Friday, June 5, 2015

Tips on buying and wearing vintage pieces

ten tips on buying and wearing vintage clothes

Oh man, I looked at the blog today and realized that it's been almost exactly two months since I posted my tutorial for the DIY simple fringe top. Yikes! I actually have been using my creative mojo, just in a different way. And I promise I'll share that with you all in the next couple weeks. But today I'm going to post something I've been excited about for a while now! My top 10 tips for buying and wearing vintage clothes!

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know that I'm mildly obsessed with vintage clothes (especially dresses). I love wearing pieces from different eras and incorporating them into my wardrobe, so I am really excited about this post today!

10 tips for buying and wearing vintage

1. Don't limit yourself to your "size." Vintage clothing will not have a standard size! Today's size 8 was roughly a size 16-18 in 1950. The '60's era green silk shift dress below is a "size 12" and I usually wear a size 4/6. Check the tag on the piece you're looking at, yes, but also check the other sizes on the rack.
    ten tips on buying and wearing vintage clothes
2. Know what eras suit your body. Floaty '70's maxi dresses? 60's mod? 50's nipped waists? 90's loose and short? 80's body con? The best way to do this is to try on everything! Try on styles from every era in order to get an idea of what looks good on your body. Then you can snap them up when you find them, and not waste time trying on floaty 50's prom dresses if they make you look like a cake topper being strangled by tulle (like they do to me!) I tend very much to buy 70's era maxi dresses and skirts, or early 90's floral skater dresses. They fit well and flatter my body, and the aesthetic appeals to my person sense of style.
3. Don't be scared by tailoring. 5 out of the 8 dresses above needed some form of tailoring to make them fit my body perfectly, weather it was a simple hemline raise like the pink floral dress, or the sleeves chopped off from the blue dress. Even brand-new clothing rarely fits you perfectly, so use a friend, grandma or professional and make it fit you like it was made for you.
ten tips on buying and wearing vintage clothes

4. Know what colors and patterns are trendy now, and look for vintage variations on them. The floral/polka dotted pattern mixed dress above was made in the 60's, but I found it last year when pattern mixing was becoming a huge trend. Score! The tiny yellow flowers on the pink dress work perfectly with the florals that are everywhere this spring.
ten tips on buying and wearing vintage clothes


5. Look at the details! It's the details of a dress that make it special and stand out. Intricate embroidery, sheer overlays, sequins, pattern mixing...all these details are what should grab your attention while shopping. These are the vintage pieces that make people say "wow!" Interesting shapes, colors or patterns that are no longer common are the details that make something truly special.
ten tips on buying and wearing vintage clothes

6. Look for expensive, quality materials such as leather, wool, fur etc. These materials will last and last and last and still look great. Quality construction details such as being fully lined in an expensive fabric like wool or silk is a bonus. A lined piece means quality construction, cheap clothing skips linings because they cost more!

7. Buy classic shapes that have stood the test of time, such as double breasted knee length wool coats, a canvas trench or a cropped fur coat. 60's shift dresses or 70's wrap dresses are great examples. The more classic the piece, the more it will look like it belongs in your closet with the rest of your clothes. These vintage classics will also usually be much higher quality then modern clothing, and they've already stood the test of time. 

ten tips on buying and wearing vintage clothes

8. Know where current trends come from (historically) and look for the original versions. Pieces like the sequined pencil skirt and black polka dotted skater skirt (90's), the white lace crop top (80's), and the crocheted white sweater (60's) all look current today but have an authenticity you don't get by going to F21 and buying a "look."
9. Don't be shy about mixing eras. Fashion recycles itself! So sometimes a 1950's era dress and a '80's coat can be magical together. Both decades were big on strong silhouettes with nipped waists and tailored details. The same can be said of the 60's mod dresses and early 90's minimalism. Just look for similar shapes and details and mix as you please!
10. Be comfortable! I personally never, ever wear anything I'm not comfortable in, that doesn't make me feel fantastic. The more comfortable you feel in clothes from any era, the better you'll look and the more you can forget what you're wearing and just enjoy yourself. Don't buy anything that's too tight, too short or too itchy, no matter how amazing you look in it.

There you are! Hope you enjoyed these, I know I enjoyed sharing them with you all! If you have any of your own great tips on how you wear vintage, leave them in the comments below!


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