Couture Allure Vintage Fashion tells me:
OK, you asked for it. I’d love to see you post about incorporating vintage clothing into a stylish wardrobe.
Well, m’dear, I may have asked for it, but YOU’RE gonna get it! I love this request, especially as I think many of us fear attempting incorporation of vintage pieces into our modern, chic wardrobes. We think, “Polyester florals and ratty fringe, gold braid trim and heavy velvet? Not for me, thanks.”
But, obviously, vintage isn’t just the mondo-kitsch pieces. Vintage items can be crisp and clean as well as fun and funky, and you can make them a part of your daily wear without transforming yourself into a retro-throwback. (Of course, if you want to go that route, check out Solanah and Fleur de Guerre for some amazing inspiration. Actually, you should probably check them all out, just for the eye-candy.)
Vintage is …
So, first off, what IS vintage? Depends who you ask, I’ve found, and I’m sure some purists will balk at my definition. But if you’re asking me, vintage is clothing from at least two eras ago. So, for instance, I think of 90s style as the most recent previous era, which means that 80s clothing is now vintage by my standards. (Frightening, I know.) Anything older than 80s also qualifies too, of course.
Vintage as …
Vintage clothing can be found online, at vintage specialty retailers, at regular thrift stores, on eBay, just about everywhere. And as it comes from a wide variety of eras, it can suit a wide variety of tastes. If you’re interested in incorporating some pieces into your wardrobe, start investigating several avenues of acquisition and see what strikes your fancy. Unless you’re hoping to create a very consistent retro look, I recommend eyeing items from all eras. I mean, why limit yourself? My only word of warning: Sizing can be VERY tricky. If you’re going to buy vintage online, learn to measure your body and demand lots of accurate garment specs from the seller.
Vintage clothing, shoes, and accessories can fill many roles in your wardrobe, so let’s explore a few!
The Vintage Centerpiece
Although your vintage items don’t have to be the center of attention in your outfits, they certainly can be. And if you gravitate toward some of the showier pieces, they lend themselves naturally to being funky focal points. Keep the rest of your outfit modern and basic.
The Vintage Accent
Vintage accessories give modern ensembles throwback flair. Whether its jewelry, scarves, belts, or hats, including an accent from a bygone era can help make a good outfit great.
The skirt and blouse were both manufactured within the past ten years, although both were thrifted and both look slightly old-fashioned. The belt, on the other hand, is a gorgeous and decidedly vintage piece. Without it, the outfit would be flowy and romantic. With it, I’ve got a funky cowgirl edge.
The Vintage Mash-up
Mixing a decidedly vintage piece with equally interesting but sleek and modern ones is a great way to push your creativity. The vintage item is downplayed a bit, but still adds spice to the ensemble.
This yellow and white silk houndstooth blazer from a friend’s Etsy shop is a super retro item, but putting it with a fitted white tee, high-waisted skirt, chain belt, and bright modern pumps tone down its kitsch value.
The Vintage Undercover Agent
As I mentioned above, many vintage items are pared-down and sleek, and can pass for new. Although this may seem to defeat the purpose of buying vintage, it really doesn’t. Many vintage garments are of fantastically high quality and endure beautifully for decades, which means that they provide affordable options for wardrobe staples.
This pink sheath is incredibly plain and basic-looking, but it’s a color that I’m MAD about and a shape that suits my figure. It also happens to be a vintage dress from the 1960s. But you’d never know it, would ya? Especially when I pair it with my crazy purple plastic Melissa shoes!
Use Vintage to Your Advantage
Don’t feel like vintage pieces require any special knowledge, lifestyle, or specific fashionability for effective implementation. Vintage items can be incorporated into any wardrobe and utilized for any purpose imaginable!
Top image courtesy Rumors
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