Celebrities like Alexa Chung are constantly channelling the retro look with such ease that they always manage to bring the look right up to date. Try it at home though, and your picture-book 1960s look might actually feel a bit more fancy dress.

Take, for example, the shift dress and PVC boots combination that was so good for Twiggy. If you copy this look exactly, you’re bound to look like you’re playing dress-up. The retro look, regardless of the era, needs to be given modern touches to make it slot right in to our current wardrobes. Here’s how…

1. Add a Cool Shoe


If you’re wearing a 1960s look, like the shift dress or a mini skirt with a roll-neck jumper, you may be tempted to pair your combination with a pretty Mary Jane shoe or a knee-high boot. Stop right there.

Update your retro outfit combination with a shoe that brings it into the 21st century. Think about wearing it with a sneaker for a New York City meets Carnaby Street blend, or go for a an ankle boot that is a little less obvious that the ultra-retro Mary Jane shoe.

2. Try New Textures


If you’re going to wear a mini dress or skirt, play around with the texture. The 60s and 70s saw the rise of mass production in fashion and the emergence of PVC, but since then, we’ve seen a mass of other materials allowing for diverse textures and looks.

Try a metallic sheen skirt rather than going for a traditional woollen version. Even though you’re rocking a traditional A-line silhouette, it will be updated with a modern tone.

3. Get a Pea Coat

The ultimate retro staple is a simple pea coat that you can wear to add a little vintage into any outfit. Go for a colour that will blend with the colour palette of your wardrobe and mix and match it with what you already have for an instant update without blowing the bank.

4. Add a Roll Neck

The easiest and perhaps most savings-conscious way to get the retro look is simply adding a roll-neck to your outfit combination. Pioneered in the 60s and 70s, the roll neck is a statement piece of retro-wear that every vintage-lover should have in their wardrobe.

Wear your roll neck under a shift dress or even an oversized t-shirt dress for a comfortable and convincing blend of retro and contemporary styles. Otherwise, simply add to a skinny jeans combination and match up with a platform heel in a popping colour for a subtle 70s vibe.

5. Colour Block

graduation block dress

Colour blocking – the separation of colours and then off-setting them with each other – was pioneered by Yves Saint Laurent in the mid 60s. This look is still just as affective and can be updated to suit a contemporary wardrobe.

Choose a bold, primary coloured dress and style it with a jacket in a contrasting colour, The key to this look is not to include too many colours. Stick with 2-3 main colours for your look and you will have it pinned down.

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