Throwback. Vintage. Retro. Old-school. Whatever you call them, trends from the past are having a moment in 2021. And no surprise either—in a season of upheaval, it’s only natural to reach for what’s familiar, nostalgic, or reminiscent of another place and time.
So if you’ve found comfort in the entertainment, hobbies and even fashions of a bygone era, rest assured, you’re not alone. This culture loves a comeback, and case in point: here are five retro trends that made a noticeable resurgence this year and might just stick around for the foreseeable future. After all, some classics never quite go out of style.
Re-Release of Old Video Games
During the quarantine-filled months of this past year, 68 percent of surveyed people turned to online games for social interaction, and another 34 percent circled back to an old game they used to play. This interest in video games from the ’90s and early 2000s, has spawned a re-release of many vintage titles, from the arcade-style thrills of Tony Hawk Pro Skater to the action-packed immersion of Final Fantasy VII. Whether your console of choice is an Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo or even a computer, this return to old-school game franchises is sure to entertain and help you connect with other gamers.
Tie-Dye Clothes and Accessories
If you’ve transformed old shirts and sweatpants into tie-dye creations over the last couple years, then you are right on trend. Not only does this multi-colored ‘60s vibe infuse some personality into the WFH wardrobe, it’s also a fun artistic outlet if you’re still spending most of the time at home. People have tie-dyed just about everything—from masks to shoes to clothes—since the pandemic began, and major retail brands across the globe now sell tie-dye items too. Google searches on how to tie-dye increased by 100 percent between April and May, 2021, so as summer rolls around, expect this trend in full swing.
Classic Television Show Reboots
When reality feels chaotic and uncertain, the predictable nature of a favorite TV show from childhood is just the security blanket to decompress with. Characters that you form an emotional attachment to, plotlines that efficiently resolve in 45 minutes, fictional worlds that invite you to escape the stressors of life for awhile—what’s not to love, right? Both television networks and streaming services hear you on that, which explains the mass influx of classic show reboots on these platforms in 2021. From a Clueless-inspired series on Peacock, to new versions of Th Jetsons and Bewitched on ABC, be ready to binge.
Fanny Packs to Carry Essentials
The term “fanny pack” might call to mind images of your awkward teenage self on a family vacation in the ‘90s, but this waistbelt pouch is now quite the fashion statement all these years later. The minimalist design and hands-free convenience make it a perfect carry-all for whatever essentials you need to venture out in public once again. As author and columnist for the San Francisco Chronical Vanessa Hua points out, fanny packs with all their zipper compartments are just the right size to stash your hand sanitizer, face mask, sunglasses, water bottle and car keys. Expect to see these hitched to many a torso.
Jigsaw Puzzles for Stress Relief
At the height of this pandemic, many frontline workers were advised to use puzzles as a coping mechanism, and the reason is simple. This tactile, immersive hobby was found to help them build resilience against COVID-19 burnout, according to research from 2020. But even those who don’t work a healthcare or essential job are still drawn to the relaxing, almost meditative benefits that puzzles have to offer. This activity reinforces the mind-body connection to help relieve physical tension and mental stress—not to mention, it can also reduce screen time. As a result, puzzles are still flying off the shelves in 2021.
Get On-Board with these Trends Making a Comeback.
Has nostalgia struck for you with some of these old-school trends? Which have you indulged in this year as a source of comfort or entertainment? Do you think the resurgence is here to stay even as we transition into a post-COVID reality? Whatever thoughts you have on this topic, it’s impossible to deny that 2021 is the year of comebacks.