Second Time Around: Old School Fashion Trends Revisited for Spring 2014

Items from old school fashion archives are back in vogue this season. The following ten trends include some of the most wearable old school revivals to see you through the warmer months to come.

It seems to happen every season: A trend emerges that makes you wish you had held on to that old pair of bellbottoms, that chunky pair of 1990s Doc Martens, or the vintage 1960s shift dress that hung in your wardrobe for ages. In a way, fashion seems to be the ultimate renewable resource, what with the rapid rate of speed at which trends appear to recycle over and over into newer, more refined versions of their former selves.

This season, fashion lovers everywhere may feel inspired to dig into the back of their wardrobes and see what treasures can be unearthed. The following ten items are all enjoying a renewed surge in popularity, and are a great place to start for anyone looking to get in on the trend.

#1 Slip Dresses


If you were to rip a page straight out of the 1990s playbook, there would inevitably be a reference to the simplicity of the slip dress. Simple and elegant silky spaghetti strap columns were seen both on the Max Mara and DKNY runways, are infinitely wearable, and despite seemingly not having changed a bit from their former permutations, still look fresh and modern.

#2 Cross Body Bags


Popular in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, the cross body bag is being welcomed back into the fashion vernacular by hordes of women exhausted from lifting their oversized “it” bags for the past decade and a half. Our backs are already thanking us.

#3 Fuller, Midi-Length Skirts

These über-feminine skirts are reminiscent of the dress codes from the 1950s, but reinvented with a more casual ease and a bit of whimsy. Pair yours with brogues, sneakers, or a leather biker jacket to keep it modern.

#4 Creepers/Flatforms


That so-ugly-it’s-chic shoe is back on the scene: the sneakers with the 3-inch thick sole, the dual-colour Doc Martens with the lug platforms, they have been all over the street style blogs of late.  These shoes are another ‘90s revival; you may have even had a pair of these the first time around – but will you be brave enough to wear them again?

#5 Ear Cuffs


This trend reaches back to the ‘80s for inspiration, and pushes the envelope even farther this time. The result is that there are some truly spectacular pieces of jewellery out there; everything from angels’ wings that rise up to cover the entire ear to delicate and intricate florals that climb gently as if on an invisible trellis. If you are into statement-making jewellery, this is one you will not want to miss.

#6 Mesh

Another 90s throwback, mesh was all over the Spring 2014 runways. Everyone from Milly to Vera Wang threw their hand in on this trend. This time around, the look is less about illusion netting, and more sports-inspired.

#7 Power Suits

Think ‘80s coordinated power suit but with a twist. The new versions are more deconstructed, less shoulder-padded, and all-around edgier. If the thought of a power suit intimidates you, try one in a soft natural or pastel colour.

#8 Block Heels


The squared-off sensibilities of this ‘90s inspired classic is back. Look for platform sandals with gladiator-inspired touches, and pair them with something feminine like your full midi skirt to really keep it looking modern.

#9 Bucket Bags

The popular ‘90s shape is back again, and in a variety of fabrications. Look for luxe versions with embellishments from Louis Vuitton, or classics with a twist in supple leather from 3.1 Philip Lim.

#10 Pop Art Prints

Not since the ‘80s have we seen such an abundance of art-inspired pieces on the runway. Most notably this season was Miuccia Prada’s collection of mural art face bags, which have already been causing a sensation with fashion editors everywhere. This time, the bold prints and statement-making colour is less of a literal interpretation of the art that inspires it, and more about creating a cohesive statement.

Although heavily influenced by the ‘90s, this spring has ushered-in trends from a variety of style decades. The result of this is a newfound ability to create a unique statement that while may be inspired by what has come before, still manages to look completely modern.

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About the author

Kristin Buchholz-MacKillop

Kristin is an American writer based in the Scottish Highlands. She is a saxophonist, an obsessive tennis player, a U.S. Air Force Veteran, and holds a Master's degree as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. She is the author of the online style blog

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