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.