Vintage-inspired trends this summer

In just a couple of weeks, it will be officially summer. However with this weather we have been having in Vancouver lately, it feels as if it’s already been here for awhile. We have already broken out all our favourite summer dresses and shorts along with our wallets to get some of the latest summer trends.

After browsing too many stores longingly, a few vintage-inspired looks have caught my eye. Here are a few that I noticed:

Wide-legged trousers

Although these are more of a spring look, I happen to have seen them everywhere on runways and in magazines. These pants first hit popularity with help from Charlie’s Angels, but have now managed to sneak their way back into our wardrobes. I love the look, however for someone of my height (5″2), I wouldn’t recommend them for myself or others of the same stature.

These trousers can be found at Devil May Wear on Main st for $145. Photo courtesy of Devil May Wear

These trousers can be found at Devil May Wear on Main st for $145. Photo courtesy of Devil May Wear

Shift Blouse

Although similar to a tunic, they are usually much shorter and can be classified as a T-shirt. It was originally popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s with the hippy look. With its boxy shape, this is more popularly paired with a straight skirt this season.

White Blouses

This isn’t exactly a vintage-inspired look, but it’s a classic I have been seeing everywhere lately. What seems to be most popular are loose sleeveless blouses. I’ve been keeping my eye on a particular chemise one in H&M.

Shiny fabric

This isn’t one of my most favourite trends, however, dresses and skirts in metallic fabrics have become a must on the runways. A lot of looks this season are inspired by the 1970’s and this too, is no exception. Shiny attire could be seen everywhere, particularly on the dance floor in the disco-era.

Tea-length skirts

And to save the best for last, I present the tea-length skirt. There is no specific measurements that come along with the term “tea-length,” but it usually refers to about mid-calf length. Although it may not be recommended for someone of a shorter stature, I insist on wearing them myself simply for the femininity of it. It was most popular during Hollywood’s Golden Age in the 1920’s. They are now often worn with blouses tucked into the high-waisted skirt and come in a variety of patterns and colours.


Vintage accessories in 2013

While window-shopping downtown the other day (for lack of being able to actually shop), I noticed that clothing is not the only thing that’s vintage-inspired for this spring. Accessories from bags, shoes and glasses are following trends from the Victorian era up until the 1980’s; so grabbing my smart phone, I snapped some photos of the different trends displayed.
Going to relatively generic and affordable stores such as Aldo, Forever 21 and H&M, I discovered an array of vintage-inspired accessories such as hats, glasses and bags.

To be honest, I considered not covering this trend in hopes that I could limit the amount of publicity it would gain. But after seeing the baseball cap line the displays of nearly every store, I realized that it was inevitable; soon I would be seeing capped heads everywhere.

top and bottom middle photo: Aldo.   left: Forever 21; photo on the right: H&M

top and bottom middle photo: Aldo. left: Forever 21; photo on the right: H&M

In nearly every store I walked into, there were baseball caps in plain and simple colours, in interesting patterns such as birds (as shown above) or florals. As I saw in the Aldo on Robson street, black baseball caps with sequins sat in the window display on mannequins.
The hat has developed a lot since its creation for baseball players in the 1800’s and became popular in mainstream society in the 1970’s to 1990’s.
For the best guide of how to wear the baseball cap this spring, check out

The cat-eye glasses, on the other hand, is a re-occuring trend that I can definitely get on board with. The glasses originally became popular in the 1950’s as optical glasses until Audrey Hepburn wore a pair of cat eye sunglasses in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Photo courtesy of Chloe chic blog.

Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Photo courtesy of Chloe chic blog.

The cat eye glasses that I have seen this year are often embellished with decorations on the corners, from flowers to sequins.

Sunglasses from Aldo

Sunglasses from Aldo

However as much as I love these sunglasses, it’s a matter of how to wear them.

Another vintage-inspired trend to expect for sunglasses this year are the round sunglasses (as shown on on right of the photo above).

And as for the satchel bag that I have seen everywhere, I immediately think of the 1960’s. In my attempt to look up the origin of this fashion, I came across an entire history of hand bags, and as it turns out, I was right.
According to this website, which is organized by era, the satchel was first invented in the 1930’s, but became popular among women in the 1960’s. It was apparently inspired by travels to India in the late ’60’s as shoulder bags.

Although the trend was often seen back then in shades of brown, this year they are often in an array of colours.

Top photo: bags from Aldo.  Left: H&M.  Right: Forever 21.

Top photo: bags from Aldo. Left: H&M. Right: Forever 21.

H&M’s bags are in light colours to match the pastels of this spring, whereas Forever 21 has their satchels in neon green, in what I assume is an ode to the 1980’s. Aldo had plenty of different kinds in a rainbow of colours as well as bags in 1960’s patterns and designs.

This year, from what I can see, is all about mixing and matching in every sense. Whether it’s patterns, colours or eras, it’s all about doing it with style.
So my question is, how do you mix and match the eras?