Call it retro, campy, kitschy – dressing like a kid isn’t just for kids anymore

Thirty-one year old James Bishai, left, creator of Watchout! Designs, is not afraid to embrace his inner youth when it comes to picking out his clothes.

For thirty-year-old James Bishai, style has no age.

That’s why the South End fashion designer launched Watchout! Designs, a company that offers retro watches and apparel that he describes as “an explosion of neon and colors.”

“There is definitely a return to people trying to find something fun and
unique to stand out. It doesn’t matter your age,” said Bishai, who is
as comfortable in a Mickey Mouse sweater at the bar as he was in the
school yard.

Bishai is one of a growing number of grown ups who are simply not afraid
to let their inner kid shine through in their duds – and as the trend
grows, the likelihood that they will draw criticism for going out on a
fashion limb shrinks.

“People are definitely dressing more youthful at an older age,” said Jay
Calderin, creator of Boston Fashion week and the director of creative
marketing at the School of Fashion Design in Boston.

“I think the key to it – it’s just like anything else – there is a
certain level you can apply to your life. If you go overboard, you feel
kind of silly. But if you hit that middle ground, it can be sort of
fun.”

For Bishai, that middle ground is found by adding a dash of color to an otherwise boring, but workplace appropriate, outfit.

“I have a lot of friends that will wear one or two items to add a touch
of something unique – like a Watchout! watch and yellow shoes,” Bishai
said. 

For Calderin, it’s all about empowerment: “I think when you’re in your
teens and early 20′s, you’re forging your identity, and when you get
older that tends to get lost. It’s great now people are empowered about
getting that back.”

Check out Bishai’s watches on Etsy.


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