Ideal for fashioning a timeless wardrobe.

Retro, vintage, old fashioned…call it what you like, but after the year we’ve all had, there’s huge comfort to be found in looking backwards. No, not backwards at your bottom in the mirror, in that vintage denim, although we have to admit, it does look good. 

Nope, we think that now, more than ever, we’d be happy ignoring modern trends and the current climate, and give our closet a thoroughly timeless takeover. With that in mind, here are 7 retro/vintage inspired pieces every wardrobe needs.

SOME VINTAGE DENIM 

Stonewash, acid-wash, boyfriend jeans, skinny jeans, bootcut, ripped, distressed, relaxed, double – there are hundreds of ways to wear denim and hundreds of jeans and jackets out there waiting to be found in vintage shops across the globe. While some fashions come and go, denim jeans are one item that will forever be a fashion staple. As such, it’d do no harm kitting out your wardrobe with several pieces. 

Here at IDEAL oversized vintage jeans and a casual top have quickly become our lockdown uniform after a brief, unproductive stint spent embracing pyjamas every day. The relaxed silhouettes which vintage jeans usually come in – mom or rolled-up boyfriend jeans – are really forgiving. Moreover, they’re surprisingly comfortable since they’ve been pre-worn.

While getting to vintage stores is a little harder than usual given the ongoing lockdowns, heading to a vintage online clothing store shouldn’t pose a problem. For a deeper dive without having to thumb through thousands of items on the clothes rails in person, Who What Wear have rounded up some of the best places to buy vintage denim jeans. Do check it out.

A VELOUR TRACKSUIT  

When we’re not in our baggy denim jeans, we’re in our velour tracksuit; we’re sure you’re the same? They are so in vogue right now, largely thanks to Kim Kardashian who is doing her darndest to bring them back with her new velour range. And we’re not fighting it. Quite the opposite, in fact, we’re feeling it, and that’s not just because we’re constantly stroking the so soft-to-touch fabric; any attempt to make bumming around in your tracksuit feel fashionable and luxurious is fine by us.  

We’re also wishing we didn’t throw out all those matching ensembles we had back in 2003. So soft to touch, and so comfy, so COVID free…take us back.

HIGH-WAIST-WIDE-LEG TROUSERS 

Flared or capri, pin striped or corduroy, we’re very much enamoured with retro high-waisted trousers that were popular in the 30’s 40’s and 50’s. Call them what you will; swing pants, classic sailor trousers or authentic Audrey trousers (we’re not quite sure which is which, actually, don’t @us fashion history buffs)…but what we do know is that this look is an iconic one from the ages and a must have-essential for a timeless, retro wardrobe. Effortlessly stylish and flattering, comfortable with a beautiful drape, if it has a high waist and wide legs, we like it. 

BEADED FLAPPER DRESS 

The flapper dress: a prohibition classic that always seems to come roaring back into fashion just when you thought someone had called time on it for good. 

Indeed, channelling gatsby chic and full of glitz and glam, we just adore art deco flapper dresses that shimmer when you move with lace, tassels and glitz. It’s a fashion classic. There’s something about this mischievous era which appeals to us; maybe it’s the thought of moonshine and speakeasies, maybe it’s the low backs and beads…but every vintage wardrobe should be seduced by one of these. And if you haven’t worn one for ages, know that at some point, sometime in the future, someone you know will throw a 1920’s themed party. Be prepared.

THIGH HIGH BOOTS 

Have thigh high boots ever really gone out of fashion? So, are they really retro or vintage, at all? That’s a discussion for another time. And while we might be playing a little fast and loose with the use of the term ‘retro’, there’s no denying that bold and beautiful over-the-knee boots, the kind that Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman, are a style staple for every wardrobe. Whether they’re in slouch suede or have a patent finish, this is a shoe for life. And there’s nothing more timeless or retro than that.

A SILK SCARF

“All I need in this life of sin, is me and my silk scarf” Beyonce nearly sang in her and Jay’s Z’s Bonnie & Clyde duet. And if she did, she would have hit the nail on the head.  

Classic and timeless, there’s so much you can do with a vintage silk scarf. From knotting it around your neck to tying it up babushka style over your head, and even wearing it as a handkerchief top, vintage scarves are more than just an accessory. They can define a look.

PLAID SKIRTS 

“Do you prefer fashion victim or ensembly challenged?” Well, you’re going to be neither if you channel the iconic look of Cher from Clueless and add a plaid skirt to your wardrobe. We’re “totally buggin” and have been for the last two decades over a high waisted tartan skirt. Plaid in some form or another is always in fashion and since it’s cyclical, it’s no surprise that the iconic look of ’90s always comes back around. 

BOHO DRESS 

A style staple if ever there was one – the 70’s maxi dress is as vintage as it comes. Flowy and free, these dresses capture the freedom-loving, free-spirited essence of bohemian chic and we love it. They seem to hint at a more extemporaneous ethos in those who sport them, and as such, a vintage boho dress is a stylistic statement that every wardrobe should have, and if they did, maybe we would live in a better world. 

If you want to complete your boho aesthetic, then it’s time to accessorise. Here are 5 IDEAL kinds of timeless bohemian jewellery for inspiration.