What are the Different Types of Retro Shirts?

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  • Written By: Kay Paddock
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 23 January 2020
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Retro clothing comes in styles that date back to the 1940s and 1950s. It can also include designs as recent as the 1990s. Many different types of retro clothing are available since there are so many decades from which to draw trends. Some of the most popular fashions today, especially in retro shirts, are styles such as hippie and laid back bohemian designs, rockabilly styles from the 1950s, and Western shirts.

Fashion designs are often considered dated for at least a short while after their popularity fades. If they come back later as a fashion statement, they are usually considered a popular retro style. Retro shirts with long disco collars from the 1970s might not have been desirable when the new looks appeared at the end of that decade. They are typically considered stylish today, however, and are often blended with modern fashion designs.

Hippie clothing, bohemian clothes, and any kind of "flower-power" designs from the 1960s are part of a hot retro style today. Along with retro shirts in paisleys, flared pants, halter tops, and poet blouses are a sign of those times. Most of the shirts are loose and flowing, often in an A-shaped style that is narrow at the shoulders and larger at the hips. Flower patterns, embroidery, and similar prints are one of the hallmarks of these types of garments. The classic tie-dyed T-shirt also springs from this time period.


Retro accessories are usually a big part of this 1960s look, too. Wide belts in a contrasting color, such as a white belt with dark pants, are a common item when the shirt is worn tucked in. Rope belts done in a weave or macramé with beads are also popular. Flowing scarves and multiple layers can help make up this retro fashion statement. Short skirts, often with high boots, are often seen in this style as well.

Rockabilly styles stemming from the 1950s give us men's retro shirts, often designed with two different colors. The cut of this style shirt is similar to the cut of many bowling shirts. Women's styles from this era include retro tops with a tight fit that are tucked in, and often are worn with accessories such as a sheer scarf tied at the neck. Western shirts and rockabilly clothing are retro designs that have much in common. Western tops are sometimes designed with two colors like the 1950s shirts, but with a distinctively country look, such as snaps instead of buttons. Embroidered designs and panels that are not just another color but an entirely different pattern are also fairly typical in these popular retro shirts.


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