Some people, erroneously, believe they cannot wear vintage. They use the phrase “can’t pull it off”, a phrase I sneer at. “I can’t pull off vintage!” is something that makes my soul shrivel, along with “I can’t pull off a pixie cut/high-waisted pants/a middle part/purple lipstick/acid-washed overalls.” With the exception of that last one, I don’t ever want to hear that sentence again.
It’s a process, but you can train yourself to understand that you CAN wear anything you goddamn feel like! So in this week’s edition of How to Wear Vintage
, let’s take a step back and start slow, with accessories. Baby steps!
Ah, earrings. Earrings can singlehandedly take your look from blah to HUZZAH. (If you don’t use the word “huzzah” a lot, you should probably go to more Ren Faires.)
What I love about earrings is that 1) They’re reasonably priced, so you can go on out of control earring sprees and won’t feel appalled at yourself the next morning, 2) They’re small, so you can go on out of control earring sprees and won’t feel overwhelmed at not having any more closet space, and 3) They run the gamut from discreet to obscenely loud, so you can customize depending on how sassy you’re feeling.
I wear these when I’m feeling pretty sassy:
This probably won’t mean anything to 99.9% of the population, but these are from a totally adorable Christmas Barn in Santa Rosa.
If I want some 80s flair, I might go with these:
These were a Thrift Town find!
And these are a little more demure.
Even the most basic bitch
shouldn’t be afeared of a bold vintage purse! If you’re carrying a super-fierce purse and suddenly get self-conscious, you can easily hide it behind your back or throw it into some shrubbery to retrieve later. (It’s a bit less socially acceptable to do that with too-fierce pants.) So NO excuses for boring backpacks.
This purse is versatile, roomy enough for hitting the town with all the necessities (gotta have an emergency scarf at all times in case of chilliness) and bold without being too loud. Red looks great as the “pop of color” for just about any look: at the risk of too much popping, I even double up with my red loafers.
Photo by Stri
This purse belongs to my fellow WYV writer Stri: read her article for more cute stuff! I just couldn’t resist featuring this bright, fun handbag since I’m a little bit in lust with it. Purses like this need to be the star of the outfit! Let them shine.
Like earrings and purses, hats are easily tailored to your experience level. It’s kind of like playing Pokemon: when you start out, the only move Squirtle knows is Tackle, but by the time you’ve gone through some serious shit together, he’s Headbutting and drowning other Pokefools with Hydro Pump.
This hat is pretty serious: I’d rate it a “Water Gun” move on the Squirtle-Scale.
When you get a chance to match your hair to your hat, you take it.
Here’s another one that even I have qualms about wearing, sometimes:
Sometimes, I miss having bangs. NOT!
This is no weak, “are the 90s vintage?” type of vintage hat. It’s pretty hardcore, and I only wear once or twice a year. Not for beginners. Also, you have to hold your head very still and have great posture: I imagine this is what hat pins used to be useful for, but I can never seem to find hat pins anywhere! According to Agatha Christie, they were also useful for murdering people, so all in all, their absence is quite a blow for polite society.
For a slightly more wearable hat, I like this one:
Got this one at Mars Vintage in Berkeley: their hat selection is STELLAR. Space puns!
So welcome to the shallow end of the fashion pool, lovelies! Start dipping your toes in with some accessories, and you’ll be wearing 1940s playsuits, mod minis, and sparkly turbans in no time at all.