Modernizing a Retro Silhouette

An exciting flapper dress that you can’t help but dance in, a dreamy 1950s fit-and-flare, a vintage maxi skirt that exudes the free spirit of a gypsy. The clothing of days long past can be almost magical, but how do you wear it without looking like you’re going to a decade-themed costume party?

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(Photo Credit: Temperley LondonForzieriL’inde Le PalaisAlexander McQueen)

Transform a sweet and flirty drop-waist dress into something a little more hard core. Go gothic with the accessories. Spiked and studded jewelry perhaps, or a creepy clutch like the one pictured here. A flapper always needs her fur; for something more appropriate for the 21st century, choose a stole or jacket in a bold color. Pearls are iconic, and can be unexpectedly incorporated into a tough-looking shoe.

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(Photo Credit: 1stdibsNew LookBrowns)

It is easy to veer into costume territory with a fifties dress, especially one so glamorous as the one above. You’ll want to look sophisticated, not ostentatious; cute, but not too cutesy. To avoid an overly sweet ensemble, wear a timeless, sleek pair of pumps and throw on a cool jacket. A leather or varsity style would contrast in the best way.

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(Photo Credit: LuisaviaromaModclothL’inde Le Palais)

For a mod look, first ditch the gogo boots. After that, it’s easy to pull off a 1960s-inspired shift. No accessories are needed other than a bag and shoes, and today, those definitely don’t have to match. When wearing a micro mini skirt for daytime, opt for flats rather than heels. (Flats can be sexy too!)

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(Photo Credit: PolyvoreSSENSETibiMulberry)

To achieve a contemporary look while wearing a ’70s maxi skirt, there are two things to keep in mind: structure and simplicity. A minimal top, ladylike bag and simple pumps in a solid color will keep the look grounded and let the vintage piece stand out.

By: Persephone Price

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