Where would fashion be without retro? The highstreet is bursting with styles from across the last century. Whether it’s retro replicated, revamped or classic vintage, every trendy wardrobe is stocked with reflections of fashion past. And it’s fun: retro is like dressing-up for grown-ups. So to be fashion forward, simply look back.
The inter-war era still leaves its stamp on the modern day. Escaping the constrictive, corseted styles of the Victorian times, retro 20s means loose, dainty, boyish elegance. Pleats, gathering and dropped waist designs, including the notorious flapper dress, characterise the 1920s look. Romantic accessories: sequins, beading, strings of pearls evoke Coco Channel, silent films (think The Artist) and early jazz. Cloche hats, long fur coats, brogues and bob haircuts add an instant 20s feel.
The baby-boom post-war decade of blonde bombshells and ladylike glamour. Favouring the hourglass figure, 50s designs accentuate the waist with A-line styles such as the prom dress and belts to cinch in middles. Designs are clean cut with straight lines, such as the halterneck, and owe much of its vibrant use of colour and pattern to American influence. Polka dots, peter pan collars and 50s kitsch are all continuing their comeback in most high-street shops. For designers like Cath Kidston, 50s style is fun and cute. But it can also be sexy: think of pin-ups, burlesque and Dita von Tease.
Psychedelia, hippies and twiggy, the 60s is all about change and liberation, something the fashion of the time reflects. The age of revolutions, 60s fashion moves towards a more casual style than was previously worn. Mini skirts make their big debut even as the tide also turns towards more women wearing trousers and jeans. For the more formally attired, the pinafore dress is an iconic 60s classic. As is the trench coat. And don’t forget flower power and the bloom of folk fashions. Embroidery, plaited hair and accessories from nature such as flowers, fur and shells are all great for achieving that 1960s vibe. Headbands, beads and tie dye also feature heavily in any 60s styleguide.
The 1970s were years of flamboyance, disco fever and funk. Think platform shoes, flaired trousers and jumpsuits. And also hotpants (for those with bum for it). The 70s, like now, are the years of varying skirt lengths: mini, midi and maxi all taking centre stage. Long flowing garments, embroidered detailing and floaty translucent fabrics replace the straighter tailoring of earlier decades.
Born in the 80s
Acceptable in the eighties: tight fitting leggings, leather trousers and loose fitting tops hold sway, as do power-dressing shoulder pads. Blazers and preppy large-framed specs epitomise geek-chic. The flamboyant colours of the 70s progress into bold prints, fluorescent accents, sporty styles (legwarmers and golden leotards a-plenty) and block colouring. For 80s eveningwear, chokers are the must-have accessory.
Our hunger for nostalgia will keep us coming back to retro time after time. Retro styles are back and here to stay. Now all you have to do is pick your favourite.
Photo by melissafordphotography.
Whatever you style MISO clothing latest high street fashion trends may suit your retro needs.
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