How to Build an “Everyday Vintage Wardrobe”

How To Build an Everyday Vintage Wardrobe

A long time ago, when I was a newbie blogger, I used to do outfit posts. Mad respect to fashion bloggers, but for me…it’s just too much work! There’s already enough effort put into GETTING DRESSED, documenting the ensemble in multiple angles is taking it to another level I just do not want to do.

So, instead I snap an outfit selfie on Instagram where you get about 3/4 of my outfit so you get the general idea. I’ve been asked a couple times for tips on How To Wear Vintage. So, here are some ideas on how to build an “Everyday VintageWardrobe.”

DEFINE YOUR COLORS: Build your wardrobe around colors you really like and that pair well together. My wardrobe mostly consists of CREAM, TAN, BLUSH, NAVY, BROWN. I obviously ADORE muted colors.

WEAR THE SILHOUETTES FROM ERAS THAT FLATTER YOUR FIGURE: Figure out what silhouettes work for you and stick to them. I for one cannot wear flared 50s style dresses. I’m petite so these dresses make me look like a tiny cupcake. It’s not cute. I also have curvier hips/thighs compared to a smaller bust and bodice, so I tend to wear a lot of a-line skirts and dresses that fit in at the waist which flatters my figure best.

SHOES & ACCESSORIES: For shoes and accessories I keep it very simple. All of my shoes are neutral colored and I also know which shoe shapes work best for me (t-straps, t-straps, t-straps!) Because I’m petite, I never wear chunky jewelry or bold accessories. I gravitate towards delicate and light jewelry accents. Of course, once in awhile I may wear a statement piece. But a statement piece is exactly that, A Statement and not meant for every day wear. All my belts are the same color as well. I choose belts in hues that pair nicely with my shoes.

In my outfit photos above, about 90% of what I am wearing is VINTAGE! I like to wear vintage in a practical way (there are times when I do get a little more bedazzled, but not that often) When building your “Everyday Vintage Wardrobe” I would recommend starting with these pieces first in a silhoutte/style that suits your body type and coloring.

A solid colored BLOUSE

A solid colored or minimal patterned SKIRT

A simple solid colored DRESS

When you have these basics down, you can build on top of it. For instance once you’ve found which vintage blouse shapes work best for you, you can then start adding on different colors and prints and small variations in that silhouette. You can do the same thing for skirts and for dresses.

Of course you will find multiple silhouettes will look quite becoming on you. And you will find certain silhouettes don’t look as great… (for example busty women should stay away from 1920s flapper dresses.) There will also be instances where certain years from an era look great and certain years look terrible. (For example I find I look best in late 30s early 40s dresses, but mid to late 40s styles do not flatter me at all)

I hope you find my tips useful! I don’t think of myself as a fashionista, but I do know I dress well (it’s taken a lot of practice and trial and error!) and aim to curate a timeless wardrobe for myself.

Perhaps I’ll do more How To Wear Vintage/Curate A Vintage Wardrobe posts in the future!

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Une Fille et Les Fleurs

I am a creature of comfort and I find comfort in very simple things. It’s been an interesting couple of weeks and a bit of a rollercoaster at the most basic level and so I turn to flowers and nature for comfort. “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” John Burroughs, Victorian naturalist and nature journalist.

Adored Vintage | Une Fille et Les Fleurs

I called upon my friend, Esther Jean, this morning for an impromptu breakfast date. She had promised me a delicious home cooked breakfast, and well, when one needs nourishment for mind, body, and spirit… it is a comfort to know one has a friend to call upon.

After green tea, poached eggs (perfectly spiced by something or other, yum!) and English muffin with fig jam (so many new things I must go buy now at the grocery store!) we decided to lift up our semi crushed spirits and go vintage hunting.

And OH! I really must proclaim, retail therapy IS a THING. I picked up a couple pretty things for the shop but mostly got new things for me. Like this vintage 1970s wildflower print dress in faded mustard yellow! So what if it looks like it is made out of an old curtain in a dusty old living room in the South of England. Even better I say!

J’adore cette robe beaucoup! I think I’m that age where my style really isn’t going to change anymore. I tend to gravitate towards the same silhouettes, same color palettes, same prints. More and more… I am turning into ma mère.

Have I told you yet that my mother built a house in the rural mountains of the Philippines and started an Organic Eco farm in the village she lives in? She messaged me the other day to let me know they have gotten two new goats. C’est mon rêve! My mother also loves floral prints, straw hats, and flowers. Oh, the apple does not fall far from the tree!

Adored Vintage | Une Fille et Les Fleurs

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A Little Faye Dunaway

Channeling Faye Dunaway

I was channeling Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker for this outfit. I’ve always adored scarves and berets and I don’t really know why they’re not en vogue like ALL THE TIME. You know as a vintage seller I really do not own that many clothes. I tend to wear the same things over and over again. Kind of and odd thing, I think!

Channeling Faye Dunaway

Channeling Faye Dunaway

Also, I never thought this day would come, but I’m not wearing any make-up. Which isn’t that uncommon. I rarely wear make-up, but usually if I know I’m getting my picture taken I “fix my face” somewhat. I think I’ve just gotten older and more comfortable with my looks. Or lazier. I don’t know.

OUTFIT DETAILS //

Top: Thrifted J.Crew cardigan
Skirt: Vintage 1950s (it’s one of my favorites, a very dark navy blue)
Peacoat: From Nordstroms. I bought it about 12 years ago, LOL!
Scarf: Vintage, 1980s I believe
Beret: Vintage, 1950s/1960s
Belt: Vintage, not sure of era
Shoes (not pictured): Thrifted 1980s loafers

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Somewhere in the Middle, Maybe

Once in awhile I get into these moods where I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere. It isn’t necessarily about trying to fit in, but trying to figure out where “my tribe” is. In the fashion/vintage world that is.

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I worked in fast fashion before I went full time with Adored Vintage. In downtown L.A. – i.e. the mecca of fast fashion. I clearly did not fit into whatever fashion trend was happening that hot minute. The ultra-too-cool-for-school 90’s comeback thing. And tight leggings and jeans with those God awful shoes, I can’t even remember who makes them. Campbell? Jeffrey Campbell? Is that right? *barf* (sorry, I’ve always thought these shoes were so ugly!)

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On the other end of the spectrum are the vintage gals. Who just do the whole vintage thing so damn well! They’ve perfected the hair, the make-up, the head-to-toe period perfect ensemble. So many of these gals look like they walked out of a time machine and I’m pretty much mesmerized. I’ve seen a few of these guys and gals at different vintage events and I’m always like “…..” <– that’s me just in awe.

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One time I saw Dita Von Teese, and she walked right by me. I swear our clothes brushed against each other. And I just froze in the middle of the aisle, not breathing. Like maybe I was trying to savor the air particles she just walked through? Ugh, what a creep. Like OMG! Did you guys know she tweeted me once? I practically fell out of my chair. I texted my best friend and husband immediately “OMGGGGGGGGGggggggggggggggggggg

Then there’s a third group. The Vintage FASHION group, who wear vintage and just look so damn cool. Like I just threw on this Zandra Rhodes caftan with a pair of $350 jeans and my $1500 designer bag. (Is that how much designer bags are? I’m just not with the times anymore!) Some of these gals crossover with the Fast Fashion gals.

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Anyhow, I don’t fit into either one of these groups. I don’t think I’ve ever worn a cool outfit ever. Not to say I haven’t TRIED to look COOL (remember, I worked in fast fashion with lots of trendy buyers from Nasty Gal, Urban Outfitters, ModCloth…), but I have rarely felt like I looked the epitome of coolness.

Let’s get something straight here. I like how I dress. Nay, I love how I dress. I wouldn’t dress the way I do if I didn’t like it. This post isn’t a woe is me, my style sucks post.

There are just some times where I think “Oh man, I’m boring. Why do people like this outfit? It’s so simple! You probably even own it!

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My style icons are the women that wore pretty & simple clothes. And country girls. And Edwardian girls. Saria of Rue Anafel and I were chatting about this a few weeks ago. We rarely meet other gals who dress like us. Where are you guys?! Where are you hiding?

Why can’t wearing neutrals and a-line skirts and loafers be the thing everyone wears? Or Edwardian dresses with sandals? I would seriously love that! When I see other gals on instagram wear similar outfits to me I’m always like “I love this! Yay! We need more gals like you!”

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Marching In

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Nature has begun to shed her dried leaves and burst forth with Spring awakenings. And how all of these new blooms make my heart sing! The weather is nearly warm enough to warrant bare legs.

During the day it’s quite fair, but in the evenings I’m quite chilled still and it takes me a long while to warm up. (After all, I am an island girl at heart)

I am very much looking forward to not shivering several times a day. Of course I could just bundle up more, but I’m stubbornly willing warm days to arrive faster! The magnolia trees are starting to blossom! The forsythia is bright and golden. The camellias are so heavy in bloom, the branches bend at the weight of the blossoms.

It is HEAVENLY. I love living in Portland. There must be something here (oh, wait, all that RAIN!) that makes everything so verdant.

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Everything I am wearing was thrifted and from the 80s and at some point were going to go into the shop, but alas…I am a hoarder of all muted colors and soft knits and a-line skirt.

I do adore certain years from the 80s & the 90s. These two decades really do get a bad rep! Not everything was all shoulder pads, terrible mermaid silhouttes, teased hair, and neon lycra (cringgggeeee)

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