Monday, December 8, 2014

The 12 Days of Vintage: Starting Out Small

Okay, so you admire vintage style clothing/accessories and you've seen celebrities, fashion bloggers, and vintage enthusiasts rock vintage outfits and pieces for a while with admiration, but how do you bring that into your wardrobe in a practical and easy way?

The truth is you may have already been wearing some vintage in your everyday clothing. Maybe it's a vintage/antique piece of jewelry that you inherited and wear on occasion or maybe you have a piece of clothing that was your mom's back in the day (I used to wear my mom's awesome 60s and 70s styles in high school). Chances are you've at some point worn some vintage in an everyday and practical way if you love vintage styles.

Add a vintage sweater or cardigan and be unique.
Most people agree that vintage is anything about 25 years or older. Yes, that means that by most definitions 1980s and some early 1990s clothing applies. I realize this makes some vintage enthusiasts upset, but just because I don't prefer wearing clothing from those decades doesn't mean I am superior to someone who does or that my sense of style is better. It's simply different. Part of what I've always enjoyed when wearing vintage is the fact that I can wear what I like, what flatters my figure, and even what my husband likes to see me in, regardless of what's in style or for sale in my local mall. Fashion and clothing is a form of self expression and just like we each look different and have different personalities, so should our clothing reflect our uniqueness. We were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) the most fantastic and amazingly creative being that has ever existed. So, He being so creative and making us in His image, it would only make sense that we should be creative in every sense, even in how we attire ourselves.

Don't forget that your frames can also be a vintage accessory. 
You also don't have to wear an outfit comprising entirely of vintage or even vintage appropriate clothing to wear and enjoy vintage pieces. There are people who do that and seek perfectly accurate portrayals of certain time periods and that's great if that's your thing, but don't feel like you have to, especially when your starting out or for a daily look. Take what you like and incorporate it into your everyday, practical, wardrobe.
A cute vintage purse is an easy way to add vintage.
Some great examples of incorporating small vintage pieces would be a vintage brooch, earrings, bracelet, ring, necklace, a scarf, a handkerchief, a purse, vintage frames, shoes, or even a hat (it's especially easy in winter to incorporate a warm vintage hat).

A stack of vintage bangles or a hat can add a little vintage
flair to any outfit.
Great places to look for small vintage accessories or pieces, after looking at what you already have, is  thrift stores (cheapest way usually), yard sales (this one's hit or miss), estate sales/estate auctions, flea markets, or antique stores. Many of these also have online equivalencies if there's not much selection in your locality (eBay or Esty anyone?).

A vintage headband style hat is easy to wear even for an easy everyday look, and they stay on better, too. 
Online shopping is actually where I've acquired most of my vintage in the last few years. That's not to say that I don't still go to the local shops/markets, but simply because it's at least a 20 minute drive each way to any of them, and with four kids (ranging from 7 to 3 months, two in diapers) it's way easier and sometimes cheaper to just have it shipped to my house. Online shopping is also great if you're looking for something particular or have an event or date you need it to arrive for.

How about a vintage brooch? Or even a vintage dress?
Another option is to ask for vintage items from people you know. This may sound weird, but once the people you know find out that you like vintage clothing/accessories, they are more likely to give you their grandmothers brooches rather than donate or sell them or even (Gasp!) throw them away. Often when an older person's loved ones go through their things they find many vintage treasures, and if no one in the family or friends have an interest in them, they may think of you. So, using your discretion of course, there's no harm in letting your friends and family know you have an interest in acquiring these types of vintage clothing/accessories.

Try adding vintage earrings.
Small vintage accessories are a great way to start incorporating vintage into your wardrobe. They also tend to be cheaper (depending on the item of course and shoes that are more than thirty years old are rarely found cheap) and more plentiful than say an original cotton sack thirties house dress. The older an item is, the more rare it is to find it, the more fragile the materials it's made of, and even the more iconic it was for the time period, can all increase the cost. But don't lose heart, because just when you think you'll never find a certain vintage item, I've found with patience they all turn up.

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to The 12 Days of Vintage Challenge and that you will feel more confident in incorporating more vintage into your wardrobe. And don't forget to enter the Birthday Giveaway ending December 11, 2014!

Have a Very, Merry, Vintage, Christmas!


  1. Really great ideas for incorporating vintage into your wardrobe. I love all of them

    retro rover

    1. Thanks! I think more people would wear vintage if it didn't seem so scary.

  2. I love each one of your tips and have done them all in my own life. Are those earrings little straw hats? They are just adorable. My favorite way to add a bit of vintage to my every day is with my accessories as well.

    She Knits in Pearls

    1. Thank you! The earrings are little straw hats from the 1940s. I love vintage accessories, too. They can either make a modern outfit more unique or can complete a seriously vintage look. Sarah

  3. I think my whole vintage adventure is going to be starting out small and staying small! Although, if you include 80s and early 90s I start to have a lot more options. But I do struggle to think of things from my own lifetime as vintage. It just doesn't seem right!

    These are great tips, and you have some adorable vintage accessories!

    1. I was born in the 80s, and although I feel like I've been there done that with most 80s or 90s clothes, I can't help but enjoy and wear some of the 40s and 50s throwbacks from the 80s. Some are very believable for much older garments and don't have to be handled so carefully.