Last week, we unearthed the summer style gems buried within a 1963 issue of 'Teen—today, let's jump a few decades forward in the same magazine's archive, to May 1997. Here are some spectacularly '90s poolside looks you might recognize from your own wardrobe past. (For best results, read this post while feeding a Tamagotchi to the sweet sounds of "Wannabe" on your Discman.)
(Yup, that's a young Ali Larter on the cover, pictured two years before Varsity Blues. Inside, Ali tells 'Teen that she's a Pisces. "But I swear I'm a Scorpio," she says. "Maybe I just want to be a Scorpio, because they're so passionate.")
The brighter, the better. Florals and rainbow prints are strongly encouraged. Also, please do not allow any shirtless men in the vicinity to slouch or to go unsuncreened. This is your civic duty.
The higher the bikini cut, the closer to God. (Unfortunately for these dudes, the longer the board shorts, the closer to Satan.)
Ask grandma to crochet you a triangle-top bikini next Christmas. As a general style rule, when in doubt, pretend you're a surfer. (Develop a detailed backstory in case anyone questions you about this.)
These cool, Pringles-eating teens were clearly the LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Paul of 1997.
The street style
For your aprés-beach look, think Immortan Joe's wives, but with more eyeliner.
Retro details—like that ruffled swim cap, that ruffled crop top, or those straight-out-of-1957 pedal pushers—are a must.
That camera may be disposable, but those "touristy white" shorts are ~forever~ in our hearts.
Colorful shades in unusual shapes are essential for any outdoor activity. Here's a simple test: If your sunglasses don't make your face look like an insect, then you did not buy the right sunglasses. (Also, how many people are in this car? Is this a still from an after-school special about the importance of driving safely?)
Another major takeaway: straw accessories. Hats, purses, you name it. If summer 1997 is a character from The Wizard of Oz, it is definitely the Scarecrow.
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.