Vintage Fashion Inspiration

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They say everything is cyclical, and in fashion that is particularly the case. Some people say there is a rule of thirty – that things popular in the 70s came back in the 00s, that the 60s influenced the nineties. And if you look in the right places, there is definitely a lot of evidence to back that up. But there is a sense now that those lines are breaking down. We’re in the middle of the 2010s, and in many ways anything goes.

So while some people insist the rule of thirty holds true – or at least that revivals come and go – others argue that great fashion is timeless. Are you currently wearing fashions that popped up in the 80s (check to see if they look a bit 50s, that’s how you’ll know)? Or are you more influenced by things that just look good? There are looks around today pulled from all corners of the last century. And they still work.

1920s Decadence: Jazz, Gin And All The Rest

Madonna rocks a Flapper look (Wikipedia)

The reboot of The Great Gatsby symbolizes the latest revival of 1920s styles, although they’ve been around since before that. The postwar prosperity and permissiveness of the 20s saw bobbed hair and short skirts become a big thing. Of course, these days we’re not living under prohibition. We can vote. Today isn’t a lot like the 1920s at all. That said, the bravery of the Flapper generation and the mark they made for glamor and independence is worth retaining.

1940s Glamor: We Needed Something To Smile About

If we’re talking about high points of the 20th century, the 1940s would be a hard sell. Yes, the war was eventually won, but it raged for a while. That said, victory did lead to an upswing in mood and general optimism. And the fashions – shirt dresses and victory rolls – are something well worth preserving. It breaks the rule of thirty in a big way, but a lot of people are rocking that 40s aesthetic to great effect.

1960s Style: Swinging London And Beyond

Like them or not, the Beatles were a big deal and their influence on men’s fashion at the time was undeniable. It’s still in place on many men today, but the women’s fashions of the time were a lot more exciting. The boho chic look came rushing back in the 1990s (but of course it did!). The thing is, it seems to have stuck around for the past two decades – floaty skirts, baggy cardigans and the rest are still a great look.

So it may be true that fashions have a habit of coming around again, and then disappearing. But what might be more accurate is to say that we remember and recycle old-style looks that become relevant again. The parts we like, we keep and they become part of a general style. The rest? Well, 1986 was thirty years ago. Have you seen finger-less gloves being worn unironically any time recently? Legwarmers?

The lesson to take from the fashion icons of the 1920s, 40s and 60s is simple – dress in what makes you feel good and free. Vintage or modern, it doesn’t matter. What matters is confidence and style.

They say everything is cyclical, and in fashion that is particularly the case. Some people say there is a rule of thirty – that things popular in the 70s came back in the 00s, that the 60s influenced the nineties. And if you look in the right places, there is definitely a lot of evidence to back that up. But there is a sense now that those lines are breaking down. We’re in the middle of the 2010s, and in many ways anything goes.

So while some people insist the rule of thirty holds true – or at least that revivals come and go – others argue that great fashion is timeless. Are you currently wearing fashions that popped up in the 80s (check to see if they look a bit 50s, that’s how you’ll know)? Or are you more influenced by things that just look good? There are looks around today pulled from all corners of the last century. And they still work.

1920s Decadence: Jazz, Gin And All The Rest

The reboot of The Great Gatsby symbolizes the latest revival of 1920s styles, although they’ve been around since before that. The postwar prosperity and permissiveness of the 20s saw bobbed hair and short skirts become a big thing. Of course, these days we’re not living under prohibition. We can vote. Today isn’t a lot like the 1920s at all. That said, the bravery of the Flapper generation and the mark they made for glamor and independence is worth retaining.

1940s Glamor: We Needed Something To Smile About

If we’re talking about high points of the 20th century, the 1940s would be a hard sell. Yes, the war was eventually won, but it raged for a while. That said, victory did lead to an upswing in mood and general optimism. And the fashions – shirt dresses and victory rolls – are something well worth retaining. It breaks the rule of thirty in a big way, but a lot of people are rocking that 40s aesthetic to great effect.

1960s Style: Swinging London And Beyond

Like them or not, the Beatles were a big deal and their influence on men’s fashion at the time was undeniable. It’s still in place on many men today, but the women’s fashions of the time were a lot more exciting. The boho chic look came rushing back in the 1990s (but of course it did!). The thing is, it seems to have stuck around for the past two decades – floaty skirts, baggy cardigans and the rest are still a great look.

So it may be true that fashions have a habit of coming around again, and then disappearing. But what might be more accurate is to say that we remember and recycle old-style looks that become relevant again. The parts we like, we keep and they become part of a general style. The rest? Well, 1986 was thirty years ago. Have you seen fingerless gloves being worn unironically any time recently? Legwarmers?

The lesson to take from the fashion icons of the 1920s, 40s and 60s is simple – dress in what makes you feel good and free. Vintage or modern, it doesn’t matter. What matters is confidence and style.

 

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