2024 Trend Report: The Season’s Vintage Fashion Influences from the 1960s & 1970s

by Sammy in Comment — Updated January 31, 2020

34 Tips to Thrift Store Shop Like a Pro! (Pass On to Newbies!)

It’s only mid-January and I’m already daydreaming of sunshine versus snow; warm winds versus blistery gusts; and yes, exposing my legs versus being wrapped in layers!

The temperatures are permanently dipped and there’s still two solid months remaining until the first official day of spring — but I’m daydreaming of what I’ll be wearing that’s both old AND new!

If you’re a fashion lover already, you know that the styles of today are influenced by the styles of the past. Fashion is like one continually repeating movie remake — the characters remain the same, but the actors and actresses who play them are updated and upgraded to keep up with the times.

Near the New Year, a great fashion resource site called Fashionising sent me an email alert on trends to watch for spring 2011 — many of which were presumably vintage inspired. But instead of subtly throwing back to forgotten eras, the newsletter bluntly stated “1970s and 1960s influenced trends.”

Fashionising was right — from the runway to the red carpet and eventually into your local mall store, clothing of the 1960s and clothing of the 1970s have officially made a comeback. No more buying up reproduced 80s fashions from indie stores like Urban Outfitters and American Apparel. This spring, it’s about dressing to impress, dressing with some shimmer and shake and dressing in fashions that don’t just hint at our fashion ancestors, but honor them with great styles worth buying now and wearing past 2011’s end.

Keep reading after the jump for my compare-contrast infographs on the fashion trend “then” versus its interpretation “now.” You’ll be surprised just how little styles can change in a 30 to 40 year time span … and how inspired you may be to thrift store shop or estate sale shop your way into a very vintage spring 2011!

Have a great weekend everyone — and stay WARM!

xx, SD

34 Tips to Thrift Store Shop Like a Pro! (Pass On to Newbies!)

1960s THEN: Full skirts came with matching tops, starch white gloves and underswept dos. The full skirt wasn’t just one part of an outfit … it was the defining piece and central focus creating a very prim and polished look.

2011 NOW: Designers are pairing full, feminine skirts with masculine blazers and other androgynous touches, like the black sunglasses worn by the model here. To keep from looking too wannabe-retro, stick to a solid skirt versus floral. Add a cropped blazer, long pearls [past your chest] and flats for a great work or Sunday brunch look.

34 Tips to Thrift Store Shop Like a Pro! (Pass On to Newbies!)
1960s THEN: Sure, we saw a tight waist and some exposed upper skin in the 60s … but cleavage? No can do! The bustier cut of the 60s was still conservative, and most likely paired with a cardigan sweater when worn to work. But those swingin’ house parties we know all too well from shows like Mad Men? Cardigan optional, please.

2011 NOW: The essence of the 60s look remains with a full skirt and cinched waist, but this year is bringing a whole lot more sexy back. The modern runway interpretation illustrates a bustier top that could be worn in the bedroom.

34 Tips to Thrift Store Shop Like a Pro! (Pass On to Newbies!)

1960s THEN: Cat eye glasses were worn by secretaries and particularly snooty women, paired with collared shirts and poodle-esque full skirts. The styles never strayed from the definitive “cat eye” design.

2011 NOW: Celebrities like Lady Gaga are wide-eyed for cat eyes … in all shapes and forms. Note how Miss Gaga wears her cat eyes like a theatrical costume piece [surprise, surprise!] — and these cat eyes stray from the original skinny rim design. These are a fuller, more square shape. In stores and on the runway, cat eye glasses have married a more futuristic — versus retro — look.

34 Tips to Thrift Store Shop Like a Pro! (Pass On to Newbies!)
1960s THEN: Cat eye sunglasses were black only, worn for the convenience of blocking the sun from a person’s eyes. There was typically little variation in color.

2011 NOW: Cat eye glasses — whether for reading, sunning or just stunning — take on every color and pattern. The more extreme and avant garde, the better.
34 Tips to Thrift Store Shop Like a Pro! (Pass On to Newbies!)
1970s THEN: Jumpsuits from the 70s were a delight … to laugh at. Sure, they were declared stylish then, but ladies wearing them looked more like clowns in too-tight tops and too-wide bell bottom pants. The style must have looked a whole lot better under disco balls!

2011 NOW: Jumpsuits are no longer playsuits. In 2011, they’re still for partying, but with sweet sophistication thanks to a comfortable fit and tapered leg. While the playfulness element of the 70s jumpsuit remains with trendy ruffle tops, exposed chests and lots o’ color, the structure of the suit is much more flattering and practical for everyday wear, too.
34 Tips to Thrift Store Shop Like a Pro! (Pass On to Newbies!)
1970s THEN: The empire waist of the 70s is as classic as the Diane von Furstenberg-born wrap dress of the same decade. It just doesn’t get any better — or more flattering — than wearing formal that cinches the waist and billows from below into pure elegance without body-conscious worry.

2011 NOW: While the empire waist dresses of the 70s were more conservative with long sleeves and solid colors, the same look of today shimmers, shines and shimmies its way to a black tie event near you. Empire waist dresses are just-as-sexy alternatives to mini swing dresses this spring.
34 Tips to Thrift Store Shop Like a Pro! (Pass On to Newbies!)
1970s THEN: Hot pants were play pants for all teenage girls who would inevitably trade their exposed thighs and cheeks for the formal “power suit” of the 80s. But before these career-bound women had desk jobs, they were roller skating in short shorts and tucked-in shirts.

2011 NOW: Hot pants take on a goth edge, particularly in entertainment and for the dance floor. Think Lady Gaga’s hot pants onesie outfit from her “Just Dance” music video or Miley Cyrus’ leather-booty pants worn on stage, shown above. It’s safe to say that the hots pants of the 70s no longer carry the same innocence as a milkshake and loop around the roller rink.


CELEBS: The Influences of ‘70s Celebs on Fashion Part I
CELEBS: The Influences of ‘70s Celebs on Fashion Part II
PLUS: Why Midi Skirts Angered Women in the ‘70s


VIDEO: How I Styled a ‘70s Maxi Dress at the Manhattan Vintage Show
LOOKBOOK: How to Wear a ‘70s Pleated Plaid Skirt and ‘70s Velvet Shorts Styled for Today
PLUS: All You Ever Wanted to Know About ‘60s & ‘70s Bathing Suits


TRENDS: Today’s Fashion Thanks to 1960s Clothing Trends
PICTURES: Photos of ’60s Fashion from McCall’s Magazine
HOW-TO: Style a Drop Waist Dress from the 1960s
SPRING: Everything You Wanted to Know About ’60s Spring Dresses
STYLE: Your Easy Guide to ‘60s Bathing Suits

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