Back when I talked about the Strange Stars "Appendix N," I mentioned how I saw the stylings of this particular future as harkening back to previous decades. I imagine spaceships like in seventies films, seventies and eighties book covers and comics books, and particularly the Terran Trade Authority books.
Terran Trade Authority
Also, the groovy fashions of late sixties and seventies book cover art, the euro-sensibilities of Heavy Metal, and disco-era comic book sci-fi in the U.S. inform how I view the fashion and material culture. Sure they're silly in a lot of ways, but often so are clothes from real historical eras to modern sensibilities.
Chaykin's Monark Starstalker
Mike Grell's Charma
Now as anyone who's been reading the posts knows, I'm not doing retro-sci-fi, overall. It's just that it seems like the there is a narrow range of how the future is viewed in any given era. Science fiction done today tends to look the same: a lot of darkness, sleek suits, and electric blue holograms, etc. I'm certainly not immune to recent influences, but I feel like those things get too familiar. The future needs to seem exotic and going back to the past is a way to restore some of that exoticism. At least it reminds me (and maybe other around my age) of a time where the future looked different, and we were young enough to be encountering these images and the ideas behind them for the first time.