What they sold: Stretchy, nondescript cotton pieces you could pair with one another — the pre-cursor to American Apparel’s basics.
Who wore it: New wave fans, moms, the lazy.
What happened to it: The stores went out of business in the mid-’90s.
What they sold: On trend clothes for teens.
Who wore it: Cher and Dionne in Clueless. Teenage girls who wished they were Cher and Dionne in Clueless.
What happened to it: in 2001, it was purchased by Wet Seal, and the struggling chain was converted into Wet Seals and Arden B.’s
What they sold: Mallternative apparel for dudes and ladies.
Who wore it: Korn fans, Collective Soul fans, Smashing Pumpkin fans. Girls who wore JNCOs.
What happened to it: Forever 21 purchased the chain in 2005 and turned its remaining shops into F21s.
What they sold: Stuff in small sizes, including negative, sizes like -2 (how that works, who knows?)
Who wore it: Short and petite women who could squeeze into the mini-proportioned clothes.
What happened to it: Technically there is still one or two 5•7•9s around (there is apparently one at the Sunrise Mall in Massapequa, New York), but they are practically extinct.
What they sold: Clothes for baby Limited shoppers-in-training.
Who wore it: Cool tweens who’d begged their moms to spend an inordinate amount of money on trendy tween clothes.
What happened to it: Limited Too couldn’t compete against more affordable lines. In 2008, around 600 Limited Toos were converted into lower-priced Justice retail shops.
What they sold: Gear for cool dudes. Striped button downs, chinos, and trench coats.
Who shopped there: The aforementioned cool dudes, hip construction workers, fake sexy Santa Clauses, and, apparently, Julian Lennon.
What happened to it: The chain went out of business in 1995.
What they sold: Everything. Mervyn’s was a catch-all department store.
Who shopped there: Your mom. And you, when your mom dragged you there with her.
What happened to it: The company went bankrupt in 2008, and Kohl’s and Forever 21 jointly bid on and took over the company’s remaining 46 stores.
What they sold: Shoes, specifically of the WILD variety. Crazy high heels, rocker chick stilettos, and intensely sexy party girl shoes.
Who shopped there: Your tough older sister. Newly single moms. Suburban ladies out for a night on the town. What happened to it: It still exists (YAY!) but only in New Zealand (BOO).
What they sold: Sensible shoes your mom approved of.
Who shopped there: Kids preparing to head back to school. Moms looking for a deal.
What happened to it: The last Thom McAn closed in 1992, but you can still buy the shoes in Walmarts and Sears stores.
What they sold: Knits, so many knits. And mostly in bright faux Aztec patterns. Also, shorts that teachers would wear during summer break. What? Teachers need off-duty clothes.
Who shopped there: Teachers, preternaturally mature tweens, Southwest fetishists.
What happened to it: The chain filed for bankruptcy in 1999.
What they sold: Bro clothes for the modern ’90s guy. The guy counterpart to the lady brand Express.
Who shopped there: Cool guys. Cool dads. Guys with GTOs.
What happened to it: Express sold Structure to Sears in 2003. You can still find a shadow version of its former self in some Sears stores.
What they sold: “Fancy” mall clothes for moms.
Who shopped there: Moms who had a special event to go to.
What happened to it: Casual Corner’s parent company (which also happens to own Petite Sophisticate, FYI) sold off its stores to a liquidator in 2005.
What they sold: Shoes. So many shoes!
Who shopped there: Errrrrrybody.
What happened to it: In 1998, Kinney’s parent company decided to close the flailing retailer.