Saturday, October 9, 2010

5 Tips on How to Wear Vintage Clothing Without Going back in Time

50s  Green Knife Pleated Dress 
CjsRedCloset eBay Auction  
 Not everyone is into vintage clothing as I am.  I totally understand, to each her own.  But I do want to dispel a stereotype. In times past, we vintage clothing wearers have been filed away into the eclectic, hippy or kooky sections of style.  Some think that all vintage clothing wearers want to look like throwbacks. In many cases that may be true, however, many women around the world see vintage clothing pieces as valuable assets to fresh, current wardrobes.

For you women who hesitate to jump into the world of vintage, I have 5 tips on how to wear vintage clothing without feeling like you stepped out of a time capsule.

1. Understand what styles and shapes work best for you. This is number one in assembling any wardrobe, not just vintage. Investigate and experiment with different cuts of  clothing to see what works for your body type.  Take a honest but kind friend with you shopping and try on, try on, try on! Don't forget - look in that three way mirror and check yourself out from every angle. It may sound exhausting at first, and if you are anything like me you will hate the process, but when you understand what works for you, it simplifies your shopping in the long run.

2. Don't wear the same era from head to toe. This is a surefire way to age you and make you look like you're on your way to a costume party.

50's Green Knife Pleated Dress
 Macy's Sweater - $15
Vintage School Book Belt - (My pop-pop)
Macy's Faux Bakelite Necklace- $8
3. Choose the right accessories.  Use shoes, jewelry, scarves and belts to add polish, pop, and creativity to your outfit.  This is a great way to take a basic or classic look and transform it into something that uniquely represents you. 

4. Purchase classic timeless pieces. The little black dress, the fitted cardigan, black trousers are all basics that you can find from the 40s to today.  As added bonus is the fact that many truly vintage items (designed and manufactured prior to the 80s) have a higher level of craftsmanship with superior materials. 

5. Keep your hair and makeup current and fresh.  Don't buy into every trend and fad, but do update your look every few years.  This keeps you looking your best and current, especially if you are wearing vintage.

As an example of how to wear vintage, I have highlighted one of my favorite vintage dresses from my shop.  In the upper picture, I am sporting it Grace Kelly style with classic slingbacks and pearls. I personally love this look, but in real life I would probably wear my red patent leather square toe pumps and Indian beaded Bangles.

To the left, you can see that I paired the same dress with my chunky "tweed" sweater and bakelite necklace. I polished the look off with my very vintage belt which in actuality is an old school book belt that belonged to my grandfather as a boy.  It is approximately 85 years old.  This is a perfect example of  how a classic can be funky with a few additions.