The Beyond Retro Guide to Normcore Fashion
What is Normcore Fashion?
Four years after the word Normcore was a runner-up for the Oxford English Dictionary's Word of The Year (losing out to 'vape'), it's time to untangle the surprisingly complicated meaning of the word 'normcore' along with its viral evolution and bizarre variations - menocore anyone?
The Origin of Normcore
The story begins way back in the dark ages of 2009 before Instagram even existed. A cartoonist named Ryan Estrada was invited to draw a guest strip for the comic Templar, AZ. He came up with a conversation about increasingly ridiculous subcultures, the punchline being 'Normcore. Dangerously regular dresses only in t-shirts and jeans, uses slang appropriated from other subcultures, but only three years after its first use, and only three years after it's been used in a sitcom'. Estrada promptly forgot the satirical poke at youthful tribes and got on with his life.
What Happened Next?
In 2013, unbearably cool trend forecasting agency K-Hole coined the term in their yearly report to describe a generation of youth that was over individualisation and into belonging. One NY Mag article later and the term was turned from a pensive description of a state of mind to a fashion trend that encompassed 'stonewash jeans, fleece, and comfortable sneakers' or off-brand New York ball caps... paired with turtlenecks, sweatpants, and boxy jeans'. The article cited Jerry Seinfeld as the unlikely icon of this new trend, and just like that the term went viral.
The Backlash of Normcore
By the beginning of 2014, the normcore style was already being decried as hipster nonsense, a cynical appropriation of pure intentions, a spoof, a massive in-joke. A fake trend that spun out of control. GQ spelt it out in bullet points with an article entitled '20 Reasons You, Normcore Guy, are an Idiot'.
Is Normcore Over?
By 2015, GQ, Highsnobiety and a host of other fashion publications had pronounced normcore dead. The trouble is, no-one paid attention. The runways have remained awash with normcore elements and the trend keeps resurrecting in new forms. 'Gorpcore' added puffer jackets, velcro and all sorts of sensible outdoor wear to the mix in 2017.
2018 saw a wave of windbreakers, bumbags and slides promptly christened 'tourist chic'. 'Dad style' celebrated tucked in t-shirts, pleated pants and pulled up socks. Most recently, this spring, Man Repeller announced 'menocore', a cross between menopause and normcore fashion. The trick is to dress like 'a mom in a Nancy Meyers movie or an eccentric ceramicist exiting her beach house studio,' or in other words, linen trousers and loose tops finished off with a scrunchie or bucket hat.
So... What Does Normcore Mean Again?
Ok, so. It's basically a response to the conspicuous consumption, fast fashion and logomania of the early 2010s, and just like the anti-fashion statements of minimalism and punk before it, it's become a trend of its own. The aesthetic - as well as the spirit - is a very nineties one, closely linked to slacker style, grunge and even heroin chic. Here are some loose rules.
Functionality above all else. Trainers, skate shoes, washed denim, low key sportswear, workwear, turtlenecks, baseball caps and if possible some sort of reusable water container.
Approved brands include Carhartt, Patagonia, Northface and Birkenstocks. Basically, all those things your Mum wears that you swore you never would. Vintage, obviously. This look should appear lived-in.
No overt logos, no glitz, nothing expensive (looking). The normcore style is about fitting in rather than standing out.
Nostalgia plays a key role, try and remember what you were wearing on a school trip in the mid to late nineties and buy grown-up versions of all of it.
If it's unisex, even better.
Three Normcore Inspirations
The former Céline designer embodies the chicest version of normcore, the anti-fashion fashion uniform of loose trousers, turtleneck, trainers and a ponytail.
The unlikely fashion icon is so celebrated for his functional looks that there's an entire Instagram account - @shiasoutfits - dedicated to them. Scroll for daily normcore inspo.
Seriously. Embodied here by America's Daddy Barack Obama, note the oversized polo shirt, the high-waisted jeans and the uncool trainers.
A Normcore Watchlist
Early seasons of Friends
Before the group got financially savvy and started working their dream jobs, the Friends gang all embodied their own unique takes on normcore. The styling of the show emphasised the approachable-ness of the characters - their struggles were realistic and so were their wardrobe budgets. Note especially Rachel's sweater and pyjama bottom combo in The One Where No-one's Ready, and the whole group's Thanksgiving football look.
Funny Ha Ha
Normcore's filmic counterpart is mumblecore, a genre of oddly charming, low budget, independent cinema in which everyone has very long, improvised conversations and little actually happens. The very first mumblecore film, Funny Ha Ha from 2002 follows the post-college life of Marnie as she journeys through a series of life challenges and dorky t-shirts that symbolise her struggle to become a grown-up. Pure normcore. Nineties precursors Reality Bites and Clerks can also provide some retro sartorial slacker inspiration.
Final Girls provide fertile ground for normcore inspo since practicality is everything in the struggle to avoid the masked murderer and survive 'til the end of the film. Watch Scream, the ultimate nineties slasher, for Sidney Prescott's simple sweater, jeans and sneakers combos, as well as her boring-chic selection of suede, leather and denim jackets, a new one in each part of the trilogy due to those tricky-to-get-out blood stains.
How to Dress Normcore
A lot has happened since the initial trend went viral, here's how to do normcore for 2018 in four simple steps.
Style it up for Summer
Ditch the puffer and the waterproofs and style this trend for summer with the help of some light wash denim, an over-sized sorbet coloured polo shirt and slides over socks if you want to go full on Dad chic.
While the trend started with sweatpants and baseball caps, this season's nod to sportswear takes the form of the fishing vest. If there's one normcore item to invest in, this is the one... but a bucket hat couldn't hurt either.
Forget jeans, the latest Mom accessory is the bag. Look for leather brands like Coach and Dooney & Bourke in sensible medium sizes for your A-Z and wet-wipes.
Make it Girly
Normcore is deviating from its unisex routes to encompass nineties grungy dresses and denim skirts. Pair the former with a checked shirt and the latter with a plain Champion sweatshirt for the perfect no-frills ensemble.
You can get more 90s Summer Pop Culture Inspiration in our blog, talking about our top 5 tv shows that keep the 90s alive.
Words Sarah Cleaver
How to Wear Vintage Leather
From season to season, leather is key to compleating your look. From top to toe, vintage leather is a go-to for investment pieces that steal the show! Here’s how we style three key leather pieces.
We all know about that Ross from Friends moment, so best to choose wisely when picking your pair of vintage leather trousers. This is an easy way to take on the leather trend whether you go for the straight leg, or wide-leg fit, both perfect with a vintage pussy-bow blouse or throw over an oversized knit when you want to stay chic, but half less than 10 minutes to get out the front door.
One thing we can never get enough of and is every bit necessary for your wardrobe, a vintage leather skirt is way more versatile than you think. It can act as a blank canvas for your outfit or win everyone over as a focus point. Try a rollneck and mini skirt for a chic 60s inspired look, alternatively why not go for a midi? This look is perfect with a puff sleeve 80s blouse for a statement look.
The perfect unisex leather! Originally a symbol of rebellion, the classic leather jacket has now got a reputation for being a must-have item, whatever your style. Whether you prefer the classic biker look inspired by the bad boys and girls of the 1950s, a long 1970s coat or your opting for a boxy 1990s piece, all you need to do is pair it with your favourite Levi's! It’s the vintage investment piece of your dreams, so check out our huge selection.
Feeling inspired? Finish off your look with denim, and discover our ultimate denim guide here.
Party Season Inspiration From Studio 54
Party season is well underway and there's no better inspiration for vintage party wear than the infamous Studio 54.
The former nightclub located at 254 West 54th Street, bang in between Eighth Avenue and Broadway in Manhattan, was the pinnacle of 70's hedonism.
World famous for it's beyond imaginatively themed parties where everybody from postmen and retail assistants would be rubbing shoulders to disco tunes with celebrities and the incredibly wealthy, granted you were dressed fabulously enough to get past the lucrative doormen.
One time Bianca Jagger even rode in across the dance floor on a white horse - totally iconic!
How To Get The Look
With December being the time for celebrating, whether it be your work Christmas party or New Year's Eve with your very best friends, there's no doubt that it's time to dress to impress and this year we're fully inspired.
Channelling our inner diva, we're into velvet dresses under 70s shearling coats in every colour and statement accessories or shimmering hosiery to match.
It's time to get on your dancing shoes and the higher the heel the closer to God. We recommend the biggest platform shoes known to mankind because le freak, c'est chic.
Not only does layering up to protect you from the bitter cold (seriously, it's minus two degrees at the time of writing this) but it gives you more of a chance to show off your look and exquisite styling skills. Throw a glamorous jacket over a sparkly vintage roll neck, a silk scarf over a retro jumper or even a raunchy fishnet body under a flared leg jumpsuit. Even making an entrance in a striking faux fur jacket for extra fabulousness wouldn't go amiss. After all, you can always ditch it in the cloakroom when things start hotting up.
Whilst Studio 54 unfortunately closed down forever following the owner's arrest over tax evasion, it's still possible to party like we're there.
Although arriving on an animal is probably more hassle than it's worth, it's almost necessary to go all out just to keep the spirit of the outrageous venue alive.
Photographer: Greg Bailey
Make up: Evie Eden
Styling/Direction: Charlotte Lewis
Assistants:Mary Costello + Hatti Rex
Models: Chanel Ava Theo
The Hottest Trends For Autumn 2019
As we say BUH-BYE to summer and start slipping into something a little more autumnal it's time to cast our eyes to the runway and see what trends are in store for the upcoming season. We're sure there's definitely a few comfy winter pieces hidden in your wardrobe that you're excited to dig out again, but freshening up your look with a few key pieces is a great way get prepped for a new season.
Maybe it's the cycle of fashion, or perhaps just how a lot of the world are feeling right now, but the overall feel for AW19 is pretty emo; with gothic touches, dark palettes and 19th century vibes. Put on your best pussy-bow blouse, slip into some lacy black tights and let's dive into winter.
Top 10 Trends For A/W19
1. Moody Florals
From Richard Quinn to Miu Miu, dark and wintery florals were all over the runways for A/W19. On pieces such as cape-like coats and flowing maxi-dresses there's no garment left untouched by the moody floral trend. Don't go putting your floral maxi's away just yet, try pairing them with thick woolen tights or socks and chunky boots for a autumnal twist.
Richard Quinn, Paco Rabanne, Miu Miu
A favourite among dads, farmers and fashionistas alike; cord has taken over as the fabric of the season this year. In rich caramel trousers at Alexa Chung and in a delicious, cobalt suit at A.W.A.K.E. Mode, we've been getting a serious craving for corduroy. Don't be scared by it's traditional roots, a pair of vintage cord trousers are surprisingly versatile and will see you through the season effortlessly. Pair with a vintage band tee or a loose-fitting blouse for a cool, casual, daytime look or with a sparkly top and faux fur coat for some serious 70s glam vibes.
A.W.A.K.E Mode, Michael Kors, Alexa Chung
Keep those chilled, summer vibes coming despite the turning weather. Tie-dye has been seen on runways from New York to Milan for the last few seasons and there's no sign of it going away. This trend is great because of it's simplicity and DIY nature. Either bag yourself a tie-dye tee to layer over a contrasting long-sleeve or find a pair of vintage joggers to tie-dye yourself. Bleach tie-dye is an especially fitting way to take the trend into winter as it involved removing colour from your palette rather than adding. #emo.
Area, Ashley Williams, Collina Strada
Sometimes you just don't need to mess with a classic. As soon as the temperature drops a couple of degrees tartan seems to spring up all over, for good reason! With a rich history behind the textile not only in its origin but it's adoption by the punk movement means that it's a fun and easy way to toughen up any autumnal look. Our favourite way to style a tartan skirt is with an over-sized sweater and as much black eyeliner as we can fit on our eyelids.
Ashley Williams, Coach 1941, Marine Serre
5. Layers upon layers
Layers to autumn are what florals are to spring; groundbreaking or not layered looks are still all over the runway for A/W19. Sometimes practicality can be stylish and why would we argue against that! Mix up your classic styling with a pair of vintage Levi's 501s, a baggy striped shirt worn hanging out of an over-sized hoodie and throw on a blazer to finish; so fashion.
Aigner, Altuzarra, Annakiki
Smart, tailored details will never go out of style and that's a fact. Heading into winter we often start to reach for comfy, rounded silhouettes but it can be a refreshing change to mix up your autumnal wardrobe with some sharp, tailored looks. At Adeam, Gucci and Eckhaus Latta, tailored shapes were on the agenda for 2019/2020, so take note and start looking for those perfect suiting pieces. It can be difficult to find perfect-fitting suits but search for some vintage pieces, whether herringbone, check or prince of wales and invest in getting them tailored to fit you perfectly. The ultimate way to get yourself a stand-out, custom piece without splashing the cash.
Adeam, Gucci, Eckhaus Latta
7. Rich Fabrics
Wrap up and feel like a glamorous starlet with in autumns most luxurious trend. Soft crushed velvets, buttery silks and satins paired with faux-fur and leathers come together for this season to make a multi-faceted and rich aesthetic. For inspiration look to brands such as Alexander Wang and Claudia Li for their subtle inclusions of luxurious fabrics.
Alexander Wang, Dennis Basso, Claudia Li
8. Prairie Chic
Summer 2019 will forever be remembered as three months where yeehaw culture swept the fashion scene, taking it by storm with cowboy-inspired looks. As we move away from summer the wild western theme is still going strong but re-imagined for a more autumnal feel. Prairie chic is a girly and often floral-heavy interpretation of the cowboy trend which is perfectly suited for colder weather. Layers of floral and lace with leather touches and soft draped silhouettes are perfect for incorporating both the gothic floral and layering trends too. Longchamp and Maryam Nassir Zadeh are your go-to reference points for this trend, keep an eye out for maxi-length vintage floral dresses, lace tops and mid length boots.
Jonathan Cohen, Longchamp, Maryam Nassir Zadeh
Every season there area couple of colours that stand out and seem to be everywhere, we've had Millennial pink and Gen Z green but now we have two more colours de jour to fall in love with. The first colour of the season is lilac, whether you go head to toe like Balmain or add in touches of the hue like Mazarine, there's many ways to wear lilac for autumn.
Balmain, Dries Van Noten, Mazarine
The second big colour for the season is orange. Intimidating to some, maybe, but it will be everywhere this winter. In toned-down leafy tones or in near-neon vibrancy there's a whole lot of ways to wear it. Fashion East alum Charlotte Knowles showed gorgeously tailored, feminine pieces in layers of orange whilst Kenzo showed one of our new go-to winter looks; a bright woolen jumper layered under a flowing floral slip dress.
If you're feeling suitably wintery and in the mood to start putting together your wardrobe for A/W19 then head over to our In Bloom edit to shop A/W19 trend pieces or if you need a little more inspo for how to put together your winter wardrobe then check out our blog on our favourite vintage-inspired looks for autumn. Also check out our playlist below for the perfect soundtrack for autumnal shopping.
Words Eloise Gendry
How To Become a Noughties Fashion Icon
History, and fashion, has a tendency to repeat itself. Cycles and recycles are a common thing in fashion, and they tend to happen every fifteen years. If we count back fifteen years from today, it would be 2004, the year of either incredible or terrible fashion, depending on your stance.
At Beyond Retro, we hold the incredible opinion of noughties fashion. And, as it is written in the stars, the trends of the early 2000s are back. Low-rise jeans, belly-button piercings, ugg boots and bedazzled mobile phones … we can’t get enough!
Join us on a trip down memory lane, as we relive some of our favourite noughties fashion moments and teach you how to become your very own noughties fashion icon.
Tracksuits were something of a holy grail in the early 2000s. The same notoriety we now hold for a Susanne Alexandra bag was once held for the Juicy Couture tracksuit. Dare we say, iconic?
Every it-girl, socialite and ex-disney star was photographed wearing Juicy Couture tracksuits in the noughties. Paris Hilton, B ritney Spears and Lindsay Lohan were all members of the Juicy bedazzled booty crew, being something of a Noughties streetwear du jour.
Outside of Juicy, the party girls were still prone to the trakkie. Usually an adidas three-stripe paired with a teeny tiny tank top and trainers. You can get this look yourself by snagging a vintage tracksuit, and embody the spirit of the party girls of yore.
2. Low-Rise Jeans
Low-slung denim was everywhere in the noughties. While we ushered in the high-waist trend of late with open arms, as it meant we no longer had to think of our underwear choices outside of ‘its comfortable and clean’, there’s something undeniably charming about low-rise jeans.
So care-free, so youthful, so fun! Normani, former member of Fifth Harmony, has released a new single called 'Motivation' - the video is chock full of incredible hip-hop choreography and low-rise jeans, reminiscent of the video vixens of the Noughties.
You can work this look with our favourite noughties import by pairing a pair of low-rise jeans with a baby-tee and baby hairs.
3. Tiny Handbags
Handbags had the flexibility to be smaller in the noughties. We relied on our mobile phones less, and as demonstrated by Paris Hilton no many, many occasions - the flip phone could be clipped onto the waistline of your Juicy Couture tracksuit!
This meant that bags in the noughties were tiny because, well, there was nothing to carry in them except for lip gloss! You can take inspiration from this trend with our great selection of vintage bags, available in store and online. For a modern twist, try our micro-beaded pouch, big enough for your phone this time round!
4. Silver Chain mail
We are aware that we have used Paris Hilton as an example three times in a row now, but Paris Hilton was that girl in the early 2000s. Basically every trend, she started, and silver chain-mail was no exception!
Worn famously at her 21st birthday party, accessories with a cloud of smoke and a posse of friends, silver chain-mail was perhaps one of the more glamorous of the noughties. The era leaned towards casual, but with chain-mail they made an exception.
To save you from getting bored and looking at another picture of Paris Hilton, however, we instead direct your gaze to J-Lo who rocked the trend. Re-create this look with our very own chain-mail halternecks.
5. Bucket Hats
There was certainly a vibe for mixing the high with the low in the noughties, and that’s where the bucket hat came in. Now, the bucket hat is associated with Oasis wanna be’s and strangers who ask you for a spare cigarette in the park, but back then they were the peak of luxe.
They were often adorned with designer monograms and luxurious fabrics and, you guessed it, were often worn on the red carpet…
You can incorporate this spirit into your daily wardrobe with an animal print bucket hat. Glamorous, camp and chic!
6. Cargo Pants
Cargo pants were the ugly-chic trousers of the Noughties. Worn on everyone, from Britney Spears to Ashley Tisdale (aka: superstars to tweenagers), they were the skinny jean of the age!
Worn at all noughties hot spots - frozen yoghurt places, night clubs, red carpets - the cargo pant was a wardrobe assasin!
Cargo pants perhaps made up for the size of their tiny handbags, with pockets and space galore!
Bandannas were more than simply large handkerchiefs in the early 2000s. They really found their spotlight.
Bandannas moonlighted as tops, hats, skirts and jewelry during the noughties - they were everywhere and they were everything. Bandannas have certainly seen a comeback lately, with cool girls around town wearing them in their hair and everywhere else appropriate.
We have a large variety of assorted bandanna in our stores!
8. Platform Shoes
Platform shoes were a 90s import for the early 2000s - and our love for the trend has not died down.
We love to pair ours with mini-skirts and the colour pink, for a 90s inspired noughties look suitable of the platform shoe.
9. Pink (or alternatively: Lime Green)
These colours defined the early 2000s. The colours pink and lime green were everywhere, and they made an outfit.
Pink or lime green was almost like the blonde or brunette of the time, and each person's colour choice made a statement.
You can rock this look today by sporting a vintage head-to-toe look in your preferred colour, to look like the Mean Girls extra of your wildest dreams. Pair with a Frappucino for bonus points.
Mini Skirt and Pullover Co-Ord.
10. Layered Dresses
No offence if you layer dresses and skirts and dresses over jeans and trousers in 2019, but we’re throwing in this trend purely for giggles.
I dare you to look at this photograph of Ashley Tisdale and NOT laugh.
Now you’ve got the look down, head to our blog to listen to our Noughties playlist featuring all our favourite tunes from the decade!
Words Chardonnay West
Sustainable News: The Vintage Denim Sneaker Project
This month, Beyond Retro are excited to share the news of our involvement with Converse Renew.
The Converse Renew initiative will see a line of Chuck 70 denim trainers released by Converse, created from recycled and/or upcycled denim provided by us at Beyond Retro. Our contribution to this programme has seen the potential of an innovative concept to change the way we think about, and use, discarded materials.
The trainer will give a new meaning to the nostalgia that comes with vintage denim. As senior director of materials at Converse, Jessica L’abbe, told Fast Company: 'Every denim Chuck is different because each pair of jeans will be worn differently. Each will feel highly personal even at scale, we feel that's a special moment for this program".
Converse Renew Denim in medium.
This initiative marks a huge step forward in the potential that sustainable fashion can hold, marking a significant change in the preconceived notions we hold for used materials. We’re proud to be able to help brands create accessible and environmentally sound alternative to fast-fashion, providing this to the high street customer at such a large scale.
Each year in the UK alone, we buy 70 million pairs of jeans, which has a largely negative environmental and human cost. At Beyond Retro, we source through over 1 million pairs of jeans a month. With Converse, we were able to provide the resources to source denim to the specifications - weaves, weights and colours - required to create the Converse Renew Denim trainer.
Converse Renew Denim in dark.
Our support of Converse through the creation of the Converse Renew Denim Chuck 70, which is the first upcycled collection of its kind to achieve industrial scale, has unveiled both the innovation and the potential of new manufacturing processes. We hope to inspire more brands to create renewed products so that sustainable options become accessible for all.
The Renew Denim will be available in three washes - light, medium and dark - which have been butterfly cut, so the iconic Converse shoe panels remain.
The Converse Renew Denim in all three washes, light, medium and dark.
Our Favourite Vintage-Inspired Western Fashion Moments
Our Top Western Inspired Looks
Queen of country, queen of our hearts, Dolly Parton has more style in her pinky finger than most of us will do in our whole lives; but we can try. Her glitzy, wild-west style is very literally rhinestone cowgirl. Get the look with a white, leather midi skirt a fringed leather jacket, a glue gun and some diamantes.
2. Lady Gaga
We were all kind of shocked when it was announced that Gaga was dropping a country album but halfway into track one we were all slapping our knees and doing a do-si-do around the office. In summary, we’re here for it.
This laid-back country style is a super easy to recreate and might even be office-appropriate. A simple white shirt, knotted just on the hips paired with acid-wash jeans and your most cowboy-like boots; simple!
3. Kate Middleton
Maybe the last person you would expect to be trying out a western style but of course she made it so chic! The crisp, white shirt has just the right amount of ruffles to tread a careful line between campy and cool, whilst the white stetson is the ultimate statement accessory. Check out our curation of dark blue denim to create this outfit.
4. Lil Nas X
If you’re under 30 then Lil Nas X has probably won quite a large chunk of your heart in the last couple of months. Since his record-breaking hit was released sixteen weeks ago it hasn’t left the top spot. With a plethora of vocals from Billy Ray Cyrus and the Walmart Yodel Kid being invited to jump on the track, there are now countless remixes doing the rounds and honestly we’re yet to find one we don’t love. Get Lil Nas X’s look by going for a modern twist on the classic look with double denim, a fringed denim jacket and a sleek black cowboy hat.
5. Cardi B
They call her Cardi Bardi, banging body, Spicy mami, hot tamale, but we call her our rodeo queen. Cardi rocked this bedazzled pink and blue cowboy look at her show in Houston and is now providing us with endless inspiration. Whilst this custom look might be inimitable we’re certainly desperate to try and get crafty and recreate it with a bit of DIY. If you need us we’ll be shopping for glue guns and glitter.
6. Michael J Fox in Back To The Future III
This film is not amazing, but the outfits sure are. This 80s take on western style is something to behold, the classic cowboy look is taken to campy new levels with a pastel colour-palette and bold colour blocking that is so synonymous with the 80s. We love this surprisingly wearable look; find a pair of colourful vintage jeans, a jazzy western shirt and finish it off with your freshest pair of vintage sneakers. It’s a throwback wrapped in a throwback wrapped in an enigma.
If you’re looking for some more summer style inspiration head to our guide to festival dressing, or if you’re ready to get your western on then shop our curation of the best vintage western pieces here.
Words Eloise Gendry
We Love Dad Chic
It is our firm belief that no look has, will or can be as powerful as the blue jean with the white shirt. Everyone, from Homer Simpson to Bella Hadid, has worn some variation of this look, an aesthetic dubbed ‘dad chic’ or ‘dadcore’.
Dad chic can be seen on casual Fridays worldwide; worn-in denim, hike friendly raincoats and loose-fitting suits are some of the style quirks attributed to the trend that looks great on sons and daughters alike.
Brands such as Balenciaga and Ashley Williams have pushed the aesthetic down the runway, exhibiting looks that seemed to belong more in the aisles of Sainsbury’s than on high fashion catwalks. Dad chic, then, is cool!
Balenciaga SS 18 Campaign
It might seem a stretch to think of your dad as being the style catalyst for the hottest Summer trend of 2019, but below we break down how dad chic became an omnipresent feature of street style, the icons of the aesthetic and the ways in which you can sport the trend. Your definitive guide to dad chic, if you will!
The Origins of Dad Chic
Dad chic is inspired by the wardrobe of the man who gave up on fashion when he gave way to parenthood, inherently rooted in practicality and comfort.
It is no surprise then, that in the age that combines fashion with function, dad chic has become the trend we aspire to. Dad chic was introduced to mainstream media when in September 2016, The Guardian predicted that the trend would be “one of the defining styles of our times”. Three years later, it seems that they were right.
A year after dad chic was dubbed a style movement, Balenciaga sent models down the runway with their real-life children on their hips, wearing high-waist jeans, tucked in sweatshirts, Hawaiian print shirts, squeaky clean white trainers and, of course, the anorak.
The fashion landscape in 2019 is quite different to that of 2017, with young and upcoming designers taking the space once held by fashion powerhouses (think: the rapid decline of Dolce and Gabbana versus the overnight sensation of Off-White) but dad chic is as influential as ever.
The Spring/Summer 2019 catwalks saw Dries Van Noten tote shades of beige down the runway in the form of a fisherman’s gilet, Isabel Marant dressed models in short-sleeved anoraks and the aforementioned Bella Hadid wore loose-fitting suit trousers for Fendi. All of which were certainly nods to dad chic.
Dries Van Noten SS 19
The exact origins of dad chic are unclear; dads have always worn clothing that might have seemed dated or “uncool”, yet one day our collective conscious just changed our perception, and dad chic became cool. A combination of high-fashion treatment and some very notable figures in the public eye sporting the trend, perhaps? Speaking of which …
Dad Chic Fashion Icons
Jerry Seinfeld, father of three, is undoubtedly one of our dad chic icons. Known for sporting the crowning glory of dad chic, stonewash denim, as well as baggy blazers, shirts tucked in and chunky Nikes. You can certainly take 90s flavoured hints from this dad, who looks as though he walked right off the Balenciaga runway.
Kanye West, father of four, is an unexpected face of the dad chic movement. His own brand, Yeezus, utilises the Pantone colour wheel of dad chic, known for hues of brown, green and grey.
Larry David, father of two and king of the golf course, epitomises the dad-chic movement. Look to him for inspiration when it comes to accessorising, as Larry David is known to sport the ‘dad cap’. Previously found only at early bird specials and football matches, the dad cap is now a favourite of hip-hop’s biggest names (CC: Wiz Khalifa).
Barack Obama, father of two, is the ultimate dad. Barack Obama was somewhat mocked for his style throughout his presidency, with critics making snarky comments about the fit of his jeans and anoraks. In a tribute to the president, Levi’s reissued their iconic 505 jean (aka the dad jean) towards the end of his presidency demonstrating how influential his style really was, and is. As well as the now infamous jeans, Barack Obama is also known for sporting khakis and tucked in t-shirts, flag marks of dad chic.
Harry Styles, father of none, shows us how to incorporate the tenants of dad style into a younger, more contemporary vibe. Known to wear Hawaiin print shirts, in a more streamlined silhouette in the vein of Saint Laurent and Valentino.
Although all the icons mentioned above have been men, we would like to reiterate again that dad-chic is for everyone. Jenna Lyons, mother of one, shows us how to wear dad chic in a more feminine way. Think tailored trousers paired with oversized blazers, white button downs and loafers.
How To Wear Dad Chic
We hope you feel well-informed enough, now, to incorporate dad chic into your everyday outfit recipes. Whilst dad chic is, of course, a feature of the high fashion world, it remains an everyday style for the every-man, every-woman and every-they. This means that dad chic staples are accessible, and no more so than when shopping vintage, where you could well be buying a shirt that belonged to your dad!
Here is a comprehensive guide on how to apply dad-chic to your summer wardrobe.
Starting from the top, head-wear! Hats are the foundation of dad chic, the perfect combination of functionality and aesthetic, keeping your head protected from the summer sun AND making you look cool! Dad chic is known mainly for the dad cap, but for a more contemporary feel, opt for a trendy bucket hat instead!
Working our way from the head down, dads have never been the most garish of dressers, which is why the dad chic movement favours more neutral tones. Dad chic looks best in shades of brown, green and navy as seen here. Neutral colours also allow for a seamless day to night transition, which is part of the allure of dad chic, when our schedules include Bikram yoga, meetings for work and dinner with friends all in one day. Dad chic allows you to dress for all occasions.
3. LOOSE FITTING BLAZERS
Dad chic is known for a more loose-fitting silhouette, which makes the trend universally flattering. You can keep this look casual, by pairing the blazer with a vintage t-shirt and side bag as we have, or dress it up for the evening with a shirt or blouse. For the bottom, as always with dad chic, a pair of worn-in denim is best. Resist the urge to cinch for an androgynous cut.
4. TRENCH COATS
Seen on the runways of Alexander McQueen this season, the trench coat is a transitional staple for dads and fashion folk alike. The trench coat gives a broad-shouldered silhouette, sure to make you feel confident and imposing. Think your dad at parents evening.
5. STONEWASH DENIM
Dad chic wouldn’t exist without stonewash denim. The first reference point for any outfit incorporating the trend, it looks good however you wear it, stone wash jeans, stone wash shorts and even stone wash hats!
6. HAWAIIAN PRINTS
Hawaiian print shirts have long been a party staple of the dad, most likely to the embarrassment of the rest of the family. But thanks to the likes of Harry Style’s, no more! Pair yours with a pair of khaki shorts for a beach-ready vibe, or sport a tea-dress in lavish patterns for a more feminine take. Bonus point for pulled up socks, for a skater-inspired look.
If you’re feeling inspired by this trend, check out our comprehensive style guides for normcore and the new romantics!
Words Chardonnay West
How To Make 2019 Your Most Sustainable Summer Yet
We’re already looking forward to long days in the park, the sweet smell of sunscreen and all the over-the-top wide-brim hats but thinking about all of those plastic pint-cups, the single-use food packaging from picnics and all the temptingly-cheap fast fashion makes us break into a sweat. As it starts to heat up and we start planning for summer fun it’s easy to let our habits slip and forget the impact our everyday lifestyle choices can have. We know we can’t solve every issue but we can all do our own small bit every day in the choices we make. So to get the summer vibes flowing and help you plan for the most fun-filled season of the year we’ve compiled a list of switches, steps and shopping choices you can make to make 2019 your most sustainable summer yet.
Practical Picnic Tips
Step away from the cling film and tin foil! Whilst a sandwich bag or two might not seem like the worst thing you could do, they are the type of single-use plastic that will take years and years to decompose and poison the environment. But don’t stress! You can still keep your sarnies safe without plastic. Try making a DIY beeswax food-wrap. They are reusable so you can use them throughout the summer but means you can ditch unnecessary packaging.
Bamboo cutlery sets
There’s nothing like a stroll around a food market or lunch in the park but disposable cutlery is a huuuuuge waste of resources. Invest in a chic set of reusable bamboo cutlery which you can keep in your bag and refuse the nasty plastic you’re offered. The more people who stop using it, the less profitable it is for the companies and they will stop buying them.
Metal straw set
An essential for sustainable living the whole year round; a metal straw will mean whether you’re in the pub, at the beach or at a festival you can feel good about your choices.
Sustainable Summer Skincare
Biodegradable Face Glitter
Of course a glamorous, glittery look is essential for festival season but most are made of plastic which, when washed off, adds to the micro-plastic pollution in our oceans. Opt for a more sustainable option and feel like a guilt-free, glittering goddess.
Face wipes are not only damaging to the planet when disposed but they’re bad for your skin too! Choose a more skin-loving and planet-loving option and go for a good face wash or reusable cotton rounds.
Being a sweaty-mess is not a strong look for summer but neither is the effect that aerosol cans have on the environment. Try out a natural, solid deodorant that is just as effective but kinder on your arms and kinder to the environment.
Upcycle Your Wardrobe
Everyone has that old pair of jeans that don’t quite fit right anymore or aren’t your style but linger in the back of your wardrobe. Summer is the perfect time to get creative and experiment with some DIY style. Take that old pair of jeans, that old maxi dress or an old tee-shirt and grab your scissors. By simply cutting off the hems you can revive your wardrobe in an instant and have a new summery wardrobe without spending anything. If you want some more upcycling inspo then check out our customization how-to’s!
No Waste No Regret
If you do decide to crop your jeans, jackets, dresses and tees then take the excess fabrics and turn them into a coordinating item for your outfit. For example, with a few simple stitches the denim from your jeans can be used to make a matching tote bag to go with your new denim shorts. There’s a world of possibilities to refresh your look!
Avoid Fast Fashion
When it comes to planning holidays or even what you’re going to wear to the park with friends it can be tempting to go for the super-cheap, low-quality fast fashion the high-street has to offer. Of course it can be difficult to avoid the convenience all together but by checking out your local charity shops and vintage stores you’ll be bound to find yourself something totally unique. To make life even easier we even offer next-day shipping on our website, so when you fall in love with a vintage gem and just can’t wait to wear it you don’t have to.
Work With What You’ve Got
When looking for new summer pieces, choose things that already work with what’s in your wardrobe. By buying less you save money and save the planet! It’s simple but a super effective way to help lessen your contribution to climate change.
Stay Cool In Vintage
Look for vintage hats and fans to keep your cool as it heats up. A good wide-brimmed boater, some cat-eye sunglasses and a vintage handheld fan will not only means you’ll be staying chilled but you’ll look chic AF whilst doing it.
Out & About
Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
One of the joys of summer is being able to be out in the sunshine all day, strolling through the streets, picnicing in the park and avoiding public transport at all costs. Whilst walking places is a more environmentally friendly way to get around you’ll need to stay hydrated- don’t forget a reusable bottle to keep filled up with water!
Refusing plastic bags when you go shopping is a simple witch which many of us have already begun to do naturally, but when the sun comes out you might not be carrying around the same big backpacks you were in the winter! Get yourself a cotton or net tote bag which you can fit neatly into your wicker summer bags and you’ll never be caught having to use plastic. Also a tote bag will double up nicely as a mini picnic blanket to sit on so you don’t get your white summer clothes dirty on those long picnic-in-the-park afternoons!
Every small step helps and the most seemingly-insignificant change can make a big impact when we all do it. If you’re after some summer wardrobe refreshment then shop our women’s summer shop or men’s summer shop online. Or if you want some more info on sustainability in fashion read about it here.
Things You Need At A Festival In 2019
Festival fashion has become a mainstay of the fashion industry, clutching our attention each and every Spring with the Californian music festival Coachella, right through summer with the likes of Glastonbury, Reading and All Points East.
Festival fashion once meant donning a sequined body-suit, a pair of hot pants and decorating every inch of your body with blinding glitter. At Beyond Retro, we certainly encourage this extravagant dress-code, but festival fashion often means buying something you may never wear again. So to encourage a more sustainable way of dressing for the best summer of your life, we have created this list of your 2019 festival vintage and eco-friendly must-haves!
1. Plastic-Free Glitter
Glitter is fun, but commercial glitter contains plastic, and plastic isn’t fun! Everything about Eco Glitter Fun is plastic-free, including the packaging, making it a sustainable substitute for your festival favourite this Summer. Glitter can be worn in a variety of dynamic ways, try wearing it as an eye shadow, or painting sunbeams across your cheek and collar bones! Shop our women’s accessories.
2. A Tie-Dye T-Shirt
Tie-dye has already become a trend off and on the runway, with brands such as Prada, MSGM and Stella McCartney debuting tie-dye in their most recent collections. Even Beyonce was seen wearing it, and in our humble opinion, the tie-dye t-shirt is going to be the white blouse of Summer 2019.
Tie-dye can be dressed up and down, but ultimately celebrates individuality and can be worn however you like, making it a must-have this festival season. Find a vintage tie-dye t-shirt and have a piece that is entirely unique!
3. Western Clothing
Western wear has been slowly but surely seeping into the cultural zeitgeist over the last couple of years, but this summer with country legend Billy Ray Cyrus re-entering the charts it is set to become a bonafide festival fashion trend. From fringe to cowboy boots, western wear is an essential component of any respectable festival outfit! Pair western wear with the aforementioned tie-dye t-shirt for a 1970s inspired outfit, or mix and match with other vintage pieces in your wardrobe for a more contemporary look that feels completely you.
4. Neon Everything
If there’s one way to make yourself stand out in a crowd of thousands, it’s neon. Neon has been a mainstay of brands such as Versace and Iceberg for years and adds the perfect 00s nostalgia component to any festival outfit. You can ease yourself into the trend with these fluorescent sunglasses, or dive straight into the deep end in a head to toe neon look. Never lose your friends again!
5. A Bum Bag
Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that the bum bag is what festival legends are made of. On an aesthetic level, the bum bag can be used to add a level of camp, chic or cool to any outfit, depending on the chosen bag. On a practical level, the bum bag is impossible to lose whilst wrapped around your body and can carry just about everything you need at a festival!
If you’re still not convinced, would it help if we renamed the bum bag the belt bag? How about if we told you Rihanna has one?
6. Your OTT Piece
It really wouldn’t be a festival without that one statement piece of clothing. This is the piece strangers will approach you to talk about, this is the piece that will possibly get you a free drink, and this is the piece that we promise you will want to wear again, and again, and again.
Avoid the fast fashion trap of throwaway items by shopping vintage, and you’ll get to take home a new best friend. Whatever your style, you’ll be sure to find that piece to make your heart sing! Whether it be that 1960s party top, a 1970s dress or a 1990s pair of dungarees … there’s something for everyone!
7. Festival Footwear
There’s nothing worse than ruining a brand new pair of shoes at a festival, but we at Beyond Retro also understand that shoes have the power to make or break an outfit. For a sustainable footwear option, why not invest in a pair of vintage Doc Martens that are built to last? You’ll be able to wear them to festivals for years to come!
8. Practical Bonus Round: A Raincoat!
Considering British summer time traditions, the last must-have on this list is almost a given. British summer will seem more like four seasons in a day, which is why it's important, especially at a festival, to be prepared for everything! Plastic, disposable rain ponchos are available at many festivals now but this is a frivolous and environmentally unfriendly purchase.
Avoid buying single use items of clothing, and take the sustainable route by bringing a vintage raincoat with you. Not only is this the more eco-conscious choice, but a vintage raincoat can also act as a fashion conscious statement piece.
We hope you’re feeling prepared, come rain or shine, for this Summer’s festival season! For more inspiration, why not read our roundup of our favourite vintage looks this year?
Top 10 Disney Fashion Moments
Mickey, Donald, Minnie, we can’t be the only ones who still have a soft spot for our childhood favourites? Whenever we find a box of vintage sweatshirts or dungarees, we always have our fingers crossed that we’ll pull out some super cute Disney emblazoned pieces.
A cartoon sweat is the perfect addition to any 90s inspired outfit. So it’s time to dig out your baby pics and recreate those incredible outfits. We’re not the only ones who can’t get enough of Disney clothing, the whole of the fashion industry seems to be totally obsessed! So check out our top Disney fashion moments...
Top 10 Disney Fashion Moments
1. Comme Des Garcons X Minnie Mouse
Designer Rei Kawakubo’s found a muse in Minnie Mouse for the CDG 2008 fall/winter collection and we have to say this fascinator alone is completely adorable!
2. Supreme X Mickey Mouse
What happens when you cross a streetwear Goliath with the biggest cartoon character in the world? Well, you get Supreme’s 2009 collaboration collection. Mickey took over classic styles like tees and hoodies, which sent fans into meltdown.
3. Annie Leibovitz Reimagines Scarlet Johansson As Cinderella
Known for her ethereal and otherworldly photography style, Annie Leibovitz created this enchanting imagery with superstar Johansson as Cinderella. She nailed the fairytale glamour.
4. Carine Roitfeld In Givenchy
The Met Gala is always a place to find the most diverse array of styles and in 2013 fashion royalty Carine showed her love for Disney. This Givenchy Bambi number is really cute, but in a totally goth way.
5. Zendaya As Cinderella
Another Met Gala look that blew us away from 2019, former Disney star Zendaya arrived looking regal in a dress that can only be described as Cinderella realness. Don’t forget you can see ALL of our favourite campy looks from this years' Met Gala here.
6. Disney X Opening Ceremony
Not only is this particularly adorable, but founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim went all out for the Disney theme by taking over Disneylan’s ToonTown to stage the show. Avante-garde meets adorable AF, we love it!
7. Levi's X Mickey Mouse
When two icons collide you know it’s going to be good. Disney denim, what’s not to love?
8. Lindsay Lohan Becomes The Princesses
Disney provides us with a whole lot of Halloween costume inspiration, but Lindsay Lohan really went all out for her Cover shoot for Paper magazine in 2018. Along with Cinderella and Ariel, they recreated Snow White and Aurora’s iconic looks with a modern fashion spin.
9. Vogue Japan 2014
This super fun and quirky shoot is peak Disney. Over-the-top and a little cheeky this is the perfect cartoon editorial.
10. British Vogue 1991
The ultimate vintage Disney fashion throwback, this shoot from the early nineties is camp and cute in equal measures. Now where can we find a Daffy Duck cap?
Our Top Vintage Disney Picks
If you've caught the Disney fashion bug then head into store or check out our website to shop classic vintage Disney pieces and our own Reworked Vintage Disney. If you want get some more inspo then you can read up on our favourite camp fashion icons or get some 90s dungaree styling inspiration here.
Words By Eloise Gendry
The Best Vintage Inspired Looks of 2019
As we head into the summer and approach the halfway mark of 2019 it's a good time to look back and celebrate our favourite vintage-inspired looks of the year. Whether your wardrobe looks like it was brought straight from the 60's or you like to experiment with era-themed styling there is something to inspire you all.
1. The Shell Suit Of Your Dreams
Starting strong... our warehouse team showing you how to rock an 80s shell suit. Go hard or go home right?
2. Sassy Seventies
A dreamy, bohemian, vintage inspired look perfect for summer. Grab yourself a patterned mini dress from our huge selection!
3. The Perfect Season Transition Outfit
Leandra Medine is a bonafide style guru and this 70s inspired look has us swoooooning. If you're looking for a way to jazz up your denim why not try a statement jacket.
4. Flares With Friends
The fitting rooms in our Bristol store are perfect for an impromptu catwalk to strut around in your new vintage finds.
5. Sorbet Pink Perfection
We just can't get enough of seventies inspired dressing for summer, another of our favourite looks- so chic and flattering for all.
6. Berlin Street-style Inspiration
Vintage-inspired normcore dressing isn't going anywhere, so get on board!
7. Dad On Holiday But Make It Fashion
Talking of normcore, dad-style, a member of our Brighton store shoes you how to make the trend work for warmer days! Shop our men's city break edit here.
8. Dramatic Glamour
One of our favourite Met Gala looks of this year, Lily Collins pulled out all the stops in this vintage-inspired frilled gown with 60s bouffant and makeup. Definitely one to recreate asap!
9. Rock 'n' Rolla
Coloured vintage jeans styled two ways. A simple but effective way to work your vintage pieces.
10. Suave Seventies
A superb 70s throwback look and so simple to create- you probably have a vintage roll neck and pinstripe trousers in your wardrobe already!
11. Disney Dreaming
We absolutely love this fun 90s style- the Mickey Mouse patch is just the icing on the cake. You can shop our selection of vintage Disney clothing here!
12. Denim Chic
Kendall Jenner rocking both the work-wear and double denim trends all in one go. We love this simple and chic 70s inspired look.
13. Mint Madness
A swingin' 60s look by one of our Dalston store team. Minty perfection! Don't forget you can shop all of our true vintage pieces by decade online!
14. Classic Cowboy
Last but by no means least, Lil Nas X has us all embracing yeehaw culture with his vintage-looking Western outfits. Even if you don't have a cowboy hat from Gucci you can still get some Wrangler on your booty by shopping our branded denim selection here.
Feeling inspired? Head over to our online store to find the freshest selection of vintage pieces hand-picked just for us; or if you want a little bit more style inspiration why not check out our blog where you can see how to wear double denim, how to do monochromatic dressing or read up on what fashion in the 1970s was like.