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Vintage Clothing Styles

Updated on May 9, 2015

The Circular Skirt Dress

Vintage and Retro Clothing

Vintage clothing is making a big comeback. And its not just a particular look from a certain era, its many different looks from three very influential decades.

The 1950s Marilyn Monroe dresses are being worn with the same spiky heels that were popular in the 50s and 60s. With the blurring lines between men's and women's fashions these days,women are turning to retro clothing and the ultra feminine flared skirts, fitted clothing and elegant heels of the 50s glamor girls.

The 50s is probably the most loved decade in American history. We have 1950s diners, numerous 50s music compilations for sale, and blockbuster movies being turned out with the 1950s as the nostalgic setting year after year. A trip to Hollywood will reveal James Dean, Elvis Presley, and Marilyn Monroe in the windows of all trinket shops. We are obsessed with this decade of innocence and prosperity.

Its only fitting that we should want to recreate this look and have a feeling of comfort and happiness when dressed to resemble this decade of fun.


Audry Hepburn, 1950s Icon

Source

Modern Marilyn Style

The Mermaid Look

High Waist, for a Long Leg Look

High Waisted Pants

Provided one is relatively thin, there is nothing like a long and elegant line created by high waisted pants that slightly flare at the bottom.

Flared pants were first introduced in the 1930s for active women participating in sports. The high waisted pants made a huge impact during the 70s when pant suits, jeans and slacks became standard attire for the average woman. These days women are wearing the 70s retro pants with stripped tops reminiscent of the disco era.


Short Shorts

Retro 70s Shorts

The short shorts of the 1970s are sought out by teenagers who search vintage clothing stores for the perfect 70s fit. Modern clothing lines are making an effort to re-create the 70s look, but retro enthusiasts insist that the original 70s shorts have not been duplicated very well in modern clothes.

The look should be either high in the waist or sitting on the waist. Only in the full length jeans were the hip huggers popular.

The Sexy Seventies

Raquel Welsh, Catherine Bach, and Brigitte Bardot
Raquel Welsh, Catherine Bach, and Brigitte Bardot

Hot Pants

Short shorts were given the name "hot pants" in the 1970s and were basically the standard look of shorts from the 1940s through the 80s.

It was not until the 90s that shorts lost their shortness.

1970s Gauchos

Who can forget the retro 70s gauchos? In the mid 70s women and girls alike had to own at least one pair of these interesting pants. They were wide and sat just below the knee.

Gauchos were often paired with boots that were suddenly popular in the mid 70s.

Above is the ultimate mid 70s model. Striped top, high waisted gauchos, and boots. The beret is the finishing touch. A huge brown leather handbag could round out this 70s lady.

The Mini Years

The Micro Mini

The miniskirt was introduced in the 1970s and has never really made a comeback in popularity. There are some eclectic groups of young girls who seek out these retro minis because they were so unique to the time. Unlike short shorts, that were popular in the the 40s and 70s, mini skirts were popular in the late 60s through the early 70s, and floor length peasant dresses suddenly were being worn instead of short skirts.

The original vintage 70s mini is usually well fitted and some flare slightly. They were not at all full as they have been in later decades. The form fit provided a nicer, leaner line and was easier and less embarrassing to manage than many of the slightly longer, but fuller short skirts of later decades. They did not blow up as easily, and when they did, the lack of fullness did not allow them t go up very far.

Many young girls who are just gaining an interest in vintage and retro clothing marvel that the clothes looked better than they do now. Indeed, as you can see from the photo above, the girls are wearing a matching set. This is very flattering and makes legs appear longer and the figure seem leaner. A different color top cuts a line in the center of the body, adding pounds and breaking up the uniform long line, resulting in a shorter and thicker overall look.

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    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

      Ahhh. . . remember the days -- loved the wooden platform shoes -- and promptly fell off a curb in a pair. Great article and you described each style down to the last minute detail -- thanks for this trip down memory lane. Best/Sis

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Those were the days...I always liked the hoop dresses....love the retro look, but maybe I'm just stuck in the past. :) Great job Skarlet!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I love the first dress pictured, it is such a classic look. There are some hints of it in today's fashion dress, but still not quite the look. Marilyn carried her style well and always wore such pretty dresses. Great hub post and voted up.

    • daisydayz profile image

      Chantele Cross-Jones 4 years ago from Cardiff

      Oh some great styles there. Personally I am a 50's swing dress/tea dress style kinda girl! I wear a lot of dresses in this style, although most are modern I have a few vintage too. I just find it very flattering on my figure, and so cute with a simple cardi and mary jane shoes! Great hub voted up!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I really love 40s and 50s styles. I recnetly bought a vintage one piece bathing suit that I can't wait to wear! But, since it's January, there will be at least some waiting involved...

      Anyway, I love the pictures and the info - thanks for putting this together.

    • LA Elsen profile image

      LA Elsen 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Boy, people knew how to dress back then. I love to see the styles of the 40s and 50s coming back into fashion-even the early sixties with the TV show Madmen influencing current trends. And today there are so many cute vintage dresses for sale on etsy and ebay . I love when vintage look gets reimagined with modern wear like a cute little polka dot dress with some rugged boots and a cardigan. Thanks for writing this hub! Voted up.

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