Vintage fashion allows you to tap into unique looks from past eras while showcasing what makes you special. In this article, you’ll discover five techniques to infuse retro allure into modern ensembles, from hunting thrift stores to mimicking pin-up hairstyles.

Together, we’ll help your inner 1950s movie star shine. Stay tuned for the first tip—shopping secondhand for buried vintage style treasure.

#1 Shop Vintage-Inspired Garments

There’s no better place to start your vintage journey than with garments. Vintage shops offer lasting fashion from past eras. Focus first on classic silhouettes that always stay in style. Think full skirts, waist-hugging slacks, or shirtwaist dresses.

When browsing racks, envision pairing potential finds with your modern wardrobe. Look for high-quality fabrics, like structured cotton or crisp linens, that stand the test of time. Rather than replicating full vintage outfits, try mixing a retro blouse with your favorite jeans.

The best part? You can even blend garments from different decades. An edgy faux leather moto jacket from the ’80s pairs flawlessly with a feminine ’60s A-line skirt. To fuel your styling creativity, you can also check for more inspiration on Pinterest retro clothing boards.

And if you’re seeking some quirky yet chic inspiration, take a peek at Amy Roiland and her AFashionNerd blog for a fresh perspective on retro fashion and vintage style.

Most importantly, feel free to put your own twist on vintage clothes. A few modern accessories are all it takes to get ready for Miami Fashion Week.

#2 Accessorize With Vintage Watches

An easy way to give any outfit a retro feel is by using vintage-inspired accessories, especially statement timepieces, to add a unique touch. Vintage watches have unique characters and history, making them stand out from the latest trendy styles.

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When searching for vintage style watches, check out used watches stores, estate sales, antique shops, and secondhand boutiques to uncover rare finds. Watch out for popular vintage brands like Hamilton, Seiko, Timex, and Bulova. These manufacturers were widely worn decades ago and continue to offer timeless styles today.

Vintage Styles For Watches

Here are some popular vintage watch styles that you can consider:

a. Art Deco Watches: Choose graphic rectangular watches with bold numerals and sleek linked bands for a touch of Gatsby-era extravagance. These timepieces complement flapper-esque outfits perfectly.
b. Mid-Century Modern Watches: For a classic and sophisticated look, wear round watches with clean numeric dials in gold, silver, or black. Pair them with sharp tailoring or knit dresses inspired by Betty Draper from Mad Men.
c. Digital Watches: For new-wave nostalgia, seek out 1970s and 80s digital LED or calculator watches in bright hues—contrast with new-wave accents like cropped blazers and opaque tights.

Vintage timepieces possess lasting value, and their pre-loved quality builds on the backstory. More importantly, unlike fast fashion, these sturdy accessories won’t fall apart after mere weeks. Once you discover the perfect retro find, it will serve as a lifetime statement piece.

#3 Wear Statement Jewelry

Retro jewelry is back in style. Add some vintage style flair to your wardrobe with secondhand statement pieces like chunky chains, gemstones, chandelier earrings, brooches, charm bracelets, and layered necklaces.

Where to Source Statement Pieces

Thrift stores and estate sales are great places to find shiny jewelry and intricate accessories from previous eras. If you have a larger budget, you can also check out curated vintage pieces on websites like Etsy and Ruby Lane, which offer various stones, metals, and designs from different time periods.

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How to Style for Modern Outfits

When wearing bold vintage jewelry, balance their presence by pairing it with understated clothing as seen at Paris Fashion Week. For instance,

● let a weighty collar necklace pop against a simple black turtleneck.
● Or allow a crystal brooch to dazzle atop a knit neutral sweater.

You can also incorporate statement jewelry into more contemporary looks.

● Add a pearl choker necklace to off-duty denim with a white tee and leather jacket for effortless cool.
● Or pile on gold bangles and a colorful cocktail ring to complement a little black dress for your next evening out.

This styling approach helps the standout jewelry claim center stage. Vintage jewelry adds sentimental beauty to any outfit. They richly deserve the spotlight.

Millennial Magazine - Habitat - Fashion - Vintage Style Graphic

#4 Vintage Handbags and Hats

Beyond jewelry, consider vintage-inspired handbags and hats to complete your retro ensembles. Structured purses and bold headwear amplified looks in old Hollywood and beyond. When sourcing throwback bags, shop for iconic silhouettes like the Chanel 2.55 or Hermes Kelly. These posh styles maintain popularity today.

For more variety, look for beaded or embroidered evening bags, intricate hat boxes, or woven picnic totes from past summer vacations. Thrift stores often hold treasures that have been passed down and carry cherished memories.

When it comes to hats, you can add some extra charm to your outfit by opting for a wide-brimmed sunhat, floral fascinator, or hats like a bowler, cloche, or turban that remind you of past decades. These hats not only frame your face but also protect you from harmful UV rays.

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If you don’t want to buy second-hand hats, you can go for modern hats offered by companies like Janessa and The Kentucky Derby. Handbags and hats lend both practical and aesthetic value.

#5 Try Retro Makeup Styles

Experimenting with vintage aesthetics through makeup is a new way to create classic beauty looks on modern faces from the 1920s to the 1980s.  Refer to old Hollywood icons or pinup posters for inspiration on channeling different eras.

For a 1950s look, extend and lift lashes with strategic mascara, wing black liquid liner, and fill in arched brows. Paint lips a true matte red and finish with a hint of peach blush. Or recreate a 1960s doe-eyed ingénue with pearlescent shadow, bold lower lashes, subtle pencil liner, and nude lips.

Later decades saw shimmery lilac lids, frosty highlights, cherry pouts, and dramatic graphic shapes. Play with color combinations, placements, and textures reminiscent of the past. Avoid overdoing it for a modern take. The right retro touch will align with current trends for a timeless effect.

Vintage Style

Vintage fashion is an excellent way to cultivate your style while embracing nostalgia. With some effort in thrifting and creativity, you can create a retro wardrobe full of character and high-quality pieces that can be mixed into modern outfits. The most important thing is to mix eras and accessories that bring you joy whenever you see your reflection.