Turn Back Time: Looks Inspired by the ’50s, ’60s, ’80s, and ’90s

Trends — they come, they go, they come again. Fashion is cyclical after all. It’s ever-present, yet ever-changing. One of the greatest fashion gifts from the past seven years or so, is the trend to, well, seek out past trends. As we infuse styles of the past with modern millennia, we create looks that are at once nostalgic and new. Isn’t it fabulous?

Looking to some of our favorite decades, our stylists put together looks inspired by the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1980s, and the 1990s. These outfits may be a blast from the past, but they’re all about fashion-forward flair.

1950s: Do the Glam Thing

Pictured: Keener Postures Midi Dress in Smoke, Cinch When? Belt in Gold, Garden Party Glam Heel in Melon, Purely Perky Bag, Thoughtful Bauble Necklace, Got Aflutter SunglassesRip-Roaring Radiance Lipstick and Cream Rouge

There’s nothing quite like a posh midi dress and pearls to evoke that old-school, ’50s grace and glamour. Pair with unique, vintage-inspired heels, retro shades, and bright red lips to bring together this classic look. On your way to dinner, you’ll be bopping down the block humming that doo-wop song your mom always sang. In the still of the night… But, there’s nothing still about this fluttering, flowing frock! Twirl on, girl, twirl on.

1960s: Mod About You

Pictured: Ties Meeting You Sheath Dress, Drive You Mod Boot, It’s a Mod, Mod World Sunglasses, Rip-Roaring Radiance Blush in Rose

It’s hard to think of 1960s fashion without thinking the word “mod”, and this outfit shouts it. Characterized by bright colors, bold patterns, and an “anything goes” attitude, the ‘60s gave way to fun and creative personal style. Here, a shift dress with unique detailing, patent heeled boots, vibrant accessories, and a pair of circular sunglasses give this look that infamously-1960 mod vibe.

1980s: Rad to the Bone

Pictures: Pros and Convertibles Top in Floral, Making it Rainbow Shorts, Sharing is Carrying Fanny Pack, Keys to Express Iron On Patch Set, It’s Been To Longboard Sneaker, There’s a Fine Fine Shine Socks in Blue

Trading in the big hair for big style, this ‘80s-inspired look is heavy on the color and contrasting patterns that made the ‘80s so ‘80s. Get to practicing saying “radical” and “tubular” because this sunny outfit was meant for the boardwalk. All you need is a Walkman in your fanny pack and you’ll be skipping your Keds to Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer”. But, hey, with clothes this charismatic, what could be cruel?

1990s: Whoomp, Flair It Is

Pictured: Make Shortall Work of It Denim Romper in Black, Make It Quirky Tee, Make It by the Cutoff Date Denim Jacket, Myth Pleasure Purse, Flatform Performance Leather Sandal, Worth It’s Weight in Bold Sunglasses

Combining ‘90s grunge with its quirky-cute counterpart, this look is everything we love about the ‘90s (minus the plaid and Nickelodeon). No ‘as ifs’ or buts about chokers, platform sandals, and a double dose of denim. To make this ensemble uniquely you, add a whimsical accessory or three! In this playful, peppy get-up, you’ll be whipping out your old Skip It toy to beat your high score. Hopefully it still works.

Retro style — It’s more than just a thing of the past. We see this trend lasting well into the future. What decade most inspires your personal fashion?

About Jordyn

When she's not yell-singing how she feels à la Linda Belcher, you can catch Jordyn obsessing over birds, bolo ties, and anything Sailor Moon. At her chillest, she’s watching David Attenborough documentaries or reorganizing her plants and tchotchkes for the 57th time.

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  1. Ali 02/22/2017 at 11:47 pm #

    Ahh, no 70’s? 🙁 That was such a vibrant decade for fashion!
    But seriously, this list is awesome. I am constantly wowed by the quality and entertainment provided by these Modcloth blog posts. Quite often, I end up adding one of the clothing pieces to my wishlist!

    • Heather 03/03/2017 at 2:02 pm #

      @Ali I was thinking the same thing. The 70’s is my favorite decade for clothing. 🙂

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