The rise of an upbeat, retro-infused aesthetic is rooted in the youth’s ongoing interest in nostalgia and retro optimism.
The lasting popularity of retro-focused hashtags on TikTok such as #nostalgiacore and #70sfashion fuels the emergence of a new retro optimism trend that draws from past decades of the ’60s and ‘70s fashion era.
A post-pandemic, cheerful atmosphere is pivotal, translated in a range of prints that go from wavy to checkerboard. These are key to update the staples that build the trend, such as flare trousers and knitted tops.
The limited stock of emerging brands speaks to Gen Z’s propensity to shop ethically while still creating a sense of exclusivity that adds to the hype.
If you’re ready to embrace the nostalgia and give the fashion of the ’60s and ’70s another go, we’ve relayed the best trends of the season below. Get ready to get out of your fashion slump and embrace your clothes again.
Retro Resort and florals
Bold scale big blooms that will lift spirits for summertime collections with mid-century colours are trending in the spring-summer 2022 colour forecast.
Influencer Rachel Nosco perfectly epitomises the spirit of our Retro Resort story in her Dodo Bar or Floral Maxi.
At Digital Fabric Solutions our range of polyester and cotton fabrics can be perfect for summer poolside essentials with bold vibrant prints.
Floral prints will forever be essential in summer, and this season, soft, vintage-inspired wallpaper florals are runaway classics.
Details include puff sleeves and frilled trims. When translating this vintage trend to suitable fabric, cotton poplin is perfect for summer while Georgette and chiffon feel more feminine and drapey.
Souvenir-style prints, such as illustrative maps, shells or postcard motifs, will resonate with the current nostalgia for vacation and travel.
Featured heavily in Mary Katrantzou‘s latest presentation, these graphic prints bring a joyful and kitsch sensibility – take note of the use of bold colour and black grounds to modernise the feel.
Bring this look to life with realism, attention to detail and vibrancy of colour with photographic digital fabric printing from Digital Fabric Solutions.
Simple, oversized gingham checks are exploding for kidswear right now, with playfully reworked scales and textures helping to create a twist on tradition. This trend is illustrated to perfection here by Belgian brand Max & Lola.
We love this mismatched set that offers a playful take on ladylike separates, fusing retro inspiration with modernity. Look to past eras to inspire classic, flattering silhouettes that can be revisited through tonal colour combinations, updating commercially reliable prints. Create as many variations of design combinations with digital fabric printed textiles.
Best trend themes for Retro
Crochet: We’ve seen many Gen Zs post their crochet videos online, making everything from bags to hats for them and their pets. Something about crochet just seems so perfect for the summertime, don’t you think?
Platforms: Whether it’s in a flat or clog form, there’s no doubt that this year’s shoe craze is all about reaching new heights.
Tinted eyewear: Oversize or rectangular silhouette fashion glasses, tinted lenses —especially yellow ones — are the accessory that’s a hot fashion statement for girls.
Funky graphic print: It’s almost impossible to see a collection today without a funky graphic print incorporated into the mix. Psychedelic swirls and vintage florals are a refreshing change to traditional stripes and polka dots.
Bohemian-style: Bohemian-style dresses often come with a decidedly ’70s feel. Paisley inspired long flattering dresses with feminine frills and trims are popular, comfortable fashion favourites.
That ’70s Blouse: Lightweight blouses are a summertime wardrobe favourite. Designers like Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton are just a few who reinterpreted them with ’70s details that read at once retro and feminine, styled with denim shorts, linen trousers, or flowing skirts.
- Digital Fabric Solutions has luxurious Chiffon, Georgette and Wool Peach polyester fabric options to make your own bespoke ‘70s style collection.
Denim jeans and skirts: There’s no question about it. Denim is the big trend of 2021. From the rise of heritage brands to a backlash against skinny jeans (sorry, but baggy and looser fits are where it’s at), there’s a rising interest in denim fashion and a hot favourite as leisurewear is trending.
The denim skirt is rooted in nostalgia. Midi to maxi lengths that reach boot length. Boot-cut jeans are the denim trend you’ll see the most of in 2021. Denim on denim has long been a must-wear trend, bringing back retro vibes which we adore.
Tie-dye: Yes, tie-dye has trended in and out for years. But it came to the fore in 2020s runway and retail offerings and promises to continue into 2021. Because of the feelings it evokes – comfort, nostalgia, cheeriness, casual and youthful, even the sunny idealism of its ’60s heyday.
Instagram inspiration for the Retro Optimism trend
Vatka Istanbul: Born Vatka, dubbed a sustainable brand and collaborative platform, is one to watch for its renewed basics. Its collections stand out due to their unique prints and use of vintage-looking colours.
Maxine Wylde: This Australian influencer is one to watch for her colourful and retro-infused style.
Kelsey Kotzur: Film student Kelsey Kotzur incorporates the positive mood of Retro Optimism via vintage silhouettes and accessories and print-focused looks, such as #newwave and 1980s-inspired jeans.
Holiday The Label: The 1990s souvenir-inspired looks from this Australian label are the embodiment of this trend, creating it-items such as the #checkerboard set and printed slip dress.
The Ragged Priest: The London-based brand continues to stand out for its innovative take on denim, updating core items via patchworking and all-over prints. Its Wave Jean quickly became an it-item across social media.
Designers and fashion brands can draw great inspiration for print and silhouette direction from many iconic designers from the ‘60s and ‘70s fashion eras. Tie-dye, vintage, florals large and bold, geometric funky graphics, denim mix youthful trendy dress-ups, bohemian style, cheerful optimistic and nostalgia are keywords for inspiration.
• Contact Digital Fabric Solutions for a fun journey with vibrant prints on luxurious fabric options in polyester and cotton. We can courier samples to you.