If you think that vintage fashion is just for art school kids and those with an “edgy” style, think again. Some of the costumers for Hollywood’s most popular films and television series rely on vintage stores, not to create unique or avant garde looks, but rather to create styles that are trendy, fashionable and one-of-a-kind.
If you’re intimidated by vintage fashion, don’t be. Instead, consider this guide on how you can incorporate vintage fashion pieces into your wardrobe.
1. Mix The Old and The New
One of the biggest principles of vintage fashion is mixing vintage pieces with new pieces. When you wear an outfit made up entirely of vintage pieces, it can start to look like a Halloween costume. Conversely, when you wear an outfit made up entirely of new pieces, it’s very easy to look uninspired and blend into the crowd. Mixing the old and the new ensures that you look unique without looking two retro. An example of this would be pairing a bold vintage skirt with a subdued, modern top.
2. Be Careful With Patterns
A lot of vintage clothing features bold patterns, prints or fabrics. However, you want to be careful when you’re styling a really loud piece. For example, let’s say that you score a leopard print vintage blouse. You wouldn’t want to pair it with a loud skirt or brightly colored shoes. Instead, you’d want to pair it with a simple skirt or pair of pants in a demure color like black or tan. A bold vintage piece can easily go from fabulous to hideous depending on how it’s styled, so proceed with caution.
3. Don’t Vintage Shop With A Single Item In Mind
When it comes to going to the mall, there’s nothing wrong with shopping for something specific. However, the selections at vintage and thrift stores can really vary. If you go to a vintage store looking for something specific, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Sure, it’s fine to go with the goal of finding something formal or casual. But if you go to a vintage store searching for a very specific piece, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
4. Be Crafty
Even if you’re not a talented seamstress, you’d be amazed at how some simple snips and trims can truly bring new life to a vintage piece. You don’t have to know how to sew to be able to cut a shirt into a crop top or snip off some attached shoulder pads. Plus, it’s fun to play costume designer and give items a simple makeover. You can also invest in some stitch-free hem tape, which is an inexpensive and easy way to shorten dresses, skirts and pants. Since vintage items are usually relatively cheap, there’s not a huge risk involved with doctoring your pieces. After all, if you accidentally mess something up, you’re not out for all that much money.
5. Follow Era Trends
If you have even the most rudimentary understanding of fashion, then you’ll know that it’s very cyclical, which is to say that eras repeat themselves. For example, until recently there was a strong 1990s influence in fashion, while currently a 1980s trend is beginning to emerge. If you follow which eras are coming in and out of style, it makes shopping for trendy pieces at the vintage or thrift store a whole lot easier. You can also read vintage fashion blogs and watch YouTube channels devoted to recycled fashion for style inspiration.
6. Have Fun
Sure, there are some basic guidelines when it comes to fashion. But above all else, vintage fashion should be fun. Enjoy the experience of spending a day in a thrift store looking for treasures. Have fun with styling new pieces. You can even break some fashion rules if you find an outfit or style that really speaks to you. Vintage fashion is for people who like to enjoy their clothes, not for those who like to follow the same old boring rules and trends.
Vintage pieces can be a great way to breathe some new life into your wardrobe. If you follow this guide, you can easily style your vintage pieces.