Aggiornato il: 26 ott 2020
Whether you're new to the vintage world or a seasoned veteran, while embracing vintage and used contemporary pieces as a staple contributor to your wardrobe can be fun and expressive, it can also up the challenge and require more thinking when it comes to curating and styling your look. It's all too easy for vintage clothing to become costume-like when not properly thought through. Avoiding mass produced fast fashion is definitely worth the effort it takes to translate vintage and used contemporary pieces into modern, fashion forward, carefully curated looks: it saves the environment, it supports small businesses and independent sellers, and encourages everyone to really embrace and flaunt their own personal style.
When hunting for and styling vintage pieces, there are a few strategies I follow to make the process a bit easier. The first thing to consider is how the piece will work together with the other elements of your wardrobe and what it will contribute to your personal style statement. Although tempting, not every vintage piece you find warrants a purchase. The key to adopting vintage as a staple in your wardrobe is being selective in your purchasing decisions and when it comes to styling - edit, edit, EDIT! When I'm out "on the hunt" a few things I generally like to look for - and also get the most use out of - are vintage blouses or collared shirts, statement earrings (and accessories in general), basic wardrobe staples that offer a touch of vintage flare, and patterned dresses with easily translatable silhouettes.
Blouses or collared shirts are some of my absolute favorite vintage pieces to look for. They are so incredibly translatable in a modern styling context and add a vintage flare to an outfit without becoming so easily "costumey". I always look for blouses that could maybe even pass as contemporary save the details: an interesting collar shape, vintage prints, or bold silhouettes. These types of pieces are so great because you can easily pair them with contemporary pieces without forcing them to go together. Fully utilize interesting collars and cuffs by layering other pieces on top and just letting them peek through. Personally, my go-to outfit is a nice vintage blouse, wide leg pants, and statement earrings. Beware of the tops that are just too outdated. It's important to be extra critical particularly when dealing with the 80s. Tops from the 1980s are prevalent in almost any vintage or thrift shop, but are also at high risk for becoming costumey. It's not about any one element in itself, but more so about too many overly dated elements at play together: shoulder pads, pastel, brass buttons, ruffles and a big collar? The goal is to not accidentally end up looking like your mom's best friend Karen in her awkward senior picture.
Statement earrings can be a really fun and easy way to add interest and personality to even the most simple of looks. I can't even remember the last time I left the house without a pair of earrings on. When it comes to buying earrings or jewelry in general, it's easier to get away with crazy, bold, and strong period styles as compared to buying clothing pieces. The key is styling them with other, more toned down vintage pieces such as the vintage basic, or with contemporary pieces to give your look just a touch of vintage flare. Even a plain white t-shirt can be dressed up and personalized with an interesting earring choice. When it comes to earrings, the combinations are endless.
Vintage basics. No matter how much you love color and pattern, there's no denying that every well balanced wardrobe needs its basics. Incorporating vintage staple pieces into your daily wardrobe is a fun, expressive, and sustainable way to pack your personality into a basic staple piece like a black button-up or white blouse. Whether your thrifting at your local charity shop, sifting through the flea market, or perusing a treasure on Etsy, keep your
eyes out for an anything-but-basic staple piece. Because they are "basic" in nature, vintage basics are easily incorporated into a modern or contemporary style while still including a touch of personality to differentiate you from the crowd. Look out for unique collars, embroidery, and textural details such as ruffles or pleats.
Patterned dresses: a widely loved favorite of vintage enthusiasts and amatuer thrifters alike. You might think that a dress would be one of the easier pieces to find and style. Think again! Because a dress is a very powerful part of an outfit's visual statement, it runs the risk of making your whole look costumey if the dress is done in an overwhelmingly vintage print or silhouette. Not all dresses are equal. A bold, funky print with a more "modern" silhouette can help to balance your look between vintage with a twist and out of style. So, now that you've got some nice vintage pieces, how should you style them? Sometimes the fatal flaw in dressing in vintage is the look of just trying way too hard to make it work. A successful vintage look shouldn't look forced. This doesn't mean that there's no effort or attention to form, texture, color, and pattern: curated and forced are two very different things. When shopping for vintage or second hand pieces it's important make sure that what you find can be "translated" into a modern application through your styling approach for a carefully curated outcome. The most important thing when styling vintage pieces is to find a balance between them and contemporary styles: mixing vintage and contemporary pieces, styling with current trends in mind, utilizing vintage elements or details with silhouettes that fit with modern standards - and of course - establishing your own style language that will perfectly connect who you are to what we see.