Vintage Fashion Style Tips

"How to Wear Vintage: Adding Some Vintage Fashion to Your Style"


Looking for Vintage Fashion Style Tips? Want to know how to look chic in vintage clothing and accessories? Then look no further!

Chloe Sevigny wearing a vintage outfit
Chloe Sevigny via Celebutopia

Achieving a chic vintage fashion style consists of adding the right amount of "old" and contemporary basics & trends. Vintage has its special charm but too much of it can break your look. Well, unless you are sporting for that complete I-transported-from-the-past look!


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If you've decided to wear vintage but still want to look modern and chic, scroll further down for my styling tips!

Vintage Fashion Style Tips: How to Wear Vintage Clothing

It depends on the vintage pieces you decide to wear - if it's basic or flashy.

Let's check out a couple of examples:

Basic Vintage Clothing

If a piece is simple and versatile, you can consider it a basic wardrobe essential which can be worn to downplay or balance out a print dress, or as a blank canvas for trendy garments and accessories.

How to wear vintage fashion clothing, how to mix and match basic vintage pieces
1. Courtesy of Rustyzipper (vintage blazer and shorts) and ASOS (clutch), TheOutnet (sandals)
2. Courtesy of H&M (white shirt dress) and Adore Vintage (vintage sunglasses, bag), Rustyzipper (vintage pumps)


    1. Vintage Basics with Modern Accessories:

    Mix all of your basic vintage pieces together and drizzle it with a few up-to-date accessories such as platform sandals and a statement clutch purse.

    2. Contemporary Basics with Vintage Accessories:

    You can wear a basic white shirt dress and spiff it up with unusual vintage accessories, such as round tortoise sunglasses, floral handbag and a pair of lime green pumps.




Vintage Piece as Focal Point

If the vintage piece is a bit flashy, such as a multi-colored print boho dress, you can create a fashion statement with it by letting it shine as the focal point of your outfit.

Just make sure to complement it with basics - you can either use your new or vintage basics for this.

How to wear vintage fashion clothing, how to mix and match eyecatching trendy vintage pieces
1. & 2. Courtesy of Rustyzipper (vintage red dress and print shorts)


    1. Add Basic Accessories:

    You would want to highlight the dress by adding the basic wardrobe essentials as they don't draw too much attention, such as simple jewelry in gold or silver and solid colored pumps such as black wedge shoes.

    You can use a basic belt to update the silhouette, adding a nip at the waist.

    2. Update the Look:

    Weave in modern pieces to create an up-to-date vintage look. Examples are oversized sweater, platform booties, statement bracelet, etc.

    In this outfit I made a pair of 80s print vintage shorts as an outfit focal and highlighted it with a trendy pink cuff bracelet that accentuates and complements one of the colors (cream) on shorts -along with adding a casual sweater and a pair of wedge platform ankle boots.

    The trick here is to make sure the new pieces don't distract the eye from the shorts. Think accessories in modern shapes but in solid neutrals or colors that blend (but accentuate) with the vintage garment.



How to Style an Outfit with Vintage Clothing

Ingrid Holm from TheShowmanship wearing a vintage dress and modern accessories
Ingrid Holm via The Showmanship
As long as it doesn't look like you came out from a Victorian movie set then you'll look chic. Wearing vintage with style is about mixing it right to avoid looking like you're wearing a costume.

The trick is to keep your outfit balanced with 50/50 vintage and basic modern pieces.

Learn how to mix & match vintage and fashion trends

So if you decide to wear a vintage blouse, you might want to balance it out with a pair of modern pants (think contemporary sleek) or a skirt.

If you're going for a vintage dress, a pair of high heeled up-to-date sandals will do.


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Vintage Fashion Style Tips: Start with Vintage Accessories

If you want a creative and varied wardrobe, cheap vintage accessories are your best bet. They're much more cost-effective because you can buy lots of accessories for the price of one vintage dress - and a few pieces can give your outfit a whole new look.

Accessories from Knitting Bureau '48
From Knitting Bureau '48 Sewing Patterns

One key accessory (for example a purse or a scarf) is a great way to add a bit of vintage to your outfit. So if you want to show off a fab find you purchased from a vintage or thrift store, wear it as your focal with basic pieces from your wardrobe such as jeans, a simple boyfriend blazer and a basic white tee.

Check out the Outfit Ideas-guide to learn more about how to put together outfits.


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Vintage Fashion Style Tips: What Is Typical Vintage?

Most of today's fashion is somewhat inspired by the past - so you can easily find new clothes that look vintagey, especially blouses and all the platform shoes you see in stores today.

See more strategies on how to buy womens vintage clothing online and in stores

However if you're on a budget then buying real vintage clothing is the way to go. Not only is vintage fashion sustainable, but it's cheaper and unique.

Here are some ideas on what super-affordable typical vintage accessories and details to look for:

Minikiss icon Trinkets and Lockets

Attach these charming beads to a 18 inches or longer necklace chain and wear it with any casual outfit.

See Shopping & Style Guide to Fashion Jewelry

Vintage trinket pendant necklace from ASOS




Minikiss icon Scarves

I'm sure your grandma or aunt has old scarves lying around in their closet. Look for prints such as floral, paisley, ethnic embroidery, 50'ish polka dots.

See Shopping & Style Guide to Scarves

Black floral scarf from Affordable Scarves



Minikiss icon Hats

Put some zest in your outfit with a vintage hat.

For example, add a cool contrast by wearing a fedora hat with a boho dress or with jeans and a white dress shirt. Other popular vintage hats are newsboy/bakerboy and ivy which go with your Fall/Winter outfits. I particularly like the panama hat for a chill and cool 70's vibe.

See Shopping & Style Guide to Hats



Straw panama hat from My Cuban Store



Checklist on What's Typical Vintage

So if you're not comfortable wearing used clothes (they're smelly or the feeling of wearing something a 'deceased' person has worn, etc.), you can always buy garments and accessories with vintage-inspired details instead of the real thing.

To help you get started, here's a list of details that add a vintage touch to your outfits:
  • Floral
  • Lace
  • Paisley
  • Vintage lace shirt
  • Polkadots
  • Checkers
  • Bows and ribbons
  • Flapper fringes
  • Headbands worn in a hippie-style
  • Ruffles
  • Pleats
  • Distressed, worn-out leather
  • Flared skirt, flared pants, flared top sleeves


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Time to Shop for Womens Vintage Clothing

Now that you've reviewed my vintage fashion style tips, it's time to shop!

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More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish
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More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish

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