Monday, January 6, 2014

How to Wear Vintage Clothing in 2014: Fresh Advice from the Pros

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Ready to make your mark on 2014 with beautiful vintage fashion? Yay…me too!

Let’s start the year off right with some recent advice and ideas about how to make vintage clothing work in your current wardrobe.


I really like this article from The Guardian UK. Among other ideas in it, a vintage dealer says wearing vintage well depends on making it look modern. 

This seems obvious, but I don’t think it is to a lot of us. It means that we should be careful about dressing in head-to-toe vintage, especially if we’re older than about age 20.  Too much is too much, and can look costume-y. But a gorgeous, well-made vintage piece can look almost like a work of art if it’s the focal point of an outfit, and surrounded by more contemporary elements.


Next, take a look at this entertaining post from Bustle Magazine. You know, as much as I love vintage clothing, I’ve never thought of it as strictly practical. But Maria Southard Ospina, the author, makes a great case for why dressing in vintage is easy, fast, and practical for right now.

Why is this? First, vintage fashion is all about dresses—after all, this is what our mothers and grandmothers wore almost every day.  And what’s a dress? It’s one piece of clothing, that doesn’t need any thought to put on. You just throw it over your head or step into it, add shoes, and you’re ready.


Marie also claims vintage-style makeup is a practical idea for the modern woman.

Really? Well, it makes sense if you think about it. Red lipstick and cat-eye eyeliner are a combination that’s fast, pretty, and flattering on just about everyone.  Another great point…I’m going to try it! 


Finally, I really enjoyed this post about an upcoming book by Dawn O’Porter about the magic of vintage clothes. 

Clothes that others have owned and worn come with stories, and this makes them more meaningful and rich in experience than something brand new—especially when that new thing come from a “fast-fashion” outlet like Forever 21 or H & M.

If you love vintage clothing, you already know that vintage tends to be much better made than a lot of what we find today. There are gorgeous, natural fabrics you just can’t find anymore, as well as tailoring and design details that are almost impossible to find in modern mass-produced clothing. That’s because modern manufacturers just can’t afford to create that kind of garment and make money.

It’s not that I have anything against “fast fashion” per se—I go to that kind of shop for certain things—but for women who really attach personal value to their dressing (and who can’t afford couture), it’s hard to beat vintage. 

As the author of this article points out, vintage clothes have an aura, mystery, and depth of meaning about them that comes with their personal stories.  It doesn’t matter that we don’t actually know what the story is—we know that these pieces have them.  They are clothes “with a past,” and we can make their stories our own.

In our increasingly fast-paced world, full of “instant this” and “disposable that,” I find it comforting to wear clothing that’s neither instant nor disposable.


Since it’s still winter, let’s end our list of ideas for 2014 with a peek at this winter’s big coat trend. This article from Fashion Insider has the full scoop on the history of the look and how we can enjoy it in 2014.  I’m all about a big, warm coat…how about you?

Okay, I think we’re ready to knock ‘em dead in vintage for the New Year. Let’s get going!

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