Style Tips to Rock Vintage-Inspired Shoes
Vintage-inspired shoes and clothing make up an annual $17 billion market in the United States.
But this is nothing in comparison to the 80% Worldwide market which annually buys secondhand or vintage.
When most of us think about vintage clothing, the same cookie cutter Mad Men ideas pop into our minds. But there are a lot of things you can do to make those vintage shoes pop without making it look like you are going to a costume party.
1. Make Your Vintage Inspired Shoes a Conversation Piece
You know when you walk into someone's house, and there is that one art piece that you just cannot stop looking at?
As time goes by, you notice it is not just you eyeing this oddity: there is something very special about that piece of work that organically draws your eye to it.
Let your vintage-inspired shoes be this collector's piece. Let you be that thing everyone's eyes are drawn towards.
Sure, you can look all subtle in black, but stop all conversations in your white Go-Go boots.
This practice is not uncommon in fashion--particularly at the couture level-- and has been practiced for hundreds of years. Referred to as "focal point styling," this is a habit found from Queen Elizabeth's necklace choices to Coco Chanel's hats.
2.Play Dress Up Like a Kid Again: Don't be Afraid to Mix and Match
Wear some vintage earrings. Add a pair of Calvin Klein skinny jeans from two seasons ago.
Add a bright turtleneck and your Mom's Chelsea boots she wore when she was pregnant with you, but no one ever saw because they were covered up by those enormous bell-bottoms.
There are no rules when it comes to how to wear new with old and vice-versa.
Do not be afraid to dabble in something old and something new.
3. Take Some Risks: Seriously!
As the infamous Oscar de la Renta once said, "Fashion is a trend. Style lives inside a person."
The joy of wearing vintage-inspired shoes and clothing is that it allows you to wear things that you at one point would have never worn (mainly because you were not alive, but still, not the point).
Don't be afraid to wear things you usually wouldn't. Seriously. If you are channeling your inner Ginger Spice, rock some 90s clear pumps! If you are feeling mixing vintage bowling shoes and a skirt printed with dinosaurs, I say, do it!
Fashion is 90% confidence and 10% pretending to have the rest of said confidence.
4. Don't Be Afraid to Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
If you find vintage tennis shoes or combat boots you love, but there is something you are just not crazy about, repeat after me:
It is okay to modify my vintage inspired shoes. It is okay to modify my vintage inspired shoes.
They are your shoes. You bought them. It is 100% ok to make them your own.
Sometimes we do this by adding a few David Bowie pins or by changing the color of the laces. At times we can get a little more radical and get our new to us shoes dyed.
All of these things are okay. By adding trinkets and changing colors, you are not ruining the shoes. On the contrary: you are making the shoes more yours.
5. Dress for the Life You Want
Yes, I know the saying goes, "Dress for the job you want," but research shows that how we dress has an actual effect on how we perform at our jobs, in our relationships, and in an array of fields.
Wanting that promotion at work, but still, want to appear with the looks of a Peggy Olson? A pair of high-heeled Mary Janes is just the thing.
You can fit broaches, shoes, bags, and several other accessories into your everyday work look.
The key to looking good in vintage wear at work is making it part of your every day.
6. Let Vintage Inspired Shoes Help You Choose Your Color Palette
Something really amazing about certain eras of vintage fashion is the contradiction in color and pattern: the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s, were not afraid of big patterns or bright colors.
The 1920s-1950s? A little bit more modest when it came to both.
Whether you buy plain olive vintage inspired shoes or shoes that look like you are off to a rave that would mainly be blaring Moby: what shoes you decide to buy and how you decide to accent those shoes ultimately falls on you.
Many women find themselves avoiding brightly colored accessories, clothes, and shoes because they worry they are going to draw too much attention to themselves, which is ok. If that, of course, is what they truly want and desire.
However, we get so caught up in this fear of drawing attention to ourselves that we forget what vintage fashion inspires us to do: stand out.
Do not let your weight, skin tone, sex, shoe size, height, hair color, or any other part of you deter you from what you want to wear.
If you like a certain pair of vintage-inspired shoes, even if it is bright orange with neon pink stripes, wear them.
Even if you have to take baby steps, that is ok. Practice wearing your new shoes by going to get gas or milk in them before spending a night out on the town in them.
Style is a Mirror: It is You and Reflects You
As any reader can see, there are countless ways to wear your vintage-inspired shoes.
Whether you want to be overzealous and bold, or take your time adding demure pieces: vintage-inspired shoes and other accessories can add some real character to your closet.
Like with all fashion, the most important thing to remember is that you have to feel comfortable with you and with what you are wearing.
Yes, sometimes we should all push our boundaries and go beyond our comfort zones, and adding vintage-inspired shoes is a great step in the right direction.
It may make you uncomfortable at first, but in the long run, this will only make us happier in our own shoes.
Questions or Comments? Please feel free to contact us!