Hey Loser! Why Aren’t You Wearing Vintage?

Styles of yesteryear: beading, brocade, gem clasps and pressed metal. These are accents that you simply don’t see these days, or if you do, they’re machine tooled, not hand-done as they were pre-1950. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find genuine op shops, thrift stores or vintage shops. More often than not, these are turning into ‘designer vintage’ places where you might pay almost as much (or in some cases more) than you would if the item were new.

Where to find your vintage pieces

Having said that, occasionally you can still find great, genuine vintage finds. Scour obscure neighbourhoods looking for small vintage shops, cruise through eBay and raid your grandma’s attic – you never know what you might find! Working some vintage pieces into your formal look is one way to ensure that you’ll have a unique look that no one else will be rocking. But don’t go too far! There’s no need to wear head-to-toe vintage, in fact, a better look might be to work a few vintage accessories into your look.

Things to keep a vintage eye out for:

Fur stoles: While the wearing of new fur can be controversial, if you find a vintage fur (made pre 1950) there is no reason why it shouldn’t be enjoyed and given a new lease of life. Look for genuine furs that are in good condition with no rips or tears. Check for any musty smell and avoid pieces that have mould or moth holes.

Costume jewellery: large, chunky pieces with faux gems can often be picked up for very reasonable prices. Look for what they used to call ‘paste’ jewellery: heavy, very transparent flint glass that simulates the look of genuine gemstones. Pile a bunch of brooches onto the shoulder of your gown, wear a statement ring on each finger, or find a chandelier earring to wow the crowd on formal or prom night!

Vintage bags: Look for items that are in excellent condition. Styles to consider might be ornate pressed metal, genuine vintage Oroton bags from the 1970s, silk purses from the 1950s or even a funky leather 80s tote which you’ve wrapped some hot pink lace around to give it a fresh breath of life. Be inventive!

Scarves and stoles: Scarves used to be worn a lot more frequently and subsequently, vintage shops are often full of really good quality, often designer, scarves and stoles. Look for genuine fabrics such as silk, satin or even cotton and cheesecloth. Make sure the scarves are in good condition and seem fresh and high-quality. Team one with your formal dress and stay warm while looking gorgeous.  A printed scarf can add colour to a plain dress.

Vintage to your formal to prom? It’s such a great option and one that doesn’t need to cost you the earth!


Could you wear pants to prom?

You’re an edgy gal, one who’s not afraid of standing out from the crowd, right? If this is you, then  you might be the perfect candidate to wear pants to prom!

What do pants say about a woman? That depends on how she’s wearing them. Of course, you probably wear pants more often than a skirt or dress, but we’re not talking about sticking on a faded pair of old jeans! Think luxe fabrics like thick stain or sateen. Think a tuxedo stripe down your pant leg. Think high-waisted. Think wide-leg. Think skinny leather and killer heels – just don’t think boring!

Best way to wear pants to a formal event

Make sure that the fabric of your pants is formal and that the tailoring is neat, well-fitted and suits your style. Pants can often be harder to fit well than a dress or skirt, so make sure you spend a good length of time searching for the perfect pair. Pants are one item that you may find challenging to purchase online without trying on – unless you are intimately aware of your size and the brand’s sizing chart.

Which fabrics are luxe enough to qualify?

Look for tailored pants in the following fabrics to rock your formal look:

  • Brocade is a rich fabric, usually silk, woven with a raised pattern, typically with gold or silver thread.
  • Velvet is a closely woven fabric of silk, cotton, or nylon that has a thick short pile on one side.
  • Leather is a material made from the skin of animals by tanning or a similar process. It comes in many styles.
  • Satin is a smooth, glossy fabric, produced by a weave in which the threads of the warp are caught and looped by the weft.
  • Sateen is a cotton fabric woven like satin with a glossy surface.
  • Silk is a fine, strong, soft, lustrous fibre produced by silkworms in making cocoons and collected to make thread and fabric.

What kind of top should you wear?

The kind of top you wear will depend on the style of pants you are rocking on the night. Are your pants skinny-leg? Boyish? Are they trousers? If your pants are the feature of your outfit then you need to make sure that your top compliments them and doesn’t overpower your look.

Think well-fitting tops in a close-knit jersey. Experiment with a lace bodysuit, teamed with a cropped bolero jacket. Could you team your formal pants with an edgy, skull-covered Bonds singlet and rose corsage? The thing to think about is creating contrast without creating a clash. You want your top to accent your pants without being the leading feature.


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