My rules for wearing vintage clothing, now that I am vintage. I love vintage clothing! Love it. (My definition of vintage, and I realize it’s fluid, includes clothing and accessories from the 1980’s and earlier). For years I collected and sold vintage clothing on eBay, and became knowledgeable about the defining styles of the 20th century. I have a 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 shop at Etsy stores that sell quality vintage at good prices, including Vintage By Suzanne and DeniseBrain.
Today I still own a few of my former beauties, like this one:
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 wearing these dresses.
I don’t dress in head-to-toe vintage. 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 66, 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+ Instagrammers who absolutely own vintage style):
- When wearing vintage dresses I wear my usual modern(ish) hairstyle and makeup. No 40’s-style rolled-curls or bright red lips.
- If wearing an extreme vintage piece, like a circle skirt, I pair it with a contemporary blouse and shoes. I avoid a kitten-ish sweater (a good rule for me any day) or a vintage checked blouse, for example.
- 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.
- 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:
“Vintage is rad because the clothes have a history. It’s not straight off the runway and you’re not going to see a lot of people wearing the exact same items.“-Camille Rowe
Vintage clothing and accessories add fun to my wardrobe, and I love the sense of history they convey. I’ll continue to enjoy hunting down and wearing vintage treasures. What say you?
Stay fabulous, xo
Wear what you love, always. Here are some goodies to browse: