A Simple Guide to Vintage Apparel for Everyday Women

20170920_1621561448742695.jpgI am a plain-Jane, regular, everyday working momma! There I said it! My wardrobe consists of work clothes, some jeans and cotton-blend shirts, and clothes I wear to the gym or on the occasional outdoor adventure.  Basically, its pretty bland; despite my best efforts at picking up sales  from The Loft or at a big-box store, there just aren’t that many exciting pieces in my closet.  And why should I need more…its not like I go that many places: work, ballgames and various weekend outings with my kids, that’s about all I have time for these days!   I settle for clothing that I just wear, not clothing that makes me feel good! But deep down I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE looking fabulous and I care tremendously about the environment and the hands making the clothing I wear, as well as the amount of dough that I spend on my wardrobe. Let’s face it, we can’t afford high fashion AND basketball camps, private school, vacations, groceries and our mortgage!!  I imagine many of you feel the same!

I know you have heard the terms “vintage” or “sustainable” or even “thrifted” and think….”why would I need some over-priced OLD or out of date clothing.  Further, where is in the heck would I wear that funky mess!?! Its not like I am going to a music festival or a night out on the town!  What would the other soccer-moms think if I showed up in that get-up.”  The TRUTH is that most regular, everyday women; I am talking to my middle-aged mommas here, not the teeny-boppers in a training bras – although they can learn to LOVE vintage clothing too – it will be so much cheaper on your wallet momma! I  digress – the TRUTH is that most regular, everyday women can LOVE vintage apparel for sooooo many reasons!

1. Its cheaper,

2. Its cheaper,

3. It is already proven to be of higher quality than ANYTHING you can purchase at a big box store or on a crappy online site,

4.  It keeps clothing out of landfills and is better for the environment,

5. Its a unique piece that can bring back nostalgia or that you can feel fabulous while wearing – 100% guilt-free!! (We know that the momma guilt struggle is REAL) and finally, my favorite reason to consider vintage is that

6. Its REAL – it has a story, it was loved enough to survive decades in someone’s attic or closet and I feel like wearing it allows someone’s legacy to live on! (Deep – I know, I can’t help it).

So, why don’t more women like me wear vintage clothing and accessories!?!  The answer is simple – THEY JUST DON’T KNOW HOW!  That’s right, my guess is that most women like me would love to add a few vintage pieces to their wardrobe, but just need a little guidance on HOW to wear it, WHERE to wear vintage and the best way to PURCHASE!

I give you my guide to wearing vintage for Everyday Women:

START WITH ACCESSORIES

This one is easy …think grandma’s pearls or your great-aunt’s earrings.  Family heirlooms count too! And what a better way to honor a family member than by showing off a piece that belonged to them and maybe they even loved to wear for a period of time. This can go so much further though…I have a red belt from the 1980s that I can remember my momma wearing to work, it is the perfect accent to so many of the outfits!  Modern costume jewelry is expensive and mostly a remake of vintage jewelry anyway….just wear the real thing girlfriend!  And lets not forget about vintage handbags!  This is my personal favorite!  It is easier than one would think to find amazingly unique vintage handbags in perfect condition for dirt cheap!  One can even find designer bags relatively easily!  I once found a vintage Coach crossbody for $10 hanging on a sidewalk rack in Bramwell, WV (Google it…its a teeny tiny town)!  Jackpot! Let’s face it, we can all stand to be a little more daring with our accessories and purses, you know you want to!

MIX AND MATCH MODERN AND VINTAGE STYLES

So you aren’t ready to go full on 1970s one-piece track suit…that’s completely normal.  The fun part about vintage is that there are NO RULES!  You can pair your favorite jeans with a 1980s top or better yet, figure-flattering, high-waisted jeans with that LOFT top that you found on sale last week!  Our momma’s knew a thing or two about clothing that looked better on women’s bodies!  Low-rise jeans were not designed to look good on those of us who carry any extra weight in our mid-section

SHOP PATTERNS THAT YOU LOVE

 

Vintage patterns are the best!  I know what you are thinking…”I do not need to be wearing a yellow and brown 1970s mess!”  But that is often not near the case at all, unless you are into those hideous patterns and then I’ll leave all of those for you my friend!

The whole point of this little blog post is to inspire you to LOVE what you are wearing and have some fun figuring it out!

Warm Up Already! 5 Ways to Embrace Spring Fashion In Chilly Climates

Monday morning my family found ourselves basking in the warm sunshine along the shores of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina before we loaded up and drove home from our holiday weekend vacation; when we arrived home later that afternoon – temperatures were 30 degrees cooler and the wind was whipping along the mountain ridges and through the valleys – not ideal spring weather!  In fact, the weekend before we spent Sunday afternoon sleigh riding in over a foot of snow with more predicted this weekend!  Really!?!  It’s April! Can we stow away the drab winter clothes already!  This momma needs sunshine and short-sleeves!

Tuesday morning I was back to work and perplexed as to what to wear!  Is it appropriate to still wear black pantyhose or tights post-Easter?  What about my over-coat?  Wonder if I have one in a lighter color – I am tired of the black and grey check pattern!  I refuse to allow plunging temperatures to stifle my Spring style!

So, I offer you 5 Tips for Embracing Spring Fashion in Chilly Climates: 

1.  Enjoy Some Spring Color

My winter wardrobe tends to be a little dark.  I have multiple pairs of black patterned tights and at least 3 black dresses!  I also wear way more maroon than any one person should – it’s our school color and I try to coordinate with my team!  However, basketball season is over and the sun is shining, even though it may be a bit deceptive!  It is time to bring on the color!  Yellows and pinks, blues and greens all pair perfectly with tan or grey cardigans or blazers.  These vibrant colors even look great with those staple black pieces!

2.  Keep Warm with Light, Colorful Scarves

I don’t know about you but I have a serious scarf addiction!  I have scarves of all lengths and colors, patterns and weights!  I have to confess though, the heavier winter scarves get way more attention in my scarf basket.  Now is the perfect time to give some love to those cute little,colorfully patterned, scarves that have been buried in the bottom of the basket! Wear them untied or loosely wrapped for some extra protection from those not-quite-Spring breezes!

3. Punch Up Your Handbag and Accessories

Nothing says Spring like a new handbag!  Whether you are searching to find the latest style from the runways or digging out an old-faithful from your own stash, giving up that tired winter bag for something fresh is beyond gratifying!  As for me, I did both!  I found a small, bright yellow, cross-body that I couldn’t pass up a few weeks ago – I have been waiting anxiously for the slightest peek of sunshine and a weekend adventure to break it out!  I also unearthed and blue and pink floral arm bag from my closet; its a little larger and perfect for volleyball tournaments and everyday stuff  that I need to carry around like monster trucks and essential oils!

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20180406_0931561326595103.jpgDon’t forget the accessories!  Spring is the perfect time to bring out a little bling and color in your accessories!  Its a great time for larger pieces that your bulkier winter clothes would have over-shadowed or hidden completely! This necklace set was a gift from my momma!  I LOVE handmade jewelry!  Wearing this makes me feel like I carry a little part of the artist with me! You know I love a story!  Spring fashion also provides great opportunity for statement accessory pieces; large or small, an interesting piece of jewelry can completely change an outfit!

 

 

 

4.  Layers Upon Layers My Friends

We have all heard the old adage of “light layers” – well sometimes sayings like this are old because they are tried and true!  Spring fashion in the mountains is all about layers!  Its giving up the down coat for the down vest or heavier pea coat for a cardigan and rain jacket!  I love my cardigans as much as, if not more than, my scarves!  In fact, I have an entire cardigan wardrobe – thicker ones for winter and light-weight pieces for fall and spring!  Cardigans of every shape and style!  My new favorite Spring layering find…a polka dot Sorelle Rain Jacket from RD Style that came in this month’s Stitch Fix box…I can’t wait to wear it!

5.  Change Up Your Products

Spring is the perfect time to change up your skin-care line and try new looks or products!  There are tons of great blog posts out there with product reviews and suggestions to get you started!  I read a great article today by Abbi Chalk at http://simplyabbi.com/2018/04/march-makeup-the-top-three.html.   She rated her top three glowing skin care products for March.

If you are like me and winter has left you pale and ghostly, I recommend adding a little color to your skin too!  I love self-tanners…there I said it!  While I do not subscribe to dangerous tanning beds I do love a good spray tan or self tanner!  There are so many good products out there now that moisturize your skin and, contrary to popular belief, will not turn you orange!  My favorite at the moment is actually Banana Boat Summer Color, Self Tanning Lotion. You can pick this up in most grocery stores or pharmacies for about $6 and it works as well as the expensive brands!  Its self-adjusting color goes on evenly and fades just as evenly.  Like all self-tanners, it does require a little practice and finesse in the application process.  Basically, I recommend going light on knee, ankle, elbow and wrist areas and ALWAYS wash yous hands after application! If you aren’t convinced or worried about streaking go for the professional spray tan and use a self-tanner for maintenance!  I prefer the Norvell brand of professional spray tans and maintenance products!

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Finally, Spring represents all things new and fresh…so pack up your heavy winter perfume and search out a new Spring scent!  What better way to uplift your spirits than with a new aroma swirling about you!  You could even try essential oils such as wild orange and rosemary!

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There you have it!  5 tips for embracing Spring fashion for those of us still enduring plunging temperatures and the occasional snow flake!  Hang in there my friends – those short sleeves and sandals are in sight!

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