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Vintage 101: Your Guide to Vintage Shopping, Part 2


5 Vintage Trends Coming Back In Style

Now that we’re all caught up on the best vintage items to look out for, it’s time to move on to Part 2: Top 5 Vintage Trends Coming Back in Style. We all know there’s a ton of vintage out there to be picked over, but what makes a pile of old clothes into a jackpot of hidden gems? The truth is, these items are rejects. But now, we have these charitable souls to thank–what was someone’s trash in 1978 can be your rare and cherished treasure in 2010. It all depends on the current style…here’s what’s coming back.

5. Hard Leather

Looking tough has seldom looked as hot as it does today. Fingerless gloves, combat boots and leather jackets with their palettes of dark, rough fabrics make you feel like the powerful woman you are. The leather bomber jacket phase has been around a year or so, but it’s holding strong. A vintage version would be just the spin on this fad to keep it from tiring out, and you might be able to find one in your dad’s old wardrobe, believe it or not. Likewise, don’t exclude the men’s section in vintage shops. You won’t get the small feminine fit, but that’s just the character of it. And if your dad was your size when he was younger, look for belts, vintage band tees etc. You could be pleasantly surprised. For those dabbling in this trend, I recommend pairing any of these tough articles with softer, feminine outfits (lace is back too!) to balance out the harshness of black, brown and leather.

4. Shoulder Emphasis

Tyra Banks will attest for this one. Strong shoulders, or shoulder details are making a huge comeback from the good old 1980s. You can find new dresses and tops with studded shoulders, or draping sleeves, but why not take advantage of the vintage edge? This trend presents a thorny patch though, because you don’t want enormous shoulder pads in a blazer that reaches your thighs like the Huxtable girls from The Cosby Show. Feminine puffy sleeves, fabric details on the shoulders, or any mildly strong shoulder will look very chic.

3. Western

In the early 80’s, the movie Urban Cowboy with John Travolta released, revolutionizing a mostly forgotten Western craze across the country. Now we’ve taken a cue from Taylor Swift and brought cowboy boots all the way up the East coast. Coming to Skidmore from Nashville, I’ve had my fill of cowboy hats, but I’m still up for Southern pride!Leather belts with vintage buckles would contrast perfectly with a more Parisian black outfit. Cowboy boots look great with leggings and skinny jeans. If you do pair your honky tonk footwear with jeans though, avoid baggier shapes, unless you want to look like a men’s Wrangler ad. The trick with this trend is to not make it a theme; make sure your outfit only has one Western element or it could look like a costume.

2. Faded Pastels and Creams

I’ve already noticed a mostly neutral (black, grey, cream) color palette on campus for the winter, so this trend seems perfectly fitting for the upcoming season. Unlike last year where bright, color block ensembles let you know it was summertime, this trend will connote English teatime with its flowing pastels. This style is on the rise and should show up more in the spring and summer, so get on board early! So many vintage prints have this dreamlike color palette, either in their original state or by the wear of time. If this old-fashioned European flair appeals to you, this might be just the season to indulge in sundresses, vintage flats, and fair colored patterns.

1. Classic Style

Not far off from the previous trend, the classic style is feminine, chic, and as the name implies, timeless. For a vintage interpretation, I also think of it as the grandma style—when grandma was in her fashion prime, of course! Small, gold or silver wristwatches, pearl barrettes, embroidered cardigans, and petite earring studs make a sophisticated statement. Think Rachel McAdams in The Notebook. I’ve specifically noticed many fashion-forward girls sporting simple, elegant wristwatches around Skidmore. To maintain your classy look into the evening though, I would redirect your inspiration to Audrey Hepburn’s character, Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Any combination of oversized sunglasses, big sparkling stud earrings, and a radiant bib necklace (very trendy right now) on a black outfit will never cease to be jaw-dropping.

Audrey is a class of 2013 English major at Skidmore College. She has held several communications internships in her hometown of Nashville, TN, including ones at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, Nissan's North American Headquarters, and at Katcher Vaughn and Bailey Public Relations. In her free time, she loves to bake for family and friends, exercise by swimming, and loves all things Parisian. Audrey can't wait to continue her journalism experience with Her Campus as a campus correspondent. Having lived in Nashville, France and New York, Audrey has found a love for travel, and hopes to discover a new city after Skidmore where she plans to continue onto law school.
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