These ’90s Heartthrobs Were All Nerds

Photo: Jim Smeal/Getty Images.
What do you remember about the '90s? Do you get misty-eyed thinking about the iconic couples of yesteryear (Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder; Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt)? Wax nostalgic about the wave of hip-hop music that changed the industry (Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, N.W.A.)? Or, perhaps you just cringe at the hilarity of '90s fashion?
Speaking of that last one, it recently came to my attention that the most iconic actors of the '90s all dressed like total nerds. What goes into the '90s nerd look? Our operating definition includes oversized suits, wrinkly T-shirts, and, most importantly, glasses. Optical ones, tinted ones, small ones, big ones. And you know what? It works.
Their effortless (like, literally no effort) looks for the red carpet are a far cry from the Instagram-ready looks we see today. These days, it's all about perfection and maintaining some Hollywood standard of "hot" — muscles, expensive suits, and maybe a random piece of jewelry. But there's something really endearing about seeing George Clooney in tube socks and Leonardo DiCaprio in tiny purple sunglasses. It makes you realize just how weird and awesome that decade was.
So, let's revisit all the Hollywood heroes we still lust over, and remember them for what they once were — total heartthrob nerds.

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