They say history repeats itself, and so does fashion. Every few decades you’ll notice a resurgence of an old-time trend that your parents swore they’d never see again, like MC Hammer pants or matching velour sweatsuits. Mom and dad threw their now-vintage items out long before you were even a thought in their minds, and dammit how you wish they’d held on to those pieces now to make you look cool again.
Within the last several years, vintage clothing has made a major comeback into the marketplace, with full-on vintage shops curating items for resale and big name retailers repurposing vintage items to create something new (i.e. the Urban Renewal line at Urban Outfitters).
The most interesting part of the throwback trend to me at the moment is just how many brands are embracing it.
UO has [almost] a monopoly selling retro items for iconic labels of the past. There’s Calvin Klein, FILA, Champion, Adidas and probably half a dozen more featured on UO’s site as an exclusive partnership for the old school logos and styles of the 80s and 90s.
They are mostly athletic brands, yes, which does align with throwback jerseys for sports fans of professional teams wearing the look during special events –so it’s not totally unheard of. But if you’re thinking about diving into this trend for casual wear, here’s some things you need to know:
Prepare to spend some serious cash
Throwback looks are not proving to be cost efficient thus far. $55 above for a plain hoodie with a tiny, appliqué retro logo is a little nuts, no? But, you’re paying for the garment and for the exclusivity of the line. The real kicker is that you probably owned the same exact thing many years ago but threw it out thinking it was way passé.
Don’t be basic
I know these lines are cool (particularly Calvin Klein) but keep your basic-ness to a minimum while participating in these popular throwback trends. Instead of buying the rather expected and over-Instagrammed match set, go for something a little more different like this camouflage combo or a one-shoulder sports bra. It shows you’re up with the current styles but still feel the need to dig a little deeper than the “most popular” section of the website to find a way make the look your own.
The best finds might not be online
If you want to rep vintage in true fashion (literally), head to the thrift shops in your local area to see what they have in store. You might be lucky enough to score a truly old school version of your favorite brand for a fraction of the retail price.
Hang on to it this time (seriously)
Your kids will thank you. And if you’re blessed enough to stay the same size as you are right now 15 years down the road, you’ll thank yourself too. No matter how ridiculous today’s trends are, they always come back in style. So save yourself some money down the road and hang on to those truly cool pieces that you have a feeling might stick around.
I’m all in on vintage because we should embrace iconic trends past what some believed their original expiration date to be. Sometimes, those trends come back in full force and go completely overboard (cough, cough: chokers and off-the-shoulder tops).
But if you want to dress vintage, you know how to bring those fashion staples back in a tasteful, subtle way without looking like you’ve just stepped out of a time machine or worse, a Forever 21 fitting room.