I love vintage clothing! Love it. (My definition of vintage, and I realize it is fluid, includes clothing and accessories from the 1970’s and earlier). For a couple of years I collected and sold vintage clothing on eBay, and became pretty knowledgeable about the defining styles of the 20th century. I have a real love affair with dresses and skirts from the 1940’s and 50’s. I adore that feminine silhouette, the emphasis on waist and hips, the graceful lengths and the drapey fabrics. I still shop at a few eBay stores that sell very nice quality vintage at good prices, including DexterDoggie, DeniseBrain, and Floozee’s Vintage.
Today I still own a few of my former beauties, like this one:
|A fab 1950’s party dress that can be made to look very current|
|I just sold this gorgeous 1940’s bias-cut velvet gown|
And every now and then I will wear a favorite fitted sheath from the 50’s, so long as I haven’t gained six ounces. I still thrill to the fine construction, the wonderful old labels and the attention to detail. I find I stand and walk with extra attention to form when I am wearing these dresses.
I don’t dress in head-to-toe vintage any more. It now feels too costume-y to me. If I wear my beloved black sheath dress, I wear modern jewelry and shoes, and I forgo a vintage style hat or gloves. That combination is a beautiful look, but at age 56, I feel like I am trying too hard. I will enjoy vintage jewelry any day of the week with my modern clothes, and a vintage leather handbag is a big yes, anytime.
Here are my not-too-hard-and-fast guidelines for wearing vintage over A Certain Age (your mileage may vary, and there are some 50+ bloggers who absolutely own head to toe vintage!):
- When wearing vintage dresses I wear my usual modern(ish) hairstyle and makeup. No 40’s-style rag-curls or bright red lips.
- If wearing an extreme vintage piece, like a circle skirt, I pair it with a contemporary blouse, belt and shoes. I avoid a kitten-ish sweater (a good rule for me any day) or a vintage checked blouse, for example.
- Similarly, I’ll wear a sheer nylon vintage blouse with a current pencil or A-line skirt, a modern belt, tights and boots or booties.
- Vintage accessories are cool any day of the week, especially necklaces and bracelets. I have a wonderful mini-collection of these and wear them often. See Debbi at She Accessorizes Well for some glorious vintage jewelry pieces.
- I’m not a big scarf person, but vintage scarves can be gorgeous, and a true bargain in the thrifting world. Look for real silk, and interesting old labels.
- Perfect for vintage scores: gloves, in leather, cotton or silk; and handbags of all sorts – leather, straw, velvet, embroidered, whatever strikes you.
- Not too many vintage shoes fit my modern feet, so I often choose modern shoes with a vintage vibe, like these:
|Great with a dress: Naturalizers, via Zappos, $89.00|
|So cute with a casual skirt or jeans: Dirty Laundry via Zappos, $39.99 on sale|
Vintage clothing and accessories add so much fun to my wardrobe, and I love the sense of history they convey. So long as I am careful to avoid the costume look, I’ll continue to enjoy hunting down and wearing vintage. What say you?
Visible Monday Reminder: Monday September 19th is Visible Monday, a group posting for anyone who’d like to participate. The simple guidelines are here. Basically, just post something that makes you feel wonderful/visible, and link to it via my Monday post. Easy and fun.