Depending on your personal style, the idea of introducing glittery blazers and sheer blouses into your wardrobe might make you cringe. HOWEVER, before you shutter at thought of traveling back in time and morphing into your shoulder-pad-wearing grandma (who is cool and hip in her OWN way) – hear us out.
While we agree that some trends should be left in the past, it can also be said that some vintage pieces are the most unique and timeless items in existence. They’re hard to come by, and the truly good ones are a gem, meaning that once you’ve got your hands on one – hold on tight! Chances are, you’ll never run into another person wearing the same 1970’s Chanel wrap skirt as you – and these items can’t be replicated. Their quality is unmatched (because they were made to last!) and they’re classics! You simply can’t go wrong!
Just like with anything else, the way you style vintage clothing is what will modernize it and make it appropriate for your lifestyle. Balancing these big personalities can be tricky, which is why we pulled some of our favorite vintage gems to show you exactly how you can bring them into this century!
1. The sheer blouse
Something that’s really interesting about clothing is that trends seem to repeat themselves. Sheer made it’s first impression on the american public in the 1950’s when it was being widely used in blouses and dresses, adding volume to skirt bottoms and seduction to evening wear. Sheer again made an appearance in the 80’s (think Madonna, Prince, etc) when the very foundation of everything from fashion, to politics, to music was being challenged and reorganized. More recently, sheer made a huge impression at NYFW in spring 2018, being particularly embraced by Jason Wu and Jeremy Scott. For our first take on Modern Vintage, we used a sheer black button down blouse with short sleeves from Patra.
We decided to play off the seductive appeal of sheer and dress this blouse “down” rather than cover it with layers, which would take away from it’s natural charm and purpose.
2. The tea length pleated skirt
The history of the tea length skirt is one that we personally find particularly entertaining. This new daring hemline first came about in the 1920’s – a length above the ankle, yet below the knee – Oh so scandalous – and as expected, certain members of the public were more than appalled by this new trend. However, with the end of the war, the swinging 20’s, and newfound wealth in America, the midi was here to stay. Further revived by John Patrick, Thom Browne, and The Row during NYFW in 2014, this hemline and it’s history has stood the test of time and remains a classic and stylish silhouette. The midi skirt we used in particular, is not just a classic for it’s style, but also for the fact that it’s Chanel.
3. The graphic T
Unlike other pieces of clothing which convey our style and communicate our message in their form and demeanor – The graphic Tee literally tells you. Graphic Tees were first seen on screen when worn in the original Wizard of Oz movie by factory workers adorning bright green Tees with only the word “OZ” printed across the front. However, the graphic Tee was generally recognized as a piece of military fashion, worn by soldiers sporting army-related logos and slogans. The soldiers returned home from the war, and brought their Tees with them. At this point, aside from their military relation, T-shirts were regarded as under-clothing up until 1951 when they rose to peak stardom thanks to Marlon Brando’s character in “A Streetcar Named Desire”. Marlon, along with his bad-boy smirk and devastatingly good looks, took the undershirt and transformed it into the standalone graphic tee we know today. From here, the music scene got ahold of the tee shirt, and the rest is history. Interestingly, they have an uncanny ability to be dressed “up” or “down” easily going from casual to runway (Remember Christian Dior’s “We should all be feminists” Tee?). Also mentionable, is that the T-shirt has never really gone out of style. Lots of items are seasonal and will come and go, however, a cool T-shirt in the 1970’s, is still a cool T-shirt today.
We love these vintage t-shirts because of their personality and message. The Vintage Disney shirt, featuring Mickey, Donald Duck, and Goofy totes the constitution as a backdrop, Very patriotic and fun. Not to mention the fact that it’s a ringer shirt! The second shirt features the slogan “Nature Can’t Be Restocked” which is refreshingly edgy. We paired both shirts with a denim skirt from Frame and would also suggest similar denim based pairings for casual looks or mixing a edgy tee with a pantsuit for a more elegant and dressy occasion.
4. The retro blazer
Rooted in menswear and sophistication – this may be your grandmother’s blazer – but it sure ain’t your momma’s. We LOVE a good bold, fun, quirky blazer. The reason we think they’re so fun is because they demand to be seen. They’re the focal point of any outfit they’re paired with and have an incredible slimming affect. Both blazers we used for these looks are from Yves Saint Laurent’s Rive Gauchy line, glittering gold and powder blue, respectively.
This gold blazer literally shines in the sunlight. It’s beyond gorgeous. Another plus to these unconventional blazers, is that they make otherwise simple outfits interesting to look at.
For our powered blue blazer, we decided to take it to the next level and show another side to the vintage blazer (a sexier side) and paired it with a open-knit beaded tank top and simple black jeans. This look would work for a night out or party downtown. And to think – you’re wearing a blazer from the 80’s – and you’re still the best dressed person in attendance.
5. The silk blouse
Rip out the shoulder pads. Just do it. (But do it gently – with scissors) That’s tip #1.
Now that that’s taken care of – vintage silk blouse are one of our personal favorite items of clothing. We have tons of them. Silk fabric has a way of falling which is so incredibly flattering and classy that to deny yourself the pleasure of owning one, would be a tragedy. Their prints are adorably retro and their colors never seem to fade. Again, like the other items we’ve already mentioned above, this is another “gem” find – when you’ve got a good one, hold on! So many of these are one offs and were handmade, which means that no one else on planet earth has the same shirt as you, which is pretty special in itself. Because of the general charm and whimsy of a silk blouse, they’re probably the easiest vintage item to work into a modern look. We paired the two below with skirts of varying hemlines, however they’d look just as cute with a pair of high waisted shorts or black dress pants and colorful heels.
You’ve! Got! Options!
Photo 1 : Model wears Vintage Diane Von Furstenberg silk top featuring print of 1920’s flappers playing piano. Styled with Kate Spade Midi skirt and strapy black sandals.