Retro clothing is fashion that is either made as a replica of vintage style (a new garment designed in an old style to replicate the period of time/fashion) or it is an old piece that was made in the style of its day but is worn currently. Retro fashion designers and retro clothing lines are not a new phenomena, nor is drawing inspiration from periods of time and different decades of style. However new clothing made in retro style is adding to the ever growing pile of clothes, when the main point of the garment is to look or capture the spirit of a historical design or time. A particular historical design or period of time in fashion can be found in vintage clothing without the need to recreate the garments. Online searches for clothing anywhere from the 1950s to the 2000s are fairly easy to find, you may end up finding discounted vintage clothing if your desired retro-style is often forgotten or wished to be forgotten style-craze. Clothing older than the 1950s does become increasingly difficult by decade, much of this is to do with the simple fact that clothing often does not last that long, but as a commonality amongst hand-made or clothing made using less-efficient but less mass produced processes is quality, so if anything is able to stand the test of time, high quality material vintage clothing has a good chance.
Retro style clothes have made a comeback. Credit must be given to streetwear and high fashion’s consistent use of archive collections and period pieces, however a large reason why retro is making a comeback is due to the increased attention and shopping for used clothing. If used vintage clothing becomes a highlight in modern fashion and is worn by fashion icons then the styles exhibited in those pieces will be in the public eye again. Now this may mean that contemporary fashion designers will cannibalize all that was good about the retro pieces that are popping up again, but it also breathes new life in vintage clothing and vintage shopping. Ultimately, anything that revitalizes the use of old clothing that is still in circulation is a positive for the world at large.
The end all be all retro styles from each decade since 1900.
- 1900-1910: Corsets
- 1910-1920: Hobble skirts
- 1920-1930: Tubular flapper dresses
- 1930-1940: Bias-cut gowns
- 1940-1950: Utility wear
- 1950-1960: The Bar suit (“The New Look”)
- 1960-1970: Miniskirts, and Punk
- 1970-1980: Leisure Suits, Disco, or Hippie
- 1980-1990: Sportswear, Powersuits, Neon, and Shoulder pads
- 1990s-2000: Grunge, Preppy, Hip-Hop, Minimalist, and Boring outfits
- 2000-2010: Y2k
- 2010-2020: Streetwear takes over High Fashion
New clothing designed in retro style is a growing trend, drawing inspiration on the best looks of the past and the attention to detail and material that vintage clothing often had. The only thing to keep in mind about modern versions of retro clothing is that you will pay full price for a new item that is designed to an old standard or taste, when used versions are usually readily available.