How to Get a Vintage Look when You Don't Have the Time or Money

by Mary Devlin 6 months ago in tips

Vintage and thrift shopping is popular now more than ever, but how are we meant to satisfy our groovy needs when vintage finds are so expensive and putting outfits together is time consuming?

How to Get a Vintage Look when You Don't Have the Time or Money

There's no doubt that the aesthetic of the 1960s and 1970s has become increasingly popular over the last three years, with Instagram absolutely flooded with people from all over mimicking the mods and the rockers in fabulous ways, not to mention the sudden flood of films devoted to 60s and 70s rock bands such as Yesterday, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Rocketman. Yes, vintage is most certainly "in" right now, but between the high prices on Etsy and long uniform clad work days that prevent us from being able to show our true colors, how is anyone meant to keep up?

When I was in high school, I was known as that "weird girl who dresses like it's the 60s and probably smokes pot." If I wasn't stepping out the door looking like Pattie Boyd, I was doing something wrong. Yet something I always prided myself on was my ability to find awesome clothes for awesome prices, and working out a schedule that allowed me to dress how I wanted when I wanted. Recently I've gotten back into this schedule, and I'm here to help all my fellow vintage clothing enthusiasts who just can't seem to nail it down!

Full Disclosure: I'm mostly into 1960s styles, so most of these tips will apply to that decade, although I'm sure you can apply some to your own style.

Step One: Know Your Influences

Iconic 60's Fashion Worn by Pattie Boyd

When I was at my most vintage-inspired, I had a few key influences that I used to help me put together outfits. It helps to have a common theme, whether you're into 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, or 80s attire. For example, my forever fashion queen is Pattie Boyd, who effortlessly nailed every trend of the 1960s as if she were put on this Earth to do just that. But I also enjoyed the styles of Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Francoise Hardy, and some Brigitte Bardot. These women all had similar styles and looking to them helped me find inspiration everyday!

Step Two: Fake It 'Til Ya Make It

Typical mid-60's photoshoot style

Something crucial that I think a lot of people don't realize about vintage fashion is that you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on exact replicas or on mint condition vintage finds to get the vintage look. Those types of purchases are fun and all, but there's a much easier way to look vintage without breaking your bank. For example, have you ever taken a look at Velma's outfit from Scooby-Doo? No seriously, really look at it! Velma and Daphne were both designed to be fashionable young ladies of the time, which just so happened to be the late 60s to early 70s! Velma's outfit in particular is especially simple. Knee-high socks, turtle neck sweater, mini skirt, and small heels! Pair this type of outfit off with some heavy eyeliner and maybe a curling iron for the ends of your hair and you've got an immediate vintage outfit! Even if you can't seem to put this type of outfit together, I swear to you that any type of button up shirt tucked into a pair of high rise jeans will immediately give you casual mid-60s vibes. Scarves around the neck, ballet flats, headbands, and many more everyday clothing items are all additional ways to boost your outfits to vintage!

Step Three: Wear Eyeliner and Red Lipstick to Work, If You Can

Models applies a red lip from Besame Cosmetics

If all else fails, if you are working almost everyday of the week and can't find the time or energy to pick out cute outfits everyday, if you feel as though you've lost all hope on your vintage journey... there is one last solution that is beyond foolproof: eyeliner and red-lipstick.

The red-lip look has been a defining standard of beauty for decades. It's such a classic look that it has bled into almost every decade of fashion, one way or another. From the fire-truck reds of the 1950s to the dark wine colors of the 1990s, lipstick can put an amazing spin on any outfit. For me, I tend to prefer darker, bolder reds as my skin tone is very light. If I find myself running late for work or if I just want to look extra nice, I always draw a thin line of winged eyeliner across my eye and pair it off with a bold red lip. This automatically gives you a cute, vintage look!

So, I hope you've enjoyed my fairly short tutorial on how to look vintage on a budget and with time constraints. We can't all be Instagram fashionista's with closet's overflowing with colorful patterns and Mary Jane pumps, but what we can do for sure is show off our love for vintage fashion to the world in subtle ways that reflect our own styles. Have fun out there guys and dolls!

Mary Devlin
Mary Devlin
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Mary Devlin

Hey there guys! The name's Mare, I'm a vintage/history enthusiast who is currently on the journey of a lifetime otherwise known as "Your Twenties". Currently living in South Jersey, figuring it all out.

See all posts by Mary Devlin