I went back to my mom’s hometown of Rockford, Illinois this weekend for my late grandfather’s estate sale. As I was sorting through his closet, I was captivated by cabi hats, brightly colored blazers, fisherman sweaters, bomber jackets and other clothing items that seemed to cover every range of fashion from the last five decades.

The most shocking thing I saw were the  similarities between some of his older niche items and the extremely marked-up trends being sold at Urban Outfitters maybe list a couple specific examples here?. This discovery proved what many fashion experts already know: vintage is back.

Throwback trends are sweeping the fashion industry by storm. Celebrities are always the first to endorse funky fashion, especially young It Girls, who broadcast their retro streetwear style all over social media.

The Hadid and Jenner sisters have been on the forefront of retro streetwear for the past couple of years, putting a strong emphasis on 1990s trends. Thin framed glasses, chokers, mini skirts and little bags have all been featured in the wardrobes of these style icons. The admiration of their vintage vibes has led to a boom in stores trying to bring back styles from past decades.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner have their own line of clothing that is sold in Pacsun stores across the country, and designer brands have begun using younger celebrities as the faces of their companies. Selena Gomez has a line of bags with Coach, Justin Bieber models for Calvin Klein, Lily-Rose Depp starred in a sunglass ad campaign with Chanel, and Zendaya has her own fashion line with Elle. With big name brands backing these young stars, they are able to bring their retro-inspired style to the masses.

There are also countless Instagram models sponsored by fashion and lifestyle brands, like Fashion Nova, which combines retro style with athleisure and streetwear in an innovative way that appeals to women of all sizes. Social media has created a platform for brands to sell their products and associate them with specific lifestyles. Instagram models and celebrities are used to endorse brands on social media sites like Instagram in order to make the promotion seem more genuine and personal than typical picture-perfect billboard ads.

Recently, the trends associated with celebrities have taken a focus on older styles. This has helped popularize thrifting, as it has become the new way to go shopping. Not only are the clothes far cheaper than a lot of the name brand stores, but there is a huge appeal for buyers to have one-of-a-kind items. This aspect of thrift stores has become appealing because of the younger generation’s desire for their style to be unique. To accomplish this, they ironically look back to past decades in order to boost their wardrobe into the next trend.

There is also a huge movement in collecting designer accessories from secondhand stores for a fraction of the price they originally cost. Through the art of accessorizing, vintage Gucci belts, Loui Vuitton bags and Chanel sunglasses are being used to turn thrifted pieces into designer outfits.

This new wave of combing the funky and the fabulous has had an interesting effect on modern style. With the rise of athleisure, trendsetters are being forced to get creative with how they combine modern styles and materials with those of the past. Kim Kardashian will often wear brand-name athletic wear and pair it with retro accessories, like understated heels or an oversized jacket. Her sister Kendall Jenner tends to wear more 1990s -inspired clothing that she pairs with sneakers and sleek hairstyles.

Fashion is constantly changing, but this doesn’t always mean coming up with something completely new. More often that not, the biggest trends and styles happen when someone figures out how to wear something old in a new way. Though vintage clothing is everywhere, it is being worn in a completely modern way.

The next big thing will come from an exciting twist on the styles of the past. What keeps fashion thrilling is that the twist can come from anywhere, or anyone: even, possibly, a few oversized sweaters and some dad hats from your grandpa’s closet.

wolffrg@miamioh.edu

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