Cop a Look: ‘90s Dance Jams

April 19, 2012

With the recent proliferation of next-gen dance music, and the scene looking more like a stadium rave than a party these days, we've been feeling inspired by the low budget Jock Jams-era of music videos and all the wild styles it spawned. Dance music in the '90s was straight forward: motivation to get up off your ass and bust a move. And the clothes made it possible for people to enjoy themselves dancing, while still looking fly.

The classic Technotronic "Pump Up The Jam" video includes all the key looks of the time. As Technotronic instructs us to 'get the party going on the dance floor,' they rock big hair, hypercolor metallic jackets and just the right kind of spandex joints that skirt the line between fashion and aerobics wear. In Alice Deejay's "Better Off Alone" we see some next-level fitness-inspired looks: backup dancers in yoga pants. Neon psychedelic graphics in both videos hark back to some of the most iconic '90s brands: Cross Colours, Skidz and Zubaz.

The video for the Max Romeo and Kool Keith sampling "Out of Space" by The Prodigy lacks the polish of their later videos, which is why we love it. It's like their budget could only stretch as far as gas to the nearest empty field and a handheld camera—just four guys dancing in some bomber jackets and jeans, and one mask-wearing, printed jumpsuit-clad dude going buck. Baby D in "Let Me Be Your Fantasy" keeps it simple, letting the symmetry of the candles and the path they create toward the dancers speak volumes. The dancers rock crop tops, chokers and baggy pants, true to form. But it's the close-up shots of Dee herself with the round metal-frame shades that seem to sum up that era of dance music nicely.

There's a plethora of midriff-baring and shiny stretch fabrics that have made it back into the stores lately. Below, we've picked some current day pieces that capture this moment.

Baum Und Pferdgarten Joggers, Opening Ceremony Women's S/S12 Lookbook

Laquan Smith Crop Top

Clockwise from left: Venessa Arizaga Choker, Karen Walker Von Trapp Sunglasses, Marc by Marc Jacobs Paisley Pant, Topshop Sporty Bra Top

From top left: Momocreatura Star Earrings, ACNE Cropped Leather Trousers, Topshop Aztec Print Leggings, Lisa Marie Fernandez Scuba Dress

Cop a Look: ‘90s Dance Jams