Oldies but goodies

The clichés “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” and “what’s old is new again” describe an apparently increasing number of teenagers who are dressing for a different decade.

The fashion-conscious are borrowing parents’ old clothing and purchasing vintage clothes or brand new clothes made in styles popular in the past.

Vanessa Zackler ’08 finds herself buying clothing that represent a different decade.

“I got a new pair of these really light blue wide legged jeans,” she said. “I’ve been wearing mostly skinny jeans for a while, and I wear jeans every day, so whenever there’s something new to mix it up, I’ll definitely try it out. My new jeans are very ’70s.”

On mannequins in the mall, this development is hard to miss; displayed in the windows are ’70s-style flowing dresses, ’80s off-the-shoulders tops and wide-legged and high-waisted jeans.

“I think where designers are at with fashion right now is definitely about looking to the past for inspiration,” Zackler said. “If you think about it, every major trend for the past couple years has been influenced from a trend that was really popular earlier. Skinny jeans are very ’80s, and all the flowing dresses are pretty ’70s-inspired. Lately, it seems that whatever trend people are following is usually a throwback to a fad that was around way before our time.”

Some students even borrow from parents who have kept clothing from their own adolescence.
“I wear my mom’s big slouchy sweaters that she wore when she was growing up,” Jenna Marine ’08 said.

“When I got the new jeans my mom was joking about how I could have just gone through her old clothes in storage and found the exact same pants,” Zackler said.

“For semiformal I wore my grandma’s dress,” Sarah Steinberg ’08 said. “It just went perfectly with what is going on fashion- wise right now.”

Many students borrow their dad’s worn-out shirts in order to adopt the vintage vibe.
“I think in L.A., where people typically dress pretty similarly, everyone loves to have something that no one else will have, so borrowing a flannel shirt from your dad is just another way to mix it up,” Zackler said.

“It’s nice to borrow some old school clutches and purses from your mom or grandma, mixed with newer trend,” Alanna Bram ’09 said.

Some buy actual old clothing at vintage stores; however, others buy new clothing from a boutique that has merely been made to recreate past looks.

“Right now, there is a lot of influence from the different periods from the ’40s all the way up to the ’80s,” said Billy Witjas, owner of Tarzana boutique Billy’s Fashions.

“Looks are coming back, but they always have a new twist to them. They don’t look exactly like they did during that era. They always have a new edge, but I definitely think the trends are going back to different periods. Vintage clothing and even designers are going back in time.”