Vintage clothing is a great way to display your unique fashion sense and create outfits that no one else will have. Wearing vintage clothing is also more sustainable than buying fast fashion and continuing the cycle of over-consuming clothing. Retro clothing can be more interesting than modern clothing as there tends to be history and stories behind the designs. Retro clothing, specifically vintage shirts, has developed a lot over the decades. Patterns can represent a different era and this results in plenty of choice for vintage shirt wearers! For example, in the 1930s the style of shirts was typically similar to modern dress shirts. The most out-there prints were thin stripes and small checks. This is drastically different to more modern eras. For example, people in the 1970s leant towards more vibrant prints. So, if you’re looking for a vintage shirt, there are lots of choices and you’ll be able to find one that suits your style. However, we do have our favourite patterned vintage shirts and we’ve listed them below.
The Paisley Pattern
The paisley pattern is defined as a “distinctive intricate pattern of curved feather-shaped figures”. It was said to be originally inspired by an Indian pine-cone design. Paisley first became popular in Europe in the 16th century, and it soon became the height of fashion amongst the aristocracy. The design infiltrated modern fashion in the 1960s and 70s. Prominent figures such as David Bowie and The Beatles were regularly seen sporting paisley shirts. Out of all the iconic vintage shirts, the paisley shirt is definitely one of the most loved.
The Psychedelic Pattern
The psychedelic pattern was a result of the psychedelic art movement of the 1960s and 70s. This movement had an effect on art, music, fashion and culture for many years. The psychedelic print has many variations and colours, but it’s a classic vibrant print that is still kept alive in vintage shirts today. We’d definitely recommend trying it out; pair it with some vintage-washed denim jeans, and you’ll be good to go!
The polka dot pattern has an interesting history; it wasn’t actually able to be made until the 19th century as machines were unable to produce evenly spaced dots until this point. Strangely enough, Minnie Mouse was one of the reasons that polka dots rose to popularity. They were then worn by fashion icons and became a staple in the 1940s. Try polka dot vintage shirts for a fun new pattern.
As mentioned earlier, checked shirts have been common throughout many decades. However, this references a relatively conservative look, as the checked dress shirts in the 1930s were mainly for wearing underneath suits to work. Checked shirts were also popular in the form of flannel shirts, beginning amongst lumberjacks and outdoor workers. These shirts would come back into fashion throughout the years and still remain a staple today.
Vintage shirts can add flair to your outfits and set you apart from the rest of the crowd. There are many more patterns that we would’ve loved to cover, so don’t limit yourself to these when you’re looking for vintage shirts. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box and discover new patterns!