A little while ago I put a tweet asking for thoughts on future blog posts and one response was to do a top 5 or 10 ‘vintage outfit’ post.
Everyone who knows me knows I have lots and lots – maybe too many – clothes, including pure vintage, reproduction and modern styles. I felt a top 5 would be more of a challenge for me, having to raid my wardrobe and realise my favourite items!
Because of the variety of styles, hopefully this post will help to show a vintage look can be devised using modern high street items or accessories – for example a modern outfit can easily be retro by adding a colourful scarf, or maybe a beautiful fashion brooch!
I’ve carefully chosen a range of different items, charity bought, handmade and affordable shop items. I have steered away from using my original items – mainly because these are more evening wear (which I will do a post on eventually) however there is at least one accessory which I consider to be very vintage.
I’ve also tried to get different eras – well tried anyway!
This look is more retro than anything, using standard items and adding little gems of vintage. I wear a lot of black and basically live in cigarette trousers (well I do when I can fit in them) because they go with any top, blouse, shirt or jumper! Additionally, cigarette are classic vintage – worn by icons such as Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.
Here I’ve teamed my trusty black cigarette trousers with a basic white chiffon blouse – top. The beauty of black trousers allow any style and colour top to be a winner! To spruce up the outfit, the retro element lies in the shoes – the lilac ballet dancer lace ups. I bought these a few seasons ago from ASOS, falling in love with the delicate, summery shade.
I’ve added a scarf to compliment the shoes – I always love a cool green shade teamed with light purple. This silk scarf is what I call real vintage, being a Mary Quant scarf. I picked this up for £3.00 from a charity shop.
White Top: Lindy Bop
Cigarette Trousers: Topshop
Scarf: Dove House, No.87 (Hull) – Vintage Charity Shop
I just love this quirky, girly, yet boat-like look? (I think the latter is the colours, red, navy and cream horizontal stripes)
The skirt is such a perfect length, great for a summer garden party. I personally love the length because it’s long enough to cover the majority of my legs, yet shows enough leg to not have to wear tights. (Self-conscious of my legs)
A midi skirt is key to achieve a summer retro look – it can never go out of style! Most vintage skirt and dress patterns carry the same length whether it is a circle skirt, A-Line or the signature figure hugging pencil skirts. There are so many adorable patterned midi skirts available both on the highstreet and in charity shops, florals, stripes or statement block colours.
The cream underlying of the skirt allows any colour top to match. I always lean towards black or white tops because you can never go wrong. However the strong red in the skirt always steers me towards this cropped little lace blouse. For some reason, the lace and pleats really work – something I would have never thought of. Teamed with pointed toe black flats and a pair of sunglasses – I feel like a modern yet retro girl on a Roman Holiday!
Blouse: Topshop (sale item)
Skirt: Dove House, No. 87 (Hull) – Vintage Charity Shop
Shoes: New Look
My attempt at 60s and 70s. The dress is great for either! Although I am not one to step into the 70s style, teaming this dress with a wide brim hat gives an instant 70s vibe. As for the 60s; bring on the beehive hair, knee high boots and the most obvious – eyeliner wings!
I just love the wide arms of this dress, giving an elegant silhouette and representing an influx of freedom (woo, girl power.) The length of the dress is fab too, having the ability to be worn with trousers (wide legged jeans maybe, another way to claim a 70s look?)
Dress: F&F (Tesco)
Boots: Dorothy Perkins
Hat: Was given to me
I like this outfit because it is my go to ‘smart casual’ look. I wear this outfit quite often in the university library to fool myself into work mode! I found the blouse in a local charity shop falling in love with both the colour and the collar design. It was clearly meant to be as the blouse fits perfectly – something I struggle with on a day to day basis (small waist, bigger chest = unfitted shirt).
Blouses are making a comeback, with a majority of high street shops selling a variety – retro styles and practical. I got this blouse for £4 – so I recommend going to different charity shops and having a rummage around – you’ll always find a bargain or a hidden treasure!
Another area I struggle with is highwaisted trousers, I find there is never any comfort! However Primark pulled through and I found these amazing high waisted cigarette pants – I practically live in these! At £8 a pair I’m going to get a variety of colours!
Blouse: Dove House, No. 87 (Hull) – Vintage Charity Shop
High waisted cigarette trousers: Primark
Cardigan: Marks and Spencer
My favourite look is this profoundly 50’s style. Think Grease.
I am so impressed with this outfit overall – just because the shoes and the skirt is a perfect colour match!
The main reason that it’s my number one outfit because it is the most obvious vintage look – and the cheapest. I have an array of circle skirts – an item which suits absolutely everyone and can be adjusted to different lengths.
I personally like the way it tucks into the waist to show off my curves and give an illusion of added height! I’ve teamed it with a plain white shirt and a little red crop top for an accent colour.
It is the cheapest look because the skirt is handmade – with the excess fabric allowing a matching neck tie.
Vintage fashion does not always mean ‘old’ items – you can create a vintage and retro look through crafts of your own. I always think making your own clothes is proper vintage (or at least will be one day) because people of the past were more likely to make their own clothes and accessories. It makes it that little bit more sentimental, as well as getting an outfit that fits perfectly – something that is very difficult in buying vintage.
White Shirt: Gap
Red Crop Top: New Look
Circle Skirt & necktie: Homemade, materials from Boyes
What are your top five ‘vintage’ outfits? Any particular ways you style them?