This vintage style guide provides a sneak peek into vintage fashion and style ideas, vintage style tips, and more. Read on for more details.
Have you always wondered what is considered vintage style? Perhaps you've pondered vintage-style home décor?
In this post, we cover everything from the vintage soup to the retro nuts. All you need to know about vintage definition, vintage aesthetic, vintage ideas, and more — it's here!
Vintage — Not Just a Code Word for "F*cking Old"
Styles work like a revolving door.
In the early 2000s, baggy clothes were ev-er-y-thing...before falling from the height of peak fashion. Then, not just three years ago, everyone was wearing skinny jeans and wouldn't be caught dead in some JNCO jeans.
Today, though, you see both short, tight fashions and baggy styles on the street. (And those same baggy pants go for well over $150!)
Like we said, fashion may be different today, but it'll eventually swing back again.
(Just you wait and see. And, yes, this does sound like an excuse to start being a clothes-hoarding pack rat!)
WTH is Vintage Anyway?
If you're scratching your head and asking, "What do they mean by vintage?" or "Why is it called a vintage?" — it simply means that something, such as clothing, came from a prior era. When discussing how old vintage is, these are items that were popular between 30 to 100 years ago but aren't anymore.
The term vintage can be applied to pretty much a lot of stuff — clothing, jewelry, home goods, travel posters....
Vintage Style Slays
Modern vintage fashion can be fun and different, and you'll often get the chance to mix and match pieces to create a unique look. Moreover, reviving, upcycling, and reimagining styles and trends from a long time ago can be great because you're giving yourself a wider and deeper fashion well to draw from.
But remember, you don't have to just use actual OG duds and décor from decades ago to achieve the retro aesthetic. You can harness that vintage spirit with items you're able to get today as well. Sometimes it's about renewing the concept — not necessarily the threads themselves.
Second (or Third or Fourth...) Time's a Charm...So Be Charming
At this point, you're probably aching for an example of vintage. Below are just a few suggestions of how you can leverage contemporary items to strike a modern vintage look. We'll also touch on what vintage styles are trending.
Arm Warmers, Hot Again
Just like a scarf or hat, arm warmers provide a bit of Y2K flair to an otherwise simple look. Opt for a patterned motif and make a real statement! Here are just a few ways in which you can embrace a bygone-yet-fresh look:
- Opt for a dress and arm warmer combo with matching prints.
- Pick a scarf and arm warmer combo with coordinating colors.
- Wear soft-n-fuzzy arm warmers along with a leather outfit.
Ageless Flair with Bell Bottoms
Bell bottom pants first appeared in the fashion scene during the 1960s and 70s, when the Beatles helped to kick off this trend. To pull off this vintage style in the 2020s, be sure to do the following:
- Mix them up with a bra top to play with proportions.
- Use bright accessories to lean in to the playful shape of bell bottoms.
- Pair bell bottoms with a pair of boots or wedges and a blouse.
Hot Pants — Still Long on Style
No matter the occasion, short shorts can be worn for casual and fun looks. As long as your legs are ready, you'll have no regrets returning to this classic vintage staple. Just try this:
- Create a winning combination by wearing short shorts with a matching top.
- Shorts, heels, and a moto jacket can give a more sophisticated look.
- Wearing an all-black ensemble with your shorts will feel sleeker.
Mad for Mary Janes
Whether you prefer a shiny black pair or a more stylish pump version, Mary Janes will always have a spot in our hearts as an icon of the 90s and 00s. Here's how you can wear Mary Jane shoes today:
- Add a pair with a slip dress and a white tank top.
- Bring a dark vibe by wearing a muted color palette and plaid skirt.
- Pink MJs always look great with a bold cardie and skirt.
Fishnets Forever Fashion Forward
Ever since we saw Moulin Rouge on the big screen, we've been fascinated by the seductive femininity that fishnet stockings can haul in. Revamping this vintage look is so easy:
- Wear fishnets with a knee-length coat.
- Play with textures by pairing your stockings with something faux fur — like a jacket or purse.
- A pair of fishnet stockings with a pleather skirt is eternally hot.
Right On! Rhinestone Sunglasses
No matter how much bling you're after, you'll always look groovy when you wear retro-inspired sunglasses. Here are just a few ways you breathe life into this oldie-goldie trend:
- Bright yellow shades will always be a ray of sunshine on a beach.
- Pink is the new neutral and will work well with other neutral or pastel colors.
- If you're looking a bit pale, a pair of rose-tinted lenses can bring warmth.
Retro swimwear is one of the cutest trends this year, regardless of the era we're talking about. Below are a few styles that will flatter all kinds of body shapes and sizes. (Finally!)
- Wear old-school prints — like a plaid suit — and textures — like a crocheted two-piece — reminiscent of the 70s.
- High-waisted bikini bottoms will help to capture the 50's aesthetic.
- Florals are easy to find in many cuts and bold styles.
Décor & More
Add the essence of "yore" to your living spaces as well. When thinking about vintage décor, don't limit yourself to antique mirrors and embellishments, though. There's so much more than that! Here are just a few ideas you can try:
- Layer fabrics to create multi-generational interest around the home.
- Create a modern vintage feel with wallpaper or kitschy wall art.
- Combine contemporary pieces with your antiques.
Redux is Deluxe
Vintage doesn't have to be outdated or beyond reprieve. It can be reimagined as many times as you want — the only limit is your imagination.
If you're looking for modern takes on vintage-inspired dresses, accessories straight out of the way-back machine, or general retro clothing styles — you'll find them here!