The saying “Old is gold” holds especially true with the vintage fashion market.
These days, vintage fashions have gained amazing popularity as many of our Instagram feeds have kept us up to date (if the pun may be excused). This is probably another living proof that history does have a tendency of repeating itself—especially in the case of mainstream fashion. As most fashion enthusiasts are well aware, trends are cyclical. Although some trends may die out after a couple of years, classical pieces that are loved once often return to be loved again.
Social media has a big role to play in the revival of vintage fashion, thanks to it being one of the most prominent harbingers of the sustainable fashion movement. Across different social media platforms, like TikTok and Instagram, you can easily find content on how the vintage fashion trend can contribute to slow fashion through the growing culture of thrifting, upcycling, archiving, etc. one #ootd post at a time. The increasing trend of buying second-hand vintage clothing has in turn led to the rise of fashion resale startups, like ThredUP, Poshmark, Depop, Vestiaire Collective, etc. Besides mainstream fashion, the vintage trend has also created a buzz in the mainstream as well as the luxury fashion market. Not only are people looking for classical products from high-end fashion brands, these brands are also developing new products that possess a scent of vintage-ness.
Here are some vintage trends to look out for on your next shopping trip.
Remember the brightly colored, OG Juicy Couture velvet tracksuits? Made all the rage by Paris Hilton and Disney shows in the early 2000s, the athleisure (a fashion style that is both athletic and leisurely) trend is back and better than ever. While the style has grown along with its original demographic, people are going for comfortable street style tracksuit sets in more grown-up neutral and pastel tones, departing from the bright neon and jewel tones of the past. Fashion brands, like Urbanic and Fashion Nova, have made the style widely loved, and luxury brands, like Balenciaga and Celine, have catapulted the looks into the celeb-off-duty catalog.
2. Chunky Knits
A silver screen and TV staple of the 70s—chunky knits have made a comfy comeback.
Be it fashionistas or our friends who are self-isolating at home, chunky sweaters and cardigans have made a solid home in hearts and closets. Offsetting sleek, fitted lowers with their chunkiness and being an easy color blocking tool to put together a quick and chic outfit has been the knits’ major claim to fame. They are extremely popular as DIY pieces, especially with thick Marino Wool, creating a ripe market for Instagram shops that make unique handmade pieces on commission. While fashion brands, like H&M and Ajio, have their own styles of chunky knits, the pieces are also popular on second-hand fashion sites, like Poshmark.
Corsets haven’t always had the best rep in history, but they have as much a grip on the fashion world today as they did over a century ago. Period pieces have become popular with the rise of vintage dark academia and cottage core aesthetics in mainstream media. Various modernized styles of this vintage piece, like corset tops, belts and bustiers, have become must-haves of a (ironically) fashion-forward wardrobe. Corsets have gone from being limited to high fashion runway pieces to an interesting way to layer more day-to-day looks, giving many fast fashion inventories a major boost.
4. Baguette Bags
These iconic little bags were the staple. They had a prominent presence in the late 90s and early 2000s film and television, like this green number from one of Jennifer Aniston’s iconic Rachel Green looks. Though the bags are still little, they’re making a big comeback. Brands, like Fendi, Mulberry and Dior, have relaunched beloved handbag pieces (i.e. The Baguette, The Alexa satchel, The Saddle bag respectively), riding the wave of baguette bags’ reviving popularity. According to global fashion search platform Lyst, searches for vintage bags were at an all-time high in 2020 with a 46% yearly increase. Many shoppers are looking for secondhand Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Hermès baguette bags.
As the saying goes, what goes around, comes around. Surely, it looks like these vintage trends, among many others, have returned to make a place for themselves in our wardrobes for yet another season.