33 Vintage Photos That Show That Our Parents Were Actually Really Cool
It's easy to forget our parents were young once—and pretty cool, too. These vintage photos prove it.
It's easy to forget that our parents didn't come out of the womb as responsible adults with hefty 401ks, waxing nostalgic about the glory days of yesteryear. Actually, when you stop to think about it, back in their heydays, our parents had a whole lot of swagger. They rode motorcycles, bent the rules, and frolicked on the beach—all while wearing the coolest clothes and shades. Really, if you decided to take dear old mom and dad up on that offer to look at their old photos, you'd likely find that your folks were pretty cool. Keep scrolling to get a glimpse of some vintage photos from the 1940s, '50s, '60s, and '70s that prove just how fun and fashionable our parents—and maybe even grandparents—were.
These bikini beauties
These two Brooklyn babes posed for a photo in their bikinis in the late 1940s. It looks like these moms could've been on the cover of Vogue!
This '70s stud
Could this dad have been any cooler? This strapping young man in the '70s looks like he could have been the sixth member of the Jackson 5.
The hat! The sunglasses! The gaze! It simply doesn't get any more chic than this mom was in the 1940s.
These cool carnies
These two dads may have been up to no good at the local fair in the 1950s, but they looked good doin' it!
These city gals
Check out these cool young New York City ladies in their crop tops in the early '70s. We bet 20-somethings today would love these outfits!
This dreamy duo
Ah, mom and dad's young love. These two backyard barbecue kids of the '50s are pure cool and pure romance!
This drummer boy
We'd like to think this dad practiced his drums hard enough in the 1960s to make it to the big leagues.
This Chatty Cathy
Young people today can't appreciate the hours their parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents would spend on the phone, chatting away, while reading the latest magazines. But we'd venture to guess this mom was the coolest girl in school in the 1960s.
These joyful joyriders
These cool moms and dads are quintessential '50s fun. Hair scarves? Check! Sunglasses? Check! Driving gloves? Check!
These cool alley cats
The bell bottoms, shaggy haircuts, and that perfectly askew beret? These '70s teens at the bowling alley are just oozing cool.
This golden boy
This 1940s image might be fuzzy, but this dad's cool factor is as clear as day.
This cartwheeling cutie
This 1940s bikini is pure perfection—as is this mom's gymnastics skills. She is cool and carefree to a T!
These rebels without a cause
Just some 1950s fellas with cuffed jeans, shirts, and popsicles on a hot summer day. Could dad and his crew be any cooler?
These sunbathing stunners
These ladies' wedges and bikini tops are the definition of 1940s and '50s fashion. These moms were sweating cool back in the day!
This toned twosome
Long before dad's preferred attire was a suit and tie, he and mom were just another couple of cuties wearing swim trunks and smiles in the '70s on the beach.
These motocross star-crossed lovers
Even though mom and dad weren't wearing the helmets they should've had on, they still look pretty cool on that 1950s motorbike, right?
This music lover
The perfect ponytail. The ear-to-ear grin. The single loafer on the floor. We're sure this mom was once the coolest girl in school in the 1950s.
This dreamy Danny Zuko
This pops was the epitome of a bad boy. Well before Grease, this 1950s teen was rocking an impressive pompadour and a mysterious cut on his face.
These beach babes
Someone's dad was playing hard to get back in the 1950s. And he looked super suave doing it.
This incredible dog whisperer
Oh, you taught your dog how to sit and stay? That's cool and all, but in the 1970s, this mom literally taught hers how to water ski!
This suave pair
Bare feet, long lashes, oversized earrings, and undersized everything else make this lady about as cool as they come. And has anyone ever looked as good as this gent does drinking a Coca-Cola? We think not.
These shaggy dudes
Look at these teenagers hanging out in London's Trafalgar Square with nothing but a banjo, a guitar, and a whole lot of hair.
This tiny dancer
This mom simply could not be cooler. With her mod haircut, her high-waisted skirt, and her carefree moves, it's clear she had it going on.
These groovy kids
Here's proof that dancing in your parents' day wasn't all Lindy hopping in poodle skirts.
These psychedelic riders
Who do you think pioneered flower power? Our parents, of course!
These skating sweethearts
If you thought perfecting the Harlem Shake was hard, imagine trying to do the Hustle on skates, like mom and dad did!
These jive junkies
This daddio is feeling himself on the dance floor—and we don't blame him.
This trendy trio
In the 1970s, this mom was showcasing the future of fashion. Somehow, she even makes that foil helmet look good.
These spring breakers
No one is sweatin' anything in this car. This group had a far cooler spring break than college kids heading to Cancun these days.
These grazers in the grass
We can't get enough of these parents with their high-tops, cuffed shirts, cardigans, and too-cool-for-school attitudes.
This mover and shaker
Long before there was dabbing and flossing, our parents were getting low.
Today, Taylor Swift loves to rock high-waisted bikinis. But these moms did it first.
This ride-or-die duo
Who needs shoes when you have epic shades, '70s stripes, an awesome bike, and your No. 1 gal?