Old School refers to fashion or style trends that incorporate the best of the past with the greatest sensibilities of the present. Often, people refer to old school as being retro, vintage, or retro. While it can certainly be all of these things, because of old school’s reference to music, especially original hip hop, including rock and funk-driven hip hop, old school can also refer to the styles and fashion culture of the late 1970s through the 80s. Old school fashions allow contemporary society to have bits and pieces of their pasts in the present. For fashion mavens and music lovers alike, old school allows people to be nostalgic while being chic. Old school fashions can be campy, serious or simply “fresh to death.”
Old school fashions allow people to have fun with their clothes; as much fun as if they were transported to their youth or carefree times of their parents’ youths. Old school fashions allow people to take themselves less seriously and simply “be.” For men, a suave old school look can include page boy caps, beatnik, striped sweaters such as that worn by Mad Men star John Hamm below.
The styles exhibited below offer a more Harlem, NY quality about them, mainly because of the afro-centric colors and fabric choices, in addition to the twisty hairstyles. These men’s fashion choices offer styles from the 60s and 70s, including the scully cap and circular (aviator) sunglasses, while also throwing in some contemporary style with the introduction of the more contemporary styled khaki peacoats.
The style presented here is much more in line with a prep school look. The look is put together but relaxed, and the young man in this photograph looks particularly retro with his swept-back hairstyle and his oxford shoes.