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Mixing the old with the new: top tips for wearing vintage

It may sound a daunting task, but mixing vintage fashion with modern togs is definitely possible, should you fancy doing so. In fact, get it right and the look can be devastating.  Different items of clothing, irrespective of what decade their look dates from or even when they were originally manufactured, can definitely go together, should you have a keen eye and put a bit of consider into how you mix and match. Not convinced? Read on and discover some of our tips for getting the most out of your vintage clobber by incorporating it into the maximum number of outfits you genuinely can…

How should you mix vintage with modern?

So, mixing old and new in fashion terms is actually easier in practice than you may imagine. And that’s because, if you’re dealing with clothing items – or accessories – that are simple and therefore versatile, there’s a good chance they’ll go with other such items. Indeed, you might want to consider such pieces as your ‘wardrobe essentials’ – it doesn’t matter whether if an item’s new or old; if it works as a building block of several different outfits, it can be considered a mainstay (there’s no need then, if it’s vintage, to keep it in a special ‘vintage draw’).

Indeed, you may want to think along the lines of:

  • Vintage ‘essentials’ that go with modern accessories – how many of your retro items can you embellish with contemporary additions like stylish clutch purses or trendy sandals?
  • Modern ‘essentials’ that go with vintage accessories – up-to-date garments (a fairly basic single-tone shirt, blouse or dress) can be enhanced with vintage touches like a floral handbag or round tortoise sunglasses.

Vintage as the focus

Should you be rummaging through your wardrobe and pull out a favourite old-fashioned blazer – or come across a fantastic, nay beautiful example of vintage style dresses UK via a specialist online retailer that you just have to buy – you may suddenly have the urge to make it the centrepiece of an outfit. Fair enough. But how do you complement it with modern additions – accessories and other contemporary garments like a t-shirt, shoes, a bag or jewellery?

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The trick is keeping it simple; looks-wise, that is. Following the credo outlined above, if the vintage piece is bold and attention grabbing, supplement it with basic modern touches that won’t jar with it, thus won’t try to make fashion statements on their own. Conversely, if the vintage item’s on the basic, less-is-more side, feel free to do the opposite.

How to style vintage with modern

The above tips are all very well, of course, but what about genuinely looking stylish? What about not just mixing and matching the modern and vintage aspects of your collection because you fancy doing so, but looking properly chic as you do so? How can you really pull that off?

Wearing vintage right is all about being honest with yourself. How does it really look? If the appearance is verging on costume, then it’s probably not the outfit combo for a work-day (whatever the work environment) or a night out; let alone a stylish outfit at that. You need to mix well and not just throw together several of your favourite pieces – you might be surprised by what best goes together from among your contemporary and vintage items, so don’t be afraid to experiment; in fact, experimentation is key.

To keep it cool and not too outlandish, you might want to try and employ a 50/50 ratio – half of the outfit vintage; the other half contemporary. For instance, balance out a vintage blouse with sleek up-to-date pants or a simple skirt; with a vintage dress, add high-heeled modern sandals. There’s no golden rule or silver bullet – and there shouldn’t be, as you it’s also about feeling happy and comfortable in what you’re wearing and expressing yourself – but balance is a good aim to achieve, for sure.

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