Gel pens, scented markers, and Pokemon-themed school supplies. Is this the dream back-to-school list of a kid in 1999 or 2019? It’s hard to say. The return of the ’90s can be blamed on a number of things. For one, looking to the past for trends is nothing new. (Just ask your own parents, who probably feel similarly about you asking for bell-bottoms circa 1998 as you do when your kid asks for a choker necklace.) But our own millennial nostalgia, which has fueled remakes and reboots aplenty, may also be to blame. Then again, who could have predicted an entire generation of teens would become obsessed with Friends? Should we be gearing ourselves up to see a return of the Rachel haircut in high schools?
Whatever the source of this ’90s nostalgia, it’s easy to laugh or cringe — especially if you were the victim of some regrettable ’90s trends yourself. But it can also be a chance to share some of your favorite memories and styles with your own kids. (It may also mean that you may find yourself becoming a little jealous of your kid’s new backpack, lunch box, or gel pens.)
While some things, like Trapper Keeper and Lisa Frank, may still (mostly) solidly reside in the ’90s, plenty of the decade’s favorite shows and trends are very much on the radar of kids born in the new millennium — and these back-to-school buys prove it. Now, if only your kid could be as impressed with a TI-89 calculator as you were — and suddenly not want the new iPhone.
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