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Top Vintage Fashion Trends for 2016

Aug 31, 2016

by Diana Keeler

Last week, we shared experts’ insights into the biggest home decor trends in the vintage world right now; today we’re back with a look through the fashion lens. Read on for the throwback pieces that will make your wardrobe look absolutely of the moment.

1. Everything denim

“Vintage denim dresses, overalls, jumpsuits, jackets and even cut-offs are hot trends for fall in many washes, including gray and charcoal. ” — Sandra Michaan, Show Producer, Alameda Point Vintage Fashion Faire

Search terms to try: vintage denim, vintage jeans, vintage workwear, high-waisted denim shorts, boyfriend jeans, distressed denimoveralls, vintage levis, mom jeans
Shop Vintage Denim

2. Hand-tooled leather accessories

“Wallets, purses, bags, and belts in can’t-kill steer hide, hand-stamped with themes from cowboys to scouting to Vegas. That old leather was tanned without the chemicals we use in tanning today, allowing for a thicker leather that hasn’t been broken down and isn’t going to blow out any time soon.” — Jennifer Bradley-Morris of The Ardent Forager and a regular vendor at the Phoenicia Flea

Search terms to try: tooled leather, carved leather, western leather
Shop Leather Jewelry and Accessories

3. Jumpsuits

“Not a romper, but a full-on, made-for-action, pant-length one-piece that sits on the hips and falls open right at the décolletage. Think Yves Saint Laurent, circa the wonder years of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.” — Valorie Wallace of the Portland Flea

Search terms to try: jumpsuit, pantsuit, jumpsuits & rompers, one-piece pantsuit, denim jumpsuit
Shop Vintage Clothing

4. Turquoise jewelry

“Other trendy jewelry just can’t keep up with the original down-to-earth stone. Bartered and collected from Southwestern and Native American collectors, the natural, one-of-a-kind stones come in settings of almost any style, aesthetic and shape.” — Valorie Wallace

Search terms to try: turquoise, southwestern jewelry, southwestern turquoise, victorian turquoise
Shop Turquoise Jewelry

5. Textured jackets

“Given the mass-produced evolution of the textile industry, a high-quality vintage stunner — whether in velvet, suede, leather, or fur — is a wardrobe game-changer, especially if you can find one with a real heritage.” — Valorie Wallace

Search terms to try: suede jacket, velvet blazer, fringe jacket, leather jacket
Shop Fall Fashion Trends

6. Bolo ties

“Some fall under the category of the turquoise jewelry above, containing legends of the Western cowboy. Others come from estate sales across the country and nod to the U.K. teddy boys of the 1950s or the rockabilly ’80s.” — Valorie Wallace

Search terms to try: bolo tie, western jewelry, western tie, bolo necklace
Shop Vintage Boho Fashion 

7. ’80s punk

“Like Stephen Sprouse. Or anything with sequins. I had a bright yellow strapless dress with graffiti all over it — I got rid of it and would do anything to replace this piece. Yellow is a hot color now.” — Sally Schwartz, owner and executive producer of the Randolph Street Market

Search terms to try: 80s style, vintage 80s, 80s punk, 80s graffiti
Shop Colorful Fashion

8. Patches and Pins

“Fall is all about embellishments…Buyers are going for vintage patches to embellish jeans pockets and denim jackets to customize a one-of-a kind look.” — Sandra Michaan

Search terms to try: embroidered patch, badge, enamel pin, embellished denim jackets
Shop Vintage Jewelry and Accessories

9. Canvas work jackets, waxed or natural

“These old classics have never gone out of style — the more evidence of a history of work, the better. Paint splatters, worn cuffs, union patches, and those old brass buttons they just don’t use anymore. Don’t worry about size too much; these are easily and inexpensively tailored for a perfect, modern fit.” — Jennifer Bradley-Morris

Search terms to try: canvas duck coat, work coat, workwearchore coat
Shop Coats and Jackets 

What’s your favorite vintage fashion trend?


  • suemako

    Sue from SuesAkornShop said 3 years ago

    Great vintage finds. I prefer some of the older vintage styles as opposed to some styles of today's clothing.

  • DelilahsAttic

    Madeleine Keller from ThoseGoodVibrations said 3 years ago

    Oh my gosh thank you for this!! I love whenever vintage gets the spotlight on the blog. These trends are spot on, yellow is so hot right now.

  • loribethclark4

    Loribeth from MomentsOfArt said 3 years ago

    I love the vintage high waist jeans. I know they're still considered mom jeans, but they're so much more comfortable. Plus, I look hot in mom jeans! ;)

  • JewelMeShop

    Georgia from JewelMeShop said 3 years ago

    I love leather accessories and bolo ties. Thanks for sharing this article!

  • MontageDecor

    Jeri Kidd from MontageDecor said 3 years ago

    My shop has a lot of these items listed already, so happy to hear it! So many things not listed yet. Loved my Vintage clothes- glad I hung on to them.

  • butterscotchbabies

    Julia M. from ButterscotchBabies said 3 years ago

    I'm a sucker for denim, plus upcycling denim is awesome.

  • lambater

    Greg and Mary from LightingAlchemy said 3 years ago

    Amazing finds and style!! Love it!

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 3 years ago

    Love vintage finds!

  • PrimCountryCurtains

    Francine from HomespunHeartofMine said 3 years ago

    What fun finds, Diana!!! Definitely a blast from my past!!! I owned and loved an almost identical jumpsuit embellished with patches above the pockets!!! :)

  • YearsAfter

    Sharon from YearsAfter said 3 years ago

    Wonderful Selection! Yes, Turquoise Jewelry and Bolo Ties!

  • ponyhoney

    Debi from MadGirlRetro said 3 years ago

    Like Sally Schwartz who regrets getting rid of her yellow dress with the graffiti, I still think about an orange sequin jacket I got rid of. Why? Oh why?! One thing you forgot are those cute fifties dresses. The girls are rocking them. Feeling inspired to list some vintage fashion I've been hoarding....

  • lesliejanson

    Leslie Janson from lesliejanson said 3 years ago

    Awesome collection! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • WetDesert

    MJ Toops from WetDesertVintage said 3 years ago

    It's always so awesome when vintage sellers are highlighted on Etsy. I was a little kid during the 80s so it's fun to include those 80s punk pieces in my shop!

  • EarthsTrove

    Not Made In China Finds from NotMadeInChinaFinds said 3 years ago

    I am a vintage junkie and I never get tired of vintage goods. Great article!

  • EarthsTrove

    Not Made In China Finds from NotMadeInChinaFinds said 3 years ago

    ***************Bring back the 60s************

  • catsinthecradlesoap

    Chris Wittmann from catsinthecradlesoap said 3 years ago

    I've loved vintage clothing all my life, I was snapping up Victorian and Edwardian treasures in Philadelphia shops back in the 1960's and I've never stopped buying and wearing vintage clothing since! The beauty and comfort of old denim, linen, cotton and canvas can't be matched by synthetic materials though I do love the shapely styles of the 1940's dresses which were often rayon. Back then you could buy gorgeous dresses that actually gave you a shape! Antique linen, canvas and denim can be made even more beautiful with a touch of vintage lace. About the only era I'm not too enamored with is the 1950's.....poodle skirts and saddle shoes do nothing for me!

  • lookbrantley

    glenda brantley from PickersForever said 3 years ago

    I love all the Vintage Pieces ! I have quite a few and I am Excited to sell on Etsy again ! Thank you for all your info !

  • TreasuredMemoryLane

    Sujata from TreasuredMemoryLane said 3 years ago

    Wonderful finds! Thank you!

  • pamquigley

    Pam from PERFECTLYPRIMATIVE said 3 years ago

    Vintage is the best way to add affordable quality to our wardrobe . Great trend article .

  • QueenBeeVintiques

    Kim from RiverHomeVintage said 3 years ago

    Thank you for the vintage blog! Great pictures and info.

  • allwood1

    allwood1 from AllWoodToo said 3 years ago

    Love it! Brings back so many memories....

  • rellyh

    Relly from RelsFindsNapaValley said 3 years ago

    Very exciting selection of vintage fashion trends. I love every single one. Thank you.

  • carolwagner1

    Carol Wagner from VintageBettyLuke said 3 years ago

    Great items! Lots to think about for new listings! .... Maybe it's time to list grandmas turquoise!!!!

  • SouvenirAndSalvage

    Mary Jo and Rachael from SouvenirAndSalvage said 3 years ago

    While vintage clothing can be a bit challenging to find something in our exact sizes since the guidelines around those measurements has changed so drastically over the years, vintage accessories are a breath of fresh air in today's world. So many mass produced items and over done trends can lead to a tapped out market. But authentic retro accessories, like those you've mentioned above, give an extended life to the timeless styles and help re-use materials as well! It's a win win for everyone!

  • artofmin

    mj gm from artprintscanada said 3 years ago

    Great article, My daughter is always comming home with something vintage. Uh I used to wear those.

  • teerasakborkam

    Teerasak Borkam from TribalAndHarem said 3 years ago


  • hajiragibb

    Hajira Gibb from HajiraKG said 3 years ago

    Amazing vintage style. Thank you for the blog.

  • atomicambiance

    Carla from atomicambiance said 3 years ago

    Thank you for wonderful tips!

  • lemonadadesigns

    Lemonada Designs from LemonadaDesigns said 3 years ago

    Great finds. I like the 50s and 60s. 70s and up, i feel they are not vintage yet.

  • dahlilafound

    Dahlila S. from dahlilafound said 3 years ago

    Great finds. I love yellow! One caveat, while the 80's were punk, this is more New Wave. No punk would be caught dead in yellow--unless, maybe, it was in stripes, with safety pins. ;)

  • infinitlit

    Flair Nouri from FlairPaintings said 3 years ago

    Very exciting selections!!Good luck with you shop :)

  • TimePortal

    TimePortal from TimePortal said 3 years ago

    I love Etsy Vintage blogs! Thanks, Diana! I have so much of this stuff in my closet, this has inspired me to get it listed ASAP!

  • RIPandROSE

    Laura and Jessica from RIPandROSE said 3 years ago

    So glad Etsy featured vintage clothing in an article. Very helpful! Keep it up Etsy!!

  • poppygbags

    Poppy Gallagher from MissPoppysFancy said 3 years ago

    I am so happy happy happy to see vintage in the spotlight. Thank you so much for this article. Very helpful and spot on trend!

  • exclusive72

    Valentina . from Exclusive72 said 3 years ago

    Amazing finds! Love it!

  • foundamental

    Lynn from FOUNDAMENTAL said 3 years ago

    thanks for the article!

  • Kashuen

    Kashuen Collectibles from Kashuen said 3 years ago

    I like textured jackets a lot. So glad that it's back.

  • RandMhandmade

    Renee from RandMhandmade said 3 years ago

    I love the look of vintage....thank you for sharing!!

  • dominna

    Katrina Dzerkale from Dominna said 3 years ago

    Amazing finds !

  • DrFleece

    Ross M from FleecenStuff said 3 years ago

    Very cool ideas and inspiration. Bolo ties! Finally they're back :)

  • wemovevintage

    wemovevintage from wemovevintage said 3 years ago

    I love this article! Vintage is great because you can still play with trends without having to support fast fashion and mass production. It is truly sustainable and one of the reasons I became a collector/seller. Thank you for posting this article.

  • olga11223

    Olga from LinenAndTailor said 3 years ago

    Lovely vintage finds!

  • dfilotto

    Deborah Filotto from BrewtifulParTea said 3 years ago

    Finding Great vintage items is like big game hunting to me! Love the the quality and uniqueness! Why dress like everyone else? Why not use vintage home items in a modern way. Be You! Be Stylish! Stand out!

  • marjoriep2

    Marjorie from SurprisingFindings said 3 years ago

    So glad to see popular vintage treasures!!!!!!!!

  • BraidedLeatheRoo4U

    Jennifer Zuiderwyk from BraidedLeatherDesign said 3 years ago

    I love vintage leather and have several pieces of my own, and I feel the art of braiding leather is a little lost in this new and disposable world and hence why I have set up an etsy store to display some simple classic designs of an old lost craft. I'm so happy to see not only vintage pieces are back but the art of making what's old new again and recycling the old classics that never go out of style!

  • RiverRunCollection

    RiverRunCollection from RiverRunCollection said 3 years ago

    This article is making me think about my closet and what vintage clothes I might unearth that still fit! Or if it doesn't, to sell it! I so love vintage!

  • bythebayoriginals

    Marjorie Kovalik from bythebayoriginals said 3 years ago

    Denim! Great for personalizing with custom embroidery. Totes, bags and purses made from denim jeans are strong and trendy.

  • PillowsChrissyInk

    Chrissy Ink from PillowsChrissyInk said 3 years ago

    Thanks looks like a great selection

  • ArmoireVintage

    Natalie Edwards from RecycledSociety said 3 years ago

    Cant wait to get started on my new listings, a few grey vintage denims, textured jackets & jumpsuits! And looking at my own wardrobe, there's a rarely worn textured yellow blazer that will be moving to the front of the line for this weekend !

  • theredstone

    Shirley Rothstein from VIAROTHSTEIN said 3 years ago

    Such a fresh take on vintage ! absolutely loved it especially the jumpsuit

  • FreshRetroGallery

    Elizabeth Knaus from FreshRetroGallery said 3 years ago

    I was excited to add a gorgeous hand-tooled leather handbag to the vintage collection at my gallery just recently!

  • inbeetween

    Lena from InBeetweenVintageCo said 3 years ago

    Great finds-I especially love vintage jumpsuits, always fun and unique!

  • foofoogal54

    foofoogal54 from GracefulVtgClothing said 3 years ago

    Well made vintage is always in style. Jumpsuits are so fun and I am a vintage velvetaholic. Thanks for featuring vintage. I just found this. foo

  • emaxtees

    emaxtees from EmaxTees said 3 years ago

    Great vintage outfits, keep walking ;)

  • SpiritHerbs

    Cherri from ParadiseRags said 3 years ago

    Love the vintage looks!

  • nancygilbert4

    Nancy Gilbert from HeartofTX said 3 years ago

    Vintage clothing is one of my favorite things. I guess when I stepped into my sister's closet decades ago and saw all of her beautiful formals, I fell in love.

  • bellalauren2

    Bella lauren said 3 years ago

    Actually vintage clothing is one of my favourite thing.I really love this red textured jacket.Anyways wonderful selection thanks for the inspiration.

  • teerasakborkam

    Teerasak Borkam from TribalAndHarem said 3 years ago


  • foofoogal54

    foofoogal54 from GracefulVtgClothing said 3 years ago

    Love vintage fashion. Mixing and matching vintage with the new is very fun. I wish for a LBD vintage feature soon. I have many little black dresses that go with many accessories to change things up.

  • bellalauren2

    Bella lauren said 3 years ago

    Gorgeous and fresh vintage looks,just love this wonderful collection

  • UniquelyNan

    Nan Harrison from UniquelyNanVintage said 3 years ago

    Love them all...great post!!

  • salinamoon

    Salina Behra from inSALINAsWORLD said 3 years ago

    I will have some vintage laced shorts ready for listing this week please visit Insalinasworld.

  • gebinama

    Glory from Trueewarrior said 2 years ago

    I love the vintage high waisted jeans, although I prefer calling them mom's jeans. I noted down this list so that I can keep an eye for them next time I go thrifty. Thank you!

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