There are some things I hope never come back into fashion: huge Dynasty shoulder pads, Crocs, 90's wide leg jeans. I think most people would agree with me on those. Then there are those things we're all happy to see make a comeback.
If you look around any shopping centre, you'll see plenty of people in some quite retro-inspired pieces: old school rugby tops, padded gilets, and varsity or letterman jackets. And if you look even closer, even the fabrics have gone retro - loopback is back!
Here's a breakdown of our favourite retro-inspired pieces that have returned to the mainstream. And we'll tell you how you can customise them to make them stand out from the crowd.
Earn Your Hoops In An Old School Rugby Shirt
The game of rugby is said to have been invented in 1823, and the classic rugby shirt was designed not long after that. Solid colours, large squares and alternating colour 'hoops' were added to tell teams apart, and the classic, [old school rugby jersey) was born. The design of the old school rugby shirt was so popular, it didn't change much at all for well over 100 years! The epitome of a timeless classic.
It's only recently that rugby shirts began to get updated with hi-tech fabrics and more form-fitting designs (like ours here). Up until the mid-90's even official national kits still used the old school rugby shirt, which looked very similar to the designs we would now call retro - coloured cotton, white collars, button neck and long sleeves. Now that rugby kits look a little different, it's paved the way for old school rugby shirts to be seen as an off-the-pitch fashion option.
Custom Old school rugby shirts are perfect for bridging that tricky gap between dress-down casual and smart casual (hey, it's a real problem sometimes!). The collar and neckline give them a smarter edge than a standard custom t-shirt. Old school rugby tops remind me of old black and white photos, but they look fantastic in bold colour combinations, just like they used to be!
Custom rugby tops are fantastic options for everything from sports teams to corporate garments. We can create made to order rugby shirts in any colour combination you like bringing them bang up to date with colours I don’t think they could produce in the 1800s!
When ordering our retro-inspired made to order rugby jerseys, you have the option of long sleeves or short sleeves, and you can even choose between a standard collar or a narrow collar.
The design templates we have mimic the retro old school rugby jersey patterns too, including solid colours, squares and the infamous 'hoops'.
Release The Heat In A Classic Padded Gilet
Marty McFly is probably the most famous gilet wearing hero of all time. His crimson padded gilet helped him travel through time (see below) and inspired a wave of fan copies, and they’ve been in fashion one way or another ever since. It's probably the most modern of our retro-inspired pieces, but hugely popular!
It wasn’t just fandom that solidified the custom padded gilet’s place in timeless wear - it’s total practicality has made it difficult to leave in the past. They offer maximum insulation for minimum restriction of movement - there's real science behind this!
They're not nicknamed 'bodywarmers' for nothing! Keeping your torso warm will keep ALL of you warm, as your body will let blood flow freely to your extremities. If your core is cold, your body is literally willing to let your hands drop off before it releases any warm blood.
Custom padded gilets remain extremely popular with corporate clients and sports teams (equestrian gilets are a top-seller), and are also highly recommended as part of a uniform for lots of manual roles - catering, landscaping, cleaning - in fact, anything that involves moving your arms! The peronalised padded gilet provides insulation, without adding extra bulk to your arms, so movement is completely unrestricted. They're perfect for driving too - there's no way Marty McFly would have been able to control the DeLorean in a bulky puffa jacket (but we make those too!).
Customised bodywarmers are well-used marketing gifts and incentives. If you're looking to add your branding to some custom gilets and padded bodywarmers for your business, to give away to valued clients for example, you can guarantee that they are going to get worn, and get your branding out there.
The Versatile Varsity Jacket - The Ultimate In Retro Preppy Clothing
The varsity jacket has it’s origins in Harvard University in the late 1800s. Back then, the tradition was for large letters (hence Letterman) to be sewn onto the official wool pullovers to denote being part of a school sports team. That tradition still holds to this day in American schools and colleges, with cheerleaders often seen wearing their boyfriend's official school varsity jacket (in Glee, at least!).
Traditionally, custom varsity jackets are made of a boiled wool torso section with leather sleeves. The updated fashion versions offer a nod to their predecessors with their shape and styling, but are made from lighter, easier to wear fabrics which allow them to be less bulky. The lighter cotton fabric also make them more affordable. We offer all three types!
Custom varsity jackets take bold logos and lettering really well, and the number of various customisable elements mean you can create a completely unique version of a timeless classic.
Made-to-order padded varsity jackets and non-padded varsity jackets are both available; just choose whichever will suit your needs best. The non-padded varsity jackets are ideal as part of an indoor uniform, having the same feel and insulation as a hoody, but with a much more fashionable feel. The padded varsity jackets look and feel a little more like an outdoor garment; ideal for use as a bold and fashionable jacket.
Looking Back to Loopback - Super Soft Custom Hoodies
Even a fabric can be retro. Loopback is at its root, just a term for specific knit (as in knit one, purl one). It harks back to the 1920s and is still used today to produce luxuriously comfortable active wear.
Loopback sports clothing fabric came into existence through a need for a softer, less itchy fabric - it’s actually inspired by a knit style that was used for women's underwear at the time!
The loopback knit forms looser loops on the back of the fabric (the interior of the garment), acting like a towel to wick sweat away from your skin and into the loopback hoodie, or any other item of clothing as all our Sweatshirts are available in this unique fabric. This helps to keep you cool, dry and comfortable. The loopback hoodies in particular are really a pleasure to wear.
The fabric used on our personalised loopback hoodies is a perfect match for embroidered logos and applique badges. It has a naturally neat texture which makes a perfect canvas for 3D nature of custom embroidery and club badges, and the fine knit helps to showcase the detail in them.
Even though loopback fabric has quit a retro feel, customising gives it a whole new look. With a few clicks of a mouse, our website helps you transform your loopback hoodie with modern colours, colour combinations and your own designs, bringing it bang up to date.
None of the retro items on our list are the most glitzy or glamorous pieces of retro clothing to have ever been revived from the past, but they are probably some of the most useful. Mainstream clothing is becoming less segmented: the lines between a work wardrobe and a weekend wardrobe for example, are becoming more blurred. This has driven the desire for quality pieces that will serve double-duty between work and home, and for casual wear to have more of a fashion focus.
A trend to bring back quality clothing, fine details, timeless style and actually, a leaning towards the more practical. Which is worrying because Crocs are pretty practical too...