Wednesday, May 9

how to wear vintage without looking “old fashioned”

Friendly friends, I have a mucho exciting post for you today from one of my favorite bloggers and role models, Bekuh! She's clever, crafty, cute and had the most beautiful wedding ever... my dream wedding actually. AND coincidentally today, posted about small plates for dinner which included all of my favorite
ingredients. I wish we lived closer so I could invite myself for dinner. So without further adieu...

Hello Beauty and the Feast readers, my name is Bekuh and I blog over at Secondhand Sundays. I love sharing with others my passion for vintage, cooking, crafting, and living a handmade life; and today I’m going to talk to you a little about one of those loves- Vintage.

I started buying vintage clothing at the ripe young age of eight; through thrift stores, boutiques, and more recently online. I’m no expert at vintage fashion but I have learned a lot about styling vintage to look current and trendy in my eighteen years (plus) of experience. It’s pretty easy to look “old fashioned” when purchasing a dress from a local thrift store, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Simple styling tips and advice on what to choose, and what not to, when buying vintage clothing can save you from making a fashion faux pas the next time you walk out the door.

Tips for Wearing Vintage Now:

1. Start small.
When you’re new to purchasing vintage it is best to start small, with accessories. Scarves, belts, and shoes are a perfect way to start incorporating vintage into your wardrobe. The recent trend of wearing scarves (as a belt, headband, or around the neck) makes it especially cheap and easy to add a little splash of vintage to your outfits.

2. Mix and match new and vintage pieces.
Today’s fashion is all about the right mix of personal statement pieces, old standards, and fun prints. When I put an outfit together I try to pick out at least one vintage/thrifted piece to add to the mix. If you wear vintage head to toe it can sometimes look really great, but more often than not you’ll end up looking dowdy and not at all chic. By mixing the vintage pieces into your wardrobe stealth-like you’ll never appear like you’re trying too hard and it will help make your old standards seem fresh and new.

3. Just say no to shoulder pads.
My number one pet peeve about vintage clothing is shoulder pads. In what world was it ever okay for women to look like football players? That being said there are a lot of really great pieces that have those nasty little pads sewn in. Those beauties shouldn’t be left on the racks to spoil, simply snip out the pads, or if they’re sewn into the lining enlist the help of a tailor or your grandma if you can’t do it yourself. DO NOT KEEP THEM IN, nothing will age an outfit like a pair of shoulder pads.

4. Shorten those skirts.
Most pretty patterned skirts and dresses at thrift stores are a really unflattering length by today’s standards; hitting mid calf or just above the ankle. The key is to tailor pieces so that the lengths are flattering to your figure, and the item fits right (If that’s mid-calf rock it). Again contact your tailor or closest family member with sewing skills to help you shorten the skirts if you can’t do it yourself. 

5. Quality is king.
It doesn’t matter how cute a top is, or how pretty the print of the dress, if the integrity of the piece has been compromised (i.e. it’s stained/torn/poorly altered) do not buy it. No amount of camouflage with accessories and cardigans can hide a ragged, and worn-out piece of clothing. Make sure you look for sweat stains, tears in the seam, and disintegrating fabric before you walk up to the checkout line. Skip this step and you may look dirt poor, instead of hipster-chic.

6. Learn from others.
I’m still learning the best ways to wear vintage in a modern world without looking like a grandma and the internet is a wealth of inspiration on that front. Pinterest is a great place to start collecting inspiration. Create a vintage style board and pin any outfit you see that matches your aesthetic. Sooner or later you’ll start to see a trend in what you pick out online and you’ll know what to be looking for the next time you hit a vintage clothing shopping.

7. Be brave.
My number one piece of advice for you today is to be brave with vintage clothing. No fashion maven got where she is today without taking risks with clothes. I’ve had way more outfit duds than outfit successes, but you just have to laugh at yourself and move on. Have a sense of humor when you get dressed in the morning, and take at least one risk a week.

What are your vintage styling tips? I’d love to hear what you have to say about incorporating vintage into your wardrobe. Leave a comment below, and let’s chat. big kiss, bekuh


Sam | ashore said...

Allie and Bekuh,

All these tips are so helpful! Here in Portland, vintage is huge. It makes it harder sometimes - because there are only so many great pieces to go around (... or that haven't been marked up 500% at a vintage boutique)

My #1 thing when it comes to vintage shopping is check the material! No matter how gorgeous a piece is, I always check the tag for the blend. Polyester was so common in the 70s and 80s - and it just doesn't wear as well as natural fibers. I'd pick classic cotton or silk over something synthetic any day.

Celebrating the Day said...

Great tips! I love your blog!

Miss Sultana said...

Love that dress! It's fab. I'm a new blogger, take a look at my page and follow back hun :)