How to style vintage outfits for different occasions

Posted by Sandhya Shah on


Vintage clothes are 20 to 100 years old. You can find them at thrift shops, vintage clothing shops, estate sales, and even online marketplaces. If you are at a beginner level, trying out different vintage pieces to experience their unique style, things may seem hard. Eventually, you will be able to come up with your comfortable styling with vintage outfits.

For those who are new to picking up vintage clothes, don't stop yourself from flaunting your vintage piece on occasion. They can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your overall outfit. But you need to be careful while styling your vintage outfit for different occasions. You do not want to look like a princess from the past, right? You can flaunt your outfit at work, on dates, and even on formal occasions, but with the proper styling.

Style vintage outfits for different occasions

Vintage outfits can fit well in almost any place, right from casual to work, date, formal events, and special occasions. Let's see how you can style your vintage outfit for different occasions:

Casual wear

For a casual outfit, you mostly look for a comfortable yet stylish look that you can carry around with ease the whole day. You can easily find numerous options in vintage collections for a perfect casual look. For instance -

  1. If you are a jeans lover, go for high-waist jeans, or a graphic tee, and pair it with a bomber jacket. To complete the look, add a retro crossbody bag and you are good to go for cool weather.
  2. Another option is to select a denim skirt and a denim jacket with a crop vintage tee. Style it with a bandana and vintage sneakers.
  3. If you are looking for something light for a hot summer, choose an A-line dress with floral prints and pastel colours. Style it with canvas sneakers, a straw hat, and a woven tote bag.

Office wear

When it comes to office wear, not many would dare to try a vintage style due to a lack of understanding. But let me tell you, there are amazing vintage pieces that can give you a professional look. For instance -

  1. A button-down shirt with tailored high-waist trousers and minimalist pearl jewellery is a great pick for office wear.
  2. A pussy-bow blouse with a pencil skirt, a structured blazer, and vintage pumps can also be a great choice.

Date night

While selecting a vintage dress for a date night, pick a piece that suits your body type and enhances your natural beauty. A vintage dress will not only look romantic but also add a touch of nostalgia to your entire look. You can try some of these looks -

  1. Go for a lace sheath dress with perfect fitting in timeless colours such as black or blush pink. Pair it with wedges and pearl earrings. 
  2. If you are looking for something more feminine, pick a vintage satin slip dress in metallic shades. Pair it with embellished sandals and a beaded clutch.

Formal events

Formal events

When picking an outfit for a formal event, choosing a vintage ensemble will make you stand out in the crowd and radiate sophistication. You can try some of these glamorous vintage looks -

  1. A vintage cocktail dress with geometric patterns, a sweetheart neckline and capped sleeves is perfect for the occasion. Opt for a luxe fabric like satin, chiffon, or velvet. Pair it with strappy sandals and a metallic clutch to complete the look.
  2. You can even go for a tailored suit. A vintage fitted blazer and a pencil skirt made of satin or velvet with silk or a lacy blouse. Pair it with a vintage brooch or a statement belt and pointed-toe heels.

Special occasions

Special Events

Now before you pick a vintage outfit, first see what the occasion is about so that you can dress accordingly. Special occasions can be related to dinners, festivities, weddings, and much more. Here are some looks that you can try-

  1. If you are attending a wedding, select a vintage evening gown embellished with beads and sequins and a dramatic drape. Pair it with statement jewellery and a sleek clutch.
  2. If you want a festive look, pick a jewel-tone vintage party dress with embellishments. Pair it with embellished heels and a glittery clutch.

Experiment with colours or patterns

While selecting a vintage outfit, you must pay attention to the colours and patterns of the dress. Experimenting with colours and patterns can help you create a fresh look. But before that, you need to have a proper understanding of the role of colours and patterns in a vintage outfit.

Colours - when it comes to colours, they can either make you look more regal, or create a big confusion in your entire ensemble. So you need to be careful here with the vibe that you want to create with your outfit. If you want a feminine vibe, hues of red and pink work great. Similarly, blue and green hues can create a nostalgic atmosphere. Whereas, neutrals like beige, cream, and brown are timeless and easy to wear colours.

Patterns - Next to colours, it is patterns that will add character to your vintage outfit. If you are looking for cheerful patterns, a polka dot blouse or dress can cheer up the mood of your ensemble. Whereas floral patterns will add romantic vibes and femininity to your vintage outfit. If you are looking for something bright, stripes are a good choice as they can add a retro feel. Similarly, if you want to add some character and personality to your outfit, go with paisley patterns.

Accessorize with vintage pieces

While styling your vintage outfit, pairing it with proper accessories, especially vintage accessories can elevate your look. Here are some tips to help you add vintage pieces to your outfit:

  1. If you are wearing a minimalist vintage dress or blazer, pair it with a vintage brooch embellished with jewels.
  2. If you want to be minimalist with your jewellery, vintage studs or small hoops work great with any outfit.
  3. A vintage blouse or dress with a v-neck pairs beautifully with a vintage necklace. It can become the focus of attention in your outfit.
  4. Go for vintage charm bracelets if you want to add playful vibes to your outfit.
  5. A vintage beaded clutch pairs well with an outfit for parties and celebrations.
  6. A leather satchel can be a perfect match for casual wear.
  7. If you want to create a cinch effect for your outfit, a vintage belt will do wonders for a minimalist ensemble.


Picking up a vintage outfit for a specific occasion or just for casual, work, date, or formal events requires courage. This is because not everyone is capable of elegantly styling a vintage dress for different occasions. However, here we have the best options for how to style a vintage dress for various occasions. Moreover, the tips to add vintage accessories to your outfit can help you raise the level of your outfit. So if you are a newbie or a person who already has a wardrobe full of vintage pieces, do try these styling options.

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