How to Wear Vintage and Look Modern

When wearing vintage clothing, it’s easy to look like you’ve just stepped out of a time machine. This may be perfect for a costume party. But when you have to wear it every day, you need to create a more contemporary look out of vintage pieces. So how do you even get started? Here are a few basic tips to help you look modern when wearing vintage:

  • Start with vintage accessories – If you’re new to vintage, it’s best to start with something simple. You could add vintage accessories to a modern outfit. One key accessory like a vintage belt could perfectly balance out an otherwise contemporary look. Think about your wardrobe basics like a plain white tee and a pair of denims. Just throw on a statement vintage belt over this look and you’re good to go. 

    start with vintage accessories
    Source: Chictopia

    Vintage accessories are also a great place to start when you’re on a budget. You can get several pieces for the price of a single vintage dress. With a few accessories, you can create completely different outfits. Maybe you could accessorize your basic shirt dress with a vintage belt and handbag. You could also switch up the look with a printed scarf and vintage baubles. So look for vintage belts, necklaces, brooches, scarves, shoes, bags, hats, etc.

  • Get inspired by current trends – Maybe you’re not yet confident about pairing up vintage and modern pieces. If this is the case, look for vintage clothes that are similar to current trends. Many designers find inspiration from vintage items, so it won’t be so difficult to find a piece that looks current. For example, suede skirts were huge in the sixties and seventies. They’re making a comeback now, so you could try to find one that fits right and looks perfect on you.

    Get inspired by current trendsSource: Filthy Rebena

    Flared jeans are also huge this year. They were on trend during the sixties and seventies as well. So you could try to find a pair of well-fitting denims during those eras. If you’re lucky, you might even find thigh-high boots from the eighties. These could work perfectly with contemporary basics like shirt dresses or a tee and denim ensemble. 
  • Mix and match – Once you’ve gotten used to wearing vintage, you could get started with mixing and matching pieces from the current era with vintage items. Maybe you could pair a delicate Edwardian-style blouse with a trendy leather skirt. For a more formal event, wear it with a midi skirt in bold colors and trendy prints. You could also wear this blouse with something more casual like a pair of denims.

    Mix and matchSource: Styling Dutchman

    If you manage to snag a vintage fifties-style skirt, there are endless possibilities to style it and you can even use it as a Halloween costume later on. Otherwise, keep it casual by wearing it with a plain tee or a graphic tee for more flair. These skirts are already dressy on their own. So you don’t have to do much to dress them up for a formal event. Maybe a simple printed top with a statement necklace will be all it takes to work this look. 
  • Dress around one statement piece – It’s also a great idea to create a fashion statement with flashy vintage items. Make them the focal point of your whole outfit and wear them with modern accessories. You don’t want to draw too much attention by wearing accessories that will clash with your statement piece. When you’re wearing something like a bold printed boho dress, keep your accessories minimal and modern.

    Dress around one statement pieceSource: Daily Mail

    Even with something like a statement skirt, you could dress with fashion basics. Accessorize the look with minimal contemporary pieces like a mini cross-body bag and a pair of stilettos. You could go for something bolder like a faux leopard coat straight out of the eighties and nineties. Keep the rest of your outfit minimal. Maybe wear an all-black outfit with the coat? 
  • Mix eras – Another way to wear vintage is by mixing eras around in one outfit. This can be difficult to pull off unless you’re a seasoned vintage aficionado. You could wear a vintage coat from the sixties with a dress from the forties and a classic handbag. The possibilities are endless but avoid trying this out unless you’re truly confident that you’ll pull it off.

Every woman needs at least one vintage item in their wardrobe. While it’s not easy to style it for a contemporary look, it’s never too late to start experimenting. How do you wear vintage? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments.

Author Bio:

Brandon Leibowitz is a seasoned writer for global thrift retailers, Savers and Value Village. He is a frequent contributor to blogs such as Social Media Examiner, Businesss 2 Community and several others. Brandon is recognized as a strong social media influencer due to his knowledge of and dedication to the industry.


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Megan Wilson is a freelance writer and content creator based in Richmond, Virginia. As the editor of Sweet Sauce Blog, she writes about fashion, travel, self care and more.


    • Arent they fun?! Loved this submission!

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