I have always loved fashion, as a design student I would rather go hungry than be without a new outfit for the weekend. Once I realised that wasn't ideal long term I started to use charity shops and markets to find unusual pieces to mix with Chelsea Girl & Topshop's latest offerings.
When I launched Revival 21 years ago I would be lying if I claimed it was because I was an advocate for recycling or pioneering sustainable slow fashion. Back then my interest in second hand and vintage style clothing simply grew from a desire to look kooky on a budget. Of course priorities change and global warming has given our business a whole new perspective. I still love vintage of course but equally I continue to keep an eye on modern trends, mixing the two in my wardrobe to curate unique looks. Is that OK?
When it comes to fashion the clash between vintage and current styles has always been a topic of debate. Some argue that combining both can create a unique and eclectic look, while others believe it can result in a chaotic and mismatched aesthetic. So, can you successfully mix the two?
In my book mixing old and new does allows you to create a truly one-of-a-kind look. It adds a touch of nostalgia and individuality to your style, setting you apart from the crowd. Moreover, vintage pieces often have a timeless appeal and superior craftsmanship that can elevate any outfit.
How To Mix Vintage & Modern Clothing?
Here I have taken five key womenswear trends and styled them with items from our current stock. I have also shared some of my own style tips which might help you to harmonise the past with the present.
1. Introduce Vintage Elements Slowly To Build Confidence
Trend: Body con knits Vintage: Leather vintage bag a safe place to start.
Add a single vintage item to an outfit you already love. Here I have introduced a original 1960s frame bag to a figure hugging jersey dress, modern accessories and a replica Promenade coat. Other toe in the water ideas are vintage sunglasses or a patterned scarf. For some that's as far as they go but if you feel ready to get bolder read on... but I'll issue this caution - you can soon get hooked on this stuff!
2. Balance The Proportions
Trend: Cropped cardigan, modern accessories Vintage: Reproduction shirt style dress
Balancing the proportions will create a harmonious and contemporary silhouette. In this example our modern item is the cropped cardigan. We have paired it with a Socialite Lumber Jill reproduction dress and modern accessories giving this 40s Land Girl inspired dress a totally different preppy look.
3. Mix Textures & Patterns
Trend: 3D texture & sheer lace Vintage: 1940s sheer lace dress, textured vintage gloves
Combine different textures and 3D elements to add depth and visual interest to your outfit. Tweed with lace, velvet with leather, faux fur with knitwear, an over sized brooch are other examples to create distinct layers.
4. Acquire Some Statement Pieces
Trend: Cargo pants, high street hat & trainers Vintage: Original 1970s waistcoat & bag
Once you're on a roll, choose one or two standout vintage pieces as the focal point of your outfit. It could be a colour block blazer, a striking pussy bow blouse or in this case a bold waistcoat. Build the rest of your look around these statement pieces. Cohesion can be achieved using colour coordination like I have here.
5. Experiment & Have Fun!
Trend: Metallics Vintage: Purple true vintage maxi dress
Choose accessories that complement both the vintage and modern elements of your outfit. A vintage-inspired hat, a modern statement necklace, or a mix of vintage and modern jewellery can add the perfect finishing touch.
Don't be afraid to experiment and try new combinations. Mixing vintage and modern fashion is all about expressing your unique style and personality. Have fun with it.
I believe I have demonstrated that you can definitely mix vintage clothing with the latest fashion trends. In fact, it's a great way to create a distinctive and fashion-forward look. By following these tips and guidelines, you'll be able to effortlessly blend the old with the new, and make a style statement that is uniquely yours.
Let your creativity shine.