Let’s face it; in the fashion world, what goes around comes around. And that means inevitably many of today’s trends – whatever the season or specific year – have more than distant echoes of the past. Many of today’s clothes have a retro, vintagey feel to them.
In which case, nowadays, more than ever before, is the time to go retro; it’s the time to pop into that vintage shop near you or to hop online and visit a retro retailer’s site and buy those items and fill your wardrobe with them to boost your outfit options. A great advantage of buying vintage is – used or new – it can often be cheaper and sustainable, but far from skimps on quality either.
Moreover, if you want to be as creative and imaginative as possible when it comes to putting outfits together then investing in vintage accessories is undoubtedly the way to go. Why? Think about it; you’re able to draw on decades and decades’ worth of trendy bits and pieces rather than just a few seasons’ worth with which to embellish your outfit’s focal point and give it a whole new – or many different – looks. Plus, owing to the cost-effective nature of retro clothing items, you can get hold of a whole host of quality vintage accessories for the price of a single modern dress.
Accessories as the focal point
Alternatively, you could use basic building blocks from your modern pieces (such as a white t-shirt or blouse, a basic boyfriend blazer or a pair of jeans) and make the vintage accessories the outfit’s focal point; actually turn to several vintage pieces to bring it to life and give it an identity.
If you like the sound of this, do bear in mind, though, that it’s important not to go over the top; it’s about mixing and matching and that means resisting the urge to let loose too many cooks on the broth – you don’t want to go too outlandish. What goes with what? Adding what is going too far? By experimenting and being honest with yourself as you look at the outfit building in the mirror, you’ll be able to tell.
Typical vintage accessories
If you’re familiar with this website, you might well be aware of the different vintage garments that tend to be readily available (and, in the case of newly manufactured items, the brands too – such as Collectif Dresses), but what sort of vintage accessories are we talking about? What sort of bits and bobs can you find to enhance an overall outfit? Here are some pointers…
- Hats – by adding a fedora to a modern boho dress you’ll create a cool complement, while newsboy caps and ivy hats are irresistible and more than a little chic in the autumn and winter months when the temperatures drop (or even plummet!); for summer months, though, it’s hard to beat the lightweight, sunny vibe a Panama hat lends your look
- Scarves – when it comes to scarves, it’s a real chance to spice up an outfit with a dab of colour or eye-popping style (think ethnic embroidery, floral or paisley prints or ’50s-like polka dots)
- Lockets and trinkets – so easy and, yes, cheap to pick up, these little pieces can be attached to necklaces, bracelets, beads and chains to add timeless and inimitable character to any casual outfit.
Vintage style checklist
So, to sum up, what sort of looks are advisable to go for when it comes to vintage accessories? What styles are likely to add some punch (but not too much!) to an outfit whose basis is a modern, up-to-date fashionable main piece? Well, as noted above, there are inevitably crossovers with contemporary fashion – which, in part, is why vintage pieces go so well with modern ones – but be sure to be on the look-out for hats, scarves, gloves, bags, purses and trinkets boasting the following styles and looks:
- Bows and ribbons
- Distressed leather
- Flapper fringes
- Flared skirts, pants, sleeves, collars and cuffs
- Headbands (which you can wear in a sunny, hippie way)