5 Old School Stuff that’s Made its 20th Century Revival

Don’t you just love it when old stuff ( the good ones) make a solid return? Revamped and Redone to fit the century, here’s 5 old school stuff that’s made its way back into our lives and are back for good.

image: Randy Fath

1.Handwritten Letters

I used to write a lot on physical pen and paper and the typewriter, and what I absolutely love is sending mail. I mean, it’s something that I look forward to whether I’m the one sending the letter or the one receiving. It’s just exciting. That feeling you get when you receive a handwritten letter from someone is nostalgic and so evocative.

image: Freddy Castro

I had this boyfriend some years back but before we were together, we were the best of friends. I loved sending him cards and letters from overseas as I travel a lot for work. So it’s always a delightful surprise (for him) whenever he receives one. He’s always writing poetry and sharing it online ( MySpace ) but we both love this idea of letter writing and writing in journals. I am so in love with all the kinds of stamps from all over the World and if you get a love letter from me, my signature wax seal, seals the perfumed envelope.

Though the romance of handwritten letters has always been my thing, I’ve actually dried out my romancing skills and leveled up to a more structured way of writing.

Though I’ve lost this art of letter writing, it has made a come back in recent years. I won’t say that it’s really trending , but to a large group of stationery connoisseurs, they are still keeping it headstrong on the paper front.


2.Journaling and Scrapbooking

Since Youtubers started posting content online about minimalism, manifesting and being more in tune with your Unconscious Mind, there has been an influx of young people getting into this culture and lifestyle. Bullet journaling then became a big thing. Who started it all?

Ryder Caroll.

The man behind the system began devising it back in the late 90’s and a friend encouraged him to share this method with the World. So in 2013, a kick starter happened and a flame of trends later it became what it is today.

Journaling made a big come back and this time, it blossomed into so many types of journaling methods. People became more creative with their journals and started to do habit tracking, manifesting scripts and much more. The right stationery is also oh so essential for this too.

Online shopping has been booming with the best journals and stationery since 2015. Where scrapbooking has made an even stronger return from its dusty days of gluing sh*t together on boring heavy bounded books. An old hobby that came back to color our lives started trending again just before 2010 and now is still growing in its fan base.

image: Matt Ragland
image: Aaron Burden

3.Old School Barbershops

Though it has been back since a decade ago, it’s nice to see how it all adds up to what it is today. Look around in most central neighbourhoods and you’ll find at least one gentleman’s barbershop. Now the reason for this old practice making a comeback is because someone somewhere made being dapper cool again. It’s called the Distinguished Gentleman’s style. Where men, young and old started to grow beards and goatees again. And fashioned their hair in the most neat and trendiest cuts. Even the traditional gentleman threads have made a fresh new comeback.

So when this trend was brought back to life maybe in the year 2010 or so (at least here on this tiny little island) , men flocked to any salon or barber they could find that provided services for these types of cuts. And when a place could not be found, they freaking opened one.

image: Pedram Normohamadian

And these days barbershops like this have been like the hip place to go get your hair cut. It’s a beard-oiling, pomade applying, sideburn trimming one stop hairdresser, all under one roof. It’s a man’s way of pampering themselves to a state of epic coolness.

A 1920’s style that’s made its revival back into the 20th century as a permanent social culture.

image: Agustin Fernandez

4.Home Based Food Business or HBB

image: Mike Keneally

Yes. Home based business (HBB) is the new way that we do business like the good old times. For those who are old enough to have experienced this, remember the old man who used to cycle to your neighborhood and shout out the food he was selling from his bicycle? Or maybe you were one of those children with blue baskets that went up and down your block to sell home-made goodies door to door (cos your Mum made you do it after school to help out with the family’s income) ?

I remember when people would come aboard trains in Malaysia and they would sell so much delicious local food during train stops on our journey across different states.

Back in the day, some families used to make homemade popsicles and they would sell them to neighborhood kids. They’d rush over to Auntie Tina’s house to get one, an everyday after school ritual back in the 80’s.

Though home based business has never stopped for most Singaporeans, this oldie but goodie has now spread its happy vibes to a lot of younger people and some second generation families taking over from their parents.

Besides Ubereats, Shuttle, FoodPanda or Grabfood wherever part of the World you’re from, where restaurants and businesses deliver their food to you, home based businesses has made a strong come back here in Singapore and are in competition.

And the beauty of this comeback is that HBB’s have really become more creative and innovative with their food and presentations to the customer. They’ve even formed small communities of HBB owners where they actively support and collab with each other to extend promotions to their foodie fans. It’s an amazing fusion of the old and the new and it’s here to stay.


image: All Singapore Stuff

I just love reminiscing, don’t you?


5.Custom Builds

This ties in with a lot of things that people might think to custom. But the one vehicle that has made an epic come back with garages now opening up to more customers who request custom builds are?

Motorcycles!!!


So after World War 2, there were a lot of war motorcycles left over. So you had the Triumph and Norton, the BMW family , they had Harley davidson too for the American Military then the Indian and some more. Did you ever wonder what happened to all those sidecar war machines ? I can’t be sure but people continued using it after it was decommissioned.

It was what some of our great grandfathers in the 1940’s loved to do. Exchanged parts with friends, search for odds and ends from other bikes and junkyards and then incorporating it into their build.

image: Krank Engineering

Ever so often, my husband will get stopped by grandpas or elder man who used to custom build their bikes, and they’d stop him for a short conversation or two, reminiscing their past while admiring my husband’s custom build. They could recognise a custom when they see one. And so many stories come to mind.

It’s something that people are quite proud of and the excitement comes from all the sweat and tears of searching for the right part. Though treasure hunting for parts are more online and in bike forums now, the thrill of the build still endures through the ages. Especially the delayed gratification of watching your custom finally come to life. That’s a feeling you can not buy from watching a documentary about vintage bikes or admiring them in museums.

More and more workshops are now bringing in vintage and bespoke parts from really older makes and some even parts from discontinued motorcycles to create new and modern customs. A custom build motorcycle is highly admired and valued for its exclusivity and one-of-a-kindness. Your custom bike is basically your personality translated in steel. This old school stuff is a classic that will never run of style ( or gas ) whichever. HAha.


So there you have it, a short walk down memory lane. Classics revived that came back with a BOOM! I’m sure some new 2021 trends today will also be brought forward to a not so distant decade in the future. And then we’ll see what memories it may evoke then.

That’s it from me. If you’d like to read inspirational quotes, get motivated or share your thoughts and ideas, do head down to our instagram account @simplelifedaily and do check out our online store @thesimplelife.store ! Join our Telegram Channel too 🙂

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This is Leoni, sending love.

Later Gators !


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