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how to make vintage clothing work for you...
17 Sep 2013

Oh Joy | How to Make Vintage Work for You

I have always loved the idea of vintage clothes because it's a great way to incorporate unique pieces into your wardrobe that you can't find just anywhere. But it took me many years of buying vintage (and not wearing the vintage pieces I bought) to realize that I just don't have the body type for vintage clothes. I have some friends (like Bri and Jen) who can wear it so well right off the rack. But vintage always tends to be too large or too small on me in certain areas. So, I finally figured out that if I really love a piece, I can make most of them work with easy alterations. A simple hem, cut of the sleeve, or taking in here and there, and it's instantly so much better...

Oh Joy | How to Make Vintage Work for You

Outfit 1: I loved the pattern on this skirt the instant I saw it, but it felt a little too formal with its length. By hemming the skirt just a few inches above the knee, it became more playful. Paired with a casual tee and jacket, the skirt is now the star of the outfit.

{Vintage skirt from Salvage Life, tee from Madewell (past season), denim jacket by Citizens of Humanity, vintage belt, shoes by Anthropologie}

Oh Joy | How to Make Vintage Work for You

Outfit 2: I'm telling you, these vintage patterns get me every time. This skirt was clearly way too big when I bought it, but the pleats and the pattern won me over. By simply shortening it (just above the knee is my favorite length) and bringing it in an inch on the sides, the skirt now fits like a glove.

{Vintage skirt from Salvage Life, chambray tee by Crewcuts (past season), vintage belt, shoes by Anthropologie.}

Oh Joy | How to Make Vintage Work for You

Outfit 3: The color of this skirt just blew my mind! It was way too long and had frumpy written all over it, but I knew I could make it work. I kept the length a little longer here to fall just below the knee, and now it's a flirty skirt that can be dressed up or dressed down.

{Vintage skirt from Arsenic Kitty, top by Boden, jacket from Anthropologie, vintage shoes.}

Oh Joy | How to Make Vintage Work for You

Outfit 4: This top screamed out my name with its fruity print and blast of color. But the fit was much less desirable. It felt too poufy as a long-sleeved top, so I decided to have the sleeves cut into a simple short-sleeve blouse and the sides brought in a bit. Now, it's a top with a summery punch of color that I'll love for years to come.

{Vintage blouse from Wear It Well Vintage, shorts by Whit (past season), sandals by Kate Spade (past season).}

All of a sudden, these frumpy pieces with patterns and colors that I love turned into well-tailored pieces I can actually wear. So I encourage you to think twice when you see a piece that isn't quite right. I spent about $15-20 on each of these alterations at my local dry cleaner. If the changes are pretty simple with a shortening of the hem, sleeves, or sides (and not major repairs), it's so worth having a great piece that's totally unique and totally you!

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

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