What Does Retro Style Mean?
Before going into the details about retro street style looks, let’s see what is retro exactly.
The adjective retro comes from the French term rétro (short for retrograde or rétrospectif) and is directly from a Latin preposition meaning “backward” or “behind.” In the world of apparel, décor, automotive, and other fields, retro pertains as a stand-alone word to a nostalgic or old-fashioned trend.
Wikipedia describes the retro style as “a style that is consciously derivative or imitative of trends, modes, fashions, or attitudes of the recent past. For example, clothing from the 1980s or 1990s could be retro.
Retro clothing (or other items, for that matter) aren’t old by themselves. They are new (newly made) but designed to resemble clothing, shoes, and accessories that are at least 20 years old or older.
This is in contrast to vintage, whereas vintage refers to actual old items.
To sum up, retro refers to the appearance, while vintage refers to the actual manufacture.
Smart Retro Street Style Examples
#1 Casual and Comfy Retro Outfit with The Bomber Jacket
Not too heavy such as a winter garment, but strong enough to cover you from the chilly weather, the bomber jacket started making its comeback several years ago, more or less, by appearing in high-street shops and online fashion stores.
Once again, the 90s’ hit the top with a piece of clothing originally created for the USA military pilots (hence the name ‘bomber,’ from ‘bombardier’ jacket). Style hit the streets as a fashion statement from the 1970s’ on, becoming a symbol of the United States as an essential for college students and athletes, and merging into the hip-hop culture during the nineties.
The possibilities are a lot with a bomber jack: you could go with an oversize bomber, layered on top of your casual outfit, or with a super-edgy short one to go with high-waisted jeans, a crop top, and vintage sneakers.
The options with a bomber jacket are virtually endless: you could choose between plain black and camo, inspired by the original one, or go for floral patterns in neon colors, such as Adidas-inspired textures. Not to mention the different textiles you can choose from: to go with strong colored patterns, silk is perfect. For the ones who are ready to dare, velvet is about to make a comeback.
A bomber jacket is an excellent mix between a casual and comfy outfit, perfect for the mornings in which you’re running late or simply can’t be bothered to care about what you will be wearing, but still have an incredibly cool and edgy added touch to your final outfit.
#2 Inspirational Retro Style Outlook – Back to 90s
This outfit might look very simple and not a significant source of inspiration, but it represents the perfect alternative for a super-cool everyday casual style.
The look features a red and white t-shirt with a cartoon print, a red cross-body bag, and a pair of mom jeans.
High-waisted, with slim straight legs shrinking around the ankles, these jeans are the exact replica of what mom used to wear since denim became a trend: the original ones are tight and structured, made with only denim and no elastane at all. With the whole nineties’ revival, it’s easy to understand why this look can turn from an effortless outfit to an inspirational one in just a few seconds.
The high-school/college look attitude provided by the t-shirt is super cool and fits almost everyone, and there are several ways to spice it up. If you love to mix and match, you can dare to finish off this outfit with a pair of super high heels or ankle boots for a fancy evening or a casual night out; a light leather jacket will definitely add some rock ‘n’ roll. Otherwise, a pair of white sneakers such as Adidas Superstar or Stan Smith, Converse or Nike Air Force would do the trick.
#3 Perfect Retro Outfit With Biker-Inspired Yellow Jacket
Leather jackets, patchwork cardigans, and alike can play nicely when you try to archive a somewhat retro look. This retro street style outfit is extremely well-finished and simply perfect in every detail. This leather biker-inspired yellow jacket with silver zips and details, originally from Zara, has strongly divided the fashion victims in two: either you love it or hate it.
A low-cost alternative to other high street brands, this jacket, a reinterpretation of a historical garment from Marlon Brando and James Dean in the fifties, to all the punk scene from the seventies on, has hit the top because of choice so simple yet so strong such as the change of color. Due to its bright color, it can steal the show and draw attention to every single piece that composes an outfit. Still, in this particular one, all the outfit is carefully constructed around the main items balancing everything in a refined way, leaving nothing to chance.
From top to bottom, everything revolves around yellow and black, except for the white, camel, and dark petrol blue stripes of the ankle-length palazzo pants, another must-have of this year. Black can be found in all the accessories that finish off the outfit: high heels stiletto sandals, a super-trendy choker, Daniel Wellington style watch, and a classical Chanel purse.
A long-sleeved white shirt pops out from the jacket, joining the black choker in bringing us back to the nineties with the thin ropes on the chest and around the wrists. All in all, this outfit is a perfect inspiration for a stylish evening during the fall time.
#4 The Allusion to Retro Street Style with Gold & Blue
If you like to be comfortable throughout the day but still don’t want to give up on an elegant and smart look, this marine-inspired look could be perfect for you. You could go for totally black, good-looking ankle boots and spice everything up with a big, structured, statement jacket.
With features from navy style, this blue and golden piece will be enough to provide your outfit with an aura of high-end style and a strong personality.
#5 Vintage Look with Stylish Maxi Skirt
In this last outfit, we have another of the items that had a massive comeback in the past years and still are seen virtually everywhere in the streets: the maxi skirt. Before the innovation of the mini skirt, women had little option but to wear really long skirts. But a couple of years ago, this garment came back on the streets reinterpreted as a boho-chic hippie-inspired item. Since then, it has dominated the streets, especially during summertime.
Long but maxi, this skirt is perfect for the fall time since it’s still fresh but can cover you if the situation gets chilly. Wearing something large under, you should balance proportions with a short top or, as in this case, a light sweatshirt. Everything is kept really simple yet stylish in this outfit. The Hawaiian pineapple pattern along with the orange color, paired in contrast with the grey sweatshirt with French-inspired black print, is the perfect match for a day-out look or a casual evening outfit.
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