What is the ‘vintage aesthetic style’? We hear you. So, worry ye not, we are here to demystify this top trending term, and get down to the basics of what it is all about.
As our previous blogs have illustrated, fashion is not a stationary standalone commodity. It constantly evolves within its environment, looks back, borrows and innovates in equal measures, as, like everything in this world, it moves ever forward to serve the next generation best, allowing them to rep the latest ‘in’ style for their own time.
This season, a trend has emerged (we cannot say from nowhere, as it has been with us for decades!), which is the subject of this blog discussion: where to find and then how to carry off the vintage ‘aesthetic’ style. The term aesthetic means ‘concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty’. But steady on there, that is already far from straightforward, and can quickly become a highly contentious term itself if we start throwing around concepts such as objective and subjective apropos ‘beauty’. So, for the purpose of this blog, we instead will accept the maxim that ‘beauty lies in the eye of the beholder’. Let’s move on.
The Brilliance of Vintage Aesthetic Style
By default, vintage aesthetic style has the upper hand in all things fashion, as it encompasses all the top style movements from the roaring twenties right through to the naughty noughties, so we challenge you to fail to find a style in among that lot which is not desirable, cool, fitting and beautiful in your eyes.
Combined with the conscious call for us all to dress mindfully and sustainably in 2022 and onwards, we salute the vintage aesthetic as a double whammy, winning, wondrous wardrobe wear choice we can all make. Take your pick from 80s grunge or further back to 70s hippy, then look in on the Y2K baggy vibe, to name but a modicum of possibilities on offer to you. Sustainable clothes are not a worthy sackcloth and ashes choice, but a vibrant exciting way to clothe yourself. And avoid the perils implicit in modern fashion trends. Open the box labelled ‘Vintage Aesthetic Clothes’ and you will quickly discover that someone somewhere was repping the look you are after before us all!
What is Vintage Aesthetic Style?
In a nutshell, the term aesthetic style just refers to a way of dressing, which many people find attractive and desirable. Then we add vintage into the equation, and we start to look at clothing styles and fashion movements from 20+ years ago, back across the decades to the 1920s. Anything before then is considered ‘antique’ rather than vintage, but if you are still unsure, take a look at our blog 2000s Aesthetic Clothes for further info.
Vintage aesthetic vibes rely on a nostalgic nod to the past, and cover all areas of life, including furnishings, transport, lighting, photography, home and garden design … just about every area of life in fact, but we are concentrating on vintage aesthetic fashion style. This includes the outfits worn proudly by previous generations, and covers their accompanying accessories, footwear, headwear and bags etc. Not just clothing itself.
How to Rep a Vintage Aesthetic Style
It’s one thing to be fully prepared with which clothing items represent each of the many vintage eras, see our blog What is Vintage Fashion? for starters, but you also need to know how to carry off these eclectic styles for yourself all these years later. Your challenge is, to firstly find authentic clothes from your chosen era and then boss them!
Your best friend here (as well as our blog series, of course!), is the internet of all things wondrous, especially when it comes to the wealth of archive photos covering fashion hits and mis-hits through the years!
Most Recent Vintage Kids on the Block (90s-00s)
The Y2K Aesthetic Style
Quick recap of what and when we are talking about here: Y2K in longhand is Year 2000, which had been both eagerly anticipated and feared with trepidation from the end of the 90s. But when the millennium arrived on 0101 2000 amid much razzamatazz and jubilation, and the world did not stop spinning on its axis as some doomsters had feared, people did start partying again!
No land for skinny jeans this Y2K aesthetic. No, dude, bring on those wide-legged beauties.
What better way to express the 2000s aesthetic style than with a baby tee brazenly declaring your love of the era for all to see? Whether you opt for a graphic baby tee, a Disney baby tee or even a gaudy bedazzling design on your front, a baby tee will certainly transport you back to the aesthetic vibe of Y2K.
My, do we rate the 2000s aesthetic of the oversized sweatshirt. Soooo easy to accomplish – choose a Nike, Carhartt, Levi’s or brand of your choice and then look for the next size up, the next size after that or even the next size after that to perfect your Y2K aesthetic fashion style! Double check the sweatshirt is really a 2000s era piece for authenticity, then click to buy and half your look is ready!
No set of clothes aspiring to the Y2k aesthetic is complete without that iconic tie-front top burner – this trademark piece is both awesome and defiant, yet beautifully uncomplicated to couple with jeans or tracksuit bottoms for an instant Y2K vibe. Put on one of these straight-talking tops to help you step boldly forth to face the brand new world. Girl Power has arrived, mate!
No, not an elongated receptacle to store your packed lunch in, the baguette bag is an indispensable fashion accessory, which has been trending on and off since the 90s Y2K era. Designer bags have always held allure for fashionistas, and slinging a baguette bag casually over your shoulder as you head out to have fun (or just visit the dentist) will certainly have you admired for your chutzpah.
Dip into our top three picks for sourcing authentic vintage Y2K aesthetic clothes:
Still searching? View our in-depth blog on Where To Find Y2K Clothes.
The Vintage 90s Aesthetic Style
We just cannot get enough of the 90s aesthetic style! These are the ten vintage years we love to source and share with you on our website, and of course this timespan neatly encompasses that small, but all-important, Y2K window covered above. The 90s aesthetic, reflecting its pre-digitalised lifestyle, still resonates today, and is definitely worth a backward look as far as its fashion is concerned. Who doesn’t love single-stitched tees, crop tops and oversized hoodie today still?
Baggy cargo trousers
If you love those handy penknives with a neat tool for every occasion, you’ll want a pair of 90s cargo trousers to sling in your knapsack – with a practical pocket for all manner of indispensable workaday objects, you’d be lost without these. Our numero uno here has to be a Carhartt stunner: cool, practical and, when worn on the roomy side, infinitely comfortable and accommodating.
Oversized denim jackets
An oversized denim jacket is very 90s. However, the style of the jacket itself is super important, and make sure you have tracked down a good vintage number, where signs of wear and tear can only serve to further enhance rather than diminish it.
Stride into a greener future with a coolio 90s plaid pleated skirt! All you need are your waist measurement and the length for how far you want it to reach your knees – your choice. Avoid 60s style miniskirt length here to give yourself an authentic grunge with attitude high-waisted 90s look. Check out the Tartan, dude!
If anything says vintage, it has to be a cardigan. Thankfully, machine-manufactured cardigans from the 90s by both brands and unbranded, do their own recycling by proving a big hit with the next generation of cardie-lovers and thus maintaining their circulation on the fashion scene. No landfill required for these gems.
We’re talking 90s Chokers, Bucket hats and thick Hairbands. Sometimes it is the detail in an outfit which places it truly in its era, so don’t overlook the extras when setting forth in a 90s vibe. Take the humble bucket hat, for example. Originally designed for the practical purpose of keeping the sun off your head, but, oh no, a vintage bucket hat is a treasure whatever the weather..
Dip into our top three picks for sourcing authentic vintage 90s aesthetic clothes:
Still searching? View our in-depth blog on Where To Find 90s Clothing.
The Vintage Classics (70s-80s)
The Colourful 80s Aesthetic Style
Soooo, in came the 80s with its laid-back casual hip-hop oversized trend, as well as its hugely colourful and individual shell suits, power dressing for the office and further iconic 80s vintage pieces of fashion appearing left right and centre. No era for the shrinking violet this one. Apparel included sweaters and blazers with shoulder pads, the bling of gold chains heralding the booming economic times, designer golf shirts and stiletto heels.
Finding genuine 80s garms is tricky these days, finding the aesthetic of it though can be done with a bit of research, and we recommend starting your search on marketplaces listed below.
Whoever would have put a mathematical form into the category of fashion style? Well, Ettore Sottsass did with his 80s Memphis Design Movement, and what wasn’t to love about that? All manner of shapes, colours, lines and flashes suddenly appeared on fabrics for those 80s go-getters to lap up – just as we vintage lovers still appreciate today.
You call it ‘ugly’, I call it ‘beautiful’. And so is the joy of dressing yourself in a vintage 80s sweater with its quirky non-conformist vibe, which is guaranteed to make people stop and stare – does their reaction to your top reflect more on their personality or yours? We love 80s out-there sweaters – not for the standard top-ten fashion picks of the day folk these one of one absolute bangers!
Classic summer sundresses
Floaty, flowing, geometric, floral, dotty, casual, cool, stylish – you name it, the peeps of the 80s loved digging out their summertime frocks once the season arrived. Move over sombre, dark shades of the winter wardrobe and welcome bright and breezy summer fabrics. And boy, were the designs worth the repping.
Durable and long-lasting – the perfect combo for sustainability, a shell jacket is a must-have number to track down. If ‘uniquity’ were a word, it would certainly be used for the array of shell jackets seen back in the 80s – not for the faint-hearted, these wonders certainly make an entrance wherever they land! Search Loadsamoney online to get an idea of the 80s vibe we are talking about here.
Dip into our top three marketplace picks for sourcing authentic vintage 80s aesthetic clothes:
The Express Yourself 70s Aesthetic Style
The Me decade of the 70s arrived, following on from the 60s peace and love vibe, but now 70s people added a political and activist edge to their fashion. The flowing flower power blouses made way for frayed jeans, flared trousers, outrageous long-collared shirts and slogan-adorned graphic tees. If you don’t like it, let the people know attitude! The key fashion these groovers wanted to rep, was anything that was definitely not fashion.
70s garms are even harder to track down than those from the 80s, so again we recommend looking through marketplaces that have a huge selection of garms, which change by the day.
When ‘Saturday Night Fever’ hit the widescreen in 1977, everyone raced to put on a pair of the iconic white flared trousers and head to the strobing dancefloor to strut their stuff. Yes, baby! Of course, other high-waisted varieties in shades of brown, black, mustard and grey were all already in circulation and being widely (literally!) worn. Straight-legged jeans were quickly adapted into the perfect pair of flares by adding a V shaped panel to either lower leg. Remember, Fast Fashion was not even dreamt of back then and clothes were definitely not of a throw-away nature.
Sweaters, Tank Tops and Crochet tops
As the homemade flares above illustrate, the 70s was a time of make your own and then remake your own again. Homemade knits and crochets are a prime example of this, as one handknit can be run back down into balls of wool before being then lovingly reknitted for another family member or reworked in a different design. Cosy armchair Val Doonican sweaters, school uniform cable-knit tank-tops and crocheted waistcoats were all much loved family staples in this decade.
If you’ve never tie-dyed a garm before, you sure are missing out! A beloved kickback to the carefree, radical 1970s, a tie-dye T-Shirt can transport you to those long cool days where individuality ruled and authority and conformity could go hang.
The spectacle of glam rock when it emerged in the 70s, really was a wonderment to behold. This futuristic sound with its non-conformist look from Britain was eventually to become mainstream, but at the time, the sight of these talented, energetic, guitar-wielding rockstars with their long hair and heavy eye make-up, platform heels and jumpsuits was simply jaw-droppingly ‘out there’.
Platform shoes, loved by both genders, knew no boundaries when it came to 70s footwear. Everyone repped them. There were no restrictions to height. In fact, the higher the better was the maxim, and remember, you would need to be able to dance on that there dancefloor all night long, so pick a pair which you can groove in. Or you’ll be sadly caught out!
Dip into our top three marketplace picks for sourcing authentic vintage 70s aesthetic clothes:
What was your top pick of the vintage aesthetic styles? Was it one of the New Kids on the Block or a representative from the cherished Classics? Whatever you opted for, we are confident, you will now have found just the right vibe to suit your 21st century individuality. As we have seen, vintage aesthetic is an umbrella term for a broad and awesome palette of styles from a host of eras, so we hope we have helped you to identify the vintage fashion style you consider to be the most aesthetic.
Not forgetting the bonus, of course, that setting forth in a vintage aesthetic style is bang on message in our current climate emergency, where this exciting movement away from the new to embrace these already in existence, ie second-hand, styles is happening in our own era.
- Follow our socials to be the first to hear what’s happening
- Tap here to check out our latest drop of vintage heaters from the 90s–00s