Vintage outfit ideas- The last five decades of the 20th century inculcate evolving fashion trends and couture. Many of us are obsessed with the classic prints and evergreen cuts of the 50s, 60s, and so on.
Today, in the 21st century, women are still so fond of pleated skirts and flared knee-length frocks. The elegance of these trends has an incredibly stunning effect on present-day’s fashionistas.
Walking on the streets of NYC or LA, you will still come across ladies who take their fashion inspiration from the early-age classics. The ever-trending prints like polka dots or gingham will always catch your attention due to the familiarity and nostalgia associated with them.
Outfittrends will unleash all the secrets that will make shopping for vintage clothing a piece of cake for you ladies. There will be ideas to create a precise vintage closet. We will not only cover the best clothing articles but many other tips and tricks that will help you dress the best.
This self-explanatory yet straightforward guide will address the following:
What is Vintage Dressing?
According to style experts, Vintage outfits usually refer to dressing styles of the previous eras, which can be anywhere between the 1990s and 1920s or even older than that if you can manage.
Many experts also say that Vintage items should be a minimum of 20 years old.
The genuinely vintage clothing items will be made in an older era, for example, the 1950s, but it’s not easy for everyone to get their hands on these, so many individuals mix and match them with modern clothing.
Difference Between Vintage & Retro?
Many people confuse Vintage with Retro clothing, even though there is a considerable difference between the two. The main one being that vintage usually refers to authentic items that have been manufactured in an older era. In contrast, retro items are made in the present time to imitate another era.
How Do You Dress Vintage?
A short-sleeved blouse with a modish knee-length skirt is an essential vintage attire; however, several variations are already made to create a fusion of vintage and modern fashion trends.
The tight pencil skirts with fitted blouses of the 50s, capri pants of the 60s, midi skirts and dresses of the 70s, classic printed blouses with poof skirts of the 80s, and washed jeans of the 90s fashion are some of the staples required for creating vintage looks.
If you want authentic Vintage clothes, you need a really good eye when shopping at thrift stores.
Vintage clothing ranges from bold patterns to plain chiffon, from tartan dresses to ripped denim jeans, and from 50’s polka dot prints to cream and dainty ivory laces is a lot to experiment with.
There is a sea of ideas to unleash your old-school side to the fashion world, so let’s dive right in with some tips:
- Start by defining the era you want to dress for:
Every era is known for a specific style and you don’t want to mix them up so it’s best to start by picking the era according to which you want to dress.
- Look for the leading fashion icons of that era:
Once you’ve decided which era you want to dress according to, you can look at the leading models and other celebrities of that era for inspiration. Marilyn Monroe, for example, continues to be the most looked up to figure for any girl who wants to dress like the 50s.
- Watch some shows and movies from that era:
You can find movies and shoes from the era of your choosing and binge-watch them for a good time and some fashion tips. If you’re trying Regencycore Fashion, for example, then you need to watch Pride and Prejudice and Bridgerton to get the best ideas.
- Look for the details:
Sometimes when dressing vintage, we get too focused on the outfit that we forget to give attention to other details such as makeup, shoes and accessories. It is important for all these things to coordinate with your outfit and be of the same era so take notes accordingly.
Vintage Outfit Ideas for Girls
23 – Knee-Length Puffed Skirt
Back in the 50s and 60s, knee-length puffed skirts were indeed trendy, and you may have heard your mothers or aunts telling you how much they used to love the puffy knee-length skirts. If you ever liked those skirts, you could still wear them now.
One way to wear these skirts is to get your hands on a knee-length puffed skirt in a pastel color and pair it up with a contrasting top, such as the black and white animal print blouse chosen here and tucked inside the skirt.
22 – Styling Vintage Dresses
Dresses are the best of all options when trying to achieve a vintage look as these are the most elegant clothing articles and are the easiest to style.
Retro or gypsy trousers can look too modern and might give you the undesired outcome.
Knee-length or foot-length dresses are the best options for a truly vintage look.
The 1920’s Charleston-style to the 1950’s rockabilly all lies in the mentioned length categories and can include sartorial techniques such as pleated, a-RA, and A-Line.
Necklines for vintage dresses and blouses usually consist of sweetheart, halter-neck, and boat-neck shapes, so finding a style to suit your shoulder shape is as easy as pie.
Do not be afraid to go a bit overboard when it comes to lace detailing.
Lace is highly luxurious fabric and expensive too, so it is perfect for adding that je ne sais quoi to any vintage apparel. Lace can be added to necklines, cuffs, hemlines, and even full blouses and tops.
While choosing lace, try to keep it a similar color to the garment you are wearing.
However, this rule does not apply if you are going for a vintage rockabilly image.
The vintage rockabilly or 50’s style includes bold colors and patterns such as tartan and polka dots. Sweetheart necklines and halter necks are all the rage, so are knee-length hemlines. With this vintage style, it is paramount that your waistline is shaped accordingly, and this also goes for the 1940s.
Accessorize your fitted dresses and tops with belts to flaunt your curves and thin waist.
You can add contrasting colors while styling such bold dresses. My favorite colors for the 1950’s vintage style are red, white, black, yellow, and blue, basically all the primary hues.
21 – How to Rock Vintage Attire in Summers
Summers give you the best opportunity to dress in a vintage style. The main reason for this is that you have a wide variety of colors and Haute options to choose from, particularly in summer.
The best way to style yourself vintage is by wearing a plaid patterned shirt.
Button up the top of your shirt and tie a knot at the end, giving it a crop top vibe. If you are not interested in creating a bow or knot, tuck your shirt inside your denim shorts.
Pair this shirt with denim shorts and black leather ankle boots.
Who doesn’t love to wear rompers in summer? From babies to grown-up girls, everyone loves to wear a chic denim romper with a sleeveless t-shirt or a printed blouse. Wear a denim onesie while traveling in a retro style.
The best option available for you is to wear a denim romper on top of a striped crop top; if you don’t love crop tops, then go for a fitted black and white shirt.
Jazz this style up with a brown leather long-strap messenger bag and brown shades.
Wear denim shorts with a floral print blouse to create the ultimate BOHO look this summers and give life to another vintage look.
Go for a light floral top, i.e., the one with pastel flowers on it, and match it with your high-waisted denim shorts.
For accessorizing, you can wear any color that coordinates with your top, e.g., if you have turquoise-colored flowers on your blouse, you can add a cute turquoise backpack to your final look.
Also, add some matching sunglasses and a cowboy hat in a soft neutral shade.
The button-down printed dresses which refused to die are the best vintage option for teenage girls as these can be worn any time to any place, let it be highschool or social gatherings.
Wear them with sneakers while going to school or college and block-heel sandals while attending gatherings. Go for glossy lips and peach blush to freshen up your skin.
Love this dark-colored printed knee-length dresses that has fitted waistlines while puffy hemlines.
20 – Monochromatic Vintage Ensembles
Who would miss a monochromatic polka-dot outfit? Let it be a classy midi skirt with a fleece top or a sheer polka dot dress with bright red sandals.
19 – Capped Sleeve Dresses
Pleated cap sleeves and monotonous prints will take you back to the evergreen 50’s era. Get a pastel midi dress and pair it with bright red heels and lipstick. You can slay this look during spring or summers.
18 – Bold Floral Prints
Floral prints have taken over the fashion industry for quite some time now, and believe me, and these quirky prints are never getting old, at least not any time soon. You can wear them with matching floral wedges.
17 – 40’s Style Swing Dress
Got a swing dress to style? Well, add some finger waves to your bob cut and wear it with wedge sandals for the perfect look.
16 – Two Piece Matching Set
Celebrities Trying Vintage Trends
We see many celebrities take on Vintage trends from time to time; here are some of our favorites:
Katie Holmes was seen in this 20s-inspired look for her appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. She’s wearing black tights with a fringe skirt and oversized black blazer and of course a slicked back braid to complete the look.
For her music video ‘flowers’, Miley Cyrus was seen wearing a metallic hooded gown from Yves Saint Laurent’s fall 1991 collection.
Bella Hadid has the most amazing collection of Vintage handbags and she carries them with her outfits in an effortless way – here’s a glimpse of her carrying one of these bags in Milan.
15 – Brooches
Victorian era is most popular for brooches and they’re back in fashion once again. You can wear them on your dresses or even your long coats to make a style statement.
14 – Padded Headbands
Padded or puffy headbands have been seen in many different eras, such as Regencycore and the 90s and even today, they look stunning when paired with the right outfit. You can go through our detailed post on the Puffy Headband Trend to learn more.
13 – 1950’s Bandana Style
Do you want the ultimate Bohemian look? Get silk bandanas in polka dot and chequered prints and tie them around your messy buns. And here are some bandanna hairstyle ideas to perfect your look.
12 – 1930’s Oxford Dancing Shoes
11 – 1940’s Velvet Mary Janes
10 – 1950’s Inspired Rockabilly Heels
9 – T-Bar Heels
Vintage hairstyles majorly depend upon the era you are going to hit. The Pin-Up hairdo is very well-groomed and highly elegant if pinned correctly. It is acceptable to have a full fringe; however, you will rarely see a vintage girl with free-flowing locks.
Bows, feathers, and simple hair slides are great additions to any vintage hairstyle. Be sure that your hairdo matches the era you’re trying to target. For a 1950’s style, you may opt for a hairband or a bandana, but you will see that simple flower clips can also do the job.
8 – 30s Inspired Hairstyles
The 1930s saw the influx of classic and sophisticated finger waves and simple hair clips. Unlike the modern time waves, these were highly defined and fixed using strong hold sprays. This era saw the rise of extreme eyebrow plucking.
Eyebrows were tremendously thin back then, which made for a very feminine look. Neutrality began to creep in at this time. Thus makeup was kept to cream, ivory, and natural tones.
7 – Pin-Up Vintage Hairstyles
Marilyn Monroe’s evergreen pin-up hairdo will only require a curling iron and some strong hold hair spray.
6 – 1930’s Finger Wave Style
The luxe finger wave hairstyle will take you back to the 20th century. It is best for vintage-themed parties or weddings.
5 – Dita Von Teese Style
Get this classy hairdo by curling your short bob and then fixing the curls with a holding mousse.
4 – 1920’s Charleston Makeup
The 20s was when makeup began to emerge, and people were still experimenting to get the perfect look. In the 20s, the bold and black smokey eye look was very famous.
3 – 1930’s Makeup
30s makeup was all about bright cheeks. Having bright peach and pink blushes all over your cheeks were considered extremely beautiful in those days.
Just wear a striking pink blush on your cheeks and thick black kajal under your lower waterline to create a 30s look.
2 – 1940’s Vintage Makeup
Makeup back then was all about contouring and bright lips while keeping your eyeshadow at a minimum. To pull off a perfect 40s look, all you need to do is fill in your brows and make them quite thick.
Then, contour your face (while really highlighting your cheekbones) and apply false eyelashes.
In the end, wear bright red lipstick, and voila, the 40s-inspired look is complete.
1 – 1950’s Rockabilly Makeup
The 50s makeup style was all about giving full attention to thick-winged eyeliners.
If you want a 50s-inspired makeup look, then go for thick eyeliner along with trimmed thin eyebrows. Not ready to trim your eyebrows? You can always cover them up with concealer and foundation instead to make them appear thinner.
For lips, wear a bright orangish-red shade and finish it up with a lip-plumping gloss such as Too Faced lip injection.
Q. Where to shop for vintage clothes?
Thrift markets are the best places to look for authentic vintage stuff but you need a really good eye to identify them. Some popular brands that are dedicated to vintage clothing include:
- TheRealReal (Best for buying second hand clothing online)
- JohnyWas (California based women clothing brand known for modern vintage outfits)
- Patagonia Worn Wear (Best for second hand Vintage jackets that have also been repaired if needed)
- What Goes Around Comes Around (Best for luxury vintage stuff such as Chanel and Gucci bags)
Q. Which clothing items are essential for creating a vintage look?
Some of the basics will include high-waisted denim pants or distressed shorts, printed blouses with ruffled sleeves, classic bell pants, and over-sized checkered blazers. Mix and match the available clothing articles to create magical vintage looks.
Q. How expensive is it to create a vintage look?
There are several factors involved in determining the cost of a vintage attire, which prominently includes the rarity of the outfit, preferred brands or designers, and whether you are buying it online or offline. We all know that the rarer a clothing article gets, the higher is its price. Moreover, the high-end brands like Gucci, Loius Vuitton, Mr. Freedom, and Biba will cost quite some bucks for simple jeans or blouse. If you want to keep it economical, then thrift stores are going to be your lifesaver. It will be a little time-consuming, but you will get plenty of designer clothing pieces within your price range.
Q. Why do fashionistas prefer vintage clothing over mainstream trends?
Vintage clothing received overwhelming attention from fashionistas and influencers from around the globe in the past decade. It has taken over mainstream fashion trends because it helps you stand out and gives you a pretty unique vibe. Most fashion enthusiasts integrate durable and everlasting vintage prints with modern oversized pants and jackets. The durability of vintage tees and jeans makes them ideal, and adding the economical price point further explains why vintage is the buzzword of the Haute world.
Can you please credit my imagine, I am the red head in the blue polka dot dress. My website is http://www.shemightbeloved.com where the image is from.
Hey Georgina, the link has been updated, thanks
Team Outfit Trends