It’s not just the clothing though… we love a vintage fashion themed party too! Why is it that we hang on so tenaciously to past eras and fashion? Well, nostalgia is a biggie; it’s an inner yearning to experience life as older generations lived it. Fortunately that’s not so difficult.
Get involved in the vintage themed party action by treating yourself and your friends to a night to remember from your favourite era. This kind of party guarantees a great atmosphere, so celebrate the fashion highlights while prancing around to your hearts’ content to emotion-invoking tunes! You can’t go wrong. Here are some of the most popular eras to revisit:
The roaring twenties was the decade responsible for starting off modern fashion. This was the time when women threw caution to the wind and explored possibilities with different styles. The results were interesting: short cropped hair, shorter skirts, feathered headdresses and more. Trousers made their debut on the female frame during this decade too.
The iconic ‘flapper’ was one of the biggest symbols to come out of the 1920s. She was best remembered as a carefree young lady dressed in a skimpy short skirt; her hair would be cut precisely into a bob, and her character would match the look well. Around this time women were learning to be more outspoken, with a devil-may-care attitude.
It was common to see women enjoying nights out on the town, smoking and drinking and laughing with friends. Sometimes the look would be more glamorous, consisting of ball gowns, evening gloves and beaded silks to go with the headdresses; the look would be completed by kohl liner and bright red lips. Swit swoo!
The men ditched the usual stuffy, formal attire in favour of more casual clothing like sportswear. However, today’s suits are mainly inspired by those worn by 1920s men; when they did wear suits, they went for the movie gangster look, complete with braces, top hats, well-shined shoes and slicked back hair. Read more in our article dedicated to this fabulous era!
The 1950s was the era best depicted by the hourglass silhouette. Women would wear pencil skirts and fuller skirts, in contrast with those of the 1920s. Focus was on the female form and the fashion of this era was created to enhance and showcase it.
This meant that women were shoe-horning themselves into all manner of undergarments, from bullet bras to corsets and girdles. Waists were pinched in as much as humanly possible, and crinolines were used to shape full-circle skirts. The rock ‘n’ roll look featured strongly too, with colourful suits and leather jackets as main features; the jackets went with turned up jeans and leather boots, which looked great with the quiff hairdos.
If you didn’t have a cocktail dress in the 1950s, you weren’t a serious socialite. While the ladies flaunted what they had coerced into position, men were slick and out for seduction in their slim line suits and skinny ties.
The original fun-loving hippies spring to mind when we think of this era. For both genders it was bell-bottomed flares, long hair, eye-catching hues and crazy patterns that typified the look. Music festivals were awash with people embracing psychedelic colours – and behaviours!
It was all about colour during the swinging 60s: deep and dark shades were all the rage; you could also expect to see neons, and hues on the scale between green, red and purple. Making a statement was the name of this fashion game, so ladies’ limbs started to see the light of day in short skirts.
In contrast, A-line and long-waisted dresses were popular; the latter were sometimes worn with a blouse over the top. No era had yet passed by without featuring pretty dresses, but 60s women also loved to wear culottes and trouser-skirts.
The ladies loved a bouffant during this decade, and they’d often pop a sizeable hat over the top of it. Sleeveless shirts showed off slender arms; coats without collars emphasized necks, and pretty designs printed on silk were inspired by the abstract art of the era. Sequins and beads were as popular as they are today, and lightweight woolen coats and suits had a place.
Who hasn’t heard a memorable tale or two from the seventies? Fashion was a big thing during this decade, in which the 60s mini skirts had fully taken hold. Bell-bottomed flares were still one of the most significant fashion items in the 70s, and they aren’t remembered without the long centre-parted hair sported by both sexes. Hippie was the concept, and it has certainly been a resilient one; tie-dye has lived to tell the tale!
The hippies weren’t alone though; the 1970s was an era for disco freaks too. Sequined hot pants competed with disco suits and sexy jumpsuits, and the mini dresses worn by iconic bands like Abba were still floating around. The ladies loved a cowl neck sweater, and platform shoes were stomping the streets on the feet of both genders.
High-cut boots combined perfectly with low-cut pants was a failsafe combo for grabbing the attention of the opposite sex… as were sexy pantsuits. If it wasn’t skin tight, it wasn’t worth wearing, and that was the case for both sexes.
Likewise, both men and women went in for the military surplus look; tracksuits and leisurewear were increasingly popular, and men sported tank tops and stripy velour shirts to complement their hairy chests and medallions! Flower power was in full swing, as seen on many a shirt, and sandals were still hanging on.
Some will remember the 1980’s as the decade with the most hilarious clothing. Nobody cared! It was all out lycra: leotards, cycling shorts and outrageous athletic wear in the brightest colours. Legwarmers as seen in movies like ‘Fame’ were popular beyond measure and aerobics video queens like Jane Fonda were worshipped for their look alongside Madonna for her statement clothing.
Ripped Levi 501 jeans (and rips in general) were wholeheartedly embraced; as were the cosmic joke that was shell suits. The men loved their Hawaiian shirts, quilted jackets and cowboy boots.
That wasn’t all: the ladies dripped with costume jewelry, and it wasn’t uncommon to see huge hoop earrings and giant rhinestones. Clothing was regularly covered in as many gemstones, sequins and beads as possible; accessories included wide belts and boot-style trainers with outsized tongues.
The 1980s will always be the year of the bouffants and bouncing curly perms, often in blond hues straight out of a bottle. Makeup matched the brightly coloured garments perfectly, with eyes painted up to the brow in various shades.
In the 90s people went back to basics and minimalist fashion was the order of the day. Tattoos and piercings gained popularity fast, and we haven’t looked back. Rebellion was a key concept, so it makes sense that ‘grunge’ would be an appropriate word to encompass 90s fashion; the rock looked rocked, and leather jackets and Doc Marten boots were big.
As was the case with previous eras, there was more than one look running concurrently. Casual chic saw a big comeback, so T-shirts and jeans were common; hoodies found their way onto the fashion scene accompanied by trainers – another look that has made it through to modern times. Men were in their element with this style, but many 90s women had other ideas.
For them it was about power dressing. Shoulder-padded business suits in pastel colours were popular, along with silky blouses and scarves; and how could we forget the feet crushing pointed stilettos still favoured by today’s glamor-oriented women? Mini skirts featured heavily too, with polka dot patterns a fashion statement of the time.
Around the middle of that era, Hip Hop significantly inspired trends. Baseball and bomber jackets were the thing to wear; as were overly baggy jeans and (yet again) tracksuits. Adidas tracksuits in bright colours and shiny fabrics were must-have wardrobe items.
Where to find the perfect vintage fashion attire?
Sadly it’s not always easy to find the vintage clothes you’ve been dreaming of in opp shops these days; their popularity means they are snatched from the shelves almost as quickly as they are put out. But don’t let that put you off!
If you are planning a vintage themed party, we’ve got everything you could possibly need here at Creative Costumes. We understand the need for quality outfits, and we bend over backwards to make sure you’re taken seriously as a 60s hippie dude, 70s gangster’s moll, 80’s aerobics guru or whatever it is that floats your vintage boat. Get in touch!