Skirt: Thrifted Ralph Lauren, Blouse: Vintage Thrifted, Shoes: Franco Sarto, Necklaces: Thrifted Vintage, Belt: Husband's
Now Ralph knows how to treat a girl! Nooooo....not Ralph Macchio, though back in the day, he DID make my heart swoon! However, as a grown WOE-man, it's Ralph Lauren and his uber feminine details that sets my heart a flutter. Yes, I AM aware that this skirt is a bit Laura Ingalls circa western expansion. However, it matters not to me! As you can see from the pictures above, I'm so happy in this I'll even do a hoe down!
When we last spoke, I mentioned that I would be giving tips on how to incorporate vintage pieces into your wardrobe. My great friend, Paula of Fashion over Fifty, commented that Stacy and Clinton made over a young woman who was apparently a vintage wearing fiend! It makes me wonder how many fashion bloggers they would see as needing a makeover. I say, if the woman is happy wearing all vintage or even all PURPLE....who am I to judge? Having said that, I really am not interested in looking like an extra from a period movie set. You know what I mean? Basically, I want to have the vintage flavor without all the unflattering calories (in a manner of speaking). So, as my rule of thumb is that whatever I put together, there has to be a sense of elegance about it; here are some tips to help you see wearing vintage as an option.
1. WEAR WHAT YOU LOVE: Have you turned away a vintage piece that you really love because you felt like you might look foolish? Go back and get it and wear what you love WITH love. It really is the first step in defining your own personal style. Discover what you love. There is NO ONE who truly is into fashion that has not worn something only to turn around soon after and say to themselves, "Oh. MY. GOSH!!! Was I HIGH????" It's okay. That's how you learn about your tastes. So, if you love it, get it!
2. START OUT WITH A LITTLE. You don't have to go full out vintage when you vintage. Start with a piece that you love and add it to a pair of slacks. Or pair a vintage skirt with a much more modern top. Dip your toe in a little first to test the water.
3. PAIR VINTAGE WITH GREAT SHOES. I think it's just the most fabulous look to take some gorgeous grandma dress and pair it with some really cool shoes. It modernizes the entire look! Invest in a couple of really great shoes, preferably a black pair and a brown pair. I promise you, these will go with ANYTHING! And when I say "invest", I mean, take about $40; go to TJ Maxx or DSW and get the funkiest pair of shoes that you love! I've worn these Franco Sarto shoes I got two weeks ago just about every other day. I have yet to find something they don't look FABULOUS with.
4. DON'T BE AFRAID TO ALTER. Sometimes, you find some really great fabric or style that's vintage; but maybe it's just too long. Maybe the sleeves feel dated. Girly, snatch out those scissors and get to altering! Now if you spent alot of money on something, by all means, take it to a professional. But you'd be surprised what a difference taking out sleeves makes on some blouses! I mean, seriously, it's a RADICAL change. Grab that 25 year old crazy patterned Lesley Faye dress and take it above the knee. What once looked old ladyish, now looks like something you'd find in Anthro. Again, you have to love it. If you find something you love, then it's worth a compromise to feel good in it.
5. LOOK FOR QUALITY. There's a difference between vintage and just plain old and beat up. Be sure that you check for holes, arm pit stains (ewwwwwww), or rips. I've had to pass up some BEAUTIFUL things because frankly, they just were too far gone.
6. MIX AND MATCH. If you're carrying an obviously vintage purse, then wear it with something more modern. If it's the skirt or dress you're wearing that's vintage, then try for modern accessories. Head to toe vintage is definitely NOT for the faint of heart. But anyone who really loves older treasures will feel comfortable incorporating them into their daily wear if they're part of a mixed outfit.
I hope these tips help! If you are a vintage wearer, please add to these tips. What are your rules of thumb? Do you have any rules? Please share!