I love the Retro Modern Trend! It is hot right now but will be blazing for this Spring and Summer. I will admit, however, it is a little “out there” for everyday wear. On the runway you’ll find glittery elastics mixed in with sheer fabrics, oversized glasses, rings and embellishments galore, but when it comes to getting dressed in the morning we may not be confident enough to hit the grocery store looking like some kind of Jimi Hendrix groupie.
Since I plan on wearing this trend….out, I thought I would share how I approach integrating this “new vintage” vibe into my everyday wear and office wear. Soon I’ll also be sharing a shopping post on how to get the look for less!
1 – Be Courageous With Your Outerwear
In general, this has always been a rule of mine. You can get away with pretty much anything as outerwear from sunglasses and hats to embellished collars and scarves. Outerwear gives you a certain confidence because you’re only wearing it for temporary situations such as transit.
If you don’t quite feel confident enough to sit across from someone in a board meeting while wearing a bright green, bow sequins top, you may, for example, be able to stroll to the Coffee Shop in a beret!
Aside from the fact that I love all kinds of hats and am a collector of sorts, wearing a beret takes a certain special courage. “What are you French?” is the question I always fear!
2 – Geek Girl Specs
One of the best things about the runway shows for this Spring is the tendency to embrace our inner geek and let your glasses be seen! Glasses are sexy, glasses create mystery, i.m.h.o. glasses are more provocative than a cleavage revealing top because the imagination is more potent than site.
A great way to infuse the “modern retro” look into your wardrobe without making a huge investment in by choosing vintage inspired glasses or I like to go one step further and buy vintage frames and then have custom made prescription lenses mounted!
I have collected many vintage frames over the years and every now and then I treat myself by paying for the lenses.
I found these frames for 10 euro 5 or 6 years ago and I’ve loved them ever since! Now, I just need to call my mom and see if she has any of her old square frame glasses from the late 70s and 80s because I am DYING for a pair right now!
By converting a pair of vintage frames into prescription glasses you may not necessarily save much money (there are plenty of options online for discount prescription glasses, I reviewed one great site here),however, you can rest assured that no one will have the same frames as you!
That being said I am currently coveting these thick, square frames by Stella McCartney for $245 at Shopbop.com.
3 – Tinted Shades
Nothing says the 70s quite like a pair of tinted sunglasses. Rosè, orange, blue …you name it, the 70s had it and they are back!
Can I just say for a moment that I’ve recently heard “everything comes back in style, the designers of today are just borrowing from the past”. I really disagree with this statement, and instead would like to say that I think that designers today are still in the past, meaning we are still collectively in the “Denim Age”.
From the birth of the first pair of blue jeans in 1873 when Levi Strauss took a fabric previously used for work-wear known as denim and created an everyday pant known as “jeans” he launched us into a 100+ year era that will last until, well…. I’m not sure, but we’re all still in it! I’ve been doing a bit of research lately into the history of fashion and the Levi story is a really good read!
But I digress, I love these MYKITA for OTTICA GIULIANELLI orange sunglasses that are very similar to my Golden Line sunglasses seen in the above photo and featured in this post. You can find MYKITA at Farfetch, plus enjoy an extra 20% off with code X20jan today!
4 – An Eccentric Blouse
The Blouse has exploded for the Spring Summer Season…in a good way. I love the bold patterns, bows, ties, oversized collars, colors, fabrics and general eccentrics of where the button-down blouse is going.
Over the next two months I’ll be sharing 10 NEW BLOUSES that have made their way into my wardrobe and they are all a little extravagant in their 70s inspired patterns and cuts. Wearing an eccentric blouse out of the house should be balanced with toned down pieces or even a pullover or cardigan (see tip N° 5!).
5 – Layer!
Adding a cardigan, pullover or vest is another way to infuse a bit of retro and also tone down a bold blouse. Don’t be afraid to use a contrasting color or fabric because this trend is about bold pattern mixing and stepping out of your comfort zone. People think that the Spring signifies the END of layering when in actual fact it should be the beginning. The moment it gets warm enough to leave your coat or jacket at home grab a sweater and scarf until the summer!
Personally, I like to tone down a retro look with a simple cardigan for work. A general rule to follow is the “ADD A THIRD PIECE RULE”, meaning a scarf, pullover, cardigan or bold accessory can take you from “jeans and a top” to “a full on outfit”!
6 – One Retro Piece At A Time!
The purpose of a catwalk show is to show the audience and buyers ALL of the designer’s collection ALL at once! In real life, most of us have limited budgets and dressing fashionably is about integrating one or two seasonal pieces into an already established wardrobe.
The vintage modern vibe may be overwhelming if too many retro pieces are worn at once. I think one vintage clothing item and one accessory at a time is enough to infuse your outfit with the trend without overtaking your personality or personal style.
7 – Retro Inspired Accessories
By going bold with your retro accessories you can easily wear the Spring Summer 1970s trend everyday and for ordinary situations. I love adding vintage silk scarves, glasses, a color block bag or leather accessories into my everyday style.
My leather cuff will be part of my new collection and takes its shape from the buckles in the 60s and 70s. Similarly, in the runway shows designers updated everything from shoes to handbags with “borrowed” motifs from the past.
8 – It’s all In The Bag
Saddle bags, bucket bags, lady bags…this season’s vintage inspired bags incorporate all of the style elements we loved from The Mary Tyler Moore show! Look out for the post dedicated to all of the bags that I love as part of this trend in their contrasting color glory!
I am personally loving the round edge saddlebag that has made a huge impact thanks to Celine. To get the look for less check out up and coming brand Sancia available at Shopbop.com.
9 – Turtlenecks and Mocknecks!
Call it a polo neck, roll neck, dolcevita, skivvy or what you will the turtleneck is BACK! Wait…did it ever leave? Recently I read a few articles about how the turtleneck and mockneck are making comebacks, which was news to me and my wardrobe since these are pretty much staple items for me from September to May!
For those of you as passionate about the turtleneck as me there is a FANTASTIC article in the New York times published at the beginning of January that covers not only the history of the contemporary turtleneck but the juicy gossip and seedy characteristics that it implies (aka – to cover hickeys!)
Here’s a quote
The idea that a few inches of fabric might not only indicate a lifestyle but also incarnate an approach to the universe was an absurdity too delicious to resist, so no one did, and the austere, informal and yet ceremonious black turtleneck entered the iconography of nonconformism.
10 – The Button Down Skirt
I rarely use the word “fad” on the blog, but here goes… this is a fad! A big FAD however, that will most likely be here right through to next fall! So indulge, and shop the sales! I bought my skirt for 8 euro at Promod and you can pretty much find them in any H&M, Zara and Topshop for about as much as a pizza!
Did I mention button downs, whether they be in suede, denim or corduroy look fantastic with turtlenecks! Voilà a modern retro look easy enough to wear to the office, out to brunch or for an adventurous shopping trip!
These are my own personal strategies to incorporate the “New Retro” vibe that Chanel, MiuMiu and of course Gucci are trailblazing for this Spring. Feel free to visit the Pinterest Board I’ve created dedicated to the 70s Geek Chic trend. I will be pinning all kinds of different looks from around the internet!
If you’ve signed up for the Magazine keep your eyes open for a new email, I will be re-issuing the first issue as mobile-friendly! If you haven’t signed up yet but would like to get the first issue there is still time!
Have a great Friday and HAPPY WEEKEND!
Now onto YOUR style…
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