Bring out the flares: The Seventies are back


Browsing the rails during a shopping trip with my mum, I flick through countless pussy bow blouses, suede skirts and flared jeans. “I used to have a shirt just like this one!” mum exclaims, brandishing a particularly floral specimen. “I should have kept all my old clothes for you to wear now!”

My mum may joke, but it seems that the more time I spend window shopping and wistfully scrolling down the images in an online shop, the more I see throwbacks to the seventies and sixties. A key trend for Spring / Summer ’11, it seems to be continuing into autumn and winter, with Fashion inspired by these two decades on catwalks, in high street stores and modelled by all our favourite celebrities.

Jackie Magazine, popular in the era, featured images showcasing the fashions of the time. Many of these could be mistaken for modern illustrations today.


The high street stores are quickly recognising the current demand for retro fashion. River Island’s line Chelsea Girl brings seventies styles to the modern woman, using the stores old name from the sixties and seventies before it changed in 1988. Not to be out-done, House of Fraser’s line of Biba fashion, re-launched in 2010, brings the iconic brand back from the sixties and into the limelight. Obviously these two brands aren’t the friendliest to a student’s bank account, but with New Look, and even Primark stocking similar items of clothing, you can achieve the retro look on a budget.

River Island's Chelsea Girl is proving ever more popular

The main things to notice are the colour choices so keep an eye out for rich tones: deep gem-stone reds and greens with gold and navy are perfect for the oncoming party season at the end of the year. If you’re looking to go more casual, terracotta and burnt orange, mustard yellow and cream look great with denim. The great news is the retro look is easy to pair with clothes you already own – perfect for the student budget.

And it’s not just the women who can look back a few decades for inspiration this season. Men’s fashion has hints of the same era, with clean lines, warm tones and a mixture of smart / casual. Mohair, tweed and corduroy are all key fabrics.

It seems that the more time I spend window shopping and wistfully scrolling down the images in an online shop, the more I see throwbacks to the seventies and sixties.

Affordable blazers can be found on the high street, and the key is to keep it casual but tailored. You only need to glance at H&Ms new line to be inspired. The warm jewel tones of the sixties and seventies that are popular in women’s fashion can be worn by men too; choose a richly coloured tie for a special event, or scour the high street for an opulent shirt. And maybe, if you prefer having long hair, attempt a soft side parting to achieve a gentle smart look.

Nila Flared Stretch Trousers by, £20

If you’re feeling particularly confident and are willing to stand out, the turtle neck is becoming a part of the fashion-conscious man’s wardrobe for autumn and winter. Once a favourite of seventies icons such as Roger Moore, it’s back and are best worn under blazers with smarter trousers. For the even bolder, checked trousers can be found for both guys and girls wishing to channel Noddy Holder and Rupert the Bear; but they can look smart if paired with less retro accessories.

Men's Blazer, H&M, £39.99

Unlike most fashion comebacks, this retro re-emergence is stylish, easy to pull off and ideal for both nights out and days on campus. So hunt down inspiration, save your pennies and take your wardrobe on a little trip through time.


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