Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

8 Retro Clothing Ideas

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Feb 12, 2018 1:09 AM

Retro and vintage looks can brighten up the ordinary wardrobe. Many ideas have come back into fashion, but others would mark the wearer as a trendsetter. It is easy to find inspiration for retro outfits online. Try incorporating one or more pieces into your wardrobe.
Circle Skirts

One look that hasn't made a popular appearance in several years is the circle skirt. For a true retro look, wear a circle skirt with a poodle applique or with a telephone sewn on. These skirts are comfortable and provide a sense of movement not found in tighter skirts. The best way to wear a circle skirt is with a fitted shell or cropped cardigan. A wool jacket like a high school letter jacket also makes for a charming look.
Leather Jackets

Leather jackets are a retro idea that will never go out of style. Wear an embellished biker jacket to make a big impression. Chains, buckles, and zippers can take the place of accessories in your outfit. Leather jackets can also take inspiration from the 1980s with lots of zippers. Leather jackets look ideal with a pair of boots or sneakers.
Saddle Shoes

For a charming yet put-together look, try a pair of saddle shoes. These would look especially nice with a circle skirt as they were worn in the 1950s, but they can add a touch of vintage charm to any outfit. Saddle shoes are most often worn in white leather with a contrasting dark band, but they can come in other color combinations as well. Saddle shoes look especially nice with a classic white ankle sock.
Belted Cardigans

The cardigan has always been a popular sweater choice. Make it retro with the addition of a slim belt. This will define the waist and give a touch of 1940s glamour to any outfit. Belted cardigans pair nicely with a pencil skirt or a slim pair of pants. The look was also popular in the 1980s with chunkier, oversized sweaters.

The shirtdress saw a heyday in the 1940s, as women were adapting to the restrictions placed on clothing purchases due to rationing. Shirtdresses combine a slim and flattering silhouette with solid practicality. They are made of a variety of fabrics including the original plain or patterned cotton or rayon. Today, shirtdresses are often worn with a belt. Update a shirtdress with bold accessories.

Before the late 1960s, a fashionable woman was not considered properly dressed without a hat. Hats are coming back as the perfect finishing touch to a classy outfit. There are dozens of hat types available, including cloches, berets, bucket hats, straw hats, and wide brimmed summer hats. Add a hat to a dressy outfit and add a classic touch to your personal style.
Polka Dots

While polka dots have remained popular, they are most often associated with earlier decades of fashion. Fitted polka dot "pin-up" dresses were popular in the 1950s. Small and subtle polka dots give a fun touch to a professional outfit. For a bolder look, try large polka dots on a bright background.
Bell Bottoms

A popular look from the late 1960s and 1970s are bell bottomed jeans. These are an item that has not come back in style for several years, so wearing them now would make a unique retro fashion statement. Try combining the bold silhouette of bell bottomed pants with an elaborate hippie print or with a truly vintage fabric like corduroy.

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