Spice Up Your Wardrobe With These Vintage Styles

How many people have seen a vintage outfit or an accessory on a TV show, in a movie, magazine or book and sighed, “I’ve just got to have that!” Why not? Vintage wardrobes have never really gone out of style, and what makes more of a statement than an outfit reminiscent of one from the 20’s, 30’s, 40s, 50s or even 60s? Here are some hints to wear a vintage style in style:

The 1920s
This decade empathizes a type of boyish femininity that wouldn’t be seen again until the 1960s. Find silk and cotton lawn dresses with dropped waists and ornate, glittering beadwork and fringing. For everyday wear, try simple cotton or rayon dresses with sailor collars. Feel free, as girls of the 20s did, to add embroidery or lace accents. When it comes to patterns, look for Art Deco motifs or motifs influenced by the Egyptian hieroglyphs found in King Tut’s tomb, unearthed in 1922.

The 1930s 
Women who love vintage really love this era’s fashions, for they were inspired by the actresses who gave people a break from the pain of the Depression. Look for high waistlines and low hems. Because there was no money for expensive embroidery and beads, the dresses of the 30s emphasize the silhouette, which was enhanced by the bias cut. The designs are intensely feminine, with floral patterns on soft fabrics like silk chiffon and crepe.

The 1940s
The 40s were the war years, and fashion became frugal as fabrics were requisitioned for the war effort. But this did not mean that style went out of style. Contemporary women who love 40s fashion spring for figure-flattering suits with broad-shouldered jackets that feminized the uniforms worn by soldiers. Skirts fall just past the knee, and outfits are completed with sensible, blocky shoes and handbags.

The 1950s
If the 1950s are a favorite, look for dresses with full, feminine skirts and cinched waists. But full skirts weren’t just for stay-at-home moms. They were also part of smartly tailored business suits and fashionable day wear.

Don’t Forget Accessories
Cloche hats, whether simple or ornate, were the headgear of the 1930s, while tiny hats embellished with feathers, pearls and silk flowers were the rage in the 1930s. Some are bound to show up at flea markets, estate and yard sales or grandma’s attic, if all else fails. Make a statement with a lucite and perspex handbag out of the 1950s or multiple ropes of pearls Coco Chanel made popular in the late 30s.

The beautiful fabrics, colors and patterns and superb tailoring of many kinds of vintage clothes will never go out of style. Vintage native American jewelry like the sterling silver collar necklace and cuff offered by Sunface Traders complement outfits from any era. Vintage clothes are perfect for a woman who wants to make a head-turning statement while underscoring her own individuality.

Spice up your closet and try out a few of these wardrobe choices. Check out your local antique shops or distribution centers for quality finds that can contribute to the vintage style you’re going for. Mismatched items can add nicely to the look you want, so always keep your eyes peeled for hidden gems throughout your day. Going vintage doesn’t have to deplete your wallet. Get creative and find the right clothing that fits for you!

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.

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