The Best Vintage Trends of 2021

Last year, we saw no shortage of fashion trends that were inspired by the 1990s. With trending pieces like bike shorts, flannels, and claw clips, there were plenty of options for ‘90s lovers to indulge in in 2020. And though the ‘90s trend is continuing on into 2021, it looks like it won’t be alone in the vintage category. If Fashion Week runways are any indication, we’re also going to see a big resurgence in ‘70s and ‘80s styles. 


The newly trending ‘70s and ‘80s throwback styles offer a refreshing departure from the most popular ‘90s trends of the past year, which were largely influenced by grunge fashion. Instead of the moody minimalism and edge of grunge, we’re seeing colorful and textured designs that encapsulate the free love spirit of the ‘70s and the vibrant energy of the ‘80s. This year, you may find yourself saying yes to power suits or feeling groovy in some wide bell bottoms. Here are the best vintage fashion trends that are coming back in 2021. 


Bell Bottoms 

Bell bottoms, a seventies staple, are back in a big way for 2021. From Studio-64-ready colorful trouser bell bottoms to classic denim bell bottoms that would look right at home at Woodstock, all types of bell bottoms are trending for spring and summer. 
bell bottom jeans
Image Courtesy Gucci

Trendspotting: You can find bell bottoms on countless TikTok and Instagram influencers, as well as on runways at Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Balmain, and Victoria Beckham.


Dramatic Shoulders

If you’ve been wanting to add a little more punch to your Zoom work looks, the dramatic shoulder trend could be just what you’re looking for. Right now, we’re seeing the decade-defining padded shoulders look of the 1980s come back on everything from blazers to Princess Diana style slouchy knit sweaters. We’re also seeing an even more bold ‘80s shoulder trend, the pointed shoulder, come back on blazers and suit jackets. This more sculptural take on dramatic shoulders is the perfect retro trend for fashion forward sartorialists who love to play with new silhouettes. 

green suit with shoulder pads

Image Courtesy Balmain 

Trendspotting: Dramatic shoulders were prevalent at Spring/Summer 2021 runway shows, popping up at Balmain, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Maison Margiela, and Richard Malone, among others.  


Ribbed Shirts

One of the most wearable vintage trends of the year is the ribbed shirt. This easy, relaxed, and flattering style from the ‘70s is the perfect complement to other vintage trends, such as bell bottoms and mini skirts. 

striped shirt, mini skirt

Image Courtesy Miu Miu 

Trendspotting: Ribbed shirts are another big trend among influencers, who can often be seen wearing ribbed t-shirts and long sleeved shirts with matching knit loungewear or sweatpants. We also spotted elevated takes on ribbed shirts at several spring and fall runway shows, including at Miu Miu, Proenza Schouler, and Erdem. 


Slouchy Suits

Slouchy suits started to trend last year, but they’re still going strong in 2021. And, this year, they’re also taking more of an ‘80s (rather than ‘90s) bent, popping up in more vibrant colors and exaggerated silhouettes. 

slouchy suit
Image Courtesy Vogue

Trendspotting: Slouchy suits were big at both Spring/Summer and Fall shows, popping up at Fendi, Versace, Proenza Schouler, The Row, and Beaufille. 


Headscarves and Neck Scarves

Two silk scarf trends of the ‘70s are back for 2021: the headscarf and the neck scarf. Whether you style these accessories with a boho-ready vintage look or go a bit more Parisian, rocking a beautiful silk scarf is in for 2021. 

dior runway show
Image Courtesy Dior

 

Trendspotting: Influencers have been sporting scarves all year and these chic accessories are now popping up on Fall runways, including at Versace and Dior. 

Monochrome Looks

Monochrome outfits are always a great way to make a statement, so it may be no surprise that this trend that was popular in both the ‘70s and ‘80s is back today. Rock a monochrome slouchy suit for an ‘80s-inspired look, a monochrome bell bottom fit for a ‘70s-inspired look, or try mixing and matching decade elements for a personalized take on this trend. You can also easily fuse other 2021 fashion trends with the monochrome trend for a uniquely modern styling take. Ideas of 2021 trends that look lovely in monochrome outfits include elevated activewear, cutouts, cardigans, turtlenecks, and, of course, pastel. 

monochrome blue outfit
Image Courtesy Burberry

Trendspotting: Monochrome looks are one of the biggest fashion industry trends of the year. We’ve seen monochrome looks all over 2021 runways, including at Balmain, Burberry, Bottega Venta, and Versace. 


Boho Florals

This season’s boho florals are ready to help you let the sunshine in. So many types of boho florals, which tend to feature muted colors and more detailed patterns, are trending for 2021. This year, you’ll find this trend popping up on silk dresses, flowy cotton dresses with loose sleeves, mini skirts, silk scarves, and even some groovy denim. 

floral dress
Image Courtesy Chloé


Trendspotting: Boho florals are very popular among Instagram fashion influencers and fashion industry leaders alike. We spotted boho florals in recent Chloe and Dior collections, and on April’s Vogue cover, which features Selena Gomez in a ‘70s inspired boho floral ensemble.