I love vintage fashion, I really do, and this spring you can give it a go too! There are lots of different styles from different decades, so it's not hard to find one that suits you. Here are my 10 favourites, listed as I thought of them, not in ranked order.
1. Groovy 1960s Mod
Mod is a really interesting fashion style, not only because it's so far one of the only fashions to delve into the realm of PVC without being goth but also because of the unique cultural context it occurred in. Women were becoming more and more outspoken and independent, and their fashions reflects that sense of individuality and strength of opinion. Mod is based on symmetry, contrasting colours and futuristic patterns.
2. Sweet 1950s Sun Dress
This is actually my all-time favourite vintage style. The 50s were amazing in terms of the beautiful, timeless clothes it produced, but the sun dress is hands down my favourite item of the decade. Sun dresses are very feminine, with a defined waist, full skirt and often narrow or halter straps to show off the shoulders, collarbone and back. Put your hair in rollers, and get some cupcakes in the oven, cos sweet sun dresses are back!
3. Country Club Modesty 1950s
Think plaid high waisted plaid skirts, tucked in button-down shirts, blazers and sensible leather shoes. Now say hello to what I like to call the Country Club look, with a very modest 50s twist. I absolutely adore this style for cooler weather, and it looks amazing to team up a high waisted skirt, tucked in shirt, little cardigan and a fancy brooch. Very classy, elegant and surprisingly practical.
4. The Tennis Court
Yes, you would be surprised how good tennis-inspired outfits look in summer. I love the little white skirts with singlets, or one-piece dresses. Team it up with pulled-up socks, Volley shoes, a little sun visor and a very-high pony tail and you will be ready to hit the courts and the catwalk!
5. Cool 1970s Hippie Boho
This is a nice style if you normally have a relaxed fashion style. Think long peasant skirts, singlets, tie-dyed tees and Roman sandals. If you like to leave your hair long then this can suit you really well. Just leave it out and straight, or do some plaits for a real Woodstock feel.
6. She's the Man
When women started to gain independence and equality in the workplace, they reflected this with business suits. Some are very feminine skirt and jacket ensembles, some are ladylike tuxedos, and some are somewhat masculine shirt and tie type looks. Whichever one suits you best, you're sure to attract appreciative looks from fashionista when you wear a suit.
7. Jump Back to the 80s!
The eighties were a sort of mix between the previous psychedelic styles and the slowly forming grunge look. So if you love Cyndi Lauper or just her style, then the 80s look could work for you this spring! Think short skirts, ripped singlets and stockings, lace gloves, animal prints, big hair and out-there makeup!
8. The Amazing Era, the 1930s
Following the Depression ladies wanted to feel feminine again, but without splurging on silk. The solution was Rayon, which actually influenced the fashion quite a lot! Rayon is soft, light and has a whimsical look to it, and many 1930s soft dresses reflect that. They should be feminine, knee length and preferably layered, with cap-sleeves quite popular. A very sweet, but fashion-forward style, so you can look lady-like but at the same time have a “Coco Chanel, I make my own trends” feel.
9. The Troubled End of the 1930s
Amidst the wars, fashion took many turns. First there were military-inspired shoulders on ladies jackets, double-rows of buttons and double-breasted coats. This also led into military style lace-up boots becoming acceptable for women to wear, and pull-overs knitted jumpers were more common, rather than the button-up style of cardigan ladies were used to.
10. The Recent 90s
OK, so they're not really vintage status yet, but the 90s had some good clothes that people seem to have forgotten about! The grunge style doesn't initially seem to fit the word “cute” but with a bit of a tweak it can look really adorable. Think jeans, band-shirt and black nails but make the shirt oversized, giving an impression of a petite frame, add some relaxed-looking jewellery, denim shorts instead of jeans and half-laced Converse Hi-Tops and you have quite a cute, rocker look.
So those are my top ten vintage styles, two of which I have already trialled and tested this spring! The verdict so far has been really good, people have come over on the street to tell me how cute my skirt is, and at the theatre (seeing Hairspray, ironically) my late 50s inspired ensemble attracted attention from some blooming fashionistas. Don't be shy with vintage fashion, and don't feel like you are forced to follow strict rules on how to wear it. The clothes might be old-fashioned but you can put a modern, individual twist on it. Have fun and enjoy what you wear! Which of these vintage styles do you like best, and why?
Top Photo Credit: Chelsea Meadows