I have always admired vintage style, but knew little about it achieving it. That's when I decided to get some expert advice in the form of a dear blog friend and vintage virtuoso, Nicole Danielle Warr.
Nicole is the creator of South Africa's first ever online vintage magazine, Vintage Lifestyle, which highlights everything from fashion to decor, travel, literature, music, art and design.
This dynamic 22-year-old has a passion for all things vintage, as well as fashion and drinking lots of tea. Nicole's magazine attains a perfect balance, featuring good quality, affordable labels and also luxury vintage inspired brands. This virtual publication looks at how vintage elements enhance our modern lifestyles - the old with the new - all culminating in a unique look and experience. Amidst running a successful magazine, compiling articles & styling and organizing exquisite photo shoots, Nicole also impressively finds time in between to run her own blog, Diamonds & Dust. And to guest post for Frills & Thrills. Take it away Nicole....
Nicole's Essential Vintage Items
The High-Waisted Skirt
High-waisted skirts look best with a well-fitted blouse or a jersey and a statement waist belt. Popular vintage colours at the moment are ivory white, mint green, dusty pink and maroon. Good news is that they work well for the fuller figure too, and if worn in a darker shade, such as black or navy blue, it will compliment the shape in more ways than one.
The 50's Style Dress
Floral print never seems to go out of fashion. One could put together images of people wearing floral from every decade. For the vintage look however, it has to be the 50's style floral dress. Conservative top, a cinched waist and a wide knee-length skirt (the bigger the skirt, the better!). Remember when wearing floral not to overdo it. My advice would be to wear one floral item at a time and to refrain from mixing florals with other patterns such as stripes and polka dots. It’s best to pair your dress with a cardigan for those chilly evenings out.
The LBD or “Little Black Dress”
This is yy absolute favourite item of clothing. The origins of this dress date back to 1920's designs of Coco Chanel. I’m sure you all know by now that a LBD is an essential to have. If you’re standing in front of your cupboard one day and you have absolutely no clue as of what to wear, take out your LBD, put on some heels and you’re good to go. What’s also great about wearing a plain black dress is that you have the option of accessorizing however you like, and with whatever colour you like. The classic LBD is a look that works for many women time and time again. For those chilly evenings out, pair your LBD with a classic beige trench coat.
Some of the greatest vintage-style sunglasses have to be wayfarers, aviators, Jackie O’s and cat’s eye. You might have thought that these styles are modern, but fashions have a way of resurfacing. Remember Audrey Hepburn’s wayfarer style sunglasses in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Tom Cruise’s aviator sunglasses in Top Gun? Jackie Onassis wearing her signature oversized, round sunglasses (this style was named after her), and the cat’s eye sunglasses worn by every housewife in the 50s and 60s?
I have a pair of clip-on earrings that are very dear to me. They belonged to my grandmother and anyone who knows me knows that I wear them all the time. What I love about them is that they compliment any outfit. If you can’t get hold of your grandmother’s vintage clip-on’s, don’t worry too much as many of the vintage stores and markets still sell them. If you want to go for a more classic style, try vintage pearl earrings with a matching necklace.
Mary Jane Shoes or Classic Round Pumps
Shoes have a way of rounding off a look. When it comes to vintage, a pair of Mary Jane’s or classic round pumps will do just that. My advice would be to start off with a neutral colour, such as tan, black, navy blue or ivory white. This is to ensure that they’ll match with all your outfits and then, when you’re ready, perhaps start experimenting with bold colours and prints.
Vintage Hair & Make-Up
Personally, when it comes to hair and make-up, I always keep it simple.
Delicate, wavy hair, with a winged liner on the eyes and a nude lip.
Or, all my hair pulled back into a sleek bun with soft eyes and dark red lips.
I’m also a huge fan of plaits or braids as they tend to soften a look quite nicely.
Nicole's Thrifting Tips
- Always check the fabrics for holes and stains. Unless it's really worth sewing up or bleaching (if it's white), then don't buy it.
- Check the label. This gives you an indication of what it’s worth and whether the selling price is reasonable. If it’s Gucci, you’re going to pay a bit more.
- TRY THE ITEM ON! I’ve made the mistake before of not trying the item on and then going home and drowning in it.
- If you’re new to vintage, try and mix one vintage item with modern items. For example; wear your new shift dress with your vintage clutch bag.
- I recommend hand washing most vintage items, especially lace. Older fabrics may be damaged in very hot water.
- Have fun! Thrifting can soon become a great hobby of yours.
A Special Thanks to Nicole for taking the time to guest post and for defining 'Vintage Style'.
I hope you have enjoyed her retro fashion tips and thrifting tricks as much as I have.
Is 'Vintage' something you would try out?
*Images sourced via Tumblr, Polyvore and Nicole's blog, Diamonds & Dust.