Retro Clothing That You Can Style With Modern Fashion

Annette K. Brown

Combining different styles in the same outfit might seem unusual, but in most cases it can match very well, especially since retro clothing has grown largely in popularity in recent years. When looking at pretty much vintage jackets from the 70’s and 80’s, they actually follow a very simplistic, classic style that looks great with a pair of jeans and a T-Shirt. 

Styling Jackets

With popular modern-day brands frequently recreating the structured, versatile design of retro jackets such as the Harrington or Crombie coat, its clear that retro clothing truly can be styled with modern fashion. All jackets from this time period were made with quality in mind, often featuring thick linings that had tartan or printed patterns. These gave the outfit a secret fashionable, flair only appearing when the wearer moves around. 

Denim Jackets 

These have never gone out of style and will continue to be a popular choice for people of all ages until the end of time. Made popular in the 70’s and 80’s, these jackets started off as symbolic items that represented rebellion and independence. 

These were then adopted by different groups of people including truckers, rockers, punks and mods which slowly seeped into mainstream fashion. Nowadays you will see all sorts of people wearing denim jean jackets in a range of shapes and styles. 

Leather Jackets 

Made popular in the 1950’s by the ‘greaser’s’ and symbolic of the bad boy image at that time, leather jackets were made popular following the Hollywood classic “Grease’ but can actually be traced back to military wear in the early 1900’s. 

They were mainly worn by men up until the 1990’s when supermodels started to wear long line versions of leather jackets and this was quickly copied by high street brands that made this one of the top trends of the decade. 

Fast forward to today and leather jackets are still very popular, still representing a rugged, alternative look that is often juxtaposed with a ladies dress or skirt. 

Bomber Jackets 

Otherwise known as flight jackets, bomber jackets have been around since the early 1900’s when they were worn by pilots as a warm outer layer, but they were first used as a form of self-expression in the 1960’s by skinheads. Typically, the outer layer is made of green or blue nylon, with the internal nylon lining being bright orange to show those rescuing a pilot where they were.

Following their popularity with pilots and then skinheads, they are now worn by anyone in modern society with a desire to appear ‘cool’ or ‘edgy’ due to their cultural references. They have been reproduced countless times each season by high street brands as this classic jacket never goes out of style. 

Trench Coats

Similarly to the other jackets, the classic trench coat was made popular in the early 1990’s during and after World War l, although it had been around for a long time before that. Through time, all jackets with a long line silhouette have been popular with the trench coat still a staple in most wardrobes in the year 2022. 

Many designers have jumped on this trend and made it their own, with the Burberry trench coat offering a premium option for anyone who wants to own the most iconic trench coat of them all. Vintage Burberry trench coats are very popular and accessible as customers search for an authentic retro look. 


Having recently gained a lot of popularity once again with a host of fast fashion brands selling all kinds of shapes and styles of blazer, these jackets which were first worn by students in the 1950’s in a blazing red colour (hence ‘blazer’) and have survived all kinds of trends as the year have gone by. 

In the 1980’s they were symbolic of a powerful woman as shoulder pads were sewn into most blazers at the time. They were swiftly adopted by many high end designers who put their own personal spin on this jacket, from different colours, materials, lengths and fit. A classic design that is perfect for all smart-casual occasions!


The word ‘parka’ actually refers to animal skin as they were originally designed with skin and fur to keep the wearer warm in cold weather. After being worn throughout history, they eventually made their way to the west in the 1960’s when they were worn by men in the military at war in cold countrys. 

After this, they were adopted by the mods after Noel & Liam Gallagher from Oasis made the parka their staple piece that made an appearance in every show. 

Combining retro and modern fashion 

All of these jackets are still very popular today, and can be combined with modern clothing to create a new look each time. For example, leather jackets being worn with feminine dresses and chunky black boots or blazers being worn mainly by women now compared to men in the mid-1900’s. 

The best thing about all jackets from retro era is that they can change and adapt to each time period. Denim jackets can be made to have a baggy or slim fit, trench coats can be made with a cropped or long line design. 

So, where will you be purchasing your next jacket from? There are plenty of fashion outlets that can offer all kinds of jackets, some higher quality than others, so it’s important to find a retailer that prioritises value for money with high quality products that don’t break the bank. 

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