Sunday, November 25, 2012

Retro to Modern: Mod Style

These days, vintage/retro styles are "in." They're beyond "in," actually. They're "it." Pick a decade and you'll be able to quite easily find clothes, shoes, accessories, home decor- anything, really- in that decade's most popular fashion. It seems that there used to be more drastic swings towards one specific style or decade. These days, there are colors, patterns, silhouettes, etc. all from so many different periods. Pick your favorite. I'm sure you'll find it in your closest department store.

I've always been fascinated with the "Mod" look from the early-to-mid 1960's. I love the color and pattern and the unique shapes of clothes. There was something exuberant about that period, something unashamedly outgoing and fun. From the psychedelic patterns to bold Mondrian-esque color blocking, it was all a feast for the eyes.

The key to wearing mod style today is to make it current, otherwise you'll look like you're wearing a costume. Today I want to focus on two ways to wear mod- shape and color. Avoid mixing these two and you'll stand a better chance of avoiding a costume-y look.

First up: shape. The mini is an iconic element of mod style, as was the shift dress. This dress has a very boxy, almost boyish shape to it. It was a bit contradictory in the way it simultaneously hid and showcased the female body. The curve of the legs contrasts so much against the nearly shapeless dress, but that is what balances the look.  Too long a dress and it becomes matronly, but when worn as a mini, the shift has a lot of sex appeal.

To wear it in a modern way that looks current, not costume-y, stick with a neutral color, or at the very least something solid. If you really need color and print, add some with your accessories, but exercise restraint. It's very easy to verge into looking like an extra from an Austin Powers movie.

Mod: Shape

Mod: Shape by rtboo featuring a zipper bag

The shoe and bag are also indicative of the shapes and styles popular in the early 60's, but they're subtle and complimentary. The shoe has a platform, but the heel is still dainty- in other words, the modern version of the platform shoe. The bag adds a subtle print, but it is far from psychedelic and the colors are muted. See what I mean about restraint? If you can keep yourself reigned in, it will work.

Maybe this isn't enough for you- maybe you want more than just the shape of the pieces you're wearing to evoke the feel of 60's mod. No problem. For you, I suggest the use of color and print. Here are three different Mod-inspired outfits for you:

Mod: Color & Print

From left to right, we have three very current outfits that could be worn today without causing a stir. They are decidedly NOT costume-y in their approach, but they all evoke the exuberance of the period through color and print. The bold pink and purple print would be too much if it were a dress or a coat, but as a top paired with slim pants and bright flats, it's the perfect balance. The middle look is inspired by the YSL Mondrian dress that was so iconic in the 60's, but it's updated into separates and accentuated with the purse. The youthful print on the skirt of the last outfit is a bright nod to the period while the styling of the sweater and boots anchor the outfit in the present.

Would you wear any of these outfits? Why or why not? Do you love or hate the popularity of retro/vintage right now? Maybe you're indifferent. Whatever your thoughts, I want to know, so leave a comment! And thanks for reading! If there is a topic you'd like me to cover here on the blog, let me know!

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