There are many different types of retro jackets, ranging from the 1940s peplum styles all the way through the hippie era of fringed suede jackets and vests. During the 1950s, women’s jackets were usually short and fitted, while men often sported motorcycle jackets done in shiny black leather. During the 1970s, the navy pea jacket regained popularity as casual wear, while the disco influence saw jackets for nightwear tending toward satin and sequins.
Retro jackets for women that date back to the 1940s were usually fitted through the bust and sleeves, and often flared or slightly gathered below the waistline. This era pre-dates most synthetic fabrics, so jackets were often made using wool. Summer weight jackets from this era were usually done in linen or cotton. Some jackets were done with fur collars, such as fox or mink, and it was during this era that women began wearing fox collars with the head of the fox still intact. Men often wore jackets that were short and fitted, a style made popular by Dwight Eisenhower, a World War II general who later became president of the United States.
During the 1950s, women’s jackets were usually shorter and often embellished. Wide lapels were usually trimmed with French guimp or embroidery. It was during this era that the famed designer Coco Chanel first rose to prominence. Her designs featured tailored women’s suits with simple lines that featured color coordinating trim work. Typically, retro jackets for men that come from the 1950s include motorcycle jackets and short zipper front designs.
Some of the most popular retro jackets date from the 1960s. One of the more popular styles for men is a design called the Nehru jacket. These jackets were often made of silks or brocades, and featured a circular stand up collar with a square opening in the front. These jackets were inspired by Eastern Indian wear and became a part of the early 1960s pop culture. Vintage jackets for women that date from this era include faux fur coats and jackets featuring windowpane checks.
One of the most distinctive retro jackets from the hippie era are suede jackets with long hanging fringe. These jackets were of varying lengths, but most often ended at the waist or hips. These jackets were popular with both men and women and were usually worn with faded jeans of calico skirts. Other hippie style retro jackets include loose shawl like jackets done in velvet or tapestry fabrics.