Vintage Clothing and Making It Work Today

Lately, vintage seems more of a style than a piece of clothing, but with more designers paying homage to trends of decades past, it can be difficult to decipher between whether you’re donning vintage style clothing or simply playing dress-up. So that’s why we’ve come up with a  few tips, so that when you’re trying to pay homage to 1962, you’re not stuck looking like a Pan Am extra.

Tip #1: Stick to the basics

Ask yourself this: when you think of vintage style clothing, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Obviously, polka dot and floral prints are synonymous with earlier-era fashion, but what about the very basics like lines and silhouettes? By defining your waist (whether through a tucked-in blouse and high-waisted pencil skirt), you immediately give off a ˜50s and ˜60s-oriented vibe, while wearing a knee-length loose-fitting dress (as seen in Marc Jacobs’ Spring 2012 collection) is immediately reminiscent of the prohibition-era.

Tip #2: One novelty piece at a time

Vintage-style clothing and vintage clothing were previously two separate things, but now that the former is consistently influencing designers, the two seem to be increasingly intertwined. That said, you’ll want to stick to only one novelty piece if you’re hoping to adopt vintage style clothing “ especially since loud prints, capettes and ˜70s-inspired floppy hats are involved in this season. Of course, that’s not to say you shouldn’t have fun: like the models seen in Gucci’s show, you can still wear fur, wide collars and bright colours “ just make sure to anchor them with neutrals like denim, black or a bag that doesn’t scream trendy.

Tip #3: Pick an era

Obviously, vintage style clothing isn’t limited to only two dominant eras “ especially if you’ve already acquainted yourself to thrift and vintage stores that don’t exactly specialize in a certain aesthetic. But if you’re hoping to give off a specific vibe or channel an era, you’ll want to stick to one at a time. Case in point: if you just picked up a flapper hat, you’ll want to stay away from the Joan Halloway look or anything 1970s. While if you’re donning cigarette pants and a crisp white blouse, you’ll want to avoid an oversize shoulder-pad heavy blazer.

Tip #4: Don’t lose yourself

It can be easy to get caught up in the novelty of thrifting, so make sure that before you build a wardrobe entirely around vintage style clothing, you know that it’s the type of look that works with existing pieces and your day-to-day wear. Novelty pieces are exciting and important to help add personality and dimension, but you don’t want to get lost in clothing that you can’t take into your day-to-day.

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Tags: fall 2011, Fashion, making vintage clothing work, trends, vintage clothing, vintage style clothing, what to wear, winter 2011

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