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Tips On How To Stylishly Wear Retro Shell Suits

September 6, 2020

Know the most important tips and tricks on wearing retro shell suits. Check out how this eighties style can add life and refresh your wardrobe.

 

Girl wearing purple, red and white Shell suit top

Girl wearing purple, red and white Shell suit top

Eighties fashion industry

Eighties fashion was marked by crazy hairstyles, leg warmers, costume jewelry, and expensive clothes. Brightly vivid, lively colored clothes headlined the catwalk – making it among the most colorful era in the fashion world. Indeed, the eighties was an eclectic, wild segment of the fashion industry. Recently, one famously controversial trend of the 80’s is making a comeback – the retro shell suit.

 

Made of thin nylon, shapeless, loose-fitting retro shell suits come in panels of brightly vivid colors. While it owes its origins to the tracksuit, it has shed off its sportswear vibe and completely evolved into a cozy everyday wear. Adapted through the decades, the track suit embodies the combination of sportswear and fashion.

Looking back into history

This fancy dress costume traces its history back to the 60’s, dubbed as the “space-age” ear. Its earliest predecessors artistically combined synthetic nylon fabrics to create iterations of the shell suit used by astronauts. Throughout the years, the fashion item has seen many versions. But it was in the 80’s that the trend exploded and became a mainstay. Leading fashion brands further reinvented them, while style icons wore them in glam.

 

It took the fashion world by storm. But just as quickly as it rose in popularity, the jacket and trousers ensemble slid into the background. New fashion trends overtook the spotlight, making shell suits part of history. Every now and then, they still come up as vintage fancy dress costume – and its outlandishness still never goes unnoticed.

90s Purple Shell Suit Jacket

90s Purple Shell Suit Jacket

The spring/summer 2018 fashion show signaled the return of the once popular fashion item. Gucci took the retro shell suit from the fashion graveyard and brought it back to the catwalks. Prada and Valentino followed suit in reinventing this baggy two-piece ensemble. Top athletic brands have also released athleisure versions, which can be used both on and off the court. With its flashy, bright color, the shell suit jacket is definitely outlandish and a head-turner. Some say that its neon color makes it an amazing road safety gear. In terms of comfort, this fashion piece is surely unquestionable and truly relaxing to wear.

 

Its foray into the modern fashion is greeted with much enthusiasm. We’ve seen style icons tastefully sashay vintage shell suits. Rihanna, Jared Leto, Tracee Ellis Ross, Karla Welch, DJ Khaled and the list goes on. Considering the increased attention on retro shell suit, it’s not surprising that it will once again gain traction and be a global hit. But before the shell suit top becomes commonplace, you might want to be the first to wear it.

Black Floral Shell Suit

Black Floral Shell Suit

Top 6 styling tips for your next retro shell suit

Now, let’s take a look at some tips on how to stay stylish with a shell suit.

1.      Keep it loose

The original 80s shell suit jacket and trouser is worn loosely for added comfort. The jacket should at least be three times your body size, making it feel airy while in it. The trouser is also loose, much like the bell bottom cut jeans of yesteryear. The entire dress adds fluff and achieves an overall baggy look. They come in various sizes, medium large gives the best baggy look.

 

However, some find loose fit to be more comfortable. If this is your style, it’s still all good but don’t go with skinny fit as that won’t give you much style.

2.      Complete with the right footwear

The type of footwear to use while wearing retro shell suit should be appropriate for your purpose. This should make your attire even more comfortable. If you’re wearing it for everyday use, then a pair of sneakers can complement the shell suit. On the other hand, if you’re using it as a fancy dress costume, you can wear a pair of classy sandals or some colorful sneakers.

3.      Keep it colorful

To stay consistent with the eclectic vibe of the 80s, keep your tracksuit colorful. These shell suits come in a wide array of amazing colors and patterns. Bright-colored (or even neon-colored) jacket and trouser ensembles are perfect for fancy dress costume parties; but they can also be worn on any other day.

 

For those using the shell suit tracksuit for athleisure, you can stick with monochrome. A single-color outfit is great so you won’t catch the attention of others. This way, you can concentrate on your routines without having to worry about people paying undue notice at your style.

80s retro purple

80s retro purple

4.      Mix and match your Retro shell suit

Who said the shell suit top should only be used with its designated trouser, and vice versa? If you want to be unique, you can always mix and match either the jacket or the trouser with other fashion items in your wardrobe. You can use the shell suit top alongside khaki or skirts to achieve a college student vibe. Meanwhile, the trouser can be used with any top clothing like shirt or long-sleeves. Again, try to mix it with colorful pieces.

 

Create your own shell suit style by mixing your textures and motifs. You can wear accessories like jewelry, necklace, dangling earrings, and a cap. What’s great with shell suits is that they are ultra flexible, you can mix it with almost anything in your wardrobe.

5.     Retro shell suit Dress up

A great way to style your retro shell suit is by keeping it elegant and dressed-up. For a Rihanna look, mix your trousers with belly-baring crop top and complete the look with your highest stilettos.  You’ll definitely look stylish with this unique but elegant style.

6.      Stick with prints

Prints are the definitive character of vintage retro shell suit. While there are some awesome single-color tracksuits out there, they just don’t look flashy. If you really want to re-live the 80’s and want to sashay the streets while everyone’s eyes are on you, you should embrace print. You can come up with numerous design inspirations with printed tracksuits.

 

According to Vogue, people who can wear the retro shell suit are powerful and badass. You better give it a try now, before everyone else follows!

 

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References:

https://www.thetrendspotter.net/80s-fashion-men/

https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/shortcuts/2019/jun/25/gucci-1800-pound-shell-suit-return-1980s-worst-look

https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/gucci-spring-summer-2018-catwalk-key-look

 

 

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