|be stylish | October/November 2016
Revamping the looks of decades past
by Heather Hollermann
There are many different ways to make your wardrobe stand out from the crowd. Perhaps one of the easiest and most underutilized ways to do this is by incorporating vintage clothing. The key to doing this successfully is to combine vintage pieces with contemporary ones so that you don't look like you're wearing a costume. Here are a couple of ways to unite the freshness of modern fashion and the timelessness of vintage style.
A contrasting creation
When shoulder pads swept the nation like a plague, the floral, feminine dress was at its best. Now outdated, it's hard to imagine a way to make this dress look modern and stylish. However, with a little bit of creative thinking, you can give any vintage piece new life.
Start with something simple, like a floral vintage dress. This one, a hand-me-down from the 1990s, is a good base. That's important when choosing a piece to work with. You have to like something about the vintage piece before you can come up with a way to revamp it. This dress is fun, flirty, and super feminine. The colors--a sort of mustard yellow, army green, and maroon--are versatile so that the dress could work for any season.
The first thing you'll want to do with a dress like this is cut out those bulky shoulder pads. This is fairly simple; all you'll need is a pair of regular scissors. Cut carefully, close to the seam where the shoulder pad meets the fabric of the dress. Without the shoulder pads, the dress is looking more contemporary by the minute.
The next step is to accessorize. Given that the dress is extremely feminine, adding a black leather jacket can be a fun way to add a little edge to the look.
This might seem like an odd choice -- a masculine, onyx-colored leather jacket and a bright floral dress? However, you know what they say: opposites attract! The harsh lines and masculinity of the leather jacket mixed with the femininity of the dress is just the right amount of contrast to draw the eye in. Combined with leggings and heels that pull colors from each separate piece, this look is complete. Side note: if heels aren't your cup of tea, you can also try wearing combat boots for even more contrast.
Caught in the midi
With the changing weather, a growing trend emerges: the midi skirt. Often defined as a skirt that comes down to the middle of your calf, the midi skirt is typically associated with the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. A cool addition to any wardrobe, there is a lot you can do with a midi skirt.
You can channel your inner pin-up girl by choosing a floral midi skirt and pairing it with a tight top and a pair of fabulous heels. Add in some victory rolls and red lipstick, and your look is complete!
Another way to revamp an old midi skirt is to pair it with a baggy sweater. Pairing this skirt with a sweater gives it a cozy, librarian-esque feel.
However you style your midi skirt, you want it to be the center of attention -- the focal point of your outfit. Choose something with a bright floral design or an interesting pattern. All it takes is a little hunting, or perhaps a visit to your local thrift store, and you can find yourself a very unique piece. Pair it with a simple top to ensure the midi skirt gets all the attention.
Adding vintage pieces to your wardrobe is always a fun, creative way to spice up your look. With a little reflecting, you'll discover each decade past offers something different in terms of fashion. All you have to do is look!
Heather Hollermann is a freelance writer focused on creativity and personal style. She is a strong believer that fashion is a way of expressing yourself -- a dynamic work of art in which you live. When she isn't working on her novel, Heather can be found reading, shopping, traveling, and binge-watching television series. She is a lover of history, dark lipstick, and baked goods.