How To: Make Modern Clothes Look Vintage

Some of my favorite clothing items I own are vintage; including the Paloma Picasso gloves I am wearing in the styled outfit below. Paloma Picasso is Pablo Picasso’s youngest daughter and she is well known for her jewelry designs with Tiffany & Co. I have found that a lot of my friends and fellow bloggers love the style of people like Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren, but don’t want to vintage shop or wear actual vintage dresses. I am here to help! I created the entire outfit below to teach you how to style modern clothing in a vintage fashion. Enjoy and as always feel free to comment any questions or instagram DM me @claire_wear. Love, Claire.

Step 1: Choose a vintage style printed fabric. My dress below is a 2017 Monique Lhuiller, but I choose it because the fabric is printed with Victorian/Baroque like swirls that you would see on a French Palace. Linderhof Palace

Step 2: Choose a vintage style fit. It is not enough to just choose a vintage like print. The fit is the most important part! For a rule of thumb here are the most popular fits and styles for different decades. You would not want to choose a fit like the mermaid dress because that is very modern.

20s- Sleek, shift fit. Not tight and did not hug curves. A lot of intricate beading, silks, cotton laces, peach, lavender, red orange, emerald, and mid navy blue colors were popular.

30s- The same as the 20s, but with more definition on the waist and the fabrics were colorful, floral, polka dotted, or black.

40s- The most popular fit was A-line with strong shoulders and a slightly defined waist. Vibrant primary colors were the most popular and velvet, rayon, plaids, flannels, strips, and polka dots all dominated the clothing scene as well.

50s- This was the ultimate age for the Fit&Flare dress. I chooses this style for the dress I am wearing below, but brought a modern twist by having a strapless top. Most 50’s flare dresses would have always had sleeves. Primary colors were still the rage. Cotton, denim corduroy and rayon ruled this decade.

60s- This is the Mod decade. Think of Twiggy or Jackie Kennedy and shapeless shift dresses with collars! The colors were very bright and the patterns were floral, big dots, and thick stripes.

70s- For the 70’s think fur, wide legged pants, swirled floral patterns, hippies and glam disco. Think of Jerry Hall and DVF prints. The dress style that was most popular was flowy and boho.

80s- Mini skirts, leg warmers, neon colors and shoulder pads. Does anyone really love 80s fashion? 80’s dresses had a lot of ruffles on them and were bright colors.

Step 3: Choose vintage style accessories. You don’t want to plan this much for an outfit only to add all modern accessories. For the outfit below, I paired cat eye sunglasses by Chinese Laundry and a hat from TJMaxx. In the past, hats showed social status and in the very far past they kept dirty hair hidden. They were a sign of “togetherness” in the 30s. The style of this hat is appropriate, a baseball cap would not have a vintage elegant feel. As for tights, in vintage style women used to cover their legs a lot more than today and panty hose or tights were frequently worn. I paired plain black tights with this dress.

Step 4: Pair an actual vintage item in with the outfit. My coat, clutch. and gloves are all vintage. Gloves used to be seen in Old Hollywood with long dresses on starlets and exuded elegance. In the 20’s to 70’s fur chubby coats were all the rage and that’s why I choose to pair this coat with the dress.

Step 5: The last step is the shoes!!! Patent leather was created in 1818, so I choose a basic black pump because it blended in with the tights. A rubber shoe would not add a vintage feel because it was not made until 2010! Leather is the best choice for footwear when making an outfit seem vintage!

P.S. My favorite part about this outfit is that the inside of the gloves are royal blue like the dress and the color peeks out just enough to not be overkill.


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