Vintage accessories to make your wardrobe feel new again

Designers including Gucci, Ben Sherman, and Drake’s are proving what’s old is new again.

By Phoebe Neuman & Justin Mastine-frost 26/04/2017

This season, designers including Gucci, Ben Sherman, and Drake's are proving what's old is new again. Many brands looked to the past to inform the thoroughly modern pieces in their latest collections, turning to their archives to reissue updated versions of classic styles from the 1960s, '70s, and '80s.

Others took a less literal approach — picking and choosing the best design elements from each era and mixing them into combinations that feel completely of-the-moment. Keep reading to discover the vintage revival accessories, clothing, and watches that will make your wardrobe feel like new.

Ben Sherman

For the latest spring collection, the Ben Sherman design team — led by creative director Mark Williams — has returned to its roots, opening the brand's original shirt archives for the first time to release a capsule collection of reissued classic styles.

The limited-edition shirts, around $US90 (about $A120) each — including a pale-pink 1960s candy stripe, a blue-and-red '70s gingham style, and a bold yellow-and-brown tartan design from the '80s — feature details like square hems, box pleats, and locker loops that the brand is known for popularizing.

Put together with the brand's die-hard fans in mind, each shirt also comes packaged as it would have been sold from the original Ben Sherman boutique in Brighton. (


Although the spring collection from much-loved British brand Drake's marked a bold step forward, introducing the haberdashery's first-ever line of suits, it also was a measured nod to the past.

The design team dove into Drake's archives to reimage some of the brand's very first prints for the modern man. The resulting ties, scarves, and pocket squares, from around $US70 (about $A95), feature rich earth tones that add just the right amount of 1970s flair and are adorned with tigers, hunting dogs, and birds. (


Ray-Ban's latest iteration of its classic aviator, $US175 (about $A230) is actually an updated version of a style originally released in 1987 as a tribute to General Douglas MacArthur. Dubbed "the General," the frames feature a tough, military-inspired twist on the soft lines of more traditional aviators.

The squared-off lenses are available in colours ranging from icy blue to classic black and rosy pink, but we are partial to the soft brown and gold of the pair shown here, as it amps up the style's retro shape. (


Though not based on one specific piece from the brand's archives, the Zenith Heritage 146 , $US7700 (about $A10,220) is packed with vintage-focused design details, including a 38mm case, a clean and minimal sunburst dial, and a classic two-register no-date chronograph configuration.

It is powered by Zenith's El Primero Calibre 4069, a high-beat automatic column-wheel chronograph movement capable of displaying intervals as low as a tenth of a second. (


At the forefront of designers leading the vintage revival trend is Gucci. The brand's spring collection featured silhouettes reminiscent of the 1970s and a '90s-style focus on logos and branding.

The brand's Soft GG Supreme duffel bag from its new Neo Vintage collection, $US1980 (about $A2630), artfully combines both of these design references, with its classic duffel shape and durable, logo-covered canvas. The retro feel of the bag is kicked up another notch by its single yellow handle and iconic green-and-red stripes. (

Slightly Alabama

Although Slightly Alabama was founded just four years ago, the Ridgewood, NY–based company takes a vintage, Southern-style approach to its small-batch leather designs.

The brand's Portfolio Brief, $US875 (about $A1160) is reminiscent of 1960s-era doctor bags, featuring hand-dyed and saddle-stitched leather to match — but its clean lines and modern laptop compartment helps keep the style firmly in the 21st century. (


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