From Dita Von Teese to rockabilly to the iconic fashions of Mad Men, vintage inspired styles clearly aren’t just stuck in history books. And it is easy to see why! The grace and elegance of vintage looks is truly timeless.
Plus, the term “vintage” covers a pretty broad range of styles. Vintage inspired looks can be chic and graceful to cute and playful.
While it can look great when it’s done right, that doesn’t mean vintage is an easy fashion to pull off. It can take a bit of coordination and planning to really make it work and look effortless.
So how do you make your vintage look come together? We’ve got six tips to get you looking flawless, not dated.
1. Put the Focus on One Piece
When building a vintage inspired look, you should build it around one major piece. Whether it is a dress or a skirt, it is going to be the main focus of your outfit.
Whether you are looking for a more casual dress that you can wear day to day, or something with a bit more flair for a special occasion,
Accessories, shoes, and hair should all be planned to match this base piece. Pick up on colours, patterns, and materials in your base to choose accessories. If you’ve got a solid dress with navy blue piping, for example, a navy purse and shoes will make the whole outfit look polished. Similarly, choose a lipstick in a red tone that compliments the navy blue.
It is possible to build your look around an accessory, like your favourite bag or the perfect brooch. However, this approach can be trickier. But if you’re well versed in vintage inspired looks, go for it!
Building an outfit around one statement piece also makes sense when it comes to cost. One of the reasons that vintage and vintage inspired looks are so popular is that these clothes were built to last. It makes more sense to shell out for a really nice dress when you know that you can wear it for years.
This also means it’s more cost-effective to build your look around the dress. It is much cheaper to change up your accessories, giving you fresh looks anytime you want.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Big
One of the things that make vintage dresses so great is the flattering hourglass shape they create. This is all thanks to the big, full skirts and the crinoline underneath.
While vintage inspired dresses look great even without crinoline, don’t shy away from trying out a nice, full skirt.
This also goes for bold patterns or colours. Many vintage dresses can have big, bold prints and still look stunning and chic. Step a bit outside your normal comfort zone and see what a bold vintage look can do for you.
3. Mix Vintage With Modern
This is another advantage of building your outfit around a great dress. You can pair your vintage inspired dress with more modern accessories to create a look that’s stunning in any era.
For example, a vintage dress with a modern purse and shoes means you can still stand out without looking stuck in the past. This works especially well if you have a very bold vintage dress. All black modern accessories can keep it grounded and chic.
Or, use modern pieces to add some grungy flair. Pair your pinup dress with a jean jacket for a really standout look.
You’ve got options beyond dresses too, to bring a vintage look to your whole wardrobe. If you’ve got a great vintage top, pair it with jeans and some modern jewellery. Class up a modern dress with a vintage purse and hairstyle.
4. Play With Vintage Accessories
If you want to go full out with your vintage inspired look, bring in some accessories you might not normally have in your closet. The right hat or headband can make your outfit perfectly portray a certain era.
Or play around with things that you might not find in a modern outfit. Think brooches or big, bold costume jewellery, from necklaces with enormous beads to ornate earrings.
Changing up the vintage accessories can make the same dress feel completely different. They let you play around with all sorts of styles. And as you experiment, you might just find your new favourite look.
5. Don’t Forget the Vintage Inspired Hairdo
When people think vintage, they think perfectly coiffed victory rolls. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to vintage hairstyles.
We’ve shown you how you can do the top seven pinup styles. Find a hairstyle (or styles) that really suits your personal look. It will be the perfect touch to complete your vintage look.
6. Pick Vintage Inspired Rather Than Vintage
Many people who are drawn to vintage looks want the real deal. They might think it’s better to have an actual dress from the 1950s, rather than one made now in the same style.
Unfortunately, this seriously reduces your chances of finding clothing that really fits. That’s because most vintage dresses were worn together with girdles and waist-cinchers. Common undergarments in the 1950s, certainly, but not a comfortable choice today.
For most “real” vintage, the waist is 10 inches smaller than the bust. Without seriously constraining undergarments, you’re stuck with an uncomfortably tight waist and a baggy top.
Vintage inspired fashions give you the 1950s look while still giving you room to breathe.
When it comes to creating the perfect vintage inspired outlet, the world is your oyster. There are so many fun looks you can create. The best way to learn is to dive right in and experiment.
Starting with a statement piece you love, like the perfect vintage inspired dress, gives you tons of freedom to explore with accessories and hair. You can go bold, or dial it back. Mix and match with modern pieces to create a funky look that’s unique to you.
Need some more vintage inspiration? Check out our blog and start crafting your vintage look.