August 25, 2011


Yes, it takes a lot of guts to pull off vintage. :) But the good thing about it is, vintage is often more modest than most clothes in stores today, and it is also so unique. You are not going to walk down the street and see every other girl wearing the same exact shirt as you have on. Not happening! Great, you say.... so vintage is one-of-a-kind! BUT, finding something that fits right and looks great can be difficult, because in vintage and consignment stores, they don't stock items! I understand your dilemma: often I'll go to a vintage store and find a beautiful dress that is too big! It irks me to no end. :P So, I've turned to vintage inspired stores as great options when I can't find that elusive perfect dress. Despite my recent acceptance of vintage knock-offs, I will always be ridiculously loyal to *authentic* vintage clothes. Think of the stories that are coming with your dress... who knows who could have worn it before? Yes, its unlikely that Grace Kelly might have, but I still can dream. ;) Today, I offer you a dose of modern inspiration and then practical application so that you can incorporate vintage into your own style. 
So, lets start with the hair: curly blonde hair, in a cross between finger waves and "usual" curls is so drop dead vintage. I can see the Veronica Lake inspiration in this hairstyle. Vintage hairstyles are always classy, classy, classy. 
Thankfully, pencil skirts (like the one this model is wearing) are still around, although they actually originated in the 1950s, and have remained a classic through the years. High-waisted pencil skirts are very vintage-esque, and you definitely see Victoria Beckham rocking those. :)
 I love a good modern take on a very vintage look. This gorgeous suit is obviously inspired by vintage, but it has its own twist, with gorgeous draping around the skirt and shoulder. I think the three-quarter length sleeves make the gloves much more modern.
I have no idea what your stance on the fur issue is: some like faux, others like real, and still others prefer vintage fur. Whatever your values are, fur is a perfect way to add a vintage touch to your look. I know, a huge fur coat can look hideously reminiscent of the 80s... a decade some of us would rather forget. :P But a beautiful fur wrap or a small fur jacket like the one above or a coat with a fur collar is a beautiful way to wear it. (btw, don't you LOVE pinterest?)
So, you don't want to be labeled a granny stuck in another century, just because you wear a vintage suit to the supermarket? (all right, ladies, if you wear a suit for the sole purpose of going to walmart, they're right: it *is* overkill. Dressing properly for the occasion is very important!) Getting back to the issue, if you think some of your outfit is too antique, then add a pair of unapologetically modern shoes:
Now, that would dispel the notion of Miss Granny... ;)
And obviously, there are definitely some vintage-y modern suits which won't call for such drastic shoe measures. ;) Although, I absolutely love her shoes...
Can I stop for a moment and say how much I love this photo? All right, back to the issue. Hats are truly as vintage as you can get. From a dramatic black fascinator to a gorgeous sunhat, they add instant charm and beauty to any outfit. There was a time in the past where a woman wouldn't go out without a hat and gloves.... no more! We really need to revive this trend :)
 Black lace is just beautifully vintage, and so many designers are creating gorgeous modern takes on it. It is truly timeless. Adding a strand of pearls to an outfit is so beautiful, but if you pile them on, it adds a bit of a modern touch. Mixing pearls and other pieces of jewelry will achieve the same modern quality.
so, classy. Is anything more vintage-y than red lipstick? I don't think so!

Next to hats, I have no idea what speaks more vintage elegance than a headscarf. Everybody from Vivien Leigh to Marilyn Monroe wore them, especially in convertibles. (you know the routine, enter the car with flawless hair, exit with anything but... however, a headscarf helps you retain your hairstyle)
I kind of love this dress....! A shorter hemline (as in right above or below the knee) really helps to modernize a vintage frock. I adore her audrey hepburn-esque ballet flats.
So, you might be wondering if anyone wears vintage full time. Yes, although there are only a few, there are some people who are %100 vintage lovers. One such person is Dita Von Teese: she mixes some modern with mostly vintage, and really, I think she is one of the few people that can pull it off. :)
Dita Von Teese Style
I love how much leopard she wears, and her lovely shoes. Notice her beautifully red nails.
Dita Von Teese Style
This is what she wears normally! I love it :) Her shoes are so vintage.
Dita Von Teese Style
Like I said, vintage tends to be more modest in hemlines and necklines. 
Dita Von Teese Style
Oh, her coat. just lovely.
Dita Von Teese Style
This is definitely one of my favorite looks for her. She looks so glamorous.
Dita Von Teese Style
She has such interesting shaped shades...
Dita Von Teese Style
Yes, she knows the power of red lipstick too. ;)
Dita Von Teese Style
A beautiful, full circle skirt.
Dita Von Teese Style
Yes! Headscarf and ballet flats.... she really is so stylish, in a utterly unusual way.
Dita Von Teese Style
Wrap dresses are so beautiful on her, and very vintage-esque.
Dita Von Teese Style
Sorry, I just love this one. She is reading the back of a soap box in a supermarket, and looks like she is going to a cocktail party!
Dita Von Teese Style
Love the black lacework on the upper part of the dress.
Dita Von Teese Style
She is so cute! I love her style 
Isn't her style lovely? And yes, we are now finally getting to the practical aspect of things. Enjoy!
1. First, you need some lovely vintage style blogs to follow, for some more inspiration. (really, can you ever have too much? ;)
~the girl never gets older: can I say gorgeous?! She is beautiful, and her style is very romantic and vintage inspired. I love it; she looks like a doll!
~Vixen Vintage: Again, talk about lovely! She wears vintage full time, and is so good at it. 
~Elegant Musings: Casey doesn't just share her lovely vintage-y outfits, but talks about other aspects of stylish life -- you know, elegant musings? ;)
~Swing Fashionista: Glamorous. Yes, this is a must follow for vintage inspiration.
2. Good vintage stores:
~Posh Girl Vintage: A beautiful vintage store with absolutely lovely clothes!
~Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique: A dreamy boutique packed with stunning dresses.
~Midnight Sparkle Vintage Clothing: Definitely one to keep your eye on. ;)
~HollyVogue Vintage Boutique: Fabulous fur selection.
2. There are some absolutely simple and easy ways for you to "try out" vintage without jumping all the way in:
Work the red lipstick
Get some curlers on so.... your end result looks like this:

Instead of leaving your shirt untucked and wearing a belt on your hips,
Tuck in your shirt and belt it on your waist; total vintage vibe.
Wear a pair of cut-off gloves, or if you are ready for it, go for full out drama and wear "real" gloves.
Red nail polish. so. very. chic. 
Snag yourself some gorgeous retro shades.

Vintage bags can be so lovely... remember Grace Kelly with her Hermes "Kelly" bag?
Next, hit some vintage shops and invest in some glamorous jewelry:

Vintage brooches....
Vintage pearls....
Vintage cocktail rings, and any other beautiful piece of jewelry you can find :) If you don't have pierced ears, vintage stores usually have tons (and I mean a lot) of clip on earrings. I suppose no one had pierced ears then? I've hardly ever been able to find normal earrings. :P
Cat-eye eyeliner is absolutely stunning, and very retro-esque.

And if you are feeling very dramatic, you can even add a fake beauty mark.... Yes. *If* 
(By the way, don't you love this photo of Marilyn Monroe? She looks hilarious!)

Start wearing hats! Beware though... you might get stared at O.o
Add a headscarf :)
3. Now, some things you MUST look for when scouring through a vintage store:
Circle skirts... usually, if you want as much volume as this one has, you will need a petticoat.
Flouncy or fitted, vintage dresses are always worth having.
Anything beaded: dresses, belts, bags....
If you find a pair of gloves that fit perfectly, I suggest you keep them.
I have a very difficult time finding vintage hats that look good on me, so if you find one, I suggest you get it :)
Believe it or not, its hard finding good quality fur for a reasonable price, with a good fit. If you find one, I wouldn't pass it up!
4. Lastly, some great vintage inspired stores:
~Stop Staring!: Gorgeous, gorgeous store.... I love almost everything and would die to have a dress from here :) Just a few of my favorites:
I just adore the silhouette, and the color is darling.
I ADORE this dress. She looks rather thin though..... scary.
Her. dress. Her shoes! Love.....
So pretty....
Very sailor-ish, non?
'Round the Maypole Dress
Fluffy chiffon dress? Yes please :)
Admission Party Dress
Polka dots are the essence of retro.
Rewarding Moment Dress
spring fling halter dress by Steady Clothing
I know what your thinking... MORE polka dots?! But, they are so pretty :)
Gorgeous black dresses; vintage stores do them so well!
Ooh, polka dots. so cute!
So lovely... more 70s than everything else today :)
I love the see through sleeves... so chic.
Concluding this lengthy, long overdue post, I would like to pause for a moment and thank each follower for the tremendous support over the past few months. Over 100? It seems just like yesterday that I was staring at my first follower :) Thank you all so much...... I love you all muchly God bless!!


Angel said...

Oh my goodness! Love, love, love this post! :D You have given me so many ideas. Especially since I am trying to incorporate vintage looks into my wardrobe of late. And polka dots are the best! Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration! :D

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Kels said...

Vintage style is so gorgeous!! Thank you for sharing your fashion wisdom and giving links to these lovely dresses. :)

Have a lovely day! xxxx~Kelsey

Clair~ said...

Mmm...I absolutely adore vintage stuff, but I unfortunately don't have the 'look' to be able to pull it off. I content myself with muted colors, floral patterns, and lace. I think i would have loved to live in the forties or fifties...somewhere around there, if only to sit and watch all those glamourous, well-dressed people walking by. Fabulous pictures, by the way, and I do love pinterest very, very much. :D

Sara Beth said...

I absoulty ah-dore vintage, but can never seem to find a place to actually wear it without really standing out...any suggestions?

Southern Belle said...

Sarah Beth, I am absolutely clueless when it comes to not standing out....! haha. Just think of it as standing out for a good reason: your dress is gorgeous! hmm. But you could add very modern accessories to try and blend in a bit more. It can be awkward to be in a room full of skinny jean people and wearing a vintage dress. Yes, been there :)

StanwyckFan said...

Can I talk about love love loving this post?!? Inspiration galore! Thanks a million!

crimsonhouseofstyle said...

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Counter Cultural Teen said...

I just love vintage clothes! Ugh! This post made me want to go shop! :) haha!

The Momma said...

I ADORE this style but I am not sure that I can pull it off since I wear my weight in my middle. :( Any suggestions?

Ruthven said...

Gah, I LOOOOVE the pink dress with the silhouette you like, the floral dress under it somewhere, that sailor dress... heck, I love almost all of them.

But I have to disagree on one point: vintage is VERY in right now, especially with these skanky celebrities trying so hard to copy Marilyn Monroe/Liz Taylor/Bettie Page/Sophia Loren and be "pin up" girls (cough cough, Dita Von Teese is guilty), so I don't think it is all THAT hard. unless you meant for us regular Josephines? Yeah, but I would totally wear a lot of that 50s stuff. but then, a lot of it was conservative and in style now, so I guess that's being 'safe', and not really what style is about when you're a style blogger like you and I... we're not to just post about style, but be brave about it!

Also, The Momma- there are plenty of styles that aren't waist-defined, like empire waists, which would be perfect for you if you carry weight on your waist!

Southern Belle said...

I agree with Ruthven, The Momma.... there are vintage styles that have an empire waistline, and I would suggest going for a look like that. Or, you could go for a dress with a waist that doesn't cinch, but skims instead, and that follows the same style for the skirt. (big and fluffy :) But, in my experience, it is hard to find dresses like that, especially if you are looking for them in the 50s style, which is the decade I am unofficially focusing on in this post. However, you could look into the early sixties fashion, as it is less cinched in the waist but still follows a similar look. I have watched a fair number of movies from that decade, and the clothing is just as lovely, but a bit more forgiving around the waist. :) OR, you could go completely to a different vintage era and go with the 70s, late 60s, 30s, and 20s, which might be an easier look to pull off. Hope this helps!! Feel free to ask more if you need to :)

Southern Belle said...

Think Jackie Kennedy style, The Momma :)

Mel said...

What a gorgeous post- as always :) You included so many lovely pictures with this post! I now have the urge to paint my nails bright red!

ps. Just to let you know I awarded you the Liebster Blog Award. Congratulations.

The Momma said...

Wonderful! Thank you ladies.

dongala (wanderer) said...

This is so awessome..
I enjoyed each and every pictures I went through...............
this post is very different from the other blogger's post!!

Glee said...

I heart a pulled-together vintage look. And O gree with your tip, give a modern touch through your shoes. :)

Couture Millinery Atelier. said...

Th post is absolutely brillinat, so wll thought throug and well put togther. I have enjoyed reading it. I love vintage clothes and, come to think of it, have 30% of my closet vintage. What I love the most about vintage clothes is how well fitted they ar and how flattering to the woman's body they are! Great selection of pictures!Wishing you wonderful day.:-)

Sierra said...

What a great post! I love vintage and I've been wanting to get some stuff...when I had the opportunity.Now I know exactly what to get :) great pictures!!!!! Sierra
Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Cause You Are!)

Daria said...

This is such a wonderful post! I adoreretro and vintage inspired looks.

You have beautiful blog, I'm your newest follower!


Soy Celeste said...

¡Excelente post! soy nueva por aquí. ahora soy "Member" (Seguidora de tu blog). Me gustó mucho lo que vi y leí. Un abrazo.

memory said...

Sometimes I think I dress vintage-ly too* much. Like the tuck in shirt and wear belt thing...I do that all the time!
Cute post.


Mademoiselle Noree said...

Oh, your blog is magnificent! So much beauty, so many things to take inspiration from! And I appreciate your love for the classic, it is a rare sight that more women should turn their attention to!

Kathleen Lisson said...

These are wonderful photos! I am a hat lover, too.

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