Don’t get me wrong. I really like vintage. Vintage is unique. It frequently has quality that is unheard of in modern clothing. There are prints that are totally unique to each era, and details that aren’t seen very often. But, there can be some drawbacks to wearing true vintage. Since it is old, it is frequently in need of repair. There’s nothing worse than finding your clothing is in need of repair while you’re out of the house. It is often delicate and in need of special care in the laundry. It can also be quite expensive. In any case, sometimes, a modern dress can masquerade as vintage, given the right presentation.
Step One: Choose a classic cut and material
The first and most important step is choose the modern dress wisely! Classic cuts are classic for a reason, they’ve been around quite a long time! Try an A-line cut for the forties, fit and flare for the fifties, or a shift dress for the sixties. Shirt dresses have been around for a very long time, and work for multiple eras. Natural fabrics are a good bet, too, so look for cotton, wool, and silk. Polyester can look okay, but will be less authentic. I went with this cotton fit and flare dress that had snaps up the front.
Step Two: Add era appropriate accessories
This step goes a long way in making a modern garment look retro. Accessories have changed a lot over the years, and certain accessories were in style for only a few years. Here, I added a low heel, retro sunglasses, and a waist belt. Waist belts were very popular in the forties and fifties.
Step Three: Add a vintage piece (optional)
An easy way to make a modern dress look vintage is to add a vintage piece to it. This can also be something reproduction as well, as it has the same effect. If I were to put a modern length cardigan on top of this dress, it would immediately date it as modern. Instead, I paired it with a fifties cardigan, but a fitted cardigan that came to the waist would suffice.
Step Four: Rock the hair and makeup
Often I overlook this step, but it can sometimes make or break a style. Often I think that my dress is too much by itself, only to find that with the right makeup and hair it looks perfect! I did not have time to go back and do my hair, so I added a hat and classic red lipstick. Think of era appropriate hair and makeup as the finishing touches of a look, the thing that brings the look together.
There you have it! Simple steps to make a modern dress look vintage!
Dress, flower, belt: thrifted
Sweater, sunglasses: Vintage Haberdashery