Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Rules For Wearing Vintage, When You're a Bit Vintage

Note: Sally at Already Pretty chose this post as one of her Lovely Links this week, thank you, Sal! Please go to her fab site and check out all the Lovely Links.

I love vintage clothing! Love it. (My definition of vintage, and I realize it is fluid, includes clothing and accessories from the 1970's and earlier). For a couple of years I collected and sold vintage clothing on eBay, and became pretty knowledgeable about the defining styles of the 20th century. I have a real love affair with dresses and skirts from the 1940's and 50's. I adore that feminine silhouette, the emphasis on waist and hips, the graceful lengths and the drapey fabrics. I still shop at a few eBay stores that sell very nice quality vintage at good prices, including DexterDoggie, DeniseBrain, and Floozee's Vintage.

Today I still own a few of my former beauties, like this one:

A fab 1950's party dress that can be made to look very current

I just sold this gorgeous 1940's bias-cut velvet gown

And every now and then I will wear a favorite fitted sheath from the 50's, so long as I haven't gained six ounces. I still thrill to the fine construction, the wonderful old labels and the attention to detail. I find I stand and walk with extra attention to form when I am wearing these dresses.

I don't dress in head-to-toe vintage any more. It now feels too costume-y to me. If I wear my beloved black sheath dress, I wear modern jewelry and shoes, and I forgo a vintage style hat or gloves. That combination is a beautiful look, but at age 56, I feel like I am trying too hard. I will enjoy vintage jewelry any day of the week with my modern clothes, and a vintage leather handbag is a big yes, anytime.

Here are my not-too-hard-and-fast guidelines for wearing vintage over A Certain Age (your mileage may vary, and there are some 50+ bloggers who absolutely own head to toe vintage!):
  • When wearing vintage dresses I wear my usual modern(ish) hairstyle and makeup. No 40's-style rag-curls or bright red lips.
  • If wearing an extreme vintage piece, like a circle skirt, I pair it with a contemporary blouse, belt and shoes. I avoid a kitten-ish sweater (a good rule for me any day) or a vintage checked blouse, for example.
  • Similarly, I'll wear a sheer nylon vintage blouse with a current pencil or A-line skirt, a modern belt, tights and boots or booties.
  • Vintage accessories are cool any day of the week, especially necklaces and bracelets. I have a wonderful mini-collection of these and wear them often. See Debbi at She Accessorizes Well for some glorious vintage jewelry pieces.
  • I'm not a big scarf person, but vintage scarves can be gorgeous, and a true bargain in the thrifting world. Look for real silk, and interesting old labels.
  • Perfect for vintage scores: gloves, in leather, cotton or silk; and handbags of all sorts - leather, straw, velvet, embroidered, whatever strikes you. 
  • Not too many vintage shoes fit my modern feet, so I often choose modern shoes with a vintage vibe, like these:
Great with a dress: Naturalizers, via Zappos, $89.00


So cute with a casual skirt or jeans: Dirty Laundry via Zappos, $39.99 on sale

    Vintage clothing and accessories add so much fun to my wardrobe, and I love the sense of history they convey. So long as I am careful to avoid the costume look, I'll continue to enjoy hunting down and wearing vintage. What say you?




    Join us! Click the Spotlight


    Visible Monday Reminder:  Monday September 19th is Visible Monday, a group posting for anyone who'd like to participate. The simple guidelines are here. Basically, just post something that makes you feel wonderful/visible, and link to it via my Monday post. Easy and fun.

    43 comments:

    1.  have had to tone my vintage dressing down a bit.  I don't want to look like I hauled the outfit our of my closet from the 50's.  Not that I wore grown up clothes in the 50's but some youngin's wouldnt know the difference!  And you are right--some people can carry it off better than others.  sometimes its just a matter of attitude.  What not to wear did a good episode on it.  I did a post on my vintage--great minds think alike.

      ReplyDelete
    2. I would love to see you in that 1950s party dress...it is fabulous...I think it is wonderful that you developed this area of expertise.  The clothes can be so incredible from the 50s and 40s.  Good post!!

      ReplyDelete
    3. Patti,
      Good tips.  I happen to be a vintage junkie myself.  You are so right about combining to many pieces into an outfit

      ReplyDelete
    4. I learned something new about you today! I did not know that you sold vintage on ebay.  The pieces you show are beautiful. I really like all your tips and thank you for mentioning me! I have some lovely vintage jewelry that I will wear this winter, it's just too heavy for summer.
      I will have to ask your opinion on how to style my vintage coat. I need to get the fur collar sewed back on it. It will be a while before it is cold enough to wear it so I do have some time yet!
      Like Pam, I would love for you to model your prized vintage dresses!

      ReplyDelete
    5. Oooo the top dress is fabulous. I think it helps if you can find things that are a bit timeless (like a black dress). Even if the dress has a really dramatic design I think those transition better than fabric colors and patterns (which tend to waver in and out of style much faster).

      ReplyDelete
    6. Those are good guidelines, Patti.  Your dresses are so gorgeous!  I'm also a fan of modern shoes (with modern cushioning!) that have a vintage look.

      ReplyDelete
    7. Thank you for your sweet comments on my blog,  I appreciate them so much. Love vintage, my Aunt when I was in my college would send me her boucle suits and tweed suits.  I wore them like a new piece I just bought from the store.  I have vintage blouses circa 1970 from my mother. I have a vintage 1950s black cashmere cardigan jeweled enclosure sweater of my mother's that I adore. Wearing vintage with modern pieces makes me feel really chic because you can add a piece from years past but still be current with what is hot now.

      ReplyDelete
    8. So far, I like vintage on other people, not me. Those two dresses are gorgeous. I can picture you wearing them, especially with the contemporary pairings and accessories.

      ReplyDelete
    9. Thanks for the great tips. I don't own a lot of vintage, but I usually try not to wear them too often so I get to keep them longer. You are not vintage just vintage chic! I love the vintage dress, it's fabulous!

      love,mongsmythriftycloset.blogspot.com

      ReplyDelete
    10. I also follow similar rules as you. I love vintage but don't want to look costume-y so I mix my vintage pieces(some that belonged to my grandmother!) with modern .

      ReplyDelete
    11. That first dress is stunning!  Your rules are very good! You don't want to look like you've been dressing in vintage since it wasn't LOL You want to look modern  and trendy in "new" vintage :) I need to share this with my mommy!

      ReplyDelete
    12. I had not realized you had the interest in vintage clothing.  These are some great tips.  I would love to see you model that first dress.  It is absolutely breathtaking.

      ReplyDelete
    13. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleSeptember 16, 2011 at 8:30 AM

      You look awesome in your 50's style dress and wide belt. That's what I call owning the vintage!

      ReplyDelete
    14. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleSeptember 16, 2011 at 8:31 AM

      Thank you Pam. I agree, some of the dresses and suits from that era are breathtaking.

      ReplyDelete
    15. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleSeptember 16, 2011 at 8:31 AM

      Hi Tammy - show us your vintage!  : >

      ReplyDelete
    16. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleSeptember 16, 2011 at 8:32 AM

      Yes, I am excited to see your restored coat, Debbi. Hard to imagine cold weather right this minute, but in your part of the world, it will come soon enough!

      ReplyDelete
    17. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleSeptember 16, 2011 at 8:33 AM

      Great point, Loren. Some shapes are never dated, IMHO.

      ReplyDelete
    18. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleSeptember 16, 2011 at 8:33 AM

      Yes, I forgot to mention the comfort factor of modern shoes, thank you!

      ReplyDelete
    19. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleSeptember 16, 2011 at 8:34 AM

      Oh, I'd love to see some of those pieces on you. The jeweled cashmere sweaters of the 50's are works of art. Thanks so much for coming by!

      ReplyDelete
    20. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleSeptember 16, 2011 at 8:35 AM

      Thanks Susan! I agree, vintage is not a look everyone loves for themselves.

      ReplyDelete
    21. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleSeptember 16, 2011 at 8:36 AM

      Thank you Mongs, you have a way with words, my young friend  : >

      ReplyDelete
    22. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleSeptember 16, 2011 at 8:36 AM

      That is the most wonderful way, when your vintage pieces have emotional value. Thanks so much for coming by.

      ReplyDelete
    23. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleSeptember 16, 2011 at 8:37 AM

      Thanks Amber and thanks for coming by. You could sew from some vintage patterns someday, I would like to hear from you if that is easy or difficult.

      ReplyDelete
    24. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleSeptember 16, 2011 at 8:40 AM

      Thanks Terri. I got interested about the time I first had an internet connection, and discovered the world of vintage clothing.  I tried to find a vintage wedding dress but couldn't get quite the right fit/style -- but the hook was set  : >

      ReplyDelete
    25. The 1950s dress is so pretty and so my style. I need some vintage in my life.

      www.aussie-blue.com

      ReplyDelete
    26. Patti_NotDeadYetStyleSeptember 17, 2011 at 11:20 AM

      Hi Megan - I know what you mean. Some of those 50's dresses are just so darned pretty!

      ReplyDelete
    27. Sounds like you're very knowledgeable in the vintage arena and the dresses are stunning.  I wear vintage frequently and have a collection that I adore.  I usually mix it up with contemporary pieces, but sometimes I combine eras.  Whatever I feel like as I put my outfit together! I also have vintage shoes, which are fun until they fall apart.  

      ReplyDelete
    28. I myself wear shirtwaist dresses and love it!

      ReplyDelete
    29. Greetings from Los angeles! I'm bored to death at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the info you present here and can't wait to take a look when I get home.

      I'm shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I'm not even using WIFI, just 3G .

      . Anyways, awesome site!

      Also visit my website - home decor

      ReplyDelete
    30. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide
      credit and sources back to your site? My blog site is in the
      exact same niche as yours and my users would really benefit
      from a lot of the information you present here. Please let me know
      if this okay with you. Appreciate it!

      my page bookkeeping

      ReplyDelete
    31. Hi there! This article could not be written
      any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
      He constantly kept preaching about this. I am going to send this information to him.
      Fairly certain he'll have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

      my web site ... exercises to Increase vertical jump

      ReplyDelete
    32. I am sure this post has touched all the internet people, its really really nice piece of writing on building up new webpage.



      Feel free to visit my webpage - http://all.singapore-commercialspace.com/groups/some-suggested-exercises-to-use-your-jumping-ability/

      ReplyDelete
    33. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
      Plz reply as I'm looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. cheers

      Check out my web blog; workouts for vertical jump

      ReplyDelete
    34. Howdy I am so grateful I found your webpage,
      I really found you by error, while I was searching on
      Aol for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a remarkable post
      and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design),
      I don't have time to look over it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the excellent job.

      Here is my web-site ... workouts to jump higher

      ReplyDelete
    35. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know
      so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or
      something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home
      a little bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog.
      A great read. I'll certainly be back.

      Also visit my weblog :: books.dungx.net

      ReplyDelete
    36. Trouble fix with Samsung ML-1520 on WIN 8 Pro 64 little bit.

      Thanks to you !!!!!!
      Great !!!!!!

      Look into my web site :: xerox phaser 8560 ink sticks

      ReplyDelete
    37. Heya i'm for the first time here. I found this board and I to find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to provide something again and help others such as you helped me.

      Also visit my blog post: vertical leap workouts

      ReplyDelete
    38. Excellent site you have got here.. It's difficult to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

      Also visit my homepage: Veluminous Skin Care

      ReplyDelete
    39. It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it's time to be happy. I've read
      this post and if I could I want to suggest you
      few interesting things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring
      to this article. I want to read even more things
      about it!

      Here is my blog :: exercises to improve vertical leap

      ReplyDelete
    40. Yes! Finally someone writes about challenged child 5k.

      My page ... workouts to improve vertical

      ReplyDelete
    41. Heya i'm for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.

      Also visit my blog post ... http://disciplesconnections.com/blogs/entry/A-Few-Exercise-Routines-To-Use-To-Improve

      ReplyDelete
    42. Learn how to Employ Any Powerpoint Projector For your
      Subsequent Event

      Feel free to surf to my web page converter video to mp3 online

      ReplyDelete
    43. Vintage jewellery is absolutely a bold statement in itself. Keep
      it simple and stylish. To give vintage jewellery a modern touch, use it in
      different creative ways and make it stand out.

      ReplyDelete