Hawaiian Shirts Guide

Hawaiian Shirts Guide

The Hawaiian shirt is a true vintage classic, an iconic look that has lasted through the decades and is now a staple in the summer style staples. Whether you’re inspired by a retro film or your uncle’s holiday style, there’s no doubt that its influence is everywhere in fashion. So we’ve decided to delve into the history of this iconic shirt, from its origins to the big pop culture moments that have kept the Hawaiian shirt back to the forefront of men’s fashion.

The Origin of the Hawaiian Shirt

Even though Hawaii was self-governed in the 1880s there was still a massive presence of US-run businesses. Seeking cheap labour, American business owners recruited from all corners of the world, from China, Korea and Portugal, but most importantly to the Aloha shirt, Japanese immigrants. 

Why was this important?

Aloha shirts have strong Japanese roots as these immigrants often brought with them bright kimono fabrics. Filipino and Chinese immigrants also play a role by bringing barong talongs, a type of traditional untucked shirt, and multicoloured silks.

These foreign influences, paired with Hawaiian native Kapa cloth clothes, were instrumental in creating the Hawaiian shirt.

Fast forward to the 1920s where Gordon Young, a student at the University of Hawaii, worked with his mother’s dressmaker to create a ‘pre-aloha shirt’. Using Japanese Yutaka cloth, known to be used by Japanese women for work kimonos. Patterns included blue or black bamboo and geometric designs on white backgrounds. Soon enough, these became popular with his classmates in Hawaii. Young later attended the University of Washington, bringing his shirts with him, turning heads aplenty and sparking a lot of fashion debate.

It wasn’t until the 30s that the Aloha shirt really started to increase in popularity. The key to this was Ellery Chun, a local businessman who had just graduated from Yale in 1931. He transformed a Chinese dry goods shop into the first mass producer of Hawaiian shirts, coining the term “Aloha-shirts” and making them a must-have of Honolulu.


The Mass production of Hawaiian Shirts

Shortly after, Hawaiian shirts went into mass production. Alfred Shaheen was at the forefront of this, during the 50s his textile company ‘Shaheen’s of Honolulu’ was the largest producing Hawaiian shirts in Hawaii. Aloha shirts for men were his big speciality, but his range also included sarong dresses for women, the first of their kind being made in large-scale. As sales boomed, Shaheen hired teams of artists to design new motifs for fabrics, with artists experimenting with prints and producing non-traditional coconut tree’s, oriental fish and surfers.

Other big names such a Kamehameha and Duke Kahanamoku, as well as Shaheen’s of Honolulu, helped turn the Hawaiian shirt from a novelty tourist item into a commercially traded product.

Our 6 Favourite Hawaiian Shirt Moments In Pop Culture

From Here to Eternity, 1953.

Hollywood in the 50s really embraced the shirt. Shaheen was big on celebrity endorsement, encouraging all the biggest Hollywood stars to wear his pieces, helping them break through to more mainstream fashion in America. They became immortalised on the silver screen with Frank Sinatra, Ernest Borgnine, Montgomery Clift, and Burt Lancaster all wearing them in the 1953 movie classic, “From Here to Eternity.” making them a staple in movie fashion history.

Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii, 1961.

Elvis was THE style icon of his time, breaking boundaries in men's fashion throughout his career, capturing the imagination of the world. When the King of Rock n Roll starred in Blue Hawaii, he was the perfect model for Shaheen’s Hawaiian Shirts. Coupled with an iconic soundtrack and set in paradise, Elvis made the Hawaiian shirt the perfect item for a summer holiday on the beach.

Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I., 1980-1988.

This American crime drama set in Hawaiian became an overnight success, ranking in the top 20 TV shows in the US for most of the 80s. As the key character, Tom Selleck’s stardom exploded, and his relaxed summer style featuring multiple Hawaiian shirts in a dazzling array of colours and prints, along with short shorts, baseball caps and accessorised with lots of chest hair and a giant tash, became one of the most recognisable looks of the decade.

Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, 1994.

Just when you thought the Hawaiian shirt’s loud colours had been left in the 80s, the outlandish comedian Jim Carrey somehow brings it back for his bizarre character in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Not the most obvious source of style inspo, Carrey works an open Hawaiian shirt over a white t-shirt and flashy trousers making it modern, fun and wonderfully weird.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Romeo + Juliet, 1996.

This was quite possibly the best film of the 90s, with Baz Luhrmann adapting William Shakespeare’s classic without changing the language, but updating the location, music and style, taking it to dizzying heights of cool. Leonardo DiCaprio cemented his 90s heartthrob status for life in this film, and his beautiful collection of Hawaiian shirts, also worn by his crew The Montagues, showcase how to make this look effortlessly cool.

Johnny Depp, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 1998.

A modern classic, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a trippy adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s American Dream novel that became a cult hit. Johnny Depp took his wardrobe into his own hands, managing to get a hand on items that really did belong to Thompson himself, including his iconic Hawaiian shirts. This bad boy take on the relaxed summer look was combined with hazy yellow sunglasses, bucket hats and converse, perfect for an endless, potentially trippy, summer.


How to style a Hawaiian shirt

Feeling inspired by our top classic Hawaiian shirt moments? We've chosen 3 easy styles perfect for everyday wear whether your off on holiday, having a weekend at a festival or just hanging out with your mates.


Hit the beach in a classic Hawaiian shirt and add some fresh colours to your holiday wardrobe. Whether you're looking for scenic beach prints, palm leaf patterns or a novelty parrot motif, we have a Hawaiian shirt for every occasion. Style with beach trunks or shorts for an easy breezy look to handle the heat.

Festival Ready

Shop bold Hawaiian print perfect for a summer full of festivals. Layer over your favourite vintage t-shirt to put your own style stamp on this classic look. Don’t forget your favourite 90s sunnies to hide tired eyes!

Skater Street Style

This low key look is perfect for a weekend in the city, at the skate park or the pub. Pair with your trusty old pair of Vans and jeans and you’ve got a great look for day to night.

Already got your vintage Hawaiian shirt but it needs some TLC? Check out our vintage care guide to sewing a button to help you keep your item for longer!

A Guide to 1970s Vintage Dresses

A Guide to 1970s Vintage Dresses

Always wanted to know more about this iconic era? Delve into the 70s with us and see how this decade's style STILL inspires us today, and how the power of the past can still influence our future. With graphics, florals, prairie, lurex and more, you'll be a pro at spotting a 70s dress in no time, and learn from all the original vintage style icons how to nail 70s style, and how to update the look for today. 

Dress Styles of the 1970s

- As the 60s gave way to a new decade, Emilio Pucci’s graphic, floating florals in earthy tones captured the new mood. Floaty and full ‘bell’ sleeves took prominence.

Victorian  and Edwardian influenced prairie dresses in sweet pastels dresses hung from under the bust to define the new ‘Empire line’ shape. Floaty and full ‘bell’ sleeves took centre stage.

Beyond Retro Guide to 1970s Vintage Dresses

- Hems dropped to ‘midi’ calf and then ‘maxi’ ankle lengths.

Ozzie Clarke and Celia Birtwell’s designs exploded in limes, cobalts and oranges. Flattering bias cut floor length 1930s inspired shapes hugged each curve.

- The development of more affordable metallic, lurex fabrics perfectly ushered in a longer silhouette to dresses as the opulence and hedonism of disco drew the 70s to a close. 

Beyond Retro Guide to 1970s Vintage Dresses


70s Icons!

Nina Simone
A huge proponent of the black civil rights movement as the 70’s dawned, both in her music and her life, Nina was a fearless style icon. Mixing the prints and shapes of the day with incredible native African headwear, she took black iconography to new heights.


Beyond Retro Guide to 1970s Vintage Dresses Nina Simone

Stevie Nicks
As Fleetwood Mac became one of the most popular bands in the world, Stevie’s long hair and flighty dresses were a perfect match for the free flowing liberation she showed onstage. Still an incredible influence to many, her ability to seamlessly accessorise with top-hats and long scarves elevated her dresses to an ethereal plain.  


Beyond Retro Guide to 1970s Vintage Dresses Stevie Nicks


Jerry Hall
That party girl/actress/model Jerry Hall dated two of the biggest rock stars of the 70s is in no small part due to her incredible agility in harnessing her sultry statuesque figure in the most sensuous dresses of the day. Maxi lengths of the 70’s were perfect for her endless legs and height.


Beyond Retro Guide to 1970s Vintage Dresses Jerri Hall


Bianca Jagger
After her legendary entrance into Studio 54 on horseback, jet-setting Nicaraguan socialite and former actress Bianca was a true proponent of sizzling 70s fashion, equally at home in a floaty gown as she was in sequins. 


Beyond Retro Guide to 1970s Vintage Dresses Bianca Jagger


Diana Ross
Shrugging off The Supremes in 1970 Diana became a style icon in her own right throughout the decade. Draped in bias cut 30’s inspired satins, dramatic maribou and sometimes even Elton John, her tall slender frame was perfect for the new shapes the decade brought. Her status as disco diva at the end of the decade brought her to a new audience.

 Beyond Retro Guide to 1970s Vintage Dresses Diana Ross


How to wear 70s style now
- Pick out those wild psychedelic prints to match with trainers, heavy boots or even comfy, cute jellies for the beach!
- Let those winged, bell sleeves float with a pair of leg winding espadrilles, wedges or platforms. Great for bigger frames or set it off with a brown belt for nipped waists.
- Use the satin goodness of those 70s  dresses to elevate those newly permitted nights out to the pub! Dance your night away like Diana!
- Pair those fab 70s dresses with a velvet jacket or faux fur suede for those cooler autumn days.


Want to learn more about iconic vintage dresses? Check out Our Guide to 60s dresses and Our Guide to 50s dresses here! 

Lockdown Looks

Lockdown Looks

Who else is completely frazzled by lockdown? It’s completely understandable, 2020 has done enough to us all, no wonder it’s going to impact on how we dress as well! Whether you're still working hard and keeping the world turning, or sitting at home trying to keep your world from turning around, we’ve come up with some looks to give you a hand with it all.

Working From Home

Beyond Retro Lockdown Looks Sweatervests


Let's be real, Zoom meetings don’t need to know what you're wearing on your bottom half, or if you haven't changed your pajama bottoms in a couple of days. That’s just between you and your socially distanced delivery person. 

For optimum comfort and professionalism you might wanna go for a pair of elasticated tracksuit bottoms, a shirt and maybe a sweater vest and that’s an outfit you won't be embarrassed to show your deliveroo driver!

Disco Infurlough

Beyond Retro Lockdown Looks Party Dress


Does every room in your house sparkle from constant boredom cleaning? Then it’s time for you to sparkle too! We all have a special outfit in our wardrobes that we’ve never quite had the grand enough occasion for, well now is the time to put it on, grand occasion or not! 

Put on your best sparkles and do your own karaoke in the kitchen, use your broom as a mic stand. Or take out the bin bags and make your neighbours jealous. Or even just take some cute selfies to post and pretend like the world is normal.

Even though the days are darker and so is the world, we all deserve to sparkle and shine!

The Socially Distanced Walk

Beyond Retro Coats


This look is all about layers. You want to show off all of your amazing drunken late night purchases at once, with the added benefit of becoming impenetrable to not only the cold but all those germs. Plus the bigger the layers, the easier it is to distance yourself from others. 

You can go for 00s style dresses and skirts over jeans, or your new rad t shirt over a hoodie. These obviously have to be paired with your most ostentatious coat over the top, the fluffier and brighter the better.

Or go for the historical Balenciaga AW 2018 multi layer coat look and pay tribute to the OG king of layers, Joey from Friends.

Daily Exercise

Beyond Retro Sportswear


If you're missing the gym or you’ve decided that this time off is the perfect time to become the ultimate master yogi we’re freshly stocked with all of the sports brands that’ll make it look like you know what you're doing. Unfortunately we don’t have any sports injury supplies in stock for the next day when it’s feeling apparent that you didn’t know what you’re doing.

Luxe Lounger

Beyond Retro Lockdown Looks


It doesn’t all have to be tracksuits and fluffy dressing gowns. Sometimes you need a hint of luxury in your life. Mix things up with a silk slip dress or some 60s tulle night wear or walk around your lounge with a glorious kimono billowing behind you and pour yourself a glass of the second cheapest wine Tesco has to offer. 

00s style in 2020

00s style in 2020

We all know that fashion is pretty circular, everyone loves to revisit trends of the past and put a modern twist on it, from 70s flares, to 50s skirts to 60s colourful patterns.  But who knew that the 00s would already be coming back around this soon?

Everywhere you look it’s pretty apparent that the 00s are back and there’s not much that can be done to stop the storm of Ugg boots and low-rise jeans coming towards you.

Here are some of our fave trends that we can bring into this decade without looking like a Disney star on the red carpet **cough Ashley Tisdale cough**


00a fashion Beyond Retro


Velour Tracksuits

The absolute height of both style and comfort. If your bum didn’t have Juicy written on it, who even where you?

We can thank Paris Hilton for helping merge the words of comfort style and glamour. The ultimate face of velour tracksuits. And you can thank brands like Vetements and Namilia for bringing us the modern versions.

If you want to update this style nowadays go for a pair of high waisted and wide tracksuit bottoms and a cropped velour hoodie and some chunky trainers.


00s fashion miniskirts Beyond Retro


Micro mini skirts

Has anyone ever said to you “That’s not a skirt! That’s a belt!”? Then you know how to properly rock these skirts. After all the saying is, good things come in small packages, so these skirts are clearly great.

How do you wear them you ask? With a vest top that is 3 sizes too small obviously. Add lots of belts, some knee high boots and a baker boy hat and you’ve got it nailed.


Tiny Bags

If you thought the skirts in the 00s were small, then you should check out the bags. The smaller the better and the more emblazoned with a designer logo the better.

While these bags were big enough to keep your phone and Lancome Juicy Tube Lip Gloss in, the bags these days seem to have gotten even smaller! Check out the cultish Jacquemus offerings where all you could fit are your loose change.

Tiny Bags 00s Fashion Beyond Retro

Dresses over jeans

This one is tenuous and the idea of it brings a lot of fear to people. But wearing a dress over jeans doesn’t have to look heinous! Bring the look to the present by wearing a mini dress that you would have previously thought was too short over a pair of boot cut trousers or plain jeans.

Cargo pants

Always forget where your phone or keys are? No problem! They’ll be in your pockets! 

These trousers are the height of practicality, especially considering the usual size of the pockets on women's trousers. You can keep all your essentials close and handy or you can use it to keep multiple snacks or other fun things, as well as looking cool.

Handkerchief Hems

These hems don’t know what they’re doing, they go here there and everywhere! But they look so good billowing in the wind, making you seem like the ultimate main character.

00a Fashion Beyond Retro

Nice top and jeans

We miss the days when the go to response when asked ‘what are you wearing tonight’ was always a nice top and jeans. These had to be some sort of strappy halter top and low rise bootcut jeans though obviously.

Nowadays the going out top is still going strong but the way it’s worn has changed mainly to high rise jeans or the plethora of trouser cut options that there are. We love mixing the nice top and jeans idea with an elegant 80’s silk blouse and some leather trousers if you're not up for the bootcut jeans and strappy shrunken tops.


Green Friday: Black Friday but better

Green Friday: Black Friday but better

So, its almost that time of year again. The time that has led to stampedes on the high streets, websites crashing and more consumer chaos, all for the joy of a bargain. Its now part of our shopping mindset, BUT, it is possible to still nab bargains and make a positive impact. Because if that's not what 2020 is about, we'll go back to our lockdown nap...

Here are some easy tips to follow to make your Black Friday more GREEN this year <3

Beyond Retro Green Friday


Think Big, Shop Small

2020 has hit a lot of businesses hard, and its been incredible to see how much customers want to support the companies they care about (sidebar, we've really REALLY appreciated it, tysm). Make a list of all the small, independent places you like to shop and check them out for Black Friday. If you're not sure about a company's background, check out their about us to learn more about their ethos, their product and their values. If it speaks to you, then keep them going by making a purchase. We all need the support and you get something special for yourself in the process! Win win.


Beyond Retro Green Friday Shop Small


Make a list, check it twice

Planning what you need sounds veeery simple, but think about how easily swayed we all are by a bargain or panic buying something last minute for a loved one? Also how much has utterly random shopping been fuelled by boredom in lockdown? Now that you might have some spare time,try to do your research in advance and think about what you want to get. Remember, buying something you don't actually need is NEVER a good deal, this isn’t The Price is Right, you have no use for a jetski in Kent.


Beyond Retro Green Friday

Shop sustainable and help save the planet

Grabbing a bargain from a sustainable company means you'll help keep a business going that's doing good for the environment, and if 2020 has proved anything, its that we need to give some love back to Mother Nature. Plus, you get a real feel good factor for saving something from landfill and filling your world with recycled goodies, trust us. Check out our blog on great brands to satisfy your sustainable sale needs.

Beyond Retro Green Friday Shop Sustainable

Support a charity

So many companies are choosing Black Friday as time to give back. Or use the discounts as an opportunity to buy a gift and donate it, like to Samaritans Operation Christmas Child or Toys  for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Or check out Choose Love, that have a site which sells real products for refugees.

Beyond Retro Green Friday

A Guide to 1960s Vintage Dresses

A Guide to 1960s Vintage Dresses

Learn all about the era that brought us the iconic mini dress, Twiggy and more, and how to refresh a the swinging 60s look for today. 

Dresses through past decades have inspired us and empowered us. Yet we can still wear them in a modern way and mix the styles of the past with newer items to keep their magic alive. If history has taught us anything it’s that fashion is a never ending cycle. So lets delve into the next era, the 60s, and learn about the decade with change like no other. 

Bored with dressing like their parents and with more money in their pockets than ever before due to a booming economy, a ‘Youthquake’ came as no surprise. 


Beyond Retro 1960s Vintage Dress Guide


Dress Styles of the 1960s

- Up came the hems of mini (and micro mini!) skirts in a wave of shock and awe. Bright pop coloured fabrics burnt the eyes of all that spied them.

- Op and Pop art from artists like Bridget Riley and Andy Warhol influenced dress prints with their mindbending properties.


Beyond Retro 1960s Vintage Dress Guide


- Huge political and social advances in civil rights (with Angela Davis leading the black cause) space travel, drugs and youth economics created a decade of massive change which directly affected fashion as the 60s wore on.

- The Pop art minidresses of Mary Quant and the interstellar shapes of Courreges and Pierre Cardin morphed into Barbara Hulaniki’s floaty psychedelics of Biba towards the end of the decade.


Beyond Retro 1960s Vintage Dress Guide

- Cheaper technologies in manmade fabrics like nylon and polyester guaranteed a riot of acid non fade colours.

- The popularisation of sheath style evening cocktail dresses kept silhouettes both tight, curvy and waisted and full to suit all shapes.


Dress icons of the 60s

Brigitte Bardot
Whether walking in the rain, cleaning the sink or modelling a Harley, this groovy French actress/singer was the iconic embodiment of 60’s playfulness. Check out her amazing vocal talents on Contact and Harley Davidson. She wore her dresses as short as her hair was long. Unabashed, unapologetic and oozing with sex appeal.

 Beyond Retro 1960s Vintage Dress Guide Brigitte Bardot


Queen of the mods, little Lesley Lawson, AKA Twiggy because of her wiry frame, typified the new youth explosion of colour and shapes. For designers of the time, her slim frame and innocent youth were the perfect features on which hang their mind blowing acid creations.She even had her own fashion and beauty lines! A true icon.


Beyond Retro 1960s Vintage Dress Guide Twiggy


Aretha Franklin
Not only had Aretha cemented herself as the Goddess of Sixties soul. She also typified the youthful energy and colour of the era in the wonderful dresses she chose, ruling wardrobes as well record sales. A perfect heroine for a disenfranchised black youth of the day. 


Beyond Retro 1960s Vintage Dress Guide Aretha Franklin


Audrey Hepburn
 Hepburn’s appearance in Breakfast At Tiffany’s highlighted some of the finest formal shapes of the 60s. Her long sleek fitted iconic evening dress was probably the most famous of the era.


Beyond Retro 1960s Vintage Dress Guide Audrey Hepburn

How to wear 60s dresses today

- Hunt out our short 60s cuties and wear them over fishnets for a great modern take.
- Pull out those DM’s and 60s baby doll nighties for summer days like Courtney Love. Too feminine? Add some studs to tone it down.
- Look to modern Madmen pinup Joan Holloway for ideal ways to wear those red hot 60s cocktail creations. Mess it up with a massive pair of black motorcycle boots! Or add some comfy femme with a simple pair of ballerina flats for a night on the town.


Want to learn more about iconic vintage dresses? Check out Our Guide to 60s dresses and Our Guide to 50s dresses here! 


A Guide to 1950s Vintage Dresses

A Guide to 1950s Vintage Dresses

Why are we still so in love with vintage dresses?!
Dresses through past decades have inspired us and empowered us.  Their power to turn heads never fails us. From the bum freezing lengths of the 60s to the sparkling floor sweepers of the 70s these dresses captured the moods of their time perfectly.

Yet we can still wear them in a modern way and mix the styles of the past with newer items to keep their magic alive.  If history has taught us anything it’s that fashion is a never ending cycle.  So here is our first of our favourite decades, the 1950s, and why their iconic dresses have etched themselves indelibly on our consciousness.

Beyond Retro Vintage 1950s Dress Guide Pattern

Dresses styles of the 1950s 
The 50s offered a world free of the pressures of war and with the end of clothes rationing came the opportunity to create new and exciting silhouettes 
- Tight, high waists were reinvented and hems dropped well below the knee into voluminous, free flowing dresses. 

Beyond Retro 1950s Dress Guide

- Bright playful hard wearing cotton prints added a new joy to day dresses that flattered all sizes. Lancashire’s Horrockses print mills designed some of the most desirable fabrics around.
Wiggle dresses poured round 50s shapes to create a silhouette that appeared moulded to feminine curves.
- Endless layers of soft tulle created wonderful spaghetti strapped and strapless prom dresses in delicious pastel colours. Perfect for being swept around the floor at ever more popular formal dances.

Beyond Retro 1950s Vintage Dress Guide Wiggle Dresses
5 dress icons of the 1950s

Queen of the halterneck, Marilyn personified the power of a full skirt when she dropped a billion jaws in her infamous street vent scene in The 7 Year Itch.
Beyond Retro 1950s Dress Guide Marilyn Monroe
Jayne Mansfield.
Wiggling into the silver screen for the first time in 1957, Jayne Mansfield set hearts racing in the Little Richard scored The Girl Can’t Help It. Here’s one example of her ability to master every 1950s style dress.
Beyond Retro Vintage 1950s Dress Guide Jayne Mansfield

‘The New Look’. The shape that kickstarted a literal revolution. Britons took to the papers to complain about the flagrant use of fabrics when they were still observing clothes rationing. It mattered little. Richard Avedon’s images of these groundbreaking hourglass figures instantly inspired desire and envy into every woman who saw them. They still do.

Beyond Retro 1950s Vintage Dress Guide Dior New Look

Sophia loren
This Italian beauty knew how to carry the strappy 1950s style dress with unrivalled grace. We also love this picture of her hirsute underarms and powerful sexuality. Strong and unapologetic.
Beyond Retro 1950s Vintage Dress Guide Sophia Loren
Billie Holiday
One of the most talented LGBTQ+ women of colour, Billie looked amazing always. Her formal, promlike dresses and her worldwide visibility inspired a whole generation of black youth.
Beyond Retro 1950s Vintage Dress Guide Billie Holiday
How to wear 1950s style dresses now.
- Light and airy 50s wrapover and halter style dresses are a perfect choice for hot summer months.
- Team them with comfy sandals for the park or a pair of DMs to add a punch.
- Add a washed out denim jacket to those prom fancies like Agyness Dean
- Lily Allen is always there to remind us that vintage 1950’s dress confections still look cute with a pair of box-fresh Nike Air Max.

Want to learn more about iconic vintage dresses? Check out Our Guide to 60s dresses and Our Guide to 70s dresses here

Get To Know Nordic Knits

Get To Know Nordic Knits

Winter is in full swing which means we have now entered peak jumper season. Whilst ugly Christmas jumpers are pretty much inescapable, it's classier Nordic knit cousin is a fabulously cosy and way less garish option for those who want to keep warm in style. This is a must-have item for both those into Scandinavian styling and the consistently cold.

nordic knitwear, scandi

The Origin of Nordic Knitwear

The traditional Nordic sweater features a wide decorative pattern around the neckline which is the same all the way around, meaning that you can wear it either way round and it wouldn't make a difference. It's named from the Icelandic lopapeysa from "Lopa" meaning wool and "peysa" translating to the sweater.

What are Nordic jumpers made from?

The real deal is always made from pure Icelandic wool with both inner and outer fibres that originate from sheep bred over 1000 years in sub-Arctic climates. There's nothing else quite like it in the world and anything manufactured else wear is considered a knockoff, the quality texture of the genuine product is both glossy and water resistant.

The Story behind the iconic Nordic pattern

You won't find many bright colours in these cuddly creations as the wool is mostly used in its natural hues: black, brown, grey and white. Although knitting came to Iceland in the mid-sixteenth century, this style of the jumper wasn't adopted until around the 1950's when they became an invented symbol of national identity following the countries' break away from Denmark. It's argued that the pattern draws inspiration from South American, Turkish and Swedish designs.

Norwegian variants of the Winter staple dates as far back as the 1500s and contribute to some of the most popular designs of the sweater to date. These versions of the Nordic sweater tend to be ever so slightly more colourful than their Icelandic counterparts. Two of the most renowned patterns attributed to this style are the setesdal lusekofte and the fana cardigan sweater.

Nordic Knitwear in Popular Culture

Nordic knit sweaters have been popular for Ski holidays since the 1930s. The 1950s saw the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly wearing these knit classic, right through the 1970s where Nordic knitwear became all the fashion for everyday winter wear.

Ingrid Bergman 1940s

The jumper was originally designed by Anna-Lisa Mannheimen around 1940 and the red edge pattern is a signature look from Swedish born actress Ingrid Bergman.

Grace Kelly 1960s

    The ever so chic Princess, and one of the worlds all-time timeless style icons. Seen here in a simple Nordic design cardigan in the late 1960s.

    Prince Charles 1980s

      It’s not every day you call Charles for some style inspo, but this cardigan polo neck combination is a must-have look for winter in a look that screams James Bond ski holiday.  

      Amy Pond in Dr Who 2011

        A modern take on the traditional jumper, and the beginning of the craze of wearing festive knitwear on Christmas day. Amy Pond from Dr Who pulls off a take on a traditional pattern from 1930s ski knitwear.

        Nordic Knitwear We Love

        Nowadays, Nordic and Scandinavian sweater fashions can be seen everywhere from the catwalk to the high street, and everywhere in between. Style them with a pair of high waisted jeans and a sturdy pair of winter boots and you'll have yourself the cosiest ever Winter outfit, ready to tackle the great outside or cuddle up with a book indoors.

        Men's Nordic Jumper

          Vintage Nordic Sweater From Beyond Retro

          Nordic Jumper

          The more traditional men's Nordic jumper isn’t just for a weekend of fishing in the icey scandi countryside, they are the perfect winter warmer and a staple wardrobe piece! Whatever era your style falls under, they are a go-to paired with classic wool-blend trousers and high top Converse for the ultimate daytime look.

          Nordic Cardigan

            Vintage Nordic Cardigan At Beyond Retro

            Nordic Cardigan

            The cosier cousin of the jumper, your cardigan can take any outfit a long way! Go for classic 1960s look and pair yours with a simple polo neck and high waisted capri pants, you can also dress this up for Christmas day and pair with a vintage dress, perfect after Christmas dinner and way too many glasses of Baileys...

            Non-Traditional Jumper

              Vintage Nordic Jumper

              Nordic Jumper

              The bolder the better when it comes to a non-traditional Nordic knit. Great for everyday wear and enough to brighten up anyone’s cold Monday morning. Pair with vintage Levis and ankle boots for a timelessly on trend look.

              Inspired? Read more about the humble Christmas jumper on our ultimate guide and show off your purchased on Instasgram by tagging #beyondretro.

              Blogger @livpurvis in one of our vintage Nordic Knits

              Words Mary Costello
              How to Wear Vintage Leather

              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. 

              Leather Trousers

              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.

              Leather Skirt

              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. 

              Leather Jacket

              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.

              How To Become a Noughties Fashion Icon

              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.

              1. Tracksuits

              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. 

              Addidas Low-Slung Tracksuit. 

              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!

              Micro-Beaded Pouch. 

              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. 

              Silver Chain-mail Halterneck. 


              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! 

              Animal Print Bucket Hat. 

              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! 

              Ivory Cargo Pants. 

              7. Bandannas 

              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. 

              Platform Leather Boots. 

              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

              How To Make 2019 Your Most Sustainable Summer Yet

              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

              Food wraps

              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.

              Eco Glitter in Merry Go Round 


              Ditch face-wipes

              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.

              Solid deodorant

              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!

              Totes Adorbs

              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.

              Top 10 Disney Fashion Moments

              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