How to Dress Vintage Chic with the Magnificent 8

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How to dress vintage chic for older women

How to Dress Vintage Chic with the Magnificent 8

The Magnificent 8 is touching upon how to dress vintage chic. Actually I’ve twisted the theme slightly because it was supposed to be vintage or heirloom accessories styled in a modern way. However, I wanted to expand the idea with some vintage clothing too. At least for Charlotte and I.

Quote of the day: “Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.” Mae Jemison

I remember when I was younger, I only wanted “new” things. It wasn’t “cool” to wear items that were old. Luckily my smarts have increased to realize that many older pieces are either back in style, made with better quality, or even have wonderful sentimental memories attached.

Yet you don’t want to look like you stepped out of a 1950’s magazine. So the idea of mixing the new with the old is the perfect way of how to dress vintage chic. Read on to see what I mean.

How to dress vintage chic for women over 50

It’s my Grandma’s Dress

This navy, lace dress was my grandmother’s. I even included a photo of the label to prove it. Check out the photo of my grandma too (oh, how I wish I had a photo of her in this dress). Because this dress could actually be something you see at the stores nowadays with a couple of differences.

My mom and I can’t remember if the dress used to be a long dress and she shortened it. FYI, it is two separate pieces. The navy slip underneath, and the lace dress over it.

Coat: Rachel Zoe~~Dress: Barbizon ~~Boots: Stuart Weitzman-thrifted ~~ Necklace: Alison & Aubrey c/o ~~Earrings: Alison & Aubrey c/o ~~ Purse: no label

What are My Modern Items

I wore this lilac, faux, fur jacket recently for one of my birthday celebrations. Yes, I have more than one birthday celebration, don’t you? I consider the fact that the jacket’s fun color and it being a fur jacket as something more contemporary.
You can see the same jacket here styled more casually.

Plus I wore some recently thrifted over the knee boots with the dress. We’ve worn OTK boots with skirts two years ago. While many women still haven’t embraced this trend, it’s a good way to keep covered in the colder weather. With these higher boots, you don’t always have a band of leg showing between boots and the skirt that you have to figure out which tights to wear.

How is This Dress Different

Vintage lace Dress for how to dress vintage chic

While many women like vintage items because they can be better quality, there are disadvantages too. For instance, this dress has no stretch or give. It’s only been in the last 30-40 years that spandex has shown up in everything from jeans to dresses. And that can make our clothing so much more comfortable.

Yet as my mother always points out, EVERYTHING comes back in style. So if you love something, think you’ll still fit in it over time, and have the room to keep it, then you should store it. Notice how the dress has peplum at the waist too!!

Insider tip: Even vintage pieces can be altered. If you didn’t like the peplum, you could easily take that piece off. Or if it’s a long dress, you can shorten it to be knee length.

How to Dress Vintage Chic with Jewelry

Lesley is showing off her mother’s necklace and earring set from the late 1950’s. She remembers her mother wearing this set with an emerald green sheath dress to the occasional cocktail party that her parents attended.

Vintage pieces in a contemporary way

Jeans: ANA~~ Cardigan: Karen Scott ~~ Top: Inc.~~Shoes: LuLu~~ Necklace: ~~ Earrings: ~~ Purse: Bueno

Another memory of her mother? Lesley’s mother always wore L’Origan perfume and it’s such a wonderful remembrance that Lesley keeps tucked away. She even found a photo of her mom. Lesley is the young girl to the right.

How Lesley Made the Set Contemporary

This jewelry set would have been considered very dressy back in the day. So Lesley paired them with a more casual outfit including jeans. You younger women don’t realize that women of the 1950’s did not wear jeans. Jeans were for farmers and men.

Then she also added in the leopard shoes which are so current now. Lesley remembers how leopard was stylish back in the 50’s; however, it was only seen on the very rich and famous like Norma Desmond.

Here’s the disadvantage of this vintage jewelry set. The earrings are clip on earrings because “ladies” didn’t have their ears pieced a long time ago. If you’ve ever tried clip ons, they can be very uncomfortable. Lesley kept removing these throughout the day because of that.

Insider tip: Most clip earrings can be converted into post earrings. I’ve even done this myself. Use the kits you can find on Amazon to make those sentimental earrings easier to wear.

What Other Vintage Pieces are in Lesley’s Closet?

Leopard shoes for any day

This isn’t the only jewelry of her mothers that she has; however, her mother didn’t dress up a lot, so there is only a couple of items.

What Lesley has more of are vintage purses. She has about 20 of them and often pulls one out for special occasions. These were mostly picked up thrifting and not handed down from relatives, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fabulous.

Insider tip: Remember to stop categorizing your things. For example, Lesley always saw her mother wear this set for dress up. However, it looks fabulous with a jeans and t-shirt too.

A Clutch as How to Dress Vintage Chic

I just love how my mom really embraces the yin and yang in this outfit. She always refers to this poncho as a horse blanket (I’ll share why below) and then she wore white lace under it and added in the beaded clutch.

This clutch is another hand me down from my grandma. The same grandma that I pictured above. She was Charlotte’s mother in law. Since my mother was raised on a farm, she didn’t have much background in etiquette and niceties. So many of those things were learned from her MIL. The disadvantage to vintage purse? They can be too small.

Insider tip: I love the vintage purses I see while thrifting. However, I usually check to make sure my phone fits in it. Many older purses were made before smart phones and aren’t always big enough to accommodate these necessities.

Vintage chic with a clutch

Poncho: No label~~ Jeans: Bill Blass ~~ Jacket: Bought in Japan~~ Shoes: A2 ~~ Earrings: ~~ Purse: ~~Gloves:

An older wrap scarf made modern

The yin and yang, dichotomy or whatever you want to call it is the modern vibe nowadays. Use it to your advantage since many of us have vintage or heirloom pieces.

Insider tip: Even when getting married you were to wear “Something Old, Something New”. Use that thinking now with your lace and pearls. Pair them with more casual things. Like denim and a poncho.

Contrast is Good

I just love when my mom gets away from always matching colors and tries a little contrast instead. Granted, there is white in the poncho, but normally she would gravitate towards wearing it with olive green. Once before on the blog, I had her wear it over a yellow top which also looked nice.

Blanket scarf back in style

Horse Blanket?

My mom used to work with a bunch of men when she was teaching. She had just been gifted this poncho from my Aunt Nancy in the 1960’s. You have to understand that my aunt was very fashionable and lived in San Francisco. So she was always seeing the trends far before they hit the midwest.

So when my mom wore this poncho to work, the guys just didn’t get it. They thought it looked like a blanket you’d use when riding horses, and thus the poncho was always referred to the horse blanket.

Magnificent 8

The Magnificent 8 is a collaboration among 8 stylish women from every decade of life showcasing our style one generation at a time. The mission of this collaboration is to show you just how ageless style is, how we can each dress however we’d like and in ways that make us feel fabulous. There are no age restrictions on style.

So wear what you want, when you want, add a smile, and strut your style with confidence. And be sure to check out all 8 of these amazing gals! I truly get inspiration from all of these women.

Grace of Graceful Rags is representing teenagers.
Michelle of Michelle’s Pa(i)ge is representing the 20-somethings.
Roxanne of Glass of Glam is representing the 30-somethings.
Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge is representing the 40-somethings.
Rena of Fine Whatever is representing the 50-somethings.
Eugenia of Age of Grace is representing the 60-somethings.
Lesley of Jodie’s Touch of Style is representing the 70-somethings.
And Charlotte of Jodie’s Touch of Style is representing the 80-somethings.

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

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