Scroll to top
Keen to grow your brand
Reach out to us at
Keen to grow with us?
Reach out to us at
The Lab Mag Headquarters
D-115, Dron Marg
Defence Colony, New Delhi - 110024

Fashion rewind: How forgotten fashion trends are seeing a revival

From cloche hats to muppet hats and hoop skirts to A-lines, forgotten fashion trends are emerging again with a modern twist.
Forgotten Fashion Trends and Modern Equivalents

Fashion is ever evolving and we see trends coming in, taking the fashion world by a storm and dying down. However, some of these forgotten fashion trends tend to come back in some other shape and form. Fashion has evolved generations to adapt to societal, political and even environmental climate all over the world. The empowerment of women during the 1960s and 1970s, exemplified by trends like miniskirts and pantsuits. Additionally, fashion has served as a vehicle for political expression, from the punk movement challenging mainstream ideologies to the recent adoption of clothing bearing symbols of movements like Black Lives Matter. Furthermore, the fashion industry has responded to growing environmental concerns, with initiatives like sustainable materials and ethical supply chains aiming to address its significant contributions to global carbon emissions and wastewater pollution.

Although for GenZ, the Y2K trend recently resurfaced as a nostalgic favourite, that reignited fires in all department stores and fast fashion brands, there are many forgotten trends that transformed, influenced, and even shaped the way we dress today. From retro revivals to forgotten fads, the evolution of fashion through the ages has in many ways inspired current trends and styles today. 

Hoop Skirts

Popular among the Victorians, hoop skirts can be recognised with their soft armour characterised by their wide, and bell-shaped silhouette. Initially created by a series of hoops or petticoats worn underneath the skirt, the traditional hoop skirts descended from the likes of Queen Elizabeth I and Marie Antoinette. 

While hoop skirts haven’t made a comeback, voluminous skirts with structured underskirts or petticoats reminiscent of the wide silhouette are occasionally seen in avant-garde or high-fashion designs. Think of exaggerated A-line or ball gown skirts with layers of tulle or other stiff fabrics.

Forgotten Fashion Trends - Hoop Skirts | A-Line Skirts

Photos: Bottega Veneta | Jose Perez / SPLASHNEWS.COM | Marc Piasecki/FILMMAGIC

Zoot Suits

Emerging in the 1940s, Zoot Suits were characterised by their exaggerated proportions, featuring oversized jackets with padded shoulders, high-waisted, wide-legged trousers, and wide-brimmed hats. Interwoven into jazz culture, they weren’t just style statements but signs of defiance during the second World War too. The zoot suit, originated in Harlem’s black dance halls in the mid-1930s. It provided freedom of movement on the dance floor. By the 1940s, it became a symbol of flamboyance and defiance, especially among Mexican-American youth in Los Angeles. During World War II, it was deemed unpatriotic due to fabric shortages and seen as a form of disobedience.

The modern equivalent of Zoot Suits might be oversized or exaggerated proportions in streetwear or high fashion. This could include oversized jackets, baggy trousers, and unconventional styling.

Forgotten Fashion Trends - Zoot Suits | Oversized Streetwear

Photos: Getty Images

Cloche Hats

A hallmark of 1920s fashion, cloche hats were snug-fitting, bell-shaped hats that hugged the wearer’s head, often adorned with embellishments such as feathers or bows. While not as ubiquitous, snug-fitting hats with a vintage flair occasionally make appearances in fashion, especially in retro or vintage-inspired collections.

Modern equivalents would be the popular bucket hat and muppet hats that have been popularised not just by sportswear brands but even brought on luxury brands onto the trend bandwagon. 

Forgotten Fashion Trends - Cloche Hats | Bucket and Muppet Hats

Photos: Getty Images | Just Jared | Apex/Mega

Chemise Dresses

Inspired by the loose, flowing garments of ancient Greece, chemise dresses gained popularity in the early 20th century for their relaxed, unstructured silhouette and lightweight fabrics, initially made with linen until cotton was imported from India.

Over the years Chemise dresses have taken the form of mini and maxi dresses as loose, flowing dresses with a relaxed silhouette, known for their comfort, simplicity, and versatility. 

Forgotten Fashion Trends - Chemise Dresses | Midi and Maxi Dresses

Photos: Getty Images | @sofiarichiegrainge/Instagram | SplashNews

Leg Warmers

A quintessential accessory of the 1980s, leg warmers were originally worn by dancers but soon became a fashion trend, often paired with leggings or tights for a sporty-chic look.

Leg warmers have made occasional comebacks, particularly in athletic or now more so in streetwear fashion. They are often worn over leggings or tights for both style and practicality, especially in colder climates. Often paired with slinky skirts, tight bodices, and everyone’s favourite Ugg minis, leg warmers are quickly regaining wardrobe staple status. 

Forgotten Fashion Trends - Leg Warmers

Photos: Christian Vierig/Elle | Getty Images

Fingerless Gloves

A fashion staple of the 1980s, the trend of wearing fingerless gloves began as a practical solution for providing protection to labourers and athletes. This accessory eventually metamorphosed into a fashion statement worn by punk rock bands like The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, and The Clash who popularised fingerless gloves, elevating them to iconic status as part of their stage outfits. They are often adorned with lace, studs, or other embellishments and continue to have various styles and materials in today’s time as well. 

Forgotten Fashion Trends - Fingerless Gloves

Photos: Getty Images | Emily in Paris/Netflix | Startraks/REX | Christophe Ena/AP Photo