Now that the new year is upon us, it’s the perfect time to reinvent. New Year’s always inspires people to better themselves, be it through volunteering, quitting old habits or even improving their wardrobe. However, it can be extremely intimidating to start from scratch and build a wardrobe from nothing. That is why “retro” fashion is so useful. It takes the old clothes that you already have and revamps them for modern times. You don’t have to throw away your entire closet to look good; with a little bit of creativity your wardrobe can be ready for the runways. Here are some of the best ways to bring retro back in style.
- Jean jacket: I realize people might think of jean jackets as old and outdated, but the trend is definitely coming back in style, and for good reason. They look great with dresses and skirts to tone down the dressiness of the outfit, or even with jeans and a t-shirt for a casual-cool look. Contrary to popular belief, jean jackets with jeans can look really fashionable, so long as the jean washes are not similar.
- Leg warmers: When I say “leg warmers,” I don’t mean leg warmers in the traditional sense. Leg warmers had their time, but they are dead and gone, and I’d like to revamp them into something completely different (and way cuter in my opinion). Leg warmers can now be put on under boots to create boot socks that peep out over the top of the boot. This look has become more and more popular these days, and I love that you can use retro fashion to accomplish this look.
- Bright colors: Although bright colors are definitely very ’80s and retro, I feel like they never really went out of style, and that’s what I love about it. It’s wintertime now, so head-to-toe neon might not be the best option, but bright accessories, such as bags, necklaces or scarves, can make a fun and bold statement without being overpowering.
- Floral headbands: Whoever said ’60s flower power was dead is obviously misinformed. Floral headbands are making a huge comeback, and I’m so happy about it! They are so cute and feminine, perfect for those days when you’re feeling especially girly. You can even wear it across your forehead to achieve that indie/hipster vibe.
- Midi-length dresses/skirts: Midi-length skirts (skirts that go below your knees) are a very cool and effortless look to pull off, especially for girls who want to try the maxi length trend but are too short to find any that will fit. Midi-length skirts are super comfortable because they are long enough so that you can ride a bike, walk in a breeze or even bend over and not have to worry about showing too much. However, they are shorter than maxi skirts, so if you feel like maxis overwhelm your body (this is especially true for petite women), midi skirts are the perfect compromise. Plus, they look so cute with ankle boots!
- Winged eyeliner: I know this isn’t clothing fashion, but makeup and fashion are inextricably linked, and I absolutely could not talk about retro fashion and leave out winged eyeliner. I dare you to find one red carpet on planet earth where 99 percent of the women aren’t wearing winged eyeliner. It is impossible, I promise. Winged eyeliner is taking over the world, and I am perfectly happy with that. It is beautiful, simple and very retro-chic. All you need is to flick your eyeliner slightly past your eyelid to create a cat-eye effect, and you’re good to go. However, as much as I love a good winged eyeliner, it is harder than it looks to perfect the method, especially since you need to create a similar line on both eyes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried and failed to make my eyeliner symmetrical, but trust me, winged eyeliner is worth the effort, because when it looks good, it looks really good.
- Fedoras: Fedoras are a little more controversial, because although they are definitely making a fashion comeback, they’re harder than most retro fashion looks to pull off without looking like you’re trying too hard. Very few people can pull off a fedora, but the key to wearing one is confidence. Think Justin Timberlake. He looks great in a fedora, but only because he is bold and confident enough in his fashion to wear it. If you’re experimenting with your fashion and want to test out fedoras, just wear them with confidence (and maybe a simple tank top and jeans to focus on the statement piece) and you will look super fly.
- Bell-bottoms: I’m not saying that wearing bell-bottoms on a daily basis is the best way to go about improving your style, but paired with the right shoes, they can look surprisingly trendy! Make sure you wear shoes with height (high heels can work, but heeled booties work as well), and that the bell-bottoms do not drag across the floor. The heel + bell-bottom combination will elongate and lengthen your legs, something that every short girl could benefit from.
- Big sunglasses: Wayfarers and aviators are making a ginormous comeback in the sunglass industry, and these sunglasses are as retro as they come. Oversized glasses in general are really fun and flirty, so I am definitely in favor of this retro style being revamped. Feel free to embrace your inner Audrey Hepburn with this look!
- Lacy Lingerie: This last one is a little risqué, which is why I saved it for last, but lingerie is every bit as important to a woman’s wardrobe as the clothes in her closet. Lacy lingerie has been making a pretty big comeback thanks in part to Victoria’s Secret, and since fashion is all about feeling good, nothing feels more confidence boosting than wearing beautiful and delicate lingerie. I want to be clear, wearing lingerie is not for men; it is for yourself, to help foster a positive body image. It’s hard enough these days to remain confident about your body but wearing lacy lingerie, even if it’s underneath jeans and a t-shirt, will work wonders on your inner confidence.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of retro styles that are back in fashion! Have fun scouring through your own closet and revamping these classic looks for modern times.