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Retro Guide for the Modern Lover

August 23, 2012 | Scott

As you can probably tell we here at Balcony love all things retro from T shirts to glasses and pretty much anything we can get our hands on. There are many pitfalls when dealing with retro styles, what makes something a retro classic and what makes something a little try hard? We at Balcony are on hand to help you make the right choices and look like a retro king rather than an extra from Starsky and Hutch.

First things First

What does this word retro mean that is so often bandied about when clothes and music are concerned? Stemming from the Latin word retro meaning backwards, looking back towards the past nostalgically or to mean something moving backwards.

Vintage clothing is different from retro in that it is the clothes that were worn first time around, environmentally sound but unfortunately not much choice size wise and let’s be honest sometimes that fusty smell just wont go away. Enter retro, made from modern fabrics and designed with the modern retro lover in mind they can embrace all decades and all sizes.

Decades and Decades

Retro clothing is about embracing the culture and lifestyle of the past and bringing that free spirited feel to the 00’s. People who indulge in retro fashion do it on a scale of commitment, from a head to toe look through to a pair of wayfarers. Most retro lovers have a specific decade that they associate with the most whether it is the bell bottomed jeans of the 1970’s or the full skirts of the 1950’s there is a time that best compliments your style.

From the t shirt front the classic designs span from the 1960’s onwards with a particular nod towards the 70’s plus our era and personal favourite the 80’s. The invention of computer games and other great landmarks in history can be remembered with great enthusiasm and great t shirts.

Retro attire is not only about the clothes it spans all accessories too including watches wallets and of course footwear, there have been some classic styles of footwear over the last century.

Clothing with Humour

Here at Balcony we believe that all clothing should have some element of humour to it to make it a truly great item of clothing. We like our clothing interesting rather than fashionable and cool rather than in vogue. This is the essence of retro clothing and fashion, so something might not be your cup of tea but the person next to you might have always wanted a red snakeskin pair of cowboy boots and who are we to judge. Actually that person might be one of us clears throat….

Retro Accessories

Sunnies are the ultimate accessory we think, they are practical and have the ability to make anyone look cool. Here at Balcony we stock all your sunglasses needs and are proud of both our men’s and women’s styles. The style leading the way has to be the aviator, these sunglasses have had a major revival in the recent years placing them firmly back into the cool books.

Wayfarers have become the staple eye candy in the last few years with celebrities and us regular Joe’s wearing them in a whole rainbow of colours and the geek chic clear lenses that will bring a certain Buddy Holly element to your wardrobe. For the girls there are classic 50’s style cats eye glasses last seen on Patty in Grease and Marilyn Monroe.

Watches for both men and women – we love a good digital watch (who doesn’t?) and have endeavoured to bring the 80’s to the 00’s with a great range of digital Casio watches, who were the daddy of the ultimate digital watch. Everyone needs a calculator on their watch well that is certainly how we felt when we were are school, can remember writing rude words on them in assembly and giggling to ourselves. Of course we don’t do that now, far too mature and grown up, now, how did it go?

Of course shoes are essential but why not go retro with such great companies such as Nanny State who specialise in gym type shoes and trainers from the 80’s. Gola have made some truly classic trainers in Plimsoles style and acid brights. If you are more of mod than a rocker then Ikon footwear is the ideal finish to your outfit, their loafers and 60’s styled brown shoes are well made and have that classic retro look.

For the girls it doesn’t get more retro than Babysham, once a slightly alcoholic fizzy drink now a fashion range with the classic deer logo splashed all across its collection. Or bring back those school days with the classic Dunlop green flash trainers, luckily no need to wear those interesting giant gym knickers, unless you want to of course!

Go Forth and Retroply

Might have slightly made up a word there but we like it, the question is are you a retro follower of fashion or a pioneer finding eccentric pieces from the past and dragging them into the 00’s with style and bringing envy to those who wish they had thought of that. Our top picks we are hoping someone will have the guts to bring back are knee high white boots, crushed velvet jumpsuits, perms and powder blue bell bottomed suits oh and that fashion icon of all time the mullet, shell suit combination one that will never be rivalled. Now go fourth and find retro fashions to embrace.

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