Roll Into Summer With These Retro-Inspired Fashion Trends

As the summer sun settles over Denver, this season’s trends have transpired in remembrance of retro styles. The 1970s is making a comeback, fused with Y2K nostalgia and contemporary designers.

Festival fashion is an insightful indicator of what styles will take shape for the upcoming season. Coachella 2022 gave fashionistas clear direction for what the summer’s fashion scene would have in store. As The New York Times and Grazia observed when reviewing Coachella’s fashion scene, this year’s festival-goers dressed in on-trend outfits that blended elements of the 70s and Y2K. This comes as no surprise since vintage trends are always re-emerging into the popular zeitgeist.

Here at 303 Magazine, we curated looks according to trends predicted to break into the summer scene. Roller City West’s nostalgic atmosphere provided the perfect backdrop for a retro-inspired fashion editorial. This photoshoot plays around with vintage styles while also implementing a modern edge. 

Catching Disco Fever

Lynea Donald is wearing the Sunny Jumpsuit from Hailee Grace, $112.

A commonality between 70s and Y2K fashion is that trends were heavily influenced by music and dance. Both eras favored styles that made a splash on the dance floor while also allowing freedom of movement. In 2022, fashion will be formed by our desire to dance into the summer with stylish musical artists like Harry Styles as the soundtrack.

Roxanna Carrasco, Hailee Grace, Lynea Donald, Hott Pink Matter, Gabriela Melgar, Mya Valenzuela

Gabriela Melgar (left) is wearing black wide-leg pants from Dillard’s, $29 and the DIY Scarf Top from Hailee Grace, $35. Mya Valenzuela (middle) is wearing a corset top from Hott Pink Matter and wide-leg denim Free People pants from Dillard’s, $78.

70s silhouettes will call the shots in this summer’s pant trends. High-waisted bottoms are still dominating people’s closets, along with straight-leg and wide-leg pant styles. Bell bottoms and flare pants have made their way back into trends as statement pieces. Their reputation as disco-dancing attire tells us that fashion is leaning toward freeing styles that are inspired by the music scene.

Silk scarf tops, denim-on-denim and unexpected cutouts liken this summer’s trends to the Y2K era, which has steadily integrated into contemporary fashion since early last year. In the early 2000’s party scene, the most popular fabrics were soft cotton, silk and linen. These fabrics will be the perfect airy materials for bracing hot weather and crowded dance floors this summer.

Roxanna Carrasco, Mya Valenzuela, Electric Bubblegum, Hott Pink Matter

Valenzuela is wearing a jacket from local designer Mariah Hodges of Electric Bubblegum.

Denim is a staple in the Americana aesthetic, especially for westerners. Thankfully for denim-lovers, current trends call for an onrush of denim in every shape and shade. Denim two-piece sets, jumpsuits and jackets are the best way to get creative with a classic material.

To shop these looks, check out local brands like Hott Pink Matter, created by local designer Audra Stachnik, and Hailee Grace, who are raising the bar for designers and retailers with their modern takes on old-school fashion. Items like flamboyant corset tops and vintage-style jumpsuits prove that both brands know what Denver trendsetters are looking forward to wearing this summer.

Saturated Summer

Roxanna Carrasco, Aislin Stewart, Electric Bubblegum

Aislin Stewart is wearing a Free People denim jumpsuit from Dillards, $128 and a handbag from Electric Bubblegum.

Neons have circulated back into trends after a long reign of minimalist neutrals in modern fashion. Post-lockdown, shoppers are interested in brighter hues that will bring out their optimism and zest for life outside of quarantine. Joyfully saturated brights and cheery warm tones are expected to enliven summer looks.

Roxanna Carrasco, Mya Valenzuela, Electric Bubblegum

Valenzuela is wearing a dress from Dillards and a handbag from Electric Bubblegum.

Candy-colored accessories will be the perfect way to add a pop of color to any outfit. Translucent or opaque, an exhilarating color palette makes accessories the most exciting way to give an outfit extra spunk. This summer, include a decorative bag or eclectic jewelry to create a more dynamic look. Kitsch has never been cooler, so be sure to embrace your youthful side with star, heart and butterfly motifs.

Electric Bubblegum, a local brand created by designer Mariah Hodges, champions unique liquid glitter accessories. Hodges’ rainbow confetti handbags and jewelry are the ideal way to enhance a summer look.

Flower Power

Roxanna Carrasco, Gabriela Melgar

Melgar is wearing the Jade Floral dress from Dillards in 70s Color, $129.

Few things evoke the essence of a 70s flower child more than swirling floral prints and colorful crochet knits. The free-spirited mantra of the flower child has not only inspired lifestyles, but also fashion. As we break free from the pandemic, carefree florals and comfortable knit materials are a reflection of what we want to experience in 2022.

Roxanna Carrasco, Mya Valenzuela, Lynea Donald

Donald (right) is wearing the Pop Pink Edie Crochet Set from Dillards, $139.

Vibrant floral designs are attracting attention as this season’s go-to print. Combining florals with a midi-dress, skirt or loose blouse can create a flowy, fresh and feminine look.

Meanwhile, colorful crochet knits continue to infiltrate summer fashion, proving that knitwear is not just for colder seasons. This trend borrows from the 70s’ obsession with crochet knit vests, halter tops and dresses. This summer, sport a matching knit set for a fashion-forward festival look or street style moment.

Boogie Shoes

Roxanna Carrasco, Aislin Stewart, Electric Bubblegum

Stewart is wearing the Maya Ruched dress, $129 and green platform heels, both from Dillards.

Take a step into a more daring shoe style this summer as trends point towards strappy sandals and tall wedges. While platforms and strappy heels aren’t necessarily the easiest to dance in, they can brighten up the dance floor if they come in electrifying colors. When it comes to footwear, this summer is all about embracing a prismatic palette.

Roxanna Carrasco, Lynea Donald

Futuristic platform heels have also returned, taking fashion to new heights. This footwear trend can be further elevated with the addition of dazzling embellishments, such as rhinestones. Shoe trends are also taking notes from the disco age and Y2K by involving shiny metallic and translucent materials.

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Photoshoot Credits

Photographed by Roxanna Carrasco

Location provided by Roller City West

Lead Stylist Ashleigh Perri

Clothing and accessories provided by: Dillard’s, Electric Bubblegum, Hott Pink Matter and Hailee Grace

Models Mya Valenzuela, Gabriela Melgar, Aislin Stewart and Lynea Donald

Hair by Jasmine Mills

Makeup by Mary Willis

Fashion Editor Abby Schirmacher

Fashion Writer Isabella Moses