One of the things I hear my readers and followers saying is that they wished they had more confidence to wear vintage. During my #dressupjune this was a theme that ran most days with comments on my Facebook page focusing on age and shape especially being barriers to feeling confident. As I passionately feel that anyone and everyone can wear vintage, today I share some top tips to improve your confidence and look fabulous.
1. Start small.
So you would love to wear vintage but don’t know where to start? My advice is to begin with one or two key pieces with your usual wardrobe. Stick to your usual style too so this is not the time to undergo a radical change (unless you want to of course!). So how about using a vintage handbag or scarf with your modern clothing.
Accessories are a great entry point and if you suddenly lose confidence you can easily take them off although I don’t really want you to do that! If you are wearing smart fashion choose a structured 1960s black kelly bag and small silk scarf tied at the neck. If you are more casual, choose a boho, beautifully worn saddle bag and some chunky bangles. Look to your local vintage shop or online for bargains: this is not the time to spend a fortune.
2. Mix and Match
I feel many people look to vintage and see fancy dress and that they have to embrace a whole era to be accepted.This is not true in any sense (and vintage is NOT fancy dress). There are no rules to wearing vintage except that you should love what you buy. You can mix eras and you can mix vintage with modern: see, no rules. Go to a vintage shop and trawl through the rails for something that grabs your attention and go try it on. If you are not sure what you would wear it with, ask the sales team for their advice.
A great starting point is a vintage blouse with your usual jeans. If you are a skinny jean kinda girl then go for a slightly fitted, pretty, pussy bow blouse from the 1970s or 1980s which incidentally are totally in fashion right now. If you wearing flared jeans right now (already feeling the 1970s vibe?) then you may want to choose something more boho, or floaty such as a smock, embroidered blouse. If you love a more casual feel then look to a 1960s fitted shirt with a cool pattern on.
3. Dressing up
I love vintage dresses as do most of the vintage loving community. I love to wear them with a modern denim or leather jacket, a pair of opaque tights and any shoes which are on trend such as brogues. I have dresses from the 1940s through the 1980s in my wardrobe and they are so easy to wear. Plus, they look great in the workplace worn with heeled shoes.
The great thing about a dress is that you don’t need to worry about what to wear it with. Simply choose one exactly the same way you would choose a regular dress: fit, shape, colour, pattern and occasion. Choose a loose fitting one for casual look and a more fitted style for a smart look – see no different from normal. But try to be a bit braver and try them on…. when you start wearing vintage dresses, you won’t know what styles will suit your body shape best. My advice is this: if you love your waist but don’t like your hips choose a fit and flare dress from the 1950s or 1980s where the waist is cinched in and the skirt is wide. If you don’t especially love your waist or your hips choose a 1960s shift dress and nip in the sides slightly by wearing a cardigan. If you are up and down slim then a 1940s tea dress or a 1970s maxi will work well.
But as I’ve said before, as long as you love it then go for it!
Another trick is to wear them with leggings in the spring and autumn to slightly dress them down.
4. Choose reproduction
If you are still struggling to find a vintage outfit that you feel confident in, choose a reproduction one. There are so many companies out there who make some great fashion such as Collectif for womenswear and Freddies of Pinewood for a vintage casual vibe and what’s more, they make clothing that suits and fits all shapes.
My only advice is to try to not look like a caricature with your reproduction clothing. Try and avoid polka dots for example and skirts with poodles on (unless you totally love them of course) as these really aren’t reflective of what women wore back in the day.
5. Age is just a number
I end with one big piece of advice and that is vintage is not for young people only. I am 43 and have been wearing it in some shape and form since I was 16. I just now choose different styles that I would have worn as a teenager. (But then again I do still love a 1960s mini dress!) Maybe think about what an older woman would have worn at the time and choose something similar (without wearing aprons and overalls obviously!). A lady in her 40s would have worn slightly more classic shapes which may be where you want to be – a 1940s tea dress or 1950s wiggle dress is perfect for this.
Still unsure then try to look to celebrities who have embraced wearing vintage for some style inspiration. Check out Dawn O’Porter, Cameron Diaz, Nicole Richie, Alexa Chung, Kate Moss and Fearne Cotton as just some examples of women of differing ages who all love a bit of vintage.
Wearing vintage is fun, unique and stylish. When you wear it, no one will turn up in the same outfit as you. And I promise, everyone will envy you and your wardrobe.
So go try a bit of vintage today!
p.s. Wonder how to actually but vintage successfully. Then have a look at this weeks blog, 10 things to consider when buying vintage for more advice.
p.p..s. I have been nominated for an Amara Interior Blog award which is amazing…I am so chuffed! If you like my blog, be a love and pop over and give me a vote! You can find my voting page HERE. It is the last week to vote this week!