Thanks to Mad Men, hipsters, and psychedelic runway trends, the 60’s are decidedly “in” again. Retro influences are seen in everything from Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture to the reincarnation of the muscle car to ever-popular smoky eyes. It’s no wonder that trends of the swinging era are making a comeback; it was, after all, a decade of the most iconic bands, the biggest counterculture and revolutionary movements in American history, and when mainstream pop-culture actually became a “thing”.
Some of my personal favorite trends are 60’s-inspired, and thankfully getting vintage style doesn’t have to involve digging through attics and flea markets. There are a ton of new, mainstream options available for everything from clothing to furniture. But if you truly want to go retro, upscale vintage shops and a few online searches can offer authentic alternatives. And if you’re shopping for someone who already has everything, vintage pieces make for unique and impressive gifts.
“Smoke-Free” Doesn’t Mean “Style-Free”
For obvious reasons smoking has become widely taboo, but what about all the gear? You may have nixed the nicotine, but enameled cigarette cases and jewel-encrusted lighters make for great accessories. Few thing will make a gentleman more dashing than having a flame ready for a lady who does prefer a puff, and cigarette cases are a compact way to carry your id, credit and business cards in a small purse. My personal finds include vintage 60’s ashtrays, known for their bright colors and interesting shapes. They’re beautiful to look at and can always be used for spare change, keys and other loose objects.
While you’re probably better off staying away from the cheesy lava lamp, a mass-produced piece of glass with a bulb attached is almost just as bad. Add unique accents to your space by incorporating art-deco lamps that serve in both form and function. Not only did I find a lamp that was the prefect size for my desk, it was only $15 (shade not included).
Before There Was Instagram
For those of you who weren’t aware, cameras once came without a phone. They actually used film, your photos had to be developed, and you had to wait to see how the pictures turned out. The Diana F+ Lomography camera was a 60’s cult favorite with its lightweight plastic body and simple shutter (it doesn’t even take batteries). Back in production since 2007, the Diana F+ is a great way to capture amazing and unexpected images. The soft-focus and color-dripping lens gives a Lo-fi finish, and you can play with a crazy range of formats including the classic 4.2x4.2, endless panorama, and pinhole. I bought my Diana F+ at (where else?) Urban Outfitters.
Vinyl: It’s Not Just for DJ’s
It’s true that technology offers us concert-like sound quality, but there’s a distinct nostalgia when listening to tunes on vinyl. This was once the only method used for laying down some of the most iconic tracks of a century, Obviously you can’t strap a turntable to your back when you go out for a jog, but old records are a great conversation piece when throwing a party or perfect when setting the mood for a night of just staying in and chilling. Buyer beware: be careful of possible damage, checking for any scratches or dirt. Also, stay away from popular used record stores that carry a huge markup and don’t fork over a ton of dough just because it’s a popular album. I found most of my vinyl for less than $5 at secondhand stores.
Drink Like Don Draper
The 60’s were a time when people knew how to make a proper drink – even in the office at 10am. You probably shouldn’t build a bar in your office (unless your office is a bar), but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an appreciation for tasty libations. A proper drink deserves a proper container, so please forgo the plastic cups and invest in some art-deco glasses. Bar glasses were decorated with geometric designs in gold or silver leafing or bright paints, and usually came in sets with matching carriers or trays. Admittedly, you may not want to drink out of glasses that have been used for the past 50 years (it’s kind of gross), but sets that have survived the test of time and are in relatively good condition most likely sat in someone’s display case, only being pulled out for special occasions.
Dress the Part
Dressing like a pin-up girl might be great for parties, but you can still infuse some vintage style into your everyday wardrobe without looking like you took a time machine to get to work. In fact, we’ve seen a lot of retro inspiration in the latest runway looks. Mixing patterns, geometric prints, neon colors and mod A-line dresses are all modern trends that were inspired by the 60’s. My cigarette pants from Banana Republic Mad Men collection are one of the most versatile and comfortable pairs that I own.