Fashion is a colorful, exciting and ever-changing industry – anyone with a passion for it can attest to this! Besides these fabulous qualities, fashion is also cyclical, which is actually pretty amazing because it means that most trends never actually disappear. They’ll come and go, of course, but you can always expect them to return in some way.
Throughout 2017, we’ve seen the return of a variety of retro fashion styles that have both surprised and delighted us. Join us for a walk down memory lane this Throwback Thursday as we take a look at 6 retro fashion styles that have made their way back into the mainstream!
1. Bell sleeves
You don’t need to have lived through the 1970’s to know that this was a bold, loud decade. Countless unique and colorful fashion trends emerged during these years (paisley, anyone?), and although some of them have been lost to time, others have recently resurfaced.
Namely, bell sleeves!
Taking a page from historical fashion (think 18th century jackets and dresses), this trend is elegant, feminine, and moves incredibly well as part of a garment. This year, you can find bell sleeves on sweaters, dresses and blouses, and we can guarantee your days will be much more interesting with this bit of drama at the end of your arm.
We mentioned earlier that fashion is cyclical, and we weren’t kidding. If you’re old enough to remember the ‘90’s, perhaps you recall wearing velvet tops or pants, or even sporting a velvet hair band! While this may have felt like a hot new trend at the time, trust us when we say that velvet is one of the oldest fashion styles around. It actually became popular during the 12th and 13th centuries in Italy, and symbolized wealth!
This year’s velvet, however, is not the velvet of decades, or even centuries, past. The velvet of 2017 has an attitude, and is available in bold, bright colors for dresses, tops, pants, and even accessories! It’s an especially beautiful fabric for the holiday season, as well, and red and green velvet are always fabulous fashion choices for December!
3. Embroidered everything
Ah, embroidery. It’s been around so long that it’s almost synonymous with grandmothers and antique shops. But not anymore! This colorful accent is back this year with a few modern twists – denim jackets can be taken to a whole new level with some creative embroidery, as can sweaters and scarves.
What do we love about embroidery? It’s a small detail that can make a statement when added to different pieces of clothing, and it’s also a quirky way to let your personality shine through your fashion choices, if you’re feeling crafty.
Spending time in vintage shops browsing for embroidered items is where you’ll really find some treasures. This may seem like a dated trend, but it’s back in full force this year and more available then ever in your favorite clothing stores.
When it comes to feminine fashion trends, ruffles rank highly on the list! Ruffled dresses and skirts may be reminiscent of Gone With the Wind, but that doesn’t mean they’re outdated. Through the duration of 2017, we saw ruffles take center stage as one of the most popular trends around, popping up on blouses, skirts, sweaters, and even purses. Heck, we’ve even seen them on boots! They’re everywhere.
Not everyone is crazy about ruffles, however, and they are often dismissed as being too childlike and girly. If you’re not sold on ruffles, take heart – there are several different ways to wear this style, including as a small accent on a button-up blouse, or as part of a peplum-style dress. This retro style doesn’t have to look the same as it did hundreds of years ago, and as with the other retro trends on this list, ruffles can be totally modernized and repurposed for a new generation.
5. Off-the-shoulder dresses
Some of the loveliest, most memorable dresses in films have featured bare shoulders. Remember Julia Roberts’ red dress in Pretty Woman? Of course you do! This retro trend came back with a vengeance this year, especially during the summer months, and we were totally here for it!
Dresses and blouses that allow for bare shoulders are super flattering, so we’re not at all surprised that this trend has returned. The great news about this particular style is that you can really tailor it for your own taste, as there are clingy off-the-shoulder dresses out there as well as looser, more peasant-inspired styles that work perfectly on a hot day. If you’re a fan of ruffles, you can also find this type of fluttery dress that bares shoulders while keeping things extremely flirty and feminine. This trend truly allows you to choose your own adventure when deciding to adopt it!
6. Band tees
We’ve always been a fan of band tees! Just by putting one on, you’ve taken your outfit to a whole new level of cool, and who knows? You may even start a conversation based on which group is represented on your shirt! If you’ve ever been to a concert, you know that band tees are always available, but that doesn’t mean they’ve always been in vogue. With the ebbs and flows of fashion, this trend has come and gone over the years.
However, it’s back, and it’s cooler than ever. We recommend rocking only your favorite bands as tee shirts, as this makes it much more of an authentic experience, and is much more fun for you! Also, don’t be afraid to pair these tees with a blazer, cardigan, or great pair of dress pants. They can be totally versatile, and you’re certainly not limited to the ripped jeans and miniskirts of the 1970’s when you choose to sport one.
Pro Tip: Band tees go incredibly well with a fabulous eye makeup application – check out this cut crease and double winged eyeliner tutorial and make sure your entire look is on point!
In a retro state of mind? Find out how to create a modern pin-up with our helpful guide!