Nostalgic Modernity in Retro Style

Nostalgia is a fondness for the past that can be felt in the present as well as in the past. This form of affection, when it comes to the domain of appearance, becomes retro style or fashion.

What is Retro Style?

A retro style is specifically the old fashion that was in style in the past but has also become part of modern fashion and is known as the retro style. This style is mainly taken from the span of 2−3 decades, which means 20–30 years from modern times. People tend to dress in the old style and try to copy the exact style to live in nostalgia. The word “retro” is an abbreviation of “retrospectif,” which first came into fashion in the 1970s. The designs and the styles, which were worn a period of time ago, come back in style and allow people to live in nostalgia and enjoy the old days. Some particular styles, like puffy sleeves, mom jeans, and chunky sneakers, are now in very high demand. Today’s generation is oriented towards creativity and believes in exploring. This makes them more versatile when it comes to fashion. This fashion is also known as vintage fashion or nostalgia fashion.


The past has always played a very significant role in the fashion industry. Retro has always been a big part of fashion, which not only influenced adults but youngsters as well. The taste of nostalgia took everybody in its grip and started a new love affair with fashion. The classic look grabbed everyone’s attention and connected them with past fashion. Retro fashion was first introduced in the 1990s by London designers. Flares, fly collars, and platform shoes were the trends of the past. After World War II, designers became more focused on wartime clothes. This introduced the new style of fashion as the “retro” style to the world.

In the 1970s and 1980s, dresses like fitted jacks became inspiration for designers such as Claude Montana, Theirry Maugler, and Azzedine Alaia. In the mid−1970s, fashion inclined towards a nostalgic appearance and started making 1930s clothing. Thereafter, with time, the retro style came into existence.

Unique Designs

The uniqueness comes in this fashion as it mainly focuses on bringing the past again and reliving it. Some of the designs are given below −

Bold Florals

Bold florals are inspired by previous trending prints that featured flowers on the fabric. The puffy sleeves and frilled hems are another type of dress in the retro style. These floral prints usually come in long dresses and give a glimpse of old times.


This retro−styled trend is more colourful and vibrant. It can be worn with a voluminous top, a pleated midi−skirt, and platform sandals, which gives an elegant look. This retro trend will never go off the platform.

Denim skirt

The world was introduced to the denim skirt in the 70s, and since then it has stolen the stage in the fashion industry. They are worn to the knee length with sandals or shoes. Even today, its taste is not gone yet.

Boho Dress

The Bohemian dress is another retro style dress which was first worn in the 70s. They are worn with accessories, a ruffled cotton mini with a high neckline.


This type of dress in retro style could be worn on some specific occasions only. They possess a glamorous quality about them, and their shimmery nature makes them more attractive and vibrant.

India’s Retro Style

Indian dresses and fashion were also a part of the retro style. In the olden times, clothing and nostalgia came into fashion in modern fashion in India. Styles like plunging bellbottoms, tight−fitted crop tops, retro style sarees, the unique bouncy hairstyle, everything came into existence and allowed people to relive their past fashion. Fashion icons and celebrities dressed in retro−themed clothing from the heyday of the 1970s. Some of them are listed below

Flared Pant

It was a time when flared pants and denim jackets were not attracted to the Indians, but they came into existence with a boom. Deepika Padukone wore these kinds of pants in the film “Cocktail”, which grabbed Indians’ attention and people drifted towards them.

Polka Dots

In 1980s polka dot clothing worn by celebrities that faded over time. But now people are inclined towards wearing these kinds of polka dots to show their elegance. Women like to wear tops and pants with polka−dot ribbons.

High−neck Blouses

Like other retro−based clothing, high−neck blouses were also a 90s trend, but these blouses are now in fashion.

Sarees are central to Indian culture

With the passage of time, there has also been a significant shift in saree fashion. Retro style sarees, which are various types of draped sarees, are now very popular. The different frills and the puffed sleeves of this retro−style saree set it apart from the rest.

Retro fashion is not Limited to Clothing

Retro hairstyles are unique and appealing. Retro hairstyles are distinguished by knotted hair with a loosely worn ribbon. The ribbons made the hairstyles look more pretty and more noticeable.

Retro for Today’s Youth

Dress codes play a significant role in young people’s lives. Today’s youth are more focused on their appearance than just flaunting their clothing. They believe the presentation matters more than anything else. The retro style connects them with the old fashion, which gives them a sense of belonging. They get to learn about the past trends and the evolution of the fashion industry, which increases their interest and creativity towards clothing. Youth is also attracted to the aesthetics that a retro style look gives.


Retro fashion and style were a very significant part of the fashion industry, which was enhanced with time. The glimpse of old times made this fashion unique and connected people with their past fashion. This trend will never come to an end; rather, its existence will grow with the interest of people in fashion.

Updated on: 27-Oct-2022


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