Sep 20, 2011

Building a Vintage Wardrobe, One Step at a Time

One of the wisest ways to build a flexible wardrobe is to take advantage of vintage clothing. Vintage garments bring everything to the fashion table: good design and  high quality construction at very attractive prices, and far better fabrics than those used in the vast majority of ready to wear. Plus there is the environmentally positive Reduce-Reuse-Recycle aspect of vintage fashion. 

The dictum that it is better to have A Few Really Good Things Than Many Cheap Ones is true. Not a modern belief, but a true one. There is a great a deal of satisfaction in investing one’s limited funds into good pieces that work with many options and will last.

I have been following this credo in building a new wardrobe over the last year. And it is working wonderfully. In order to purchase a vintage piece, it needs to work on several levels of my life: running errands, free lance work, lunch or dinner out.

My current rules?
1) When leaving the house, wear something vintage. That may only be a bracelet, but it will be something.
2)Mix vintage and modern, because that avoids a costume look.
3)Footwear will have at least uppers of real leather (gym shoes excepted)
4)Polyester will be avoided
5)Build around Vintage pieces that are sturdy enough to wear and can be hand washed or drycleaned

So how is this all working?
I have more examples in future posts, but this is a grouping I pulled together last spring. The base is a dressmaker quality 1950s rose wool jacket with silver studs.

This grouping mixes a 1950s jacket from a local vintage shop, a 1950s silk blouse from auction lot, new black patent belt with silver buckle from Zappo's warehouse sale, and a charcoal grey wool twill skirt from locally owned resale shop.The skirt goes with at least 8 more tops and sweaters in the wardrobe. The belt - ditto. 

On the left: a black cotton mock turtleneck shell from my closet, a black and white wool tweed skirt from local a consignment shop and repeat jacket and belt.

On the right: black cotton turtleneck also from my closet, antique silver and jet jewelry ( gifts from family!) and black and white pinstripe wool blend pants from a local consignment shop.The turtleneck and pants go with just about everything.  

Total cost of all three looks?  $95. That's by no means a record, and many could beat that total, but $32 for a three piece ensemble is still pretty good. 


Lisa said...

Great Post!

Mixing modern and vintage is my favorite way to wear my collection. I would love to see more posts like this.

Past Perfect Vintage Clothing said...

Thank you and that's great as I have 2 more in the works

Midge said...

Love this post! I love mixing vintage and modern too - and try to wear more and more vintage. Your pink jacket is gorgeous!

Jen O said...

Gorgeous jacket, something that terrific will go with anything!