It's been 30 years since Melissa Joan Hart shot into the spotlight portraying the titular teen on the Nickelodeon sitcom "Clarissa Explains It All," which debuted on March 23, 1991. (Feel old?) In honor of the show's big anniversary, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at Clarissa M. Darling — who was known for her extremely loud sense of style — and more of the most fashionable TV characters of the '90s. Keep reading for more…
Here's a prime example of Will Smith's bold sense of style as his alter ego on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," which aired on NBC from 1990 to 1996. We especially love the way he paired a multicolored printed T-shirt with shorts featuring a dog motif, lime green socks (with sandals, naturally!) and a colorful baseball cap.
Before we move on from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," let's take a moment to celebrate one of the best dressed women on television during the '90s: Karyn Parsons, who starred as Will's spoiled cousin Hilary Banks on the widely beloved family sitcom. Check her out in this timeless little red dress!
No offense to overachieving Monica or flighty Phoebe, but when it came to fashion on "Friends," it was all about Rachel Green! Jennifer Aniston starred as the former rich kid — who launched a career in fashion after leaving waitressing behind — on the NBC sitcom, which aired from 1994 to 2004.
The cutest! With her floral-print pants, pink sneakers and midriff-baring tee, Tiffani Thiessen had the most enviable style as high school kid Kelly Kapowski on NBC's "Saved By the Bell," which aired from 1989 to 1993.
But it was rich kid Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies) who was Bayside High's reigning fashion queen. After graduation, Lisa studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. (That's why she wasn't around for the spinoff "Saved by the Bell: The College Years.") On Peacock's 2020 "Saved By the Bell" reboot, it's revealed that Lisa went on to become a successful fashion designer who's now living in Paris.
As her on-screen alter ego Fran Fine on "The Nanny," Fran Drescher did the absolute most in the fashion department! It makes sense considering the character went to cosmetology school, worked in a bridal shop and then became a door-to-door makeup saleswoman before becoming a caretaker on the CBS sitcom, which aired from 1993 to 1999
Sarah Michelle Gellar seriously slayed … while slaying vampires … as Buffy Summers on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," which aired on The WB and UPN from 1997 to 2003. Although Buffy's style became more practical over time, she was all about adorable minis on the first few seasons of the supernatural drama, which centered around her high school years.
Brandy inspired little girls across the country with her super-chic style as the titular teen on UPN's "Moesha," which aired from 1996 to 2001. Years later, Brandy admitted she put in great effort to support emerging Black designers by wearing their looks on the sitcom: "I always tried to support young, Black entrepreneurs," she said.
"Beverly Hills, 90210" — arguably the greatest teen drama of all time — featured several exceptionally well-dressed high school kids during its 10-year run on FOX. But who was our fashion queen? Kelly Taylor, duh! Jennie Garth portrayed the blonde beauty on the evening soap, which aired from 1990 to 2000.
Can we be Team Kelly AND Team Brenda…? Shannen Doherty starred as Brandon's twin sister and Kelly's romantic rival, Brenda Walsh, on the first four seasons of "Beverly Hills, 90210." Initially, newcomer Brenda was the more conservative of the two, sticking to jeans and basic tees, though her sense of style blossomed over the years. Unfortunately, so did Shannen's on-set drama with her co-stars, which ultimately prompted her to leave the show after just a few years.
Iconic! Heather Locklear had the coolest clothes when she starred as advertising exec Amanda Woodward on "Melrose Place," which aired on FOX from 1992 to 1999. (She's pictured here with off-and-on on-screen love Jack Wagner.)
Tia Mowry and Tamera Mowry shot into the spotlight portraying identical twins who were separated at birth on "Sister, Sister," which aired on ABC and The WB from from 1994 to 1999. Aside from their mutual passion for fashion, the two teens — who first meet while trying on the same outfit at a trendy clothing store — couldn't have been more opposite on the beloved sitcom.
Cory and Topanga forever! Danielle Fishel was absolutely adorable (those red cowboy boots! that scrunchie!) as Topanga Lawrence on "Boy Meets World," which aired on ABC from 1993 to 2000.
As the editor and publisher of the fictional Flavor magazine on FOX's "Living Single," which aired from 1993 to 1998, Queen Latifah's Khadijah James was one of the best-dressed businesswomen in '90s New York City! We love the way she managed to look completely professional while simultaneously embracing modern (for the time!) trends.
The award for most fashion-forward '90s BFFs goes to… Blossom and Six! Mayim Bialik starred as the titular teen on NBC's "Blossom," which aired from 1991 to 1995, while Jenna von Oÿ portrayed her fast-talking bestie Six. Their wild style (mismatched prints, oversized accessories, sparkly fabrics) epitomized the '90s.
Meanwhile, no one was cooler than Blossom's big bro, Joey (Joey Lawrence). He had all the '90s heartthrob staples: Black leather jacket? Check. Plain white T-shirt? Check. Distressed denim? Check. Flannel button-down tied around his waist? Double check!
Kellie Shanygne Williams was just a little girl when "Family Matters" debuted on ABC in 1989. By the time the sitcom came to an end after nine seasons in 1998, she and her on-screen alter ego, Laura Lee Winslow, had blossomed into total fashionistas! Kellie donned a yellow floral-print minidress (timeless!) with jelly espadrilles (so '90s!) while shooting the Disney World episode with her on-screen love, Jaleel White's Steve Urkel (as his alter ego, Stefan Urquelle).
Another exceptionally well-dressed '90s high school kid? Wilson Cruz's Rickie on "My So-Called Life," which aired on ABC between 1994 and 1995. The teen drama, which also starred pre-fame Claire Danes and Jared Leto, tragically came to an end after just one season.
One of the most iconic looks of all time isn't a ballgown or even a memorable streetwear ensemble. It's the red one-piece swimsuit from "Baywatch." Pamela Anderson modeled the design in a promotional photo for the series, which aired from 1989 to 2001. The blonde beauty scored her first big break when she was cast as C.J. Parker on the long-running show.