The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is one of those shows that has remained memorable and well-loved for over 25 years after it first aired. With endearing characters, laugh-out-loud moments, and relatable stories it was entertainment at its finest. Besides the fun storyline, one of the things that really made the show so memorable was its epic fashion choices.
While a large portion of the show was centered on Will Smith, and he absolutely had some pretty insane clothes on the show, the ones who really stood out as the fashion icons were his TV cousins, Hilary and Ashley Banks. Even today, young women will look to the Banks sisters for fashion inspiration.
The clothing choices Hilary and Ashley wore on The Fresh Prince ranged from the subdued to the outrageous, from formal wear to casual and fun, and from young to flirty to mature – sometimes within the same outfit! There was something for everyone to enjoy in their looks, and so no matter which Bel Air beauty you most related to, looking back at their classic outfits is sure to give you a rush of nostalgia.
Rockin’ the blazers
Nothing speaks to the fashion of the ‘80s and ‘90s era quite like a good blazer with shoulder pads, and Hilary Banks always excelled at rocking them. This bright red blazer, paired with a long black velvet skirt, is no exception!
Adding on some classic accessories, like her black choker, hat, and the black purse swinging from her shoulder helps to complete the look and elevate it to the level that Hilary was known for.
Kids will be kids
As the youngest member of the Banks family, Ashley often sported a more “youthful” look, particularly in the show’s earlier seasons. This ensemble is a a great example of that.
Between the baggy turquoise shirt and pink baseball hat, which obviously just had to be worn sideways, this is a look that screams “early ‘90s kid.” The sunglasses attached to a string that she’s wearing around her neck only help to further complete the image.
A sight in black and white
Who says turtleneck styles can’t be fashionable? Hilary completely owns the look in this turtleneck blazer, complete with a matching skirt.
The unique white embroidery down the front of the blazer and at the bottom of the skirt, plus a little extra detail around the sleeve cuffs, help this outfit stand out and make it one to remember. And of course in true Hilary style, the look is complemented by one of her signature hats.
All grown up
Ashley may have started out on the show as a cute young girl, but as the seasons progressed she grew up. Once she blossomed into a stunning young women her wardrobe changed to reflect just her developing womanhood, and this flirty outfit is one of many that demonstrates that.
Pairing a midriff-baring black, white, and grey striped top with black jeans and a large black belt, this is an outfit that gives off an air of maturity and youth at the same time.
Pink is the new pink
Once again, Hilary shows up wearing a very sophisticated and stylish suit. Even with the era-mandatory shoulder pads, the outfit’s lovely shade of pink helps give the look a bit of a softer tone.
The large black lapels of the collar, combined with the large black pockets on the chest, are what really help this look to pop. Add on Hilary’s perfectly matched hat and long earrings and you’ve got an ensemble to remember.
The style icon
This is the kind of look that perfectly encapsulates where the fashion of the mid-’90s was heading. Instead of the baggier look the early ‘90s were known for, Ashley is sporting a tight black mini dress with long red sleeves giving it a real pop of color.
The look is completed by adding on those classic black thigh high socks and striped beanie hat. This outfit simultaneously flatters while also seeming sophisticated.
The odd rainbow
Vertical stripes and multiple colors… if that doesn’t just scream ‘90s fashion to you then what will? This particular suit of Hilary’s, with its bright blue, purple, yellow, and black striped bonanza immediately draws the eye.
With the gold brooch pinned to her jacket, and a chunky yellow chain around her neck, even the jewelry speaks to the decade she was in. Finally, true to her style, Hilary completes the look with a mustard yellow hat. While perhaps not a look that screams “timeless,” or that you would want to revisit, it definitely will make you nostalgic!
Throwing it back
Between the multiple colors and shoulder pads reminiscent of the ‘80s, this is yet another one of those outfits that could definitely be considered an early ‘90s classic.
Ashley is wearing a hot pink turtleneck, which is topped by a sweater featuring multiple soft colors. White pants and a brown belt manage not to compete with the top half, but rather complement the colors nicely. And since it is the ‘90s, Ashley’s shirt is tucked into those pants without a question. The colors speak for themselves on this one.
The weather girl
Known for her high spending habits, eventually an episode arrived where Hillary had to finally get a job to cover some of her expensive tastes. In her new role as a local weather girl, she tries to look the part of a career woman.
Her red blazer with gold stitching around the collar goes perfectly with her gold pleated skirt and pointed red heels. Flashy colors notwithstanding, Hilary tries to keep it professional by downsizing her usual accessories, just sticking to a gold bracelet. No hat needed for this one!
Ready for my close up
The little kid we knew is gone and grown up and Miss Ashley is here to stay! In this ensemble Ashley really gives off that “diva” type vibe that perfectly matches her dreams of pursuing a singing and modeling career.
Sporting a fuchsia bikini and silk kimono style cover up, she definitely looks ready to be amongst Hollywood’s rich and famous. What really helps sell the look is those oversized sunglasses. You can feel her attitude coming through the screen.
The timeless stunner
For most people today, Hilary’s stylish red dress would be considered a perfect choice to slip on for a night out. But back in the ‘90s this dress was used to feature Hilary’s more provocative side during an episode where she was invited to model for a Playboy shoot.
The dress shows off her figure and the cutouts give it a modern flare. Hilary keeps the rest of the look simple, adding a pair of long earrings and black purse. A dress like this doesn’t need much else!
Many fans of the show who were teens themselves in the mid-to-late ‘90s will probably recognize some of Ashley’s fashion choices for ones they made themselves. A white tank top tucked into jeans.
Top it off with a plaid long sleeve shirt tied around the waist and you’ve got another clear glimpse into the era’s teen fashion. It is a look that was both casual and cool. Ashley adds a bit of bling to the outfit by using her bracelet, watch, and earrings to brighten it up.
Woman in Red
Bright red is definitely Hilary’s color. Time and time again she completely owns her looks in this color, which always looks fabulous on her. This particular outfit features a long sleeve blazer with a flattering square neckline.
We will have to forgive her for the long and high waisted skirt featuring an oddly placed slit. However, Hilary tops off the look with a chunky gold necklace, keeping it simple and classic, and adding a little something extra to it.
School is in session
Once upon a time, young Ashley Banks was just a kid in a school uniform. Thanks to the Banks family’s considerable wealth, all the Banks children had the opportunity to attend private school, including Ashley.
Staying true to the stereotypical school uniform, she wore a knee length plaid skirt and white button down shirt, which was topped with blazer bearing the school’s crest. Ashley also had added a little red bow to her hair, which perfectly completes the look.
Here comes the bride
It would be impossible to talk about the iconic outfits of Hilary Banks without bringing up her lavish wedding dress. It stylishly featured a v-neckline and off-the-shoulder sleeves. The bodice was slightly fitted, but like many wedding dresses of the time the skirt was all pouf.
What really made this look so Hilary was the ginormous headpiece she combines with the veil, which nearly threatens to take over her head. And being the ‘90s, this look would not be complete without her accessories, a white choker and a pearl necklace featuring a gold cross.
All about that denim
No look back at fashion from the ‘90s would be complete without some denim. And Ashley’s outfit in this scene is all about the denim. A denim shirt with a denim skirt is set off nicely with a large brown belt.
The baggy short sleeves going down to her elbows were also not an uncommon look from this decade, while the skirt is short yet still modest at mid-thigh. Adding on some earrings and Ashley is good to go!
Call me maybe
Ignoring the dart in the middle of her forehead that has clearly disrupted the look, this is another outfit from Hilary that could easily still be worn today.
The color is a gorgeous shade of purple that really catches the eye, and the high neckline with the halter top style keeps it feeling fresh and modern. Giving it that Hilary touch, she adds on a chunky gold necklace and bracelet. And if you still need some ‘90s nostalgia, just check out the massive phone she’s holding and feel the memories.
Just laying around
This could be classified as the quintessential lounging around the house outfit, but Ashley still manages to make it look adorable.
The baggy oversized knit sweater with matching leggings, which are tucked into to her socks, is the best way to look both relaxed and athletic at the same time. The little bit of bling with her earrings adds just the right touch to the look. The ideal ensemble for just laying on top of the couch.
Grab the mustard
If there was ever someone who could pull off a mustard yellow jacket, it would definitely be Hilary Banks. Underneath she is sporting a simple black top with a yellow and black checkered skirt.
However, what really brings this whole look together are the accessories. Between the black flower brooch pinned to the jacket, the black and gold necklace, and the hat with a checkered pattern that compliments the skirt, this is an outfit that few others would dare to try.
Overalls with attitude
Doesn’t matter who you are, at some point everyone in the ‘90s wore overalls at least once. While some might think of them as dorky or unflattering, with an attitude like Ashley’s she manages to make the look work.
Underneath the overalls, she is wearing a long sleeve white shirt with pink flowers on the sleeves giving it a touch of femininity. While her makeup gives her a mature and sophisticated look, the ponytail in her hair keeps the look youthful and fun. Definitely the best of both worlds!