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Even though fashion is constantly changing, one trend seems to be here to stay, and her name is Vintage! But being vintage is more than just rocking a style; it’s also a window into the cultural, social, and even political situations that gave rise to these looks. So, when you wear old clothes, remember that you’re telling a story.
As the zeitgeist of the past decades comes full circle, this article shows men and women how to add vintage elements to their style that go beyond the usual clichés and into the world of the extraordinary.
Classic suit and black dress
When it comes to women’s fashion, the LBD, or “Little Black Dress,” is a great example of something that never goes out of style. The LBD has existed since the 1920s, when Coco Chanel first wore it. It’s all about the accessories you choose. For a classic look, try a pair of vintage pearl earrings and a collar that goes with them. Add some red lipstick, and you’re not just wearing an outfit; you’re making a statement.
For men, the standard suit perfectly matches the little black dress. Modern suits often have slim cuts, but a retro look might call for something like a double-breasted style or a three-piece suit if you want to give off an air of old-school class.
Pants and skirts with wide legs
Flares are all about movement and putting on a show. Flared skirts make women feel like they are back on the dance floors of the 1950s and 1960s. Adding a tight belt to your outfit can show off your waist and add another layer of detail. Wear your skirt with a tight top and maybe a scarf or headband for a throwback look.
For men, flared pants can take them right back to the ’70s, the decade of dance and rock ‘n’ roll. Choose a color that isn’t too loud, like brown or dark blue, and wear your flares with a slim-fit shirt to keep the proportions in check. With a cool leather belt and square-toed shoes, you’re ready to dance or go to a modern event with a retro look.
Pants with a high waist
High-waisted pants or shorts can be worn in a lot of different ways and are great for a retro look. Women’s high-waisted pants come in many different styles, like wide-legged palazzo pants from the 1970s or fitted pencil skirts from the 1950s. Pair these with a shirt that you tuck in or a fitted knit top to draw attention to your waist and make the outfit look more balanced.
Men can also look old by wearing pants with a high waist. For a real look and feel, choose fabrics like tweed or wool. Adding suspenders to your outfit makes it easy to go from modern to retro. Finish the look with a clean white shirt, and you’ve got a style that will never go out of style.
Silk and velvet
Fabrics like velvet and silk have always been linked with wealth and luxury, which makes them great for a wardrobe that looks like it came from the past. Women can wear beautiful velvet dresses or soft velvet tops that go well with high-waisted skirts or pants. Velvet’s roughness makes a great contrast with lighter fabrics like silk or chiffon. This gives your outfit a lot of depth.
Men can get the same vibe of richness from silk. Think about silk dress shirts for special events or silk pocket squares to make a standard suit stand out. Silk’s smooth texture makes it a beautiful contrast to thicker fabrics like wool or tweed, making your outfit look more interesting.
Terry cloth for some textural interest
Terry cloth is a must-have if you want to capture the spirit of vintage relaxation. In the 1960s and 1970s, Slim Aarons took pictures of beautiful people in the sun, and stylish terry cloth shirts for men bring us back to that time. The cloth has a soft and luxurious feel to it, bringing to mind the laid-back luxury of Italian and French Rivieras.
Whether you’re at a resort or having a party in your backyard, these shirts are good for both. Wear them loose for a casual look, or zip up and pair your shirt with tailored shorts for an outfit that says “refined leisure.”
The Peter Pan collar and Polo shirts
The Peter Pan collar is a flat, round collar that gives any woman’s outfit a touch of childlike charm. The Peter Pan collar is a small feature that makes a big difference. It can be found on a blouse, a dress, or even a stylish sweater. It looks great with high-waisted pants and shoes with a retro look, like Mary Janes or kitten heels.
On the other hand, we have the polo shirt, a classic piece for men that can be worn in many ways and is also simply stylish. Polo shirts were first made for tennis players, but by the end of the 20th century, most guys had at least one. Put it in high-waisted pants and finish off the look with shoes or brogues for a look that is both casual and classy.
When it comes to putting together a vintage look, the right shoes are a must. Women might choose kitten heels, which have a girly look without being too uncomfortable. These tiny heels often have cute features like bows or lace that make any outfit look a little more fun. Mary Janes has a strap across the top of the foot and is another classic choice.
Men’s shoes can also say a lot about who they are. Brogues look like they were made in the old days because they have holes in them. Loafers are a slightly more casual option, but they are still stylish.
Accessories and jewelry that make a statement
Accessories are the key to making a retro outfit come to life. Women can wear chunky earrings with layers of pearls or big geometric shapes. Cameo brooches also have a touch of vintage elegance, especially when they are pinned to a high-necked shirt or a jacket’s lapel. Don’t forget about hats. Whether it’s a cap or a wide-brimmed hat, the right headwear can say a lot.
Layering with vintage outerwear
The right outerwear is an important part of any retro look. Women have a plethora of options, from classic trench coats that scream 1940s glam to fur stoles that harken back to Hollywood’s Golden Age. The key is to choose something that will go with your outfit instead of taking over.
For men, timeless options like a leather bomber jacket or a tweed blazer can be versatile additions to your vintage wardrobe. Whether you’re going for a rugged James Dean look with the leather jacket or opting for intellectual chic with a tweed blazer, the right outerwear can tie all the elements of your outfit together.
As you move through time with your clothes, keep in mind that the charm of retro style comes from its historical depth and complexity. But rules are not written in stone, and they shouldn’t be. Feel free to try new things, mix eras and fabrics, and come up with a look that showcases your fave time period but also your own unique style. So go ahead and be timeless in your own way.