Vickie Laliotis

“How to Wear Vintage Fashion”

Vickie is an expert fashionista in vintage clothing and accessories. She is a journalism student and a self-described “fashion-nut.” She is the creator and contributor of “Adventures in Fashion,” an exciting and informative blog about the wonderful world of vintage and mainstream fashion. Vickie gives us a little advice on how to be adventurous with fabulous vintage fashion (plus a little red lipstick).

  1. There is something very adventurous about wearing vintage. What is the appeal?

In a world where mass consumerism and mainstream fashion giants like H&M are the norm, a girl likes to stand out every now and then. That’s why wearing vintage is so appealing. You can be unique and incorporate past trends into your look in a fresh, fun way. Given the choice, I always opt for vintage.

  1. What is the difference between great vintage and just something old in your closet?

Well, vintage refers to something that is at least 20 years old—I don’t know about you, but I have trouble holding on to pieces for that long! That would be the main difference. If you’re the kind of person who has the closet space to hold on to things for decades (and believe me, I wish I could!), I would say the difference between great vintage and something that’s just “old” is how closely it embodies the fashion of its day; if it is a well-constructed piece that’s emblematic of its era, you’ve got a great piece in your collection.

  1. Is vintage great as an accessory or can you wear it as an entire look?

I think it depends on your personality. Some people are able to pull off an entirely vintage look in a really fresh, interesting way. I personally prefer to incorporate a few key pieces into my look rather than opt for vintage head to toe. A great piece of jewelry or interesting handbag are staples for me, and I find the impact to be greater because people don’t necessarily expect to see a vintage piece paired with an on-trend ensemble.

  1. If I am looking to purchase a wonderful/valuable vintage piece what qualities should I look for?

I would say that condition is everything. Sometimes I will fall in love with a piece, only to discover on closer inspection that it’s on its last legs. In such cases, as hard as it may be, I think it’s better to pass on such items and invest in well-made pieces that are in good condition instead. They will last much longer and are likely to retain their value.

  1. How can I combine vintage with professional clothing for a unique business look?

Accessories are definitely the safest way to start. Try adding a lovely vintage necklace or brooch to your work ensembles, or even a unique belt or a gorgeous pair of shoes. Such items are a great way to incorporate vintage into your wardrobe while keeping your look professional and polished. If you’re ready to branch out into clothing, I would add a vintage tweed blazer or cashmere sweater to the mix, or even a basic black dress or high-waisted skirt with great vintage buttons or detailing.

  1. When is vintage dowdy and when is vintage sexy?

Vintage is dowdy when it’s overdone and the person has not stayed true to their style. Alternatively, vintage is sexy when it’s worn mindfully and with confidence. A woman looks good no matter what she’s wearing so long as she wears it well.

  1. If I were to get one terrific vintage piece to begin my collection, what would you recommend?

I think a piece of statement jewelry is by far the greatest investment for someone who is looking to start a collection. As long as it can be worn with a variety of different looks and makes you feel fabulous, you can’t go wrong. Consider make and quality if you are serious about getting into vintage, and most importantly, shop around; you would be amazed at how much prices can fluctuate from store to store.

  1. Will vintage pieces hold or increase in value? Is it a fun purchase or a real investment?

It depends on what you buy; if you purchase clothing or accessories with no markings and of no notable quality, then probably not. If, however, you have a piece by a known and established designer and you manage to keep it in good condition and preserve all of its markings, then definitely. The true value of antiques and collectables (including clothing) fluctuates with how desirable and sought after they are at a given time, so you have to keep that in mind as well.

  1. What are some of the best vintage stores? Are there any great vintage stores online?

Antique malls and fairs are definitely hotspots for vintage clothing and accessories, but some of the greatest pieces I own I found in thrift shops. For instance, I once found a beige leather YSL clutch from the 70s at the bottom of a thrift store bin for $4.00! In terms of online shopping, Etsy is usually my go-to source for anything and everything vintage. There are so many great sellers on that site, and prices are typically more than fair. If you have a taste for the 80s, however, I would definitely recommend Nasty Gal or Gary Pepper Vintage—they’re amazing.

  1. There is something so retro-glam about red lipstick. Is it the perfect match withvintage clothing/accessories?

Without a doubt! I wouldn’t trade my red lipstick for anything…

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