Work It Girl: Vintage Dressing in the Modern World

Work It Girl: Vintage Dressing in the Modern World

Ah yes, as the saying goes, what was once old, is new again, and never is that more true than in fashion. Resurrecting styles from the past and bringing them into the modern age is something that will continue to occur over and over again. However, you don't have to wait until something is declared by the fashion industry or a department store to be in again for you to wear it, nor do you have to literally style yourself from one particular decade just the way they did it. Don't be afraid to mix and match different eras or decades of clothing to suit your more modern tastes. It's definitely not about putting on or creating a costume. It's about taking bits and pieces and inspiration from a particular time period an mixing it up with modern fabrics, accessories, tailoring, make-up, hair, and styling.

THE FIFTIES

In the 40's, due to WWII, rationing was in full effect and limited fabrics and amounts women could buy, but with the war over in the 50's, women's dresses exploded with excess fabric, showing off intricate gatherings, a multitude of pleats, poofy petticoats, and fabulous collars, all made of the best taffeta, nylon, rayon, wool and leather in the brightest and boldest patterns and colors. Fashion of this time period involved a-line skirts/dresses, halter dresses/tops, pencil skirts/dresses, high waisted/natural waist everything, capes, swing coats, tulle, polka dots, gingham, checks, belted outfits, pedal pushers (modern day capris) wool, hats, high heels, flats, and sharp tailoring,This also began a more conformist era where women were guided into conforming to a singular body type; shapely bust, small waist, and shapely hips. Most outfits were helped underneath by tight corsets, crinolines, conical bras, shape wear, and garters. However, this shape is most similar to that of a woman's natural body and continues to this day to flatter from petite to plus.


THE SIXTIES

Goodbye conformity, welcome civil unrest and rebellion. Young people in particular no longer wanted to play their part in the natural order of things as they always were and should have been. War both at home and abroad was on the horizon, and fashion began to take a bold turn. Fashion of this era was helped by the fact that clothing was made more accessible to those beyond the wealthy class who often employed someone to make their clothes or made them themselves in previous decades. Television, models, and music greatly influence this decade. There were variations of the Hippie Style style featuring long maxi skirts, bell-bottomed jeans, flowing fabric tops, peasant blouses, paisleys, florals, bright tie-dyes, colorful tights, and Eastern, Indian, Native American, and African motifs. There was also what came to be known as the London Look featuring bright, bold patterns and colors, Go-Go boots. Gone were the natural curves of the 50s. The female shape most associated with this time is that of Model Twiggy who was very thin and had a more boyish frame.


THE SEVENTIES

This may be the fashion era described by many as almost the anything goes decade. Coming off the tail end of the 60s, many of the fabrics and styles bled into the 70s in a cacophonous mixing and matching of styles.The new trends of this decade included flared or "bell-bottom" pants, tunics, pant sets, leisure suits, and overalls along with exotic prints, polyester fabrics, checks, bright colors, embroidered details, and satin, corduroy, faux or real fur and velvet textures. This era was also highlighted by disco fashions, slinky spaghetti strap curve hugging dresses and one shouldered pieces and jumpsuits. It is the brave who try their hands and re-creating fashion from this era as most do not think upon it fondly. Perhaps too much of a good thing?


THE EIGHTIES

The emergence of rap culture, the influence of Madonna, and movies like Annie Hall and tv shows like Dynasty had a huge influence on fashion of this era. This was also the time in which many women began to enter into the workplace and the board room. As a result, the shape for women became strangely triangular. Big bold linebacker shoulder pads pulled in at the waist and wearing more male influenced fashion suits, but baggier and slouchier. Hip-Hop style included track suits, sportswear brands like ADIDAS and Nike, Kangol hats, and gold chains and rings. Hair metal style included ripped jeans and shirts, tight spandex jump suits, acid wash denim, band T-shirts, and insanely BIG hair. Yuppie fashion also emerged (think Hipster or Preppy styles). Also big trends were neon colors, geometric shapes, slogan t-shirts, lace, lots of bangles and headbands, and oversized everything with a lot of distortion of the natural female shape.


THE NINETIES

If you didn't get MTV in the 80s, you got it now. It's where most young people lived and breathed in new trends. Grunge via the new Seattle sound dominated fashion as did the idea of being Heroin chic. You were meant to dress as if you literally didn't care as a middle finger to society. This decade was about acid-washed jeans, biker shorts, jellies, chokers, velvet and velour, slip dresses, baby doll dresses, scrunchies, "The Blossom" hat, vests, Looney Toons inspired clothing, baseball caps, Doc Martins, Big flat platform shoes or big chunky shoes, urban street wear, short skirts, designer gear, labels, metallics, camo, crop tops, tapered 'mom' jeans, and plaid...there was never enough plaid. This was the age of the Supermodel. She was tall, thin, and toned. Most women wanted to have that shape or were busy rebelling against the age of conformity...by of course immediately conforming to what all their friends and favorite musicians were wearing.


6|0
12|8
BeeNee is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
Who are Editors?

Join the discussion

0/2500

Submit

What Guys Said 8

  • nice piece of work

    1|0
    0|0
  • What went wrong in the eighties and nineties. The fashion looked pretty great, then BAM! 80s! Lol

    0|0
    0|0
  • Women's and men's fashion used to be so much more aesthetically pleasing and clearly masculine or feminine. Kinda wish that people could dress like that again. Alas, the fedora has been stolen from its dignified position by boy bands and neckbearded misogynists, and even a blazer in a more casual environment could draw mockery. But please, if we are to return old fashioned fashion, let's make the 60's our cutoff. Hippies were bad enough, but then, the Eighties, yuck. Great president, awful clothes.

    0|0
    0|0
  • These are not really accurate... they just look like clothes people would wear today and don't seem to have influence from each decade...

    0|0
    0|0
    • Perhaps you should do a little research to find out why the looks are actually influenced by each particular decade. The modern looks aren't meant to be exact replicas. That's not the point of vintage dressing in the modern world. You take ideas from the past and you make them modern, otherwise you either look like you're in costume, severely outdated with your style, or you personally have a vested interest in wanting to literally look like someone from the past.

    • But then what's the point of calling it Vintage Dressing?

    • The styles are influenced by the past vintage looks. I understand there may be confusion with the use of the word vintage dressing as you can pull vintage pieces and literally where them, but the idea here in this particular take, is as I've said, to take ideas from vintage clothing and make them modern otherwise, the take would just be vintage clothing or something along those lines.

  • I wish nudism would come back into style.

    0|0
    0|0
    • That would be the 60s ( on weekends) lol

    • Show All
    • @Poppykate That doesn't sound very interesting.

    • Don't want to see people your parents or grandparents age naked? Lol fair enough!

  • Wish you included 2000s

    0|0
    0|0
    • The 2000s are not considered to be vintage clothing yet. In order for something in the fashion world at least, to be considered vintage, it must be at least 20 years or older.

    • Alright. Thanks for the information.

  • The only thing I saw.. The models got thinner with time..

    0|1
    0|0
    • That is true, but models, no matter the size, are paid to look a certain way, but fashion doesn't just belong to them, it belongs to everyone and obviously off the runway, more so probably now than ever, people don't look like the typical 6ft, 115 pound model.

  • Good take - I could pick some that I like from all those eras - I think I like the 60s the best

    0|0
    0|0

What Girls Said 12

  • good work! i've always had a thing for vintage styles

    0|0
    0|0
  • I rock the 90's!


    To be fair, I also have an obsession with punk bands, and would love to dress like punks from the 70's. Just happens that the 90's are closer to what I wear because certain adult figures dissaprove of the punk look. I really don't give a fuck but I live under their roof, and honestly, getting screamed at sucks. I'm holding out until uni, hoping to go to the University of Chicago, the scene is still big there

    0|0
    0|0
  • I've always been obsessed with the style of the 50s and try to modernise that in my own wardrobe.
    really well done =]

    0|0
    0|0
    • thank you. Such a beautiful era of fashion as well. I can't think of a decade since that truly celebrated the female form in such a natural shapely way.

    • i totally agree! modesty and sexiness at its finest!

  • <3 <3 <3 Love this

    0|0
    0|0
  • I love the 50s, everything was so classy. Swing coats always catch my attention.

    0|0
    0|0
    • I honestly feel that this was the most beautiful era of clothing for women. Other than maybe the hardcore corsets and girdles and crinolines... I wouldn't want to deal with everyday... they just looked so put together and ladylike and beautiful.

  • Ah yes, give me the 40's ,50's and early 60's! Not just the fashions, but the women who wore them! The women were so feminine, classy, sexy and ladylike!

    1|0
    0|0
  • i prefer the 2010

    0|0
    0|0
  • Heck yeah I love the 50's and 70's looks

    1|0
    0|0
  • Cool take! 50's clothes are my favorite :)
    www.lindybopusa.com/

    1|0
    0|0
  • This is so nice and interesting😍😍😍😍

    1|0
    0|0
  • lol, i dress more 30's to the 70's with an ethnic twist.

    0|0
    0|0
  • I'm more of a 40s gal myself. I wrote my dissertation on the 'Influence of post-WWII culture on modern day media'
    So I know A ton about vintage clothes and have started a vintage selling business.
    I usually wear a lot of vintage! I absolutely love it, you just can't get the craftsmanship now for the same price as a vintage piece. You'd have to buy premium designer or couture.
    I personally think the 40s and the 50s are easiest to mix into modern fashion as a lot of the clothing now has that kind of style anyway.
    The 60s was starting to get blocky which I find really difficult for an hour glass shape, no shift dresses please!!! Haha

    0|0
    0|0
    • I would even go back to the 30's era in terms of adhering to a more natural shape. We really as a whole have not gone back to anything that was quite as fair to all shapes as the 50s era. You are absolutely right about the craftsmanship. It doesn't exist. I pour over the volumes and volumes of old design books at the library and its just stunning the amount of not only tailoring, but exquisite details that went into those pieces... and to think what they were "only" sold for!

    • ... well I should say, as you've said, they don't exist for anyone would cannot afford the luxury or be privileged enough to be at the hands of a skilled couturier.

    • The only reason I say 40s is just because I've never seen anything over a modern size 12 for 1930s vintage. 40s is better as to what you can find if you look. I have a 1940s wedding dress that was custom made size 24!!! Seriously 52 inch bust!!! It's crazy! It's also probably the heaviest thing I own because it's slipper satin and lace and has a 5 foot train! Haha

Loading...