Retro does not necessarily mean the 70s. The term retro actually encompasses a wide range of eras, from the 1960s all the way up to the 1990s. In fact, anything that is at least 15 years old is considered retro. So if you’re a fan of vintage home decor, fashion, or music, there’s a lot to choose from when it comes to retro styles. Here are some popular retro eras and their defining characteristics:
No matter what your personal style is, there’s a retro era out there that’s sure to speak to you. So embrace the nostalgia, and give your home and wardrobe a vintage-inspired update!
The Origin of Retro: Influences from the 1960s to 1990s
Retro refers to the revival of styles and trends from past decades. It is not limited to the 70s, as retro encompasses anything that is 15 or more years old. Thus, it borrows from the styles of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. The term retro itself originates from the Latin prefix retro, meaning backward or behind.
The 1960s was an era of radical changes in fashion and design. It saw the rise of youth culture and the hippie movement, which inspired new trends in clothing, music, and art. Bold patterns, vibrant colors, and psychedelic designs were popular in the 60s. The 70s introduced disco, which brought metallic and shiny fabrics, bell-bottoms, platform shoes, and afros. The 80s saw the use of neon colors, geometric shapes, and metallics in fashion and design. And the 90s embraced grunge, which brought oversized clothing, dark colors, and a vintage aesthetic.
The Difference between Retro and Vintage
While the terms retro and vintage are often used interchangeably, they have different meanings. Vintage refers to items that are older than retro, typically from the 1920s to the 1970s. These items are often rare and valuable, such as vintage cars, clothing, and jewelry. Retro, on the other hand, refers to items that evoke nostalgia for a specific era but are not necessarily old or valuable. Retro items may be mass-produced today, such as retro-inspired clothing or home decor.
Finding Retro Treasures: Where to Look and What to Buy
There are many places to find retro items, including thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, and online marketplaces. When shopping for retro items, it’s important to have a good eye for quality and authenticity. Look for items that are in good condition and have the distinct style of the era you are seeking.
Some popular retro items include:
- Retro clothing such as bell-bottoms, polyester shirts, and vintage band t-shirts
- Vintage jewelry in bold designs and bright colors
- Retro home decor such as lava lamps, shag rugs, and Tiki mugs
- Vintage vinyl records and retro audio equipment
Incorporating Retro Design into Modern Home Decor
Retro design can add a fun and nostalgic touch to modern home decor. To incorporate retro design, consider the following tips:
- Choose a color palette inspired by the era you want to evoke
- Look for retro-inspired furniture such as Mid-Century Modern chairs or Art Deco lamps
- Add retro accents such as vintage posters, old records, or retro clocks
- Use bold patterns such as chevron, polka dots, or stripes
- Display retro-inspired dishware or glassware in your kitchen or dining room
Retro Fashion: Reviving Trends from Decades Past
Retro fashion is a popular trend that is constantly evolving. It involves incorporating vintage or retro-inspired clothing into modern outfits. To embrace retro fashion, consider the following tips:
- Pair a vintage band t-shirt with skinny jeans and ankle boots for a rock-inspired look
- Wear a mod-style shift dress with white go-go boots for a 60s-inspired look
- Accessorize with retro sunglasses, hats, or jewelry
- Use bold makeup looks such as cat-eye liner or bright lips
The Resurgence of Retro Pop Culture
Retro pop culture is seeing a resurgence in recent years, as people are looking back to past decades for inspiration. This includes movies, music, and TV shows from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. Some popular examples include:
- Stranger Things, a TV series set in the 80s
- Guardians of the Galaxy, a movie set in the 70s with a retro soundtrack
- Mad Men, a TV series set in the 60s with retro décor and fashion
Retro-Inspired DIY Projects for Home and Garden
For those who love a good DIY project, there are many ways to incorporate retro design into your home and garden. Here are a few ideas:
- Create a retro-inspired garden with vintage fleur-de-lis planters, garden gnomes, and a birdbath
- Make your own retro-inspired wall art using vintage posters or record covers
- Create a homemade Tiki bar with a bamboo bar, thatched roof, and vintage barware
Redefining Retro: Moving Beyond the 70s Aesthetic
While the 70s aesthetic is often associated with retro design, there are many other decades and styles to explore. Retro design is constantly evolving and can incorporate elements from any era. By moving beyond the 70s aesthetic, we can embrace a wider variety of styles and trends from decades past. Whether it’s mod 60s, groovy 70s, or grungy 90s, there is always a retro trend to revive.