Clothing trends run vintage and nostalgic
Clothing isn’t just for protection or warmth. Obviously, it serves those functions too, but it is much more: It is a way to show the world style and personality. It’s no wonder that vintage and retro styles are still popular today. What once worked before should work again, right?
Retro style is often mixed with modern pieces to give off a vintage or nostalgic vibe. Looking down the streets in New York City or the catwalks in Paris, there are many pieces from or inspired by the ‘20s all the way to the ‘90s.
Kitty Cassetti, employee at the vintage clothing store Petrune in downtown Ithaca, explained which vintage styles are most popular today: “Generally the rule for vintage fashion is 40 years and 20 years. Styles from 40 years ago come back as vintage fashion while styles from 20 years ago come back as a kind of nostalgic fashion. TV shows and movies also influence styles people want to wear.”
The ‘90s were 20 years ago(!), meaning that they finally reached the vintage benchmark. It’s hard to believe, but that’s why people are suddenly making a run to put on crushed velvet and wear a Nirvana shirt. There is something comforting and nostalgic about your favorite childhood style coming back into fashion. Overalls aren’t just for farmers or toddlers and flannel is no longer only for lumberjacks; flannel can be spotted thrown over a T-shirt or tied on a waist.
Classic ‘90s brands are making a comeback; The Guardian and Quartz found that brands such as Doc Martens and Converse have had some of their best sales during the 2010s. The grunge look in particular is popular. According to the article “The ‘90s Are Back — And We Have Your Google Searches to Prove It” on The Huffington Post, searches for grunge clothing increased more than 80 percent between July 2012 and July 2013, and said they were climbing rapidly as of August 2013. So break out the dark lipstick, letterman jackets, acid wash jeans, and even a bucket hat if you want.
Hippie not hipster — that’s what the ‘70s are bringing to the table. Following the 40-year rule, ‘70s styles are coming back. Nixon-era fashion can be seen everywhere at music festivals (peep Vanessa Hudgens, aka style icon for music festivals). Look around and you’ll be lost in a sea of loose skirts, flower crowns, peasant blouses, vests, maxi dresses and floral patterns.
Loose and comfortable was the general go-to rule for hippie fashion. However, not every style carries through. Even though today bell bottoms aren’t necessarily making a big breakthrough, skinny jeans seem to be losing steam to looser, flared pants. Sweaters and long scarfs were also a big deal in the ‘70s; people would base entire outfits on sweaters. Sweaters never really go out of style up in the cold northern states, but it’s good to know we’re looking fashionable at least.
The return of ‘60s style can be thanked in part to Mad Men. The hit TV show even gained the attention of news outlets like CNN to write about the style portrayed on the show. The ‘60s was the beginning of the youth revolution; for the first time it was teens and young adults that decided what was cool to wear, not designers.
One of the biggest cheerleaders for this youth revolution was designer Mary Quant. By creating the mini-skirt and hot pants, Quant encouraged the youth to treat fashion as a game.
The mid-’60s look was fun and characterized by minimalism: A-line skirts and dresses, color blocking and patterned tights are the essential parts of the mod look. Even mod makeup is coming back; think Twiggy: long eyelashes and big eyeliner.
The Gatsby era. It’s no wonder that after the simmering, dazzling new filim adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s grandiose The Great Gatsby ushered in a craze for ‘20s styles. Cassetti mentioned in particular, today’s brides are keen to this look, wanting modern Gatsby-themed weddings.
It’s hard to blame them. The art deco and extravagant style reminds people of a time when life was progressive and good. Dresses with dropped waistlines and fringe are not just for costume parties, Anne Hathaway twirled around in a fringe dress when hosting the Oscars in 2011.
Wear what you like, leave what you don’t, but fashion is doomed to repeat itself.
Hristina Tasheva is a freshman journalism major who is accepting all hand-me-downs. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.