers and street style stars alike. Bella Hadid helped bring back the sexy cardigan (a look reinforced by Kendall Jenner and Katie Holmes), and plenty of celebrities keep combat boots on rotation year-round. 

<h1 class="title">, 7599upg, upgraded</h1><cite class="credit">Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection</cite>

, 7599upg, upgraded

Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

We’re all one news cycle away from our own “Sinead O'Rebellion,” and Debra’s soft-core goth vibe is a natural move as the world sorta-kinda crumbles around us. From her chaotic stacked chains to her slim-fit tanks and borrowed-from-the-boys slacks (all pockets welcome)—it's a ’fit made for the mess that is 2020.

<h1 class="title">EMPIRE RECORDS, Johnny Whitworth, 1995, (c)Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection</h1><cite class="credit">Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection</cite>

EMPIRE RECORDS, Johnny Whitworth, 1995, (c)Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

With temperatures dropping and social distancing stretching well into the future, we’re searching for ways to stay cozy without ditching style completely—and Empire Records style serves as a no-brainer formula for fall. Ahead, shop five current trends that back up the enduring impact of the ’90s cult classic (all of which will mesh seamlessly with your newfound quarantine aesthetic).

Fuzzy Sweaters

For anyone who has wanted to wear cozy knitwear nonstop, the state of the world has made at least one of your dreams come true. Cardigans were on the come-up before the pandemic began, and now that we have little to nowhere to go, it’s the ideal time to quell the Lockdown Lonelies with sweaters that mimic a warm embrace. If you need a colorful pick-me-up, copy Liv with a pastel palette—or lean toward the dark side with Renée's all-black everything.

Phoebe Sweater

$50.00, Princess Polly

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Daisy Street Contrast 90's Fitted Cardigan

$29.00, ASOS

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Vivien Knit Top

$175.00, Lisa Says Gah!

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Cropped Boxy Cardigan

$50.00, Gap

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Miniskirts

In addition to making you appear put-together, the A-line skirt is pitch-perfect for fall. The silhouette is the ideal match for that oversize sweatshirt quickly becoming your work-from-home uniform, and a pair of tights instantly makes it weather appropriate. If plaid is too on the nose, opt for classic black—and finish it off with chunky boots when you do plan to venture out.

Curve Pleated Mini Skirt

$23.00, ASOS

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Plaid Tennis Skirt

$58.00, Los Angeles Apparel

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Plaid Mini Skirt

$49.00, Abercrombie

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The Ragged Priest Dub Wrap Mini Skirt

$65.00, Urban Outfitters

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Grandpa Vibes

Argyle, checkerboard, and patchwork are all fair game for fall 2020—and what better time to spice up your life with ugly-cute prints in slouchy silhouettes that may not fly in the office? Even though most of us can’t go raid our grandfather’s closet for old-school gems, plenty of brands are offering up roomy knitwear with whimsical patterns that Harry Styles would approve of—so now’s your chance to veer into anti-fashion territory that was too impractical before (looking at you, A.J.).

Unisex Checkerboard Wool Knit

$143.00, W Concept

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Oversized V-Neck Check Sweater

$40.00, ASOS

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UO Penny Patchwork Cropped Sweater

$79.00, Urban Outfitters

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Nanushka Harri Blouse

$180.00, Shopbop

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Oversize Pants

Putting on pants feels like an achievement in itself, but cargo pants, carpenter jeans, and relaxed trousers make it easier. Baggy bottoms offset crop tops and tanks, and they’re a perfect match for the sneakers and flats that quickly replaced heels this year. Leave it to straight-leg denim and oversize work pants to make your outfit look current and intentional, and top it off with a blazer if you’re looking to channel workdays of yore.

The Joni High Rise Loose 29L

$110.00, Aritzia

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Jamie Classic Grey Trousers

$139.00, Pixie Market

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Rag & Bone Super High-Rise Cargo Pants

$375.00, Rag & Bone

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High Rise Carpenter Jeans

$80.00, Gap

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Combat Boots

Empire Records style wouldn’t be complete without combat boots—the clunky footwear that reigns as the unexpected hero of so many closets. The magic of the combat boot lies in its versatility and ability to add some punk to overtly feminine pieces. On top of that, combat boots are reliable in inclement weather, making them a sound investment for fall and winter. And you can choose between buckles, patent leather, and decorative adornments to match your personal style. The options are endless!

Dr. Martens Jadon Boots

$180.00, Nordstrom

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& Other Stories Duo Buckle Leather Boots

$229.00, & Other Stories

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Michael Kors Haskell Bootie

$199.00, Zappos

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AllSaints Fae Boots

$415.00, Zappos

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Originally Appeared on Glamour