rainbow brites

Baby Blue Is a Trend for the Nostalgic

Photo-Illustration: by Stevie Remsberg; Photo Courtesy of the Retailer

When I’m spiraling down a black hole of adulthood-flavored stress, I don’t meditate or count my breaths. I simply visualize TRL, conjuring up the vision of Carson, Hilarie, La La, and Quddus as they hovered over Times Square from roughly 1998–2003. If I squint hard enough, I can see the aura that hovered over my formative years: a calming-yet-cheerful, pastel-yet-poppy shade of baby blue.

Two of the outfits Christina Aguilera wears in the “Come on Over” music video were baby blue. So was the crop top Britney Spears wore at the 1999 edition of Zootopia. The majority of Baby Spice’s dresses were that color, as were AJ McLean’s glasses. Baby blue figured prominently in Destiny’s Child’s European “No, No, No” single cover and was the best part of their blue camo moment. Justin Timberlake wore matchy-matchy baby blue bucket-hat outfits and owned a FUBU jersey that he wore for *NSYNC’s many athlete-cosplay performances.

Baby blue also tinted the other bastion of late ’90s/early-aughts pop culture, the Disney Channel. It was the color of the best Cheetah Girl sweatsuit; the color scheme Lizzie McGuire chose for her Teen Attitude magazine diva model moment, and the shade of Brandy’s live-action Cinderella dress. It was the preferred color for those fitted tees that had weird things like “ANGEL,” “ATTITUDE,” or “BABY” bedazzled across the front, and Roxy board-shorts worn with zero irony even though you I lived 198 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean.

And now it’s back. These days, it’s bubble hems at Simone Rocha, fringe chainmail armor at Gucci, feathery ruffles at Marc Jacobs, and half of the Victorian dresses at Erdem. It’s woven through Staud’s entire Instagram grid. But baby blue remains adolescent, airy, and care-free. Baby blue likes flipping through dELiA*s catalogues, crafting away messages, and voting for music videos with landline phones. It never takes itself too seriously and has enough free time ~*~*tO TypE eNtiRe SeNTenCes lIkE ThiS.*~*~ Baby blue forever lives in a simpler era.

Here are 14 baby blue things to take you there.

The Purest Form of Nostalgia

If Your Workout Playlist Is Nothing But Girl Bands

If You Still Love Clout Goggles

The shape says “Kurt Cobain” but the color says “Limited Too.”

If You’re Nostalgic, But Professional

A grown-up look for a ’90s kid.
Available in sizes 14–28.

If You Really Need Another Pair of Hoops

If You’re Into the Suiting Trend

The modern sleeves and structure take this color into 2019.
Available in sizes XS–L.

If You’re Going to the Beach

These have “summer” written all over them.
Available in sizes 0X–3X.

If You Always Look for the French Girl Approach

Pairs well with wicker baskets, fields of lavender, and a glass of good wine.
Available in sizes 0–10.

If You Love Denim

Chambray is a light and feminine way to satisfy your baby blue craving.
Available in sizes 14–28.

If You Want Baby Blue Everything

Take the dream of the ’90s with you wherever you go.

If You Need New Sandals

Who didn’t own a pair of strappy sandals or square-toed shoes? They’re back and better than ever.

For the Beach Babe

Whether you’re actually close to the water or just in a beachy state of mind, this dress is one to wear through the warmer months.
Available in sizes 12–14.

The Going-Out Pouch

A slouchy shape in luxe fabrics is the best of both worlds. Throw in the color and you’ve got a trifecta.

The Investment Piece

A silk blouse like this won’t be going out of style any time soon.
Available in sizes 12–20.

If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

Baby Blue Is a Trend for the Nostalgic