By: Sasha Landau
Everyone knows that the 90’s were a time of many fashion tragedies and triumphs, but few take the time to appreciate the way it showed up in anime. I’ve recently been re-watching Sailor Moon, a show about a group of magical middle schoolers fighting monsters, in an effort to get back in touch with some of the childlike wonder I used to feel when I watched it on VHS as a mere babe. That hasn’t really happened, but I have found myself screaming at some of the #looks the Scouts are pulling off. With your permission, (the Sailor Scouts are all about consent!) I’d love to take you on a stroll through the magic and horrors of 90’s anime fashion.
1. Mamoru Chiba (aka Tuxedo Mask)
We all love a man who puts some effort into his appearance, but Mamoru routinely looks like he got into a fight with the sleeves of his shirts and lost. I spent a good ten minutes trying to parse what was even going on with the outfit on the left. First of all, the high waisted sweatpants are a statement that, quite frankly, I don’t know if I’m prepared to hear. Second of all, it should be understood that he has layered three distinct shirts on top of each other, the hood and sleeves of which seem to be consuming themselves, ouroboros-like, maybe to get away from the tank top they are paired with. And then, to top it all off, he’s added a single wristband, almost as an afterthought. You may be a prince, but you’re no style icon, Mamoru.
Admittedly the outfit on the right is actually iconic, if it weren’t for the WEIRD SLEEVES, AGAIN.
2 ) Minako Aino (aka Sailor Venus)
It feels unfair to rank Minako here after the tragedy that was Mamoru, but the amount of bows she wears keeps her at the bottom of the rung. Also, it’s hard to tell because the image is slightly cut off, but those pants are both poofy AND short-shorts AND plaid. PICK ONE.
3) Makoto Kino (aka Sailor Jupiter)
Again, Makota doesn’t deserve to be here. (Curse of the M name, perhaps?) But the salmon skirt with the split pea green turtleneck is questionable. And her outfits just don’t have the same pizzaz as the style icons below. She is rocking that high waist though, as was the way of the 90’s.
4) Michiru Kaiou (aka Sailor Neptune)
Michiru has a subtle but important style. That wrap top is something I would easily wear, and you can’t get more trendy than a light pink peacoat! Also, she needs to rank near Haruka because I’m no fool. Their styles work in correlation with one another; a perfect butch/femme dichotomy. Like the moon and the sea are in constant conversation, so are their looks… romantique.
5) Haruka Tenou (aka Sailor Uranus)
Haruka is constantly serving soft-butch realness, and like any true 90’s lesbian, this is often done through denim on denim. Iconic! While that purple button up is truly regrettable, there’s actually nothing more fashionable than casually matching with your girlfriend. Nothing.
6) Ami Mizuno (aka Sailor Mercury)
You may be wondering why Ami is so high on this list. To which I must tell you that her reserved but feminine fashion is TIMELESS. I could see these shirts in a Forever 21. The brooch might be a little strange for someone who’s supposed to be 14, but the facts speak for themselves: she is ALWAYS color coordinated.
7) Usagi Tsukino (aka Sailor Moon)
As the leader of the Sailor Scouts, it’s no wonder that Usagi is near the top of this list. She’s often rocking the high waisted shorts and button up look, but keeps it soft and pastel. Need I say more? This is PEAK 90’s fashion. God bless the quarter-length sleeve.
8) Rei Hino (aka Sailor Mars)
If you’re surprised to find Rei at the top of this list, you shouldn’t be. Just look at those hot pink overalls and tell me they aren’t the best thing you’ve ever seen. This outfit gives you something to chew on. The cuffed pants, the teal socks, the white saddle shoes that oh so casually match the shirt underneath, all leave you wanting more. Who even has the guts to wear white shoes? Don’t they know they’ll get dirty from the street and/or fighting crime? STYLE ICON REI HINO, THAT’S WHO.