Fashion by the decade: 8 Style Panel members share their favourite retro-dressing tips

fashion decade style panel
fashion decade style panel

The nineties may have made a comeback on the runways of late, but designers seemed to have an even bigger throwback for the upcoming Fall 2014 season. From ladylike dresses in sixties-inspired optical prints to the bright neon pops of the ’80s, it looks like it’s time to hit the thrift shops. There’s no doubt that some decades are definitely easier to channel over others, however, that shouldn’t dissuade us from experimenting with trends we once oh-so-loved. To lend us a hand in tackling how to dress for each decade, this week we asked Style Panel the hypothetical question: If they can transport back in time to their favourite fashion decade, which would it be? So, whether you want to embrace your inner flower child of the ’70s or have a soft spot for the roaring ’20s, you can bet we’ve got all the style inspiration you need.

Judging from this week’s Style Panel, the seventies was a clear favourite. While Barbara Ann’s Style Blog’s Barbara Ann Solomon borrowed and reworked a timeless fave from her mom’s closet, Jill Lansky of The August Diaries shows off her best take on the decade in a powerful look that includes highwaist flared jeans. Mo Handahu of The Lion Hunter is no stranger to loud prints, so it seemed only natural for her to love the eighties. Bringing back vintage pieces from her teen years, she carried them through and refined in ways that work perfectly for the current decade. And as for the nineties kids, Style Worthwhile’s Jacquelyn Son and newest member Lara Cardoso’s Lara Cardoso was all about the minimalism. Loving the simple and sleek nature found in this decade, these two bloggers showed off their looks in monochromatic shades. Oh, and if you need tips on how to wear Birkenstock sandals, Jacquelyn is your girl.

Question 115: What is your favourite fashion decade? Read the answers now! »


fashion decade 1920s becky kung

Becky Kung, 30
Calgary | Velvet & Vino

I often fall back to the vintage fashion trends going as far back as the 1920s. This black lace dress meets modern with vintage by its modest cuts in the neckline and the subtle hints of skin with the lace. Lace is ultra stylish and never seems to disappear from the fashion trends. I particularly love how lace creates mystery in the look giving that feminine flare.

Becky’s wearing: Dress, Winners by My Hazel Clothing. Belt, Le Chateau. Fragrance, Holt Renfrew by House of Creed.

fashion decade 1970s jill lansky

Jill Lansky, 26
Vancouver | The August Diaries

The 1970s is by far my favourite decade. The fashion, music and energy were an unmatchable time in our society. I’m constantly inspired by the different trends that came out of the 70s, whether it be the perfect pantsuit from YSL or the easy printed dresses you can wear anywhere. And of course I’m still listening to the music from the 70s… they just don’t make it like they used to.

Jill’s wearing: Sweater, c/o Joe Fresh. Jacket and belt, H&M. Jeans, J Brand.

fashion decade 1980s jessica concannon

Jessica Concannon, 30
Montreal | WestmountFashionista

As a child of the 80s, I’m a total sucker for the over the top excess of the decade. Steering away from the spandex clad rock star girlfriend/groupie, I embraced my inner Park Avenue princess in black and gold. While the dress is a newer piece but still reminiscent of the decade with its tweed material, this vintage Chanel belt is straight out of the 80s with its heavy gold chain and quilted detailing. To keep from looking too dated, I kept both my hair and pumps sleek and sophisticated.

Jessica’s wearing: Dress, Chanel. Belt, Chanel. Shoes, Asos. Sunglasses, Joe Fresh.

fashion decade 1990s jacquelyn son

Jacquelyn Son, 22
Vancouver | Style Worthwhile

My favourite decade would have to be the 90s and the minimalism trend. I’m all about clean and ‘less is more’ kind of styles. As I go through my daily activities, I like being able to move freely without any annoying clothing pieces or accessories weighing me down. Since my new hair colour adds a pop to every outfit, I opted for a simple black and white outfit.

Jacqueline’s wearing: Dress, Wilfred Free via Aritzia. Belt, Wilfred via Aritzia. Sandals, Birkenstock Arizona. Tote, Herschel. Necklace, Forever 21.

fashion decade 1970s barbara ann solomon
Photography by Trevor Negin

Barbara Ann Solomon, 25
Toronto | Barbara Ann’s Style Blog

Probably one of the hardest challenges I’ve had to do, it was difficult to choose a favourite, as I love so many elements from each decade of the past 50 years. I love to see how history and culture has evolved fashion. During school, I always took the era we were studying in history or art and came up with theories why fashion was styled that way, due to whichever political topic or cultural event was taking place.

I love vintage clothing, and nothing is better than a hand-me-down vintage with a story. This hand-knit dress came from Tel Aviv, Israel, back in 1977, when my mom travelled there. My mother, Cynthia, was 20 years old at the time, and I can envision her through the late 70’s wearing platforms and strolling down the streets of Toronto and Montreal wearing this and so many of her beautiful outfits, that I’ve coveted in her photos.

In fashion everything things is repeated, so like my mother I’ve held on to timeless pieces of history to pass along through generations.

fashion decade 1980s mo handahu
Photography by Daniella Sam

Mo Handahu, 29
Halifax | Lion Hunter

I’m a maximalist at heart; prints in excess and confusing combinations are totally my thing! Even when the rest of the world moved on to minimalism in the 90s, the 80s lingered a little longer in my closet well into my teen years. Thankfully, I have great recollection of the crazy stuff I used to wear and still do, but now wearing it in a more refined way!

Mo’s wearing: Jeans and blazer, Value Village. Purse and crop top, Forever 21. Shoes, Shoe Dazzle.

fashion decade 1990s lara cardoso

Lara Cardoso, 21
Toronto | Lara Cardoso

90’s minimalism is my vibe. Simple. I hardly wear large accessories or jewellery, if any at that. Less is more, in my opinion. Lately I’ve been living in a world of black and white. For a true minimalist look, I decided to stick with this palette. I paired this black and white colourblock dress with a long sheer black cardigan because I’m really into long sweaters (and jackets!) lately. I completed the look with the perfect summer block heel (in white, of course), dainty jewellery and a tiny bit of pale pink colour on the lip for a beautified pop. I’m a 90’s kid, so I guess my loyalty to the trend is successfully justified.

Lara’s wearing: Dress, Joe Fresh. Cardigan, Oak & Fort. Sandals, Zara.

fashion decade 1970s kayla short

Kayla Short, 26
Halifax | Short Presents

I don’t really have a favourite decade, as I feel like I go in and out of decades all the time. That being said I definitely feel like I’m channelling a major 70’s vibe lately. From wide legged trousers to flowy blouses to big hats to backless dresses (hello bra burning) I feel like I could easily time travel to Woodstock and fit right in. Truth be told, it’s my favourite time for music too, so I wouldn’t exactly protest.

Kayla’s wearing: Dress, Free People. Hat, H&M. Earrings, Shop Betty Ray.

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