You have the James Dean haircut, the Lucky Strikes, but there is one problem left; how do you dress for the retro attitude? Well, with a little time and some web surfing you should be able to find exactly what you need to fit your retro style.
First things first, the bare bones basics. Basically those ironic saying t-shirts are out no questions asked, even the ones that have some retro-ish logo on them. We all know that you bought that shirt at Macy’s and that the design isn’t really fading because you wear it so much and it’s so old. Now, if you can actually go out and find a shirt that was made back in your retro decade of choice that changes everything… or at least makes it more acceptable. Depending on what look you’re going for, bowling shirts tend to give off a cool retro vibe (they also give off a Charlie Sheen vibe but that is forgivable). The same basic rules go for jeans. Pre-stressed jeans just don’t make sense to this humble writer. It is like buying a new car… that already has 100,000 miles on the engine and body. Half the fun of having the perfect pair of pants is wearing them in yourself, and the retro guy knows that. The last things to really comprise the basics are shoes. Again, these really depend on your personal look. I would always recommend leather boots, they go great with jeans and jacket. Other than that, All Stars and Converse sneakers have a nice retro feel to them… as do any shoes that follow in that style.
Next up from the basics are the accessories. Let’s start off with jackets. As mentioned in a different retro look article, leather bomber jackets are always a good choice for the retro man. Basically, the military look never goes out of style. However, the ‘members only’ look did go out of style, and it will stay there; so, no leave that jacket at home. Better yet, give it to Salvation Army, just get rid of it. Anyway… back to the bomber jacket, always go with brown leather. Brown will match more clothing items than black, and manages to stay edgy and casual all at once. Sunglasses are an essential part of any look, and the retro vibe is no different. The pseudo-military aviators work really well here. As mentioned before, military is always cool, and the best part of aviators is they will look good on pretty much any shaped face. If you want to stray from this look the general rule is that square heads work best with round frames, and round heads work best with square frames. For jewelry, remember to KISS. Keep It Super Simple that is. Maybe a stainless steel ring, a watch with a simple face, and a necklace with a good story behind it. But be careful with jewelry, the retro guy isn’t flashy or pretentious he is subtle and understated.
When the retro guy wants to dress up for a fancy event, he does so in a style that is truly all his own. Okay, maybe he fits in more or less with the rest of the crowd, but there are subtle hints that he has more going on. For example, it may cost more, but the retro guy knows a well-tailored jacket makes the difference between looking like Bond, and looking like Chaplain’s Tramp. Additionally, cuff links create a nice little sparkle at the wrist to set the retro man out in a crowd. And hey, if the it’s the right kind of event and you think you can pull it off, go for the fedora, classic cool.
For now, that is about it for a guide to looking retro. Always remember, it is the man who makes the clothes, not the clothes that make the man.