Stanley Ward

7 Pointers for Blending Vintage and Modern Clothing

In the world of fashion, trends frequently come and go. Movements popular decades ago are sure to return in style for younger generations to enjoy even as tastes change. Many companies already use “vintage” styles, materials, and accessories in their product lines—often with a contemporary twist. You might be surprised to be aware that the closets of your older relatives already contain trendy items like mom jeans, corduroy skirts, silk scarves, chunky sneakers, and flared pants.

If you wear vintage apparel, you can still worry that you appear dated. You could think about fusing classic things with contemporary clothing if you want to pull off a vintage appearance without seeming like a time traveler. Making your dress look more attractive and exercising your imagination may be done by mixing and matching new and vintage looks. Here are some suggestions for wearing old clothing yet seeming stylish and current if you want to add some vintage charm to your appearance.

Go retro with your essentials.

Choosing vintage essentials is the safest route when fusing old and contemporary fashions. The best places to find vintage necessities like silk shirts, A-line skirts, and denim jackets are thrift stores and secondhand shops. To give your retro style a contemporary edge, team items like these with sneakers, graphic tees, boots, high-waisted jeans, and dresses.

The mod style of the 1960s is one of the most classic and adaptable retro outfits. You can choose a straightforward A-line or shift dress and wear it with women’s tights to produce a contemporary interpretation of this look. Stockings were trendy in the 1960s and were frequently worn with tall boots, pumps, flats, and strappy heels. Try pairing an adaptive pair of contemporary tights with a shift dress featuring great geometric designs or vibrant colors if you want your ensemble to exude a sophisticated ’60s vibe.

Your outfit should revolve around a vintage item.

Unique retro pieces might be fascinating, but wearing them can be challenging because there are only sometimes things to match them. Pairing bold vintage clothing and accessories with understated modern components is one approach to striking a balance between these opposing fashion eras. For instance, you can match a standard pair of jeans with eye-catching throwback shirts, shoulder-padded tops, or ruffled blouses. Alternatively, you might wear a simple dress or top under a leather biker jacket from the 1980s.

Another choice is to build your entire look around a vintage piece of jewelry. You can create a coordinated look using your accessory’s patterns and color schemes, such as if you have a beaded clutch or a tiny top-handle bag.

Another component of your clothing that can bind your entire look together, besides bags, is jewelry. To enhance your look, look into purchasing some statement rings, bracelets, earrings, or necklaces. You may add amusing accessories like antique brooches to blouses, hats, and tops to give them a more upscale feel. Silk neckties, headscarves, and vintage eyewear like cat-eye sunglasses give your ensemble a touch of refinement.

Wear authentic items with vintage clothing.

The challenge with wearing only vintage items is that they can make you appear out-of-date if you wear a costume. Nevertheless, you can get around this by combining genuine old products with imitation retro-style items. Modern fits, materials, and features are frequently included in vintage-inspired clothing to suit the present better while maintaining the original decade’s aesthetic.

Put on real neon windbreakers or mom jeans with a pair of clunky white shoes for an ’80s comeback look. Making your appearance both classic and effortlessly stylish can be achieved by styling it with authentic retro pieces and contemporary trends.

Combine formal and informal attire

Vintage clothing, especially from before the 1980s, tends to be more formal and semi-formal in style. You can design your outfit to strike the right balance between casual and formal attire if you’re planning to wear trends from those eras. For a glamorous yet relaxed style, you can decide to wear a simple white t-shirt with a leather jacket or pencil skirt from the 1970s.

Wear high-waisted jeans with collared or satin shirts for the ideal fusion of casual and dressy. Similarly, you could go for a straight-out-of-the-1950s look with a modern twist by donning a poodle skirt with a fitting shirt or a short denim jacket.

Coats and blazers are formal attire essentials that have seen numerous versions. You can pair tweed blazers or faux fur jackets with a simple top and cuffed jeans or leggings to evoke that street-formal style.

Try out a few different eras.

If you’re feeling particularly daring, you can combine elements from other eras. Even though wearing clothing of different ages can be challenging, it is possible. For instance, platform heels popular in the 1990s go nicely with flared jeans in the ’70s style. Additionally, canvas sandals or sneakers from the 1990s that are currently popular might look well with retro dresses that have plaid or polka dot patterns.

When blending items from several eras of fashion, the general rule is to try the ensemble on and judge whether your pieces seem to be dominating one another. Try out various combinations of products until you find the ideal one.

Restyle or Refashion as Necessary

To make your vintage-inspired clothing more contemporary, you may need an eye for improvements and alterations. One way to give clothing a modern edge is to add a little length to jeans, skirts, and oversized t-shirts. Another example is that you can update an otherwise dated ensemble by tucking loose blouses into your slacks or skirt or wrapping them around your waist.

You may easily update your ensembles to look more current and attractive, even when wearing vintage or vintage-inspired apparel. Choose an aesthetic that speaks to you right now.

Draw Ideas from Fashion Icons

Modern influencers and bloggers may be able to offer you some style inspiration, but there are other options. You can draw inspiration from a variety of fashion icons from various eras.

You may undertake your research by browsing through antique fashion periodicals and viewing old movies if you want to come up with some great ideas for your vintage-inspired clothing. You can make a mood board to help capture your desired aesthetic once you’ve identified your style as role models and understand what worked for them. Retro icons like movie stars, artists, and fashion models ensure that even though a particular era’s fashion trends may have peaked, their influence will endure forever.

Blending the old and the new should not be feared.

One of the most acceptable ways to spice up your style is to incorporate vintage pieces into your regular clothes. The art of fusing vintage pieces with contemporary clothing requires imagination, resourcefulness, and the knowledge of how to create the ideal balance between opposing aspects. There are always ways to give worn-out clothing new life, whether scouring your neighborhood thrift shop for deals or raiding your mother’s wardrobe for hand-me-downs.

12 Simple Tips to Help You Started Dressing Vintage

Here are 12 crucial pointers to remember as you begin your vintage fashion journey.

1. Identify the Decades you prefer.

When looking into previous fashions, mixing the decades is a standard error. Fusion fashions can be highly glitzy, but they can also occasionally appear like a heated mess.

Study antique clothing before purchasing to see which eras best reflect your unique style. Ignore the period if you’re not feeling it. The next step should be thrilling, so trust your instincts.

2. Choose whether to incorporate a modern style.

Before you start shopping, it’s crucial to consider whether you want to incorporate modern elements into your vintage aesthetic. Combining modern features with old clothing, such as jeans, might make embracing the look more straightforward at first because wearing vintage clothing is time-consuming and only suited for some occupations.

3. Commence creating mood boards.

Nothing makes you more eager to purchase than a mood board!

Making a collection of vintage photographs that inspire you on a website like Pinterest is one of the most acceptable methods to figure out your retro aesthetic. Once you gather images, you usually start to see a pattern of clothing you like, which is ideal for choosing what to buy initially!

4. Retro fashion vs. authentic vintage items

You should decide if you want to remain with authentic vintage clothing or not. It’s also okay to choose a few retro copies, as original vintage clothing can be pricey and hard to find.

If you need help determining which route is best for you, start by reading vintage fashion lovers’ blogs to learn where to find vintage clothing.

5. Infuse the look with some personality

Likely, you will only feel confident in your dress if you embrace your individuality. Go for it if you like girly looks! Instead, you might like functional or androgynous fashions. Please make sure you fully embrace your passion, whatever it may be.

6. Buy lots of stockings

A more useful vintage fashion advice is to stock up on pantyhose. In the past, skirts and dresses made up most women’s clothing. That implies if you don’t have enough hose, you’ll have cold legs in the winter! Without a doubt, you’ll want to wear vintage in the winter.

7. Examine Statement Accessories

Older clothing is popular because of its distinctive silhouettes and flair. Perhaps you adore vibrant 1950s skater skirts or well-tailored 1940s blazers. In either case, indulge yourself and your wardrobe by splurging on two or three spectacular pieces.

8. Review hair and makeup techniques

While the clothes should be the primary focus, it’s also crucial to experiment with your makeup and hairdo.

A retro hairstyle will finish the look, even if mixing old and modern fashion may make it less crucial. One thing to remember is that small is more concerning cosmetics. Even though it could be tempting, keep the rouge simple for daytime looks.

9. Spend money on both shoes and clothing.

In the same way, you should wear period-appropriate makeup and haircuts, and don’t forget to try on some new shoes! This is a fun step because older shoes frequently have more detail than their more recent equivalents.

Remember to use common sense — no matter how adorable the shoe is, not everyone can walk around in heels all day!

10. Find items for the winter and summer.

Consider the various seasons and climates if you’re serious about emulating a vintage look. Stocking up on light summer clothing is pointless if your house also experiences chilly winters.

You should invest in a quality coat and some layerable sweaters because you never know when the temperature will unexpectedly plummet.

11. Always Bear Comfort in Mind

At the end of the day, if you don’t feel entirely at ease in your clothing, you probably won’t.

Old wool jumpers might be annoying, so ensure your clothing isn’t too tight or itchy to avoid feeling uncomfortable. You should change if the outfit is causing you to second-guess it.

12. Find A Tailor

Finally, your new best friend will be a tailor. Adjust the clothing to flatter your body type because vintage clothing is difficult to come by.

Find a trustworthy local tailor or seamstress by doing some research. Because they cannot be replaced, you don’t want any inexperienced tailors working on vintage clothing!

5 Tips on how to feel better in Vintage Fashion

Everyone should dress in whichever they like. Stay true to who you are. These statements are unquestionably factual, but let’s be honest: it’s not always that simple to dress like we want to, especially when we don’t want to be the center of attention. For those who adore vintage (inspired) fashion but don’t always have the confidence to dress this way, I’d like to offer some advice. I want to gradually motivate you to include antique clothing in your daily life and give you confidence in your wardrobe. The good news is that self-confidence has much to do with feeling good about yourself. And it is undoubtedly possible to develop self-confidence.

PS: This blog article is for anyone who wants to experiment with retro fashion but doesn’t feel at ease doing so. You can skip this post and read some of my (vintage) fashion know-how articles if you already think it is excellent wearing vintage and retro clothing in your daily life.


It is possible to seem retro or vintage without being overly flashy. I always advise beginning with exquisite yet understated classics to ease into the (vintage) inspired look, such as a sophisticated black dress or an elegant ensemble of a knee-length swing skirt* and a blouse* or top* paired with pretty shoes, red lipstick, and if you prefer, stockings. I like to wear this outfit when I want to look elegant but don’t want to draw too much attention.

Compared to a haircut influenced by antique fashion, straight hair or a more recent cut looks more contemporary and discreet. I suggest attempting a vintage haircut in daily life as soon as you feel more at ease wearing retro or vintage attire. Lovely curls are a simple exercise that doesn’t require much time or effort. Following a nightly hair wash, I often begin to set my hair using sleep-in rollers*. I only need to do it in the morning to clean the rollers and brush my hair. A similar hairdo typically lasts at least two to three days in my hair, so you don’t even need to do this every day.

You might also test wearing a hat on warm days to see whether you feel comfortable. Start with a simple summer hat and an easy matching haircut.


An essential piece of advice is to make sure your clothing fits precisely (this not only applies to vintage fashion, of course). A dress that is overly short, tight, long, or wide won’t ever make you feel completely at ease. So I advise against buying anything if it doesn’t fit. I recommend looking for a decent tailor shop if something no longer works or if you find something genuinely wonderful but sadly doesn’t fit. (Of course, if you can adjust your clothing on your own, this does not apply to you.) Custom-made clothing is a fantastic alternative. For instance, companies like Atelier Belle Couture and Grünten Mode provide custom clothing at relatively reasonable costs.

Make sure your clothing feels comfortable on the skin as well. Because it is difficult to concentrate on anything else when you are busy scratching yourself, a scratchy garment, for example, can ruin a whole day or evening and make you feel uncomfortable.

TIP 3: Wear suspicious clothing first in the evening or on special occasions

It is always a good idea to dress up or go all out in the evening or on a particular occasion. You can grow acclimated to the appearance in this situation without really sticking out from the crowd. A wedding, for instance, is a perfect occasion to wear a lovely dress with a floral design and perhaps even a petticoat without drawing too much attention. On the other hand, you can wear a highly stylish outfit and your most glamorous vintage jewelry to an upscale dinner occasion and most likely won’t feel overdressed. These are fantastic opportunities to experiment with more elaborate hairstyles and perhaps even venture to don a dazzling cocktail hat or fascinator.


It’s time to take heart and wear something unique on the street after starting with more subdued vintage attire in daily life and dressing more glamorously for special events. Keep your composure, and never forget that most reactions to an attractive vintage style are good, even if people are staring. Perhaps you’ll even get some compliments! Try to accept it in this situation instead of replying, “Oh, that’s nothing remarkable,” or anything similar. (Of course, you don’t have to put up with crude remarks. Here, I mean genuine compliments.)

Overall, I always advise avoiding overly obsessing over other people’s reactions and never thinking about what others could think of you. Most of the time, this has no real impact and makes you feel uneasy. The most important thing is that you feel better in your clothing.

Tip 5: Know yourself

Keep your head up if you encounter criticism or unwelcome attention. You should wear whatever you want as long as it makes you feel good. No matter if it’s a plain pair of jeans and a shirt, a voluminous petticoat, a gigantic hat, a gorgeous tulle dress, etc. Everyone who truly admires you will accept your greatness and even encourage your style.

Since I’ve been wearing it in retro fashion for so long, I’ve essentially just had excellent responses. I also don’t care whether people are looking at me anymore. I’ve started dressing like I genuinely want to and have noticed a massive increase in my self-confidence. Since I adore my clothes and feel fabulous in them, it is simpler for me to put together an outfit in the morning. Another benefit of dressing vintage is that I wear my clothes far longer than I did in the past. My clothes are timeless classics, so I don’t need to replace them with something newer and trendier every season. So, the following is my main piece of vintage clothes advice for feeling better:

How to Dress in Vintage Clothes Without Looking Like a Costume

Let me start by saying there is nothing wrong with appearing to be dressed in a costume when you are not. I love it when someone’s style distinguishes between theatricality and reality. I support wearing whatever makes you feel good, primarily if that something reflects your spirit and creativity.

Of course, not everyone shares that sentiment, and a frequent worry I hear from those who have yet to venture into the world of vintage clothing fashion is that if they do, they will appear dressed up. Here are five suggestions for donning vintage while staying clear of that.

1. Choose clothing that reflects current trends.

As a vintage merchant, I can attest that many contemporary fashion businesses and designers have sizable collections of antique clothing that they continually add to and draw inspiration from. In truth, most modern fashion is a reworking of historical trends, and you’d be astonished at how closely many pieces of contemporary designer clothes resemble vintage apparel. It’s simple to prevent having a costume-like appearance by finding and wearing one such item.

2. Modern cosmetics and hairstyles.

Unless you are spending hours meticulously recreating vintage hairstyles and makeup, likely, your hair and makeup will already appear somewhat contemporary. Retro clothing can be grounded by keeping hair and makeup simples, such as wearing a 1950s dress with a slicked-back ballerina hairdo or an Edwardian blouse with a gently smokey eye. Modernized 1940s loose waves, a Hollywood favorite for the past few years, are a fantastic illustration of how modernized copies of classic hairstyles can update a look while still paying homage to the relevant era.

3. Accessories of today.

It’s simple to radically ground an otherwise amusing piece of clothing by wearing it with distinctly modern shoes, purses, and sunglasses. By choosing a color for the outfit and wearing stylish accessories in the same hue, it is simple to keep the overall look simple. Of course, a simple approach to instantly update a classic vintage garment is to match splashes of brilliant color with all-black accessories (or vice versa).

4. Combining new and old separates.

Years ago, as I waited in line at a coffee shop, I spotted a woman who I still think is one of the excellent examples I’ve found of wearing vintage clothes and new divides in a way that is both modern and memorable (wherever you are, mysterious lady, you are still my #1 girl crush). She wore a white Edwardian blouse, a zip-up sweatshirt, and torn-up jeans. Mixing and matching vintage and new separates are probably the simplest methods to start incorporating vintage into your wardrobe. It’s also a quick way to make a unique, more expensive vintage piece worn during the day.

5. Mixing eras.

It is feasible to accessorize in a way that makes your outfit appear more current, even if you wear head-to-toe vintage accessories. Integrating new and vintage items can have the same effect as mixing eras. Unexpected splashes of vivid color, unforeseen pairings of fabrics and forms, and layers of clashing patterns make an ensemble look both distinctly contemporary and utterly classic. Combining different eras may be the most exciting and enjoyable way to wear vintage!

The methods mentioned above are only a few ways to dress in vintage without seeming like you’re in a costume, but there’s nothing wrong with dressing theatrically. You guys do you! Always!) In addition to helping the environment by conserving resources, shopping at vintage stores and websites supports small companies and increases your options for expressing your originality and unique spirit. Wearing vintage also ensures that your clothes are truly amazing. Even though it seems corny, adding vintage to your clothing is like combining more paint colors to your life’s palette. Those that wear vintage understand precisely what I mean.

Tips And Tricks To Stay Stylish With Vintage Clothes

For many ladies, wearing antique clothing is the current in-style. It does not always come naturally, though. If you don’t get your grandmother’s gowns as hand-me-downs, you’ll need to pick up a few tips and methods to make the most of your wardrobe.

Modern fashion is present, but vintage clothes are also enduringly popular. With more ladies choosing this fashion path, it’s slowly coming back.

You must understand the mix-and-match techniques used by stylists before committing to a whole head-to-toe outfit made entirely of antique designer items. This starts with experimenting with your aesthetics to develop a natural sense of retro style.
Are you prepared to update your retro-inspired wardrobe to make it appear more elegant and stylish? Visit the section below for some fashion advice.

1. Choose clothing that still resembles current trends

The fact that fashion is ever-evolving is one of its charms. Modern clothes businesses are incorporating retro fashion trends into their collections, increasing the industry’s sustainability. As a result, you can be sure to find clothing items when you shop that was created through the union of the past and the present.

Therefore, the first piece of advice is to choose clothing that still looks current. Here are a few instances:

High-waisted slacks, shorts, or trousers; puff-sleeved shirts; sheer tops; floral dresses; long skirts.
Retro shirts

One of the simplest methods to avoid having a costume-like appearance is to find and wear contemporary clothing inspired by the past. Many pieces of vintage designer clothing are still popular right now. When in doubt, spend some time window shopping at various retailers and consignment shops before making a purchase.

2. Commence creating mood boards.

Create mood boards to get the excitement before you leave for the store! You may find a ton of inspiration by quickly searching on websites like Pinterest, and making an inspiration or mood board can aid your purchasing. You’ll be prepared by knowing what to look for in each store.

Once you gather images, you’ll have a general sense of the retro aesthetic you’re most likely to use. Additionally, you can avoid the pitfalls of appearing overdressed.

3. Combine old items with something fresh

Remember to shop in thrift and used clothing stores. Undoubtedly, you may get a ton of clothing in the retro style there for meager prices. Once you arrive home, you can modify those antiques by fusing them with more contemporary items.

Balance is the key. Imagine that you own an antique top. Pair it with contemporary bottoms or shoes. Using this technique, you may overcome the retro vibe that old clothes give off and still seem stylishly current.

4. Gear Your Attire Around One Dramatic Piece

It might be challenging to style vintage clothing since you can have too many prints scattered throughout. Some of the most typical patterns in textiles for antique apparel include floral, stripes, and animal designs.

Dress around one spectacular piece to keep your overall look more understated. For instance, you could want to wear your leopard-print top for the day. Even if the bottom is colored, keep it simple. Make sure your top and bottom aren’t printed if you have a published trench coat. Otherwise, your appearance will be too busy and look like you just stepped out of a fashion shoot or a retro movie.

5. Give your look some personality

Put a little of your personality into your outfits, whether vintage or not. This helps you feel confident in your appearance.

Are flashy accessories more appealing to you than more traditional, subdued ones? Use a couple of the things you already have; feel free to. Do you enjoy patterns? Put on patterned clothing. If you want to nail the vintage look, you can maintain your degree of comfort in your attire.

Lasting Style Advice

As you can see, there’s a thin line between looking stylish in your vintage outfit and appearing like you picked the companies up at a junk shop. Using the fashion above advice, you’ll gradually be able to perfect the skill of dressing chicly and stylishly in vintage apparel. Making vintage pieces blend with modern trends will produce a polished and put-together look.

How to pull off the vintage clothing look


Vintage clothing is ideal for special occasions. The glitzier party dresses from the 1960s and 1970s make ‘best-dressed,’ one-of-a-kind ensembles when matched with a well-chosen piece of headgear, while suits from the 1940s and 1950s are perfect for National Hunt meetings.


Spend money to have an antique item altered if you fall in love with it, so it fits you ideally. I can shorten hems, cinch waists, or take off dated sleeves. Nobody wants to appear to be wearing hand-me-downs only for show. Find a skilled sewist and ask her to update vintage items stylishly.

An old thing and a fresh thing

I rarely pair a vintage hat with a vintage outfit (except at the Goodwood Revival). Instead, team up a vintage business with a hat designed by a modern milliner like Fernanda Lewis or Jess Collett.

Be innovative

There are several options to dress up or dress down an outfit for a garden party or London event. I have a ton of vintage accessories, including belts, scarves, hats, and statement costume jewelry, all of which come in handy when I want to repurpose a significant item. My pet dislike is a one-hit-wonder dress that will sit in a wardrobe after its only appearance.


Comfort is crucial when combining vintage apparel with athletic endeavors. I discovered this the hard way after wearing a great pair of elephant-ear breeches for a day on Salisbury Plain with the RA, only to find that the seams rubbed savagely from the start just where they sat on my kneecaps.

Avoid being picky

The Business apron from a friend’s grandmother and the Roberts & Carroll coat that came with the side saddle my mother bought decades ago are the foundation of my much-admired vintage side saddle habit. The occasional moth hole or visible repair shouldn’t deter you from purchasing a garment because they will enhance its charm.

Retro aesthetic

Try looking through collections like Martha, Lady Sitwell’s line for Harry Hall, if you can’t find the ideal item. The moleskin waistcoat with its erect collar in the Regency style is perfect for hunting. I had a pair of my old side-saddle breeches replicated, with contemporary elastic added to the leg base in case they ever stop fitting.


Invest in a genuine antique if you don’t feel ready for a full-on vintage look or find the idea of wearing second-hand breeches repulsive. Examples include:

  • A lovely old whip.
  • Patinated leather saddle flask.
  • Bamboo shooting stick.
  • Exquisite Victorian stock pin.

The ideal middle ground for formal clothing

The ideal setting for wearing antiques covertly is formal dress, but there is a catch. Ladies should, at all costs, refrain from wearing tartan dresses by Laura Ashley over moth-eaten furs with ghoulish dangling feet. Instead, go with your grandmother’s most elegant and classic debutante dress, modified as necessary. Guys, ensure grandfather’s white tie is ventilated correctly because nothing slows the heart rate like the smell of damp camphor.

Scarf veterans

Never undervalue the influence of a thin strip of silk. A good vintage silk scarf in a pattern that never goes out of style or in a riot of brilliant colors makes for a multipurpose accessory. A tastefully designed pocket square for the men might inject some color and character. A scarf is the ultimate fashion workhorse for women because it can be worn in many different ways, including tied over the head or neck, braided into the hair, as a purse accent, or as a waist-cinching belt. At the Festival of Hunting this year, I made a scarf into a skirt, and Lady Sitwell cinched her fox-print ensemble around her waist.

The daytime attire

For a conventional wedding, the morning suit (with a black silk hat) worn at Royal Ascot is required attire. Black morning coats and striped or houndstooth trousers were made to last and are relatively easy to obtain used, which is an excellent incentive to avoid multiple (and expensive) rentals and invest in a complete ensemble rather than wearing pale waistcoats that rarely last generations.

The shabby outfit

An authentic “demob” suit with the fabled utility mark CC41 is a must-have outfit for occasions like the Goodwood Revival. Still, if you haven’t (yet) inherited your great-Battle uncle’s Britain-era wardrobe, the country-gent look is always appropriate for Cheltenham, a point-to-point race, or a country-house weekend. A brown trilby, a tweed jacket over a waistcoat or a sleeveless V-neck sweater, a shirt and tie, corduroy or flannel pants, and rounded-toed leather brogues complete the ensemble from head to toe. Avoid low-waisted pants, tapered or flared legs, narrow lapels, and slim-fitting jackets.


Suitable accessories are crucial; a hat (wide-brimmed trilby or tweed cap) is required, as are neckties, cravats, and bow ties, plus a non-matching handkerchief. Why not grow a mustache? An umbrella works (especially on this side of the Channel).