Mira Silverwood

23 Vintage Trends Making an Unexpected Comeback

Whether it’s a nostalgic yearning or a practical rediscovery, vintage trends have a habit of circling back to the present day. While some return with a modern twist, others are plucked unscathed from a corner of the 20th century. Whether you love them, hate them, or their comeback has simply shocked you, here are 23 retro trends of the modern moment. 

Polaroid Cameras

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Somewhere in the digital photography timeline, people started getting bored of their crisp images, craving the washed-out look of Polaroid pictures. As well as its distinct style, the Polaroid camera offers a tactile, authentic experience that is hard to find in the digital age.

Flip Phones

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Last popular in the late 1990s, the clunky flip phone is making a comeback, thanks to Gen Z’s obsession with the Y2K trend. Countless TikTok accounts are garnering attention for the authentic clamshell flip phones, much to the surprise of millennials. 

TurnTables

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Like the Polaroid camera effect, vinyl players are seeing a popularity resurgence among Gen Z and millennials. Vinyl collections aren’t just decorative pieces any more, young people are discovering the unique sound of a vinyl record, and paying a high price for their pastel-coloured turntables. 

Bold Wallpaper

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According to interior designers, the bold wallpaper of the 1970s is engulfing homes everywhere in a fit of colour. Loved for its transformative effect, people are using bold wallpaper for a pop of colour, in a similar style to their parent’s childhood homes. 

Pour-Over Coffee

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Keen to take their coffee-brewing skills to the next level, people everywhere are adopting the time-honoured “pour-over” method. Though around for centuries, pour-over coffee has only recently become popular due to the superior flavour it gives a morning brew. 

Regencycore

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The 1970s saw a love for floating prairie dresses that were no doubt inspired by the whimsical 19th-century America. But now, Jane Austen-esque wardrobe choices have a dedicated term: regencycore. Thanks to shows such as Bridgerton, constricting corsets, dainty shoes, and puffed sleeves have made a comeback 

Aviator Sunglasses

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Ray-Ban started advertising their iconic aviator frames in the 1950s, and they immediately took off in the fashion world. Now, aviator sunglasses are back on-trend, from the original bright mirror lenses to softer, tortoise-shell versions. 

Print Magazines

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The survival of print media was on the brink for a while, with most people switching to digitised forms of reading. But thanks partly to the coffee table book trend, print magazines are trendy once again. Big names such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and National Geographic are proving that print magazines are still very much alive.

Holiday Post Cards

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Handwritten communication and the personal connection it brings is making a comeback, particularly in the form of postcards. From minimalist designs to classic vintage beachscapes, postcards are becoming a vacation staple all over again. 

Heatless Curls

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Hair rollers carried women and their bouncy curls through the 20th century, before being replaced by electric models. But in 2021, kitsch-style hair rollers made their TikTok debut, and have been trending ever since. 

Wired Headphones

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While Apple Airpods still reign supreme, wired headphones are becoming cool again among the Gen Z crowd. Older generations rejoiced with the invention of Bluetooth headphones, as it meant they were no longer getting caught up in wires. But now, wired headphones have become a symbol of effortless chic. 

Video Games

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Despite the cutting-edge graphics of today, retro video games are making a nostalgic return, propelled by Netflix shows set in the 1980s. Baby Boomers have been surprised to see their beloved childhood games making a comeback: such as PacMan and the Atari games. 

80s Music

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Nowadays, walking into a trendy bar is like stepping back in time, with familiar tracks by Toto Depeche Mode playing on repeat. Not only are consumers enjoying the synth-pop sound, but artists are also using 80’s music for inspiration

Book Clubs

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Connecting through literature is nothing new, and book clubs are just as popular now as they were in the previous century. Since Covid 19, digital meetings have taken off, with many book clubs meeting online for convenience. 

TypeWriters

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Today’s young people, who grew up with nothing but smartphones and computers, are being drawn to the old-fashioned charm of typewriters. Now available in fun pastel colors and miniature sizes, people are once again tapping away at typewriters, or using them as decorative pieces. 

Embroidery

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Once a way for housewives to pass the time, embroidery was forgotten about for some decades, replaced by easier ways to adorn our clothes. Now, embroidery is weaving its way into fashion trends, driven by young people wanting to make their clothing more unique. 

Pickling

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From tangy cucumbers to sauerkraut and kimchi, the pickling craze is well and truly back. Once the best way to preserve produce, pickled foods have become popular again for their punchy flavours. 

Velvet Furniture

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Velvet furniture was a staple of fashionable houses in the 1970s, and after a brief intermission, it’s back as the hottest home decor craze. This luxurious fabric comes in an array of colours to match every style. 

Checkerboard Tiles

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This classic interior trend was all the rage in the 1960s, but checkerboard tiles were soon replaced in favour of neutral flooring. Thanks to celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and famous interior designers, checkerboard patterns are adorning kitchen floors across the world.

All-Denim Outfits

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Denim is a timeless fabric in constant circulation, but the ways people wear it are always changing. All-denim outfits were popular in the previous century, and after a time of being considered unfashionable, double denim is back. 

Wet Shaving With A Safety Razor

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After being shot down by technology, wet shaving has made a stylish comeback, with the market reaching a value of 18.56 billion dollars in 2023. Years of enduring shaving burns from electric razors have caused men everywhere to opt for a more soothing, wet shave. 

Martinis

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After their heyday in the 80s and 90s, martinis suffered a popularity drop and trendier cocktails took centre stage. But after years of wine and beer, people are going back to the chic experience offered by a gin or vodka martini. 

Calligraphy

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As one of the oldest forms of writing, calligraphy has been around in many forms across the centuries. It remained popular until the rise of technology, with digital forms of writing quick to replace this ancient art form. That was until people brought it back, keen to adopt a new creative outlet.

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