Of all the shows made in the 90’s, it’s hard to think of one that showcases 90’s fashion as energetically as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Their looks may seem pretty straight forward, but there’s more there than meets the eye.
While rule #1 of Ranger fashion is to wear, exclusively, your designated Ranger color, the exception to this rule is Zack.
Instead of wearing all-black, Zack was often dressed in multicolored shirts and jackets. This livens up what would be a very plain character wardrobe, and it also shows off the bright primary-color blocked patterns that were popular in the 90’s. Fortunately, Walter Jones can really pull off loud colors and stripes.
Zack was not alone in stripesville. Billy, the Blue Ranger wore a heck of a lot of striped shirts. He was often dressed in oversized tees and baggy layers. Wardrobe made a point to hide his muscles, because you see, he was the smart one. As the resident nerd in the group, Billy’s style was very practical, but still pretty adorable. Thankfully, in later seasons Billy really started to come into his own, and it was then that he began to appear in cooler, more form fitting clothes.
Trini’s style is pretty explanatory. She dressed like every cool girl in the 90’s did. In the episode High Five (pictured below, left) one of Trini’s outfits hits the jackpot of 90’s teen fashions. It features stripes, a cropped tee, a headband, a scrunchie, and the classic shirt tied around the waist. Trini quite often rocked cropped tees and vests, things that work well on an athletic silhouette, but don’t worry she still found room in the wardrobe for the ever-popular 90’s embroidered vest. Cropped, mind you. (I had a vest almost identical to this in 3rd grade. I did not pick it out, my mother made me wear it.)
Vests were THE THING if you were a cool girl in the 90’s, so naturally, Kimberly wore them as well. Her style was feminine, but still practical. You’d have to be practical if there is a 90% chance of Putty attack. Kimberly’s costumes seemed to be the most diverse of the team, with her outfits sometimes being dictated by the episode’s plot. One example of this is in the episode where she wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, gets caught in the rain, captured by a monster and then rescued by the team. She was dressed in a soft floral babydoll dress (below) to enhance her vulnerability in the situation, and also wore a short flirty dress (see: clothing too restrictive for martial arts work) in the scene where Tommy asks her to the dance.
Tommy on the other hand, had a wardrobe that was less-character driven. To me, Tommy’s outfits seemed like something the actor would wear. Maybe it was his vibe, maybe it was just the ponytail, but Jason David Frank rocked a style that said: bad boy with a heart of gold. (Though according to some, he looks like “the guy who’s just always outside Sunglass Hut.”)
Tommy got to wear chokers, and GREEN MESH. And a cool ninja hoodie. All in all, Tommy, like most Rangers, got to wear the cool stuff.
Jason however, may have had the least-diverse character fashion. His outfits consisted mostly of workout-wear. Some of his red ensembles featured stripes, or plaid, but almost all of them were sleeveless. Because with guns like these, what sleeve could possibly hold them? The look worked on him though, as Jason was a martial arts instructor, and needed to be able to high kick at all times.
And there you have it, a rundown of how the best-dressed group of teens defined what “cool” was for an entire generation!
(Barring the time Power Rangers tried to show us what “90’s punk” looked like…)