Retro-inspired trends prove that nostalgia is more accessible than ever

Nostalgia for past decades has become a sense of pride for particular generations.  However, this longing for other decades has recently been shown in fashion trends at Keene State College.

Popular websites for students like Thought Catalog, Elite Daily and the ‘listicle’ creating machine, Buzzfeed, have condoned this certain nostalgia through headlines like “25 Ways To Tell You’re A Kid Of The ‘90s” or “21 Embarrassing Secrets Every ‘90s Kid Had,” both from Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed is a social news and entertainment company founded in 2006, according to their website.

Nicole Guerrera, a junior at KSC, said she has seen older trends making a comeback on campus recently.

“There are so many styles that have come back,” Guerrera said, “You see the crop tops, the combat boots, the high-waisted shorts, those balloon-style pants everyone is wearing again. Those were really fashionable ten to fifteen years ago, but they’re all coming back again.”

Guerrera continued, “Oh, and plaid. You can’t forget about plaid’s comeback. That grunge-style trend was really cool in the nineties. It left for a while, but now you see it all over campus. I also see a lot of girls wearing plaid shirts tied around their waists, which was definitely a thing in the nineties.”

Philip Bergeron / Graphic Design Editor

Philip Bergeron / Graphic Design Editor

Guerrera talked about the relation between technology and fashion.

“We are exposed online to so much of this remembrance of other decades, specifically the nineties, through websites like Buzzfeed or different places like that,” Guerrera said.

On the Buzzfeed website, there is a “Rewind” section that allows users to check out what is trending in past decade nostalgia.

Guerrera said she believes that students could be influenced by these types of websites.

Senior Micaela Carta, who said that fashion has always interested her from a young age, spoke of the trends that KSC students wear around campus.

“Many people put a label on their fashion sense. For example, there is goth, bohemian, preppy or rocker, just to name a few,” Carta said, “In my opinion, trends recycle in different patterns.”

Carta continued, “For the past couple of years maxi skirts have come back in a very big way, which is very reminiscent of the 1970s. With that came the crop top that could span from the late seventies to the nineties. Geometric shapes have made a comeback since the sixties mod scene.”

KSC Junior William Shea, said he notices some of the older trends coming back at KSC, but said he thinks they are mostly for women.

“I’m a guy that wears work boots and sweats ninety-seven percent of the time, so I’m not very well-versed in the fashion world,” Shea said, “However, I’ve definitely noticed the different styles that girls are wearing lately that look straight out of the nineties.”

Shea said he does not have a preference in women’s fashion.

“If they feel like they look good and they want to wear plaid or those high-waisted pants, girls should wear whatever they want,” Shea said.

Though students can agree that certain trends from the past have come back to campus, they said it is hard to pin-point where the inspiration comes from.

“People always say that trends come back every ten years, but I feel like a lot of the trends never left,” Guerrera said, “There are people on this campus and all over the world that still dress like it’s the sixties or seventies, with tie-dye or hippie-style clothing. For those people, even if they didn’t live during the time, it could be nostalgia and a kind of longing for those years.”

Carta said she sees the fashion trends from different eras, but mostly wears these styles to take her back to her own childhood.

“Many decades have been recreated in the past few years in the fashion world. Overalls, crop tops and even neon anything are back,” Carta said, “Most of the people who are behind the clothing and accessories can be nostalgic, but some also might be attempting a new spin on an old look. I like to believe that nostalgia has a role to play, but when I put on my overalls it just brings me back to when I was a child.”

Guerrera spoke of technology’s role in recent fashion.

“I definitely think we live in a world right now where we are always thinking nostalgically. With technology and the internet, it is so easy to access the past, making it easy for us to idolize it,” Guerrera said.

She continued, “So that goes along with clothing. There are constantly articles and things online about remembering the nineties. It’s become a subculture. Like, nineties toys or nineties movies or a quiz on Buzzfeed about how much you know about the nineties. It only makes sense that we’re going to want to also dress like that decade too. It’s like a phenomenon.”

Shea agreed that the internet caters to individuals born in the 1990s.

“I feel like everywhere I look, there’s always something on Twitter or Facebook that is like ‘You’re not a real nineties kid if you don’t remember this,’ and then it’ll be, like, a Pokemon card or something. That decade is always in our faces,” Shea said.

“We have things like ‘Throwback Thursday’ on Instagram and other social media that forces us to reminisce every week,” Junior Olivia Gallugi said.

Throwback Thursday, or ‘TBT,’ is a hashtag that trends every week on various social media websites and apps and allows users to post photos and memories from the past, according to Gallugi.

Gallugi continued, “Almost everyone I know has done a ‘Throwback Thursday’ post. It’s just part of who we are online now. We reminisce really quickly.”

Gallugi continued, “I’ve actually seen people do a ‘Throwback Thursday,’ but it’s a throwback to the day before. Like, is that really necessary?”

Vanity Fair journalist James Wolcott wrote cynically of this fascination with other decades, specifically the 1990s, in his article “No, No, Nine-Ettes,” where he explained the relation of technology to the ability to become nostalgic.

“Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be,” Wolcott wrote, “This anxious, ravenous speedup of nostalgia — getting wistful over goodies that never went away — is more than a reflection of the overall acceleration of digital culture.”

Gallugi said she also sees these trends on campus and understands where they come from, but doesn’t consider herself a part of them.

“I mean, it’s all around us,” Gallugi said, “I think these fashions, whether they’re original or not, are definitely what is ‘in’ right now.”

Gallugi continued, “I think it’s great that people feel like they can express themselves in fashion. We have so much access to trends. Unlike the generations before us, we can literally just look online and find out what to wear. If it’s inspired by the nineties or the seventies or whatever is cool this season, so be it. We are really lucky for what technology has given us.”


Stephanie McCann can be contacted at

Share and Enjoy !