The two fashion trends that Gen Xers will love in 2021

Get your “Gen X: Early 80's” Mixtape here to set the mood.

Ah, the days to be outside and young again when riding your bike around the cul-de-sac with your neighborhood friends was the norm and Saturday nights were reserved for The Love Boat and Fantasy Island back to back.

Nothing better than spending an evening with Captain Stubing and Mr. Roarke Photo by: Unknown via Pinterest

Those retro vibes are coming back thanks to a pandemic that has made us long for simpler times. Nostalgia brings comfort so it’s no surprise that 2021’s trend of outdoor, retro, and specifically the ’70s are making a big comeback. Hello GEN X, it’s our time to shine and review old polaroids for inspo! Honestly, who doesn’t want to travel back in time and hear the familiar voice of Tatto saying, “De plane, de plane!

Trend 1: RETRO VIBES

Trendin Tot in Nike Cortez circa 1975

My brother left me alone and let me dress in whatever I wanted. Clearly, the makings of an athleisure blogger were in motion in 1975. I can barely make out what those kicks are but they look pretty close to the Nike Cortez so we’ll go with it; the shoe that put Nike on the map. It was released at the peak of the 1972 Olympics and the women’s version, the “Senorita Cortez” was released shortly after. Of course, when the iconic and beloved Farrah Fawcet wore them in an episode of Charlie’s Angels sales skyrocketed.

Nike’s leather Cortez retailed for $22.90 back in the day. Photo by: Footwear News via Pinterest

You may also remember their popularity after Tom Hanks ran across the country in his Nike Cortez’s gifted to him by his girlfriend. The style seems to always have legs, every decade :) (no pun intended).

Today’s Look

Nike Cortez today $70. Photo by: Nike
“Cortez is something that came alive in the 80s but it was adopted here and in New York. OG cats were wearing em in NY, but it just stuck out here…They got real popular in the 90s. If you team em up with the Dickies and the white tee, then you definitely affiliated.” Mister Cartoon Photo by: Nike

The retro vibe continues into apparel where Farah Fawcett again makes an appearance with wide-leg, high-waisted denim.

Retro-inspired Denim

Flowered embroidery optional. Photo by: Unknown via Pinterest

Denim in general is coming back and thank God because my leggings were making me fat (click here to understand how that happened). It is time to give our leggings a break anyway and get into some denim so go grab a pair of high-waisted jeans, a crop top, or a button-down and make this look your own!

Today’s look

Slightly more cropped. And a touch of late 90’s allure with a bodysuit or keep it 70’s with a prairie blouse.

Today’s look on a budget.

Trend 2: The Great Outdoors …. but 70’s

I don’t know about you but I have done more walking, hiking, glamping, and being outdoors in the past year than I have in my entire lifetime- that’s a lie but one can pretend. When you are cooped up sitting on your ass doing Zoom meetings all day, it’s no wonder we have all taken a liking to Mother Nature. We can now see this love of the outdoors trending in fashion. From what Harper’s Bazar described as “Gone Fishing” to the collaboration between North Face and Gucci that has everyone living their best nature-lovin life.

“Gone Fishing”

Going fishing at the track in my wellies, crop top, and fisherman’s hat to catch my first bass.
Photo by: Harper’s Bazzar

Part of me wonders if this trend was inspired by all of the men posing with large fish on dating apps? (Who wants to tell them we swipe left?)

Please put the large amphibian back in the water sir.
Photo by: wideopenspaces.com

Sidenote: I was curious so I did a little research and found out, “1 in 10 men in San Francisco hold fish in their Tinder profile pics. In New York, it’s 1 in 20. In Florida? A whopping 1 in 5 men features a fishy buddy in their profiles.” Another WIN for the sunshine state.

But I digress.

Fishing hats aka Bucket Hats are back (some would argue they never left)!

The bucket hat has been popular in every decade, from LL Cool J and his iconic Kangol hat in the 80’s, to fashion maven, Tyra Banks and of course the dynamic duo of Mary Kate & Ashley; we simply cannot escape this divisive trend. People either love it or hate it.

It was hot, that is all I can say. (Bucket hat inspo from the 80's.)

Today’s Look

Continuing on our hike through outdoor fashion we go back in time to the 70’s where Gucci and North Face have teamed up to encapsulate the hippie, campy vibes of that era (although I am quite certain we weren’t wearing kitten heels to traverse through the wilderness.). Also, note the bucket hat showing up further validating that bucket hats are not going anywhere. This one retails for only $630 (sleeping bag bib sold separately).

I’m thinking this skirt also functions as a picnic blanket. Genius!

Oh, the Puffy jacket, (apparently many people call it “puffer,” please note it is “puffy” for Gen X). It was created in 1930 after “Eddie Bauer nearly died of exposure when his wool sweater froze from rain on a fishing trip. Not anxious to knock on death’s door a second time around, Bauer came up with a waist-length quilted puffer coat with a knitted collar.” (Vox)

Who wore it better?

North Face puffy jacket keeping me warm since 1976.

Also trending bags you can fit small children in.

Yellows and camels (Earth tones) are also very 2021 taking inspiration from our newfound love of the outdoors. Photo by: North Face

But y’all don’t need to look at Gucci + North Face or any fashion mag to see looks of this trend, just pull up some old photos from when you were a kid and channel your inner Atari-playing, Big-Wheel driving self to pull off these trends.

North Face + Gucci —y’all have nothing on me.

Me and my mom circa 1976-ish in our best winter athleisure gear.
Taking inspo from my trendy-ass tot self.

Until next time, thanks for reading!

Peace, love & Prosecco with a side of puffy jacket love,

Marcella

retail marketing* football fanatic * dancin fool * dog-lover * turtle mom * sales aficionado * not a foodie * grateful * just gettin started *justice warrior

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