4 Retro Prints You're NOT Too Young For

Photographed by Jacob and Carrol.
Do you ever look back at your parents' old photos — namely the ones featuring perms, bell-bottoms, poofy sleeves, and oversized glasses — and not know whether to cringe or give them major cred? While there's proof that they were onto something with the triumphant return of flares, and there is something undeniably awesome about rocking an out-there look and owning it, it does give us pause: Will we look back at our crop tops and high-waisted culottes and ask ourselves, What were we thinking? The truth is, yes, we will. But then those skeletons in our closets will come back, not to haunt us, but to prove that we, too, were onto something — i.e. this Granny slayed.

Such is the generational fashion cycle and the very reason why one day we're teasing our elders for their throwback sartorial decisions and the next we're throwing 'bows to get the best hand-me-downs from their closets. If there's one thing worth fighting over like a vintage bag or love-worn suede jacket from your mom's (or even grandma's) heyday, it's a piece featuring that rare, period-defining pattern that's actually withstood the test of time. This season, we're trendspotting four such enduring print types that are, of course, new once again. From a loosely interpreted paisley to a folksy floral, we're breaking down the coolest revived prints from bebe's bold fall collection. Click through for tips on how to wear these iconic looks in the most modern, undated way, and get ready to psych out any youngins looking back at your old social feed in 2050.
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Photographed by Jacob and Carrol.
Folksy Floral
Long typecast as a costumey throwback to Old World farm life, a folksy block print gets rebranded for today's fashion set in a sophisticated button-up silhouette. If you're thinking it looks more milking-the-cows than creative-professional, try using the shirt as a curveball element in a polished “suit” look for work. Just pair a long-line, fur-collared vest with tailored, near-matching culottes.

Loeffler Randall bag and shoes, Topshop pants, Zara vest.
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Photographed by Jacob and Carrol.
Folksy Floral
On the run after a busy day crushing it at the office? Heeled booties, an inky color scheme, and a mix of rich textures take a funky-print top from day to night.

Loeffler Randall shoes, Topshop pants, Zara vest.
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Photographed by Jacob and Carrol.
Folksy Floral
Another angle to work: Emphasize the print’s alternately bohemian vibe in a tiered-ruffle dress. It's made for when you’re feeling like a free spirit but don’t want to look like you’re on your third day at Woodstock. (Semi-sheer fabric and a flattering fit are key.) Otherwise, keep things simple with a tall, quality pair of suede boots and a basic bag. Who says hippieish can’t be high fashion?

Zara shoes, Marimekko clutch.
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Photographed by Jacob and Carrol.
Baroque
Politics aside, the 18th-century French monarchy ran the style game in its day (see: Versailles), and the epoch’s ornately designed fabrics are still influencing fashion. A beautifully sharp contrast, black-and-white transforms a damask-like pattern into unexpectedly graphic eye candy on a cool, mesh-detail dress. Make the already modernized look pop even more with a saturated coat in a bright, showstopping color, like this gorgeous juicy orange number.

Marimekko coat, Coclico shoes.
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Photographed by Jacob and Carrol.
Baroque
Take a more all-in approach to color, and still get your Louis XIV chic on, by embracing an elaborate, baroque-inspired print in a rainbow of rich, fun-for-fall shades. While an attention-grabbing fit-and-flare mini-dress does its job on the dance floor, solid knee-high boots and a long, clean-lined coat balance out all that wow factor.

Pas de Calais coat, Céline shoes.
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Photographed by Jacob and Carrol.
Kaleidoscopic
Remember looking through a kaleidoscope as a kid and being completely mesmerized? Exactly. Take advantage of the still-cool visual concept with a colorful, mirrored pattern that gives the same effect — but without the risk of accidentally shaking it away.

Caleigh: Won Hundred top and shoes, Topshop vest, Clyde hat. Martine: Topshop skirt and bag, Sandro shoes.
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Photographed by Jacob and Carrol.
Kaleidoscopic
Take one: Let the flamboyant print stand out by pairing it with more toned-down, monochrome pieces.

Won Hundred top and shoes, Topshop vest, Clyde hat.
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Photographed by Jacob and Carrol.
Kaleidoscopic
For those among us who can't get enough color, play up the pattern's vibrant palette by adding solid items in hues sampled from the pièce de résistance.

Topshop skirt and bag, Sandro shoes.
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Photographed by Jacob and Carrol.
Paisley-Inspired
If repetition is the key to excellence, this abstract take on floral is destined to be your fall wardrobe’s MVP. Go ahead and ride out the retro vibes, since ’70s style is currently enjoying a contemporary revival. Keep the look fresh with sleek add-ons, like dark-wash flared denim, a structured leather bag, and a chic, round-brim hat. Pointed mules enhance the cohesive, slightly dressier effect.

Topshop hat, Madewell jeans, Loeffler Randall bag, Zara shoes.
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Photographed by Jacob and Carrol.
Paisley-Inspired
Headed out for the night? Play up the retro-glam side of a jewel-toned print by pairing it with a posh, vintage-look topper. A neutral, furry-textured layer adds dimension to an already swanky ensemble without overwhelming it.

Topshop hat, Marimekko coat, Madewell jeans.
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