Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ask The Belted Pear: What Do I Add to My Wardrobe to Make It More Vintage-Inspired and Adult?

"Hey Lindsey! I love your fashion blog and I have a big favor to ask of you. I am looking to start building a new wardrobe from the very beginning. I am looking to build a wardrobe that is more adult than my usual jeans and T-shirts and has a 50s and 60s flair while maintaining a classic and timeless look. Does this exist? What pieces should I start buying? I appreciate any help you can give! Thanks!"

My answer for practically any question is: research (I guess it's been ingrained in this English major's mind). Here are some of my favorite fashion blogs that are heavily vintage-inspired. My favorite thing about all these ladies is that even though they truly love vintage clothing, nothing in their wardrobe is entirely true vintage. For one's entire wardrobe to be all vintage, it takes a lot of time, money, and effort that I think most people don't have. These ladies easily incorporate vintage styles, accessories and silhouettes into their wardrobe while still playing with that modern and classic line. Also, take a look at actual photos from the time period. What is it about the 50's and 60's that draws you in? 

6 Tips to Get You Started on a Vintage-Inspired Wardrobe: 
Sometimes starting a new wardrobe can be overwhelming, even with lots of inspiration floating around on the web. I think to really create feminine 50's looks and groovy 60's ones, it's all about the dresses, skirts, and small details. 

Vintage Inspired Dresses & Skirts

1. Fit-and-flair dresses - You're in luck! They are EVERYWHERE. They flatter anyone's shape and they're easy to throw on and yet add that instant pulled together look. 

2. Full and A-line skirts - For a vintage look, remember everything goes at your waist. Swim suit bottoms, shorts, pants, and especially skirts. Even skirts that are not particularly full. I can find tons of skirts like this at Goodwill. 

3. Blouses - Adding ladylike blouses to your wardrobe instantly add a more adult, feminine look - exactly what you want for a vintage-inspired closet! A simple button-up is great; make sure you button it up all the way. Puffy sleeves, lace detailing, bows, and collars are other little things that make your outfit go the extra mile. 
Ladylike blouses
4.  Wiggle dresses - These were worn in the 50's and 60's. Think Marilyn Monroe is a slinky, sexy number. Wiggle dresses are a nice change of pace from the full skirt silhouette. And again, this is something tons of clothing companies still create. 

5. Mod shift dresses - These are dresses that just hang straight down via Twiggy. Almost like a carefully-crafted box. While the focal point in the fit-and-flair and wiggle dresses is the waist, with shift dresses it's all about the legs! To jump right into rad retro 60's styles, get a shift dress with a peter pan collar, with a bold geometric print, or daisy or plaid print. Again, you are in luck! The 90's are back in full swing and guess what? A lot of 90's fashion was inspired by mod 60's. It's all full circle in fashion, isn't it. 1960's dresses
6. Details, details, details - Now that you've got the silhouette's down pat, you might want to add extra details to pump up the vintage volume. For the 50's, think pearls, scarves around your neck or your hair, hats, hats, and more hats, cat eye glasses, gloves, structured bags, and curls (so many great vintage hair tutorials on youtube!) For the 60's, add knee-highs, mary janes, beehives and wide headbands. 

I hope this helped, Lauren! Thanks for asking The Belted Pear and happy hunting! 


  1. I too am trying to start a new wardrobe and I think you hit the nail on the head. Thanks!

  2. Great advice! After a year or so of working on my wardrobe, i've been getting it down to not just vintage and fashionable stuff, but what i really, truly love. I find lots of awesome peices and at times, feel duty bound to snatch them up, but i've learned to ask myself, is it just cute or will i really wear it?


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