A former coworker saw a pic I posted of me in my vintage style and asked, “Can you show me how to get my vintage on?” Immediately I emailed back and said I’d love to, follow my page and blog and that should help… But does it really? To start dressing/being a vintager I find that you need a direction. Now others might not agree with this but in my world, I’ve always loved the 20’s – 50’s. So much so that in high school I wore poodle skirts and sweaters. When I consciously decided that I wanted to start being a vintage vixen, I knew the eras I wanted to go for and focused on learning whatever I could. But it didn’t start then. It took a divorce, name change and desire to emerge as something different before I made my transformation.
First came make up. In my world it’s all about the hair and face so I learned that the staple of any good 1940’s woman was her black eyeliner and red lipstick. Once I had those, I had to learn how to do the perfect cat eye flick with the eyeliner and then choose a red lipstick that didn’t make me look like a drag queen. Now for that I was truly fortunate as I discovered Rockalily. Her various shades of red lippy were this girl’s joyful find. So now that I had the face it was time to tackle the hair.
Having short hair I didn’t have a clue what to do. I had worn finger waves and pincurls to a party before but they were gelled so hard onto my head that it didn’t sound like a fun plan to wear daily. Then after some research, I settled on pincurls. Period style and all that was needed was bobby pins! But how to do them? (Let me point out that years back I had attempted pincurls in my own with very little instruction only to come away with a frizzy mound of unruly curls. This memory haunted my future endeavours.) The Internet has a ton of resources but the instructions were too plentiful with too many options, So YouTube to the rescue. I watched a few videos and one in particular helped me sort out where I’d gone wrong and how to fix it. So one night while I was bored and listless, I pincurled my hair and went to bed. In the morning I depinned, brushed and was left with a GORGEOUS hairstyle!!
This was a victory in my vintage styles, hair and face achieved. But what about clothes? I had a cute black mod cloth dress but going outside would be too cold to wear it as it was only just spring. Needing to show off my style I tore through my wardrobe and pulled out a pair of dark jeans (which I rolled up the hem into a high fold) and a blouse. Adding pearls, earrings and a leather jacket akin to the style sported by WASPs in their day, I felt that I had accomplished the look. It was a pretty good version of 50’s style.
That was the day that got me hooked, not only because I had done it but I looked fab and it felt amazing to wear. I went from a jeans and tshirt girl to a styled woman. I still had lots to learn from powders, foundation garments, head scarfs, high waisted trousers and deadstock but that was my journey. And it’s still a fun adventure. So how do you start?
CHOOSE AN ERA
There’s so many great styles in so many decades. Maybe you’re a 70’s gal, or a 20’s maven?
Find an era that you love and choose something to begin with. If its makeup, then practise your eyeliner and perfect red pout. If its hair, grab a headscarf and try your hand at head wraps. Or, visit YouTube and look up finger waves or pincurls. The clothing is probably the easiest and priciest part of sporting a vintage style.
For women, check out mod cloth, Eshakti or HeyDay Vintage. All three of my absolutely favourite online stores. You should also look at etsy shops like Adeline’s Attic Vintage, FabGabs, RococoVintage, Lindy Knicks, Salvato Collection or Vavoom Vintage.
Most of all, join a forum or facebook group, check out your local thrift shops, or go to the antique festivals. Meet others that do what you want to do and talk to them, ask questions. I have made some fantastic friends by vintage tweet ups and by being online with other vintage folks I’ve even been featured on a vintage blog!!
Here’s some fab links for you you to start on your vintage path: