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5 Womens Vintage Fashion Trends

May 14, 2017

Fashion has a deep and powerful connection with people across the globe. Clothing has the power to transform the body and spirit whilst showing an individual’s passion and unique characteristics. Trends have also helped to encompass this passion. Modern fashion salute’s Womens vintage fashion trends on many levels. From snippets of vintage design to full heritage collections, designers take inspiration from trends of a bygone era. Vintage pieces and trends not only capture a moment in time but each aspect in its own right is a work of beauty.


5 Womens Vintage Inspired Modern Design Trends

Several womens vintage fashion trends have become statement and signature looks. The classics such as the shift dress, the tailored suit and little black dress amongst others are permanent fixtures in modern design. Today’s fashion industry still studies and incorporates traditional techniques and details from vintage couture designers.


Fashion is distinguished throughout each decade with statement looks and trends. Each trend represents movements during that time, the needs and desires of women and the conventions that are no more. As we look back, we learn that although fashion has been liberated from the constraints of society and tradition, it still holds the values and memories of these significant periods in time.


Styles have shaped the fashion industry throughout time and here are some of the most popular womens vintage fashion trends that will forever hold a place in fashion history.

1920s Flapper Dress Vintage Fashion Trends

The 1920s is renowned for representing the ‘age of the flapper’. A time of boyish silhouettes and dropped hemlines, the flapper dress became an iconic trend. This straight, loose and sleeveless dress represented a new-found enlightenment in body awareness. The dresses often featured beading and embellishment and material was light and sheer, giving the illusion of nudity.


During the mid to late 20s, geometric, art deco and Egyptian design inspired motifs and decoration. This iconic design has featured since in modern collections. Resurgence of this trend during Fall 2008 saw designers such as Donna Karen, Chris Benz and Lovenia draw inspiration from the era. Carter’s Resort collection was also said to reflect the attitude of the ‘flappers’ who rebelled against the mainstream.

1940s strong yet feminine style

At a time of immense change, fashion played a functional part in everyday life. This resulted in practical and conservative clothing. Once the war had ended and vintage fashion designer Christian Dior unveiled its ‘New Look’, the attitude towards style changed considerably. Key trends from the late 40s represented a time of independent, confident and strong ladies.


From the tailored bolero jacket to masculine styled pants, this decade inspired modern collections. During Fall 2013, Prada wowed people with its film noir vibes whilst Dolce and Gabbana incorporated menswear inspired suits and slim dresses into the collection. Most recently America’s favourite fabric gingham has made a comeback. You’ll see it on high streets everywhere for SS17.

Womens vintage fashion trends – 1960s Shift Dress

Possibly one of the most iconic Womens vintage fashion trends to come out of the 1960s was the shift dress. Famously worn by fashion model Twiggy and styled as a cult classic, this design was a versatile look from day to eveningwear. Tradition and conservative style was left behind and a new found love of experimentation took over.


Changes in hemlines, fabrics and accessorizing shaped this decade with a love of colour shining through. This classic style has been reinvented time and time again since this iconic decade. Most notably current fashion designer Orla Kiely, is famed for her retro inspired designs and prints. Her creations now feature on everything from clothing to homeware.

1970s festival vibes

Known as a decade for natural, ethnic and folksy vibes, the 1970s is no doubt an inspiration for the modern festival clothing. The free thinking and spirited inspirations for Womens vintage fashion trends made way for iconic styles such as the jumpsuit and kaftan. This decade also showcased a love of floral patterns, nature motifs and prints from African and Native American textiles.


Recent fashion inspirations always appear during festival season. Each year we see a variation of the traditional kaftan come through. Several designers have showcased 70s inspired pieces such as Fendi’s SS15 collection. Many style influencers love them too including Poppy Delevingne, Miroslava Duma and Yasmin Sewell.

1980s oversized Womens vintage fashion trends

In recent fashions, oversized has made a big comeback. Yet the 80s first saw this trend appear in catwalk collections and glossy magazines across the country. A key look was the oversized shirt-dress based on the mens working shirt. Clinched in with an oversized black belt, this look become a popular must have look.


Modern trends have taken this style and mixed it with 90s vibes to create an up to date look. AW12 saw the rise of oversized fashion once again and the 80s aesthetic reappear. Today on the high street you’ll see everything from baggy jumpers, sweater dresses to retro t-shirts styled in Womens vintage fahion inspired looks.


There are hundreds of individual trends in past decades that inspired modern collections today. Key looks have helped create timeless and classic staple items that appear time and time again. Studying these trends capture the essence of vintage design and inspire innovative new methods of style creation.


These key trends have redefined the industry and hunting for originals couldn’t be easier. From Dior’s A-line dresses and Emilio Pucci’s psychedelic 1970s prints to the popular ‘bodycon dress’ from Azzedine Alaia in the 1980s. Whatever your favourite, modern styles have been inspired by aspects of womens vintage fashion trends for many years and many more to come.