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vintage style advice

Vintage Mixing

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Vintage Mixing

Recently I took a stab at four general vintage-wearing personas, modes of style that you might choose for every day, or flit between. One of these styles, The Vintage Mixer, generated a lot of comments. It seemed to need expansion.

 

First, a quick review. In that previous blog I proposed that there are— 

1. Wear-with-alls:  Not driven by vintage, just looking for a unique, quality vintage piece here and there 

2. Time travelers:  The total look, hat-to-shoes right out of a vintage Vogue

3. Walking works of art:  Creative and bold, using vintage but not necessarily all vintage

4. Vintage mixers: Mostly or all vintage, put together from various eras

 

That last type? Too broad. I'm now proposing these four distinct types of vintage mixing personas:
 

All-vintage Mixers

Era mashing

The Era Mashing Mixer is a purist about wearing mostly vintage, but as to which era, she is an iconoclast. For one outfit she may mix a 1940s jacket with 1970s wide-legged trousers, a 1950s blouse, and a 1960s bag. This might be done with purposeful harmonizing, or ironic wit.

Zara wearing  a 1940s hat and belt, 1950s sunglasses, a 1970s polka dot dress, and a 1980s marabou jacket. I love that #justbloodywearit is her constant hastag and motto! Courtesy of  @zeebeezsazsa  on Instagram

Zara wearing  a 1940s hat and belt, 1950s sunglasses, a 1970s polka dot dress, and a 1980s marabou jacket. I love that #justbloodywearit is her constant hastag and motto! Courtesy of @zeebeezsazsa on Instagram

SPECIALIST MIXERS

Showcasing collections of specific vintage pieces

The Specialist Mixer might see herself as a collector, connoisseur, and wearer of certain favorite vintage items in particular. She may tote vintage handbags, or cuff herself in vintage Bakelite bracelets, wear vintage modernist-print Vera scarves or pieces from the 1970s by Yves Saint Laurent. Her wearable collections may be estimable.

Just two of the many amazing vintage bakelite bracelet stacks the vintage maven Sandi of  @lorrelmae  has shown on Instagram. (Also, check out her  Etsy shop !)

Just two of the many amazing vintage bakelite bracelet stacks the vintage maven Sandi of @lorrelmae has shown on Instagram. (Also, check out her Etsy shop!)

MODERN/VINTAGE MIXERS 

Interested in vintage, but interested in modern fashion too

Modern/Vintage Mixer types may seek out vintage that interprets new styles, or new styles that echo vintage. Not one to set aside the present state of fashion, but also fascinated by the past, the Modern/Vintage Mixer is a creative blender of the old and new.

People that I know in this group are sometimes motivated by the green side of vintage, being anti-fast fashion, careful to be sure their modern fashion purchases are ethically and sustainably made as often as possible. Sometimes their contemporary pieces consist of the basics, and they use vintage as the mainstay of their wardrobes.

Stop and ask!  says Nicole,  @theartyologist  on Instagram and blogging (about vintage, sustainable fashion, art, and photography) at  theartyologist.com  

Stop and ask! says Nicole, @theartyologist on Instagram and blogging (about vintage, sustainable fashion, art, and photography) at theartyologist.com 

INSPIRED-BY-VINTAGE MIXERS

The goal is the total look, sometimes using vintage repro clothing

This mixer contingency may not be able to find what they need in good shape and in the right size (at the right time), or simply want to wear something that looks vintage that they needn’t worry about if jitterbugging or pruning the rosebush. Often these mixers are close to Time Travelers, their full-on vintage look created with a certain amount of repro vintage-style clothing. The Inspired-by-vintage Mixer might, for instance, wear repro shoes and jeans with an authentic vintage sweater and scarf. 

Photo from the account of Instagram's  @missharlowdarling ; also be inspired by the  Harlow Darling blog

Photo from the account of Instagram's @missharlowdarling; also be inspired by the Harlow Darling blog

What do you think? Do you wear your vintage like any of these stylish mixologists?

 

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Style ideas from my parents

I have had a lovely and touching response to my recent blog about my mother, both on Blogger and on Facebook. One thing I didn't mention about her, although I hinted at it with the line "she was different from me in many ways" is that she really wasn't terribly into fashion. Conversely, my father (about whom I wrote last year) was very much a clotheshorse.

Since I have made a career of clothing, I guess I lean toward my father in that way, but both my parents influenced me greatly in my own style. Since I feel I am a bit unusual having parents that were of such a different era, I thought I'd share with you some of the style secrets of the Wilds household, some from my mother, some from my father, some both.

1. Invest in a few good things, rather than many inexpensive things.

2. Emphasize what is best about your appearance even if doing so runs counter to current trends.

Mama always tended to highlight her waist

3. Have some jewelry that matches your eyes.

My mother's sapphire blue ring, made "to match her eyes" by a grateful
man that my grandfather had assisted in finding work

4. Wear classic takes on current trends.

5. Tartans are good.

Papa in a tartan shirt

6. Honor the people who give you clothing or accessories by wearing their gifts when you meet with them.

7. Dresses/skirts are more comfortable and flattering than pants.

Mama with their beloved dog Cappy

8. Find a favorite fragrance and stick with it, likewise lip color. My mother's signatures were Woodhue Cologne by Faberge and Cherries in the Snow lipstick by Revlon. Timeless they are indeed, with both still available (Woodhue reissued at The Vermont Country Store and Cherries at most any drugstore).




9. Learn to take care of things yourself, including cleaning, mending and ironing. Enjoy these tasks as an investment in yourself and your loved ones.

Mama ironing

10. Natural fibers are greatly to be preferred to man-made.

My parents in sweaters

11. To get just what you want, learn to sew (knit, crochet) your own clothing.

My mother's Singer Featherweight machine...one of my most cherished possessions.

12. Get to know fabrics so you can make good decisions about what you like to wear, how to clean the fabric and what it is like to sew. (I can recommend The All About series, All About Wool, All About Silk and All About Cotton. Although pricey, these are an invaluable starting place for understanding basic fabrics. These books include fabric swatches...a huge bonus!)

13. Always have a cleaned and pressed white shirt ready to go.

My father in a perfectly pressed white shirt

14. Wear gloves.

15. Have things altered or tailored to suit you (or learn to do it yourself), don't just accept shoddy fit.

16. "Handsome" clothing can be more flattering to a woman than something ultra-feminine and frilly.

Mama in a trenchcoat

17. Learn interesting ways to tie scarves. (Find some suggestions here.)









18. Even for casual occasions, dress with style.

Papa at a picnic...

...and with my brother at the beach

19. Dress appropriately, but individualistically. Don't be afraid to express yourself.

Papa in white, ca. 1930

20. 2nd hand clothing can be your best bet for quality, style and affordability. (I certainly took that advice to heart!)

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