10 ways to add vintage style to your regular look

I adore vintage style.  It’s so sophisticated, polished and ladylike.  However, there are plenty of days when I don’t feel like wearing top-to-toe vintage.  Sometimes, a little taste of vintage style is enough to give you your retro fix.

If you’re looking to work some vintage style into your normal wardrobe, there are plenty of ways to do it.  I’ve come up with 10 ways that will allow you to add a vintage flavour to your look, without having to purchase genuine vintage items.

Vintage Hairstyles

Vintage-inspired hairdo’s are perfect for adding a touch of old-world glamour to your look.  They look brilliant when worn with modern pieces and most of them are actually quite easy to do.  Victory rolls, pincurls, beehives and back-rolls are all simple looks that you can achieve at home without any special equipment.


High waistlines

There’s no denying that waistlines have dropped lower as time has marched on.  For a vintage twist, experiment with high-waisted skirts and trousers.  High-waisted jeans are perfect for creating a 70’s style look, or a rib-skimming pencil skirt will transport you back to the 50’s.  Don’t forget to tuck your top in for maximum impact.

Extreme skirt volume

Pay attention to the length and volume of your skirt.  In bygone eras, skirts tended to be extreme in terms of volume.  Just look at the huge, sweeping circle skirts favoured by Grace Kelly, or Marilyn’s figure-hugging pencil skirts.  Whether tight or full, make sure that your skirt falls between the knee and mid-calf for the best results.

Add a brooch

While brooches are still around today, they don’t seem to be as popular as they have been in years gone by.  For an instant vintage twist, add a beautiful brooch to your blouse, jacket or hat.  Brooches don’t have to be expensive, you can pick up lovely costume brooches at most accessory stores or op-shops.

Give some lip

A red lip to be precise.  Nothing says vintage like a red lip worn with a flawless, polished complexion.  A red lip is a quick, simple way to dress up even the most casual of outfits.  My favorite red lippie is Red Sinner from Lipstick Queen.

Slip into some gloves

A pair of prim gloves is an ideal way to add a ladylike spin to a modern outfit.  There are so many lengths to choose from: wrist, bracelet, elbow or opera, they’re all lovely.  Select a pair in a fine fabric, and ensure that they’re clean and well-fitting.  Gloves look especially good when they’re matched to the rest of your outfit, so try to pick a colour that teams with your ensemble.


Tailor it

Vintage clothes were often custom-made for their owner or handmade.  To that end, they were often impeccably tailored.  To emulate this look, select garments that fit you perfectly, which have good-quality tailoring and fine details.  If you can’t find something that fits the way you’d like, take your clothes to a seamstress to have them fitted.  Trust me, when you see how lovely you look, you’ll realise that it’s money well spent.

Cinch your waist

Many vintage styles rely on a defined waistline.  Carry this element into your own wardrobe by adding a belt or sash to a dress or blouse to pull it in at your natural waist.  Your ‘natural waist’ is the narrowest point of your midsection, and usually falls slightly above your bellybutton.  Place the belt here for the most flattering silhouette.


Try vintage underthings

Even if nobody else is going to see them, it’s so much fun to play with vintage-inspired lingerie.  Camisoles, corsets, suspender stockings and bloomers are available in most lingerie shops.  Even some discount stores are joining in with the vintage undergarment fun.  Update your knicker drawer with some vintage-inspired pieces for those days when you want to wear something pretty close to your skin.

Add a scarf

Large, square silk scarves are ideal for adding a touch of vintage to any outfit.  Simply tie one around your neck for a glamorous look, or tie one around your hair.  Easy-peasy and instantly chic.




  1. I love head scarves but I think I have the wrong shaped head for them because they don’t stay on. I do have a red polka dot one though that I wear almost every day.

    • I find that headscarves can be a bit tricky to wear. To get them to stay put, I either pin them to my hair with a couple of bobby pins behind my ears, or lightly back-comb the hair underneath the scarf to give it a bit of extra grip.

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