Nov 6, 2019

Ultimate Guide to Retro Fashion: Recreate the Looks from the 60s, 70s, and 80s

Are you ready to take a trip down memory lane?

You may just be gathering Halloween costume ideas or thinking of adding a twist to your usual style when retro fashion popped up in your mind. While retro fashion is basically anything that was on-trend in the previous decades, the term is usually used for the styles that were popular in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Needless to say, each decade has its own unique characteristics that distinguish it from other eras. So if you want to don a retro style, you need to know the basics. We will take a trip down the memory lane and re-learn the fashion, hairstyle, and makeup of the past decades.

The 1960s


The 60s were the time when a major social and cultural change occurred and it greatly affected the fashion world. The people at the time embraced bohemian and hippie styles. It was the era for ethnic fashion, Indian prints, mismatched patterns and such. In the 60s, going hippie (fashion-wise) meant you wore bell-bottom jeans and tie-dyed tops. Jeans came in any color while tops were mostly blouses with long, bubble sleeves. You could walk around barefoot in the 60s and no one would criticize you for it. Flower wreaths and gypsy headbands were also popular.

You can recreate the bohemian and hippie look too by wearing bell-bottomed jeans and tie-dye shirts! You should also place flowers on your head, wear gypsy scarves, and add peace sign pendants, beaded jewelry, large rings, chain belts, stacked silver bangles, woven leather bracelets, and hooped earrings to your style.


There are several hairstyles that became on-trend in the 60s with the most iconic of them being the long hair with a middle part. For those with short hair, they can wear wigs to keep up with the trend. The volumized beehive hairstyle usually worn by royalties and famous artists was also popular in the 60s. For a more modern look, try copying Lana Del Rey's style - she brings 60s vibes into the modern age.


The hippie look doesn't require much makeup. However, face paints inspired by flowers like daisies, rainbows, and peace signs as well as sparkly face glitter were common, especially whenever there would be an event or festival. For most days, women sported pale lips and large lashes.

The 1970s


The 1970s has basically continued the bohemian style of the 60s but added a decadent disco fashion twist. In this era, women wore tight-fitted tops and loose bottoms complete with studs, embroidery, and embellishments. Moccasin boots and leather sandals were the most popular footwear. Jewelry made with natural materials such as wood, shells, and stones were common. The birth of glam rock fashion also took place in the 70s. Androgynous looks for both men and women were the norm. Anything bedazzled, shiny, and studded were in. Neon-colored spandex clothing perfect for the disco must be used and paired with glittery jewelry that shines with the dancefloor lights.

Before you try imitating the 70s look, choose which fashion style you want best. Is it the 60s-inspired hippie look or the colorful disco fashion? The 70s bohemian style can be achieved with flared pants, body-hugging tops, and printed scarves whereas the disco fashion requires bright-colored tight pants or shorts with a wrap-around skirt. And don't forget to incorporate sequins and glitters in your outfit. You can also opt to wear androgynous outfits if you want to show up classy and elegant.

Here are some pieces you can try.


Among the popular hairstyles of the 1970s were feathered, shaggy, and long hair with a center part. The frosted hair look was also popular in the decade.

You can create a wispy feathered hairstyle by adding volume and texture to your hair using a texturizing pomade. Keep the style messy and spray it with a gold spray-on hair color for that needed shimmer.


In terms of makeup, the 1970s require shimmery eyeshadows, bright-colored glossy lips, and cat-eye achieved through the help of black eyeliner, mascara, and long false lashes.

You can recreate the look by using an eyeshadow that is frosted and glittery. If you aren't comfortable with lipsticks that are too bright, you can imitate the fresh and natural-looking bohemian style by wearing a pale peach or pink lipstick.

The 1980s


The 80s fashion was defined by styles that exude extravagance and materialism. Oversized, neon-colored clothes became the norm at this period of time. It was the time when designer logos, lace, jewelry, and shoulder pads were incorporated into almost any type of clothing. Denim, especially acid-washed denim, was popular.

If you want to sport 80s fashion, you should wear something that is big and loud such as oversized tops paired with neon leggings, tight pants, or mini skirts. Go for the brightest of colors, extravagant designs, and yes, shoulder pads. Don't forget to complete your look with neon-colored glasses and fanny packs, chunky pieces of jewelry like huge bangles and hoop earrings, and lace gloves or headbands. For the 80s look, you should learn to celebrate excess!


Even the hairstyles at the time were influenced by extravagance. Big and hair-sprayed curls and crimped hair were considered fashionable and popular among teens.

To achieve the 80s hairstyle, you should style your hair and tease it to your desired size and shape. Add more volume to the style by teasing the sides of the hair. You can also tie your hair with multi-colored scrunchies before finishing it all off with a hairspray.


As expected, loud and heavy makeup was popular in the 80s. Eye makeup was emphasized more over the lips. It is normal to see women in the 80s with neon-colored eyeshadows and dark, thick eyelashes with lots of eyeliner.

To recreate the 80s look, you should apply lots of bright-colored eyeshadows to your eyes. Using black eyeliner, draw a thick line on the top and bottom eyelids. Have several coats of mascara on your eyelashes and wear a light shade of lipstick.

Retro fashion is indeed timeless. Although a lot of years have passed, we can still try donning the iconic looks from the previous decades and appear fashionable and stylish. Now a question arises, are you ready to go retro?