Vintage Aesthetic Outfits – Ultimate Guide

Numerous enduring fashion elements from the 1920s to the 1990s have remained to the present day. All of them include items that are still quite popular and generally chosen now, such as clothing, shoes, and accessories. We are going to talk about vintage aesthetic outfits. The vintage era really assisted us in everyday life fashion, party fashion, etc. If you consider this aesthetic, I recommend you give it a shot. Particularly, if you want to try something new. Vintage aesthetic outfits could be your jam.

In this article, these topics will be discussed;

  • Brief Introduction to Vintage Aesthetic Outfits
  • Difference between Vintage vs. Retro Outfits
  • Detailed Overview of Vintage Fashion
  • Essential Elements of Vintage Aesthetic Outfits
  • Building a Vintage Wardrobe
  • Recommendations for Vintage Aesthetic Outfits
  • Vintage Accessories
  • Vintage Hairstyles and Makeup
  • Lastly, A Video Recommendation of Vintage Inspired Outfits

Now, get a cup of coffee or tea and get ready to read.

What is Vintage Aesthetic?

Several previous fashion trends are collectively referred to as “vintage”. Vintage is an umbrella term that refers to clothing that dates from the 1920s through the 1990s. It’s crucial to understand that garments made before 1920 are called antique clothes rather than vintage ones.


Difference between Vintage vs. Retro Fashion

Well, distinguishing vintage and retro fashion might be tricky. While vintage fashion often refers to anything that is actually from a period that occurred 20 years ago, retro fashion refers to new products which have been created to look like vintage pieces.

Overview of Vintage Fashion

There are various eras of vintage fashion. We are going to review several iconic items of vintage fashion starting with the ‘20s to ‘90s.

Fashion of 1920s & 1930s

1. Unforgettable flapper dresses of the 1920s were interesting and shocking for so many people. Flapper dresses were generally straight-cut, sleeveless, and around knee-length. The Flapper era is a really important period for young women to party hard, smoke, and drink alcohol as much as men. Therefore, flapper dresses were clothing that stood for women’s equality and social progress.


2. Mary Jane Heels were also popular during the 1920s low-heeled footwear with one strap buckled over the top of the foot. There is also a flat version of these shoes. In the 1920s, they were paired with formal clothes, springtime dresses, etc.


3. Furthermore, the 1930s are famous for bias-cut silk gowns. These dresses are cut diagonally throughout the fabric. Dresses were created to highlight the feminine body.


Fashion of 1940s and 1950s

1. Victory suit was a well-liked two-piece suit for both casual wear and business attire in the 1940s. The fabric of victory suits was mostly wool or wool mixed. Since wool was utilized to produce men’s uniforms in time of wear, it reduced the price of wool. As a result of government rules, wool also was used to create dresses for women.


2. In addition to victory suits, overalls of the 1940s popped out as a result of taking the position of men who were during World War I at work, farms, and factories. Their clothing style started to become similar to men’s work clothing.


3. “Dior’s New Look” praised women’s fashion during the 1950s. It provided extreme femininity and luxury with rounded shoulders, a tightened waist, and a very long and full skirt.


4. Poodle skirts are large felt knee-length skirts with an original pattern of a styled poodle that has been printed to the cloth.


Fashion of 1960s and 1970s

1960 is a popular period for colorful vibes such as dyed t-shirts, cropped jackets, collarless coats, and sleeveless dresses.

1. Tie dye-shirts or tees are made by hand-dyeing. In order to get a tie-dye shirt, you need to grab several pieces of fabric and then tie them firmly with rope. After, soak the fabric in the dye bath to create colored designs in the shirt.


2. Pillbox hat is a petite, flat, and brimless hat. Most memorably, Jackie Kennedy and Lady Diana as fashionistas populated the hat.


3. Shift dresses gained popularity during the 1960s. It is a straightforward, plain dress with a loose fit and does not have an emphasized waistline.


The 1970s is a decade of sparkle and glamor. People were loving to wear stunning, attention-seeking pieces.

1. Therefore, the 1970s’ outstanding clothing piece is a sequin dress. These dresses contain little, sparkly discs as adornment. Sequin clothing pieces are a very distinctive and elegant choice to wear at discos or parties. You can read our article about Sequin jumpsuits and look at vintage-inspired options.

2. Another commonly preferred 1970s trend was flared jeans, which were frequently paired with platform heels. That free-spirit approach was highly dominant in outfits.


Fashion of 1980s and 1990s

1. Aerobics leotards were a fashion trend of the 1980s. The reason is that the aerobics style peaked in the 1980s, and a key piece of clothing that embodied the movement was the bodysuit. The purpose of the aerobics leotard was to emphasize the person’s body proportions.


2. Let’s travel to the era of “It’s MC Hammer pants, can’t touch this!”. MC Hammer Pants are wide, baggy pants with tight ankles. In the 1980s, MC Hammer pants attracted a lot of attention due to the music video for “U Can’t Touch This”. Check out our article about MC Hammer pants for more detail.


3. The 1980s saw a rise in demand for acid-wash denim, which stood out for its unique appearance. Using bleach and other compounds to give standard denim a spotty and patterned piece. Acid-wash denim was preferred for both women and men. It is considered fashionable and daring fashion and is also seen in jackets, pants, and skirts.


Yep, we’ve arrived in the 1990s. The 90s is a period that literally affects many current trends. Many pieces were famous in this cool period, which people admired. I’ll just mention a couple of them.

1. Flannel shirts have proven to be a preferred item of apparel for years due to their cozy fabric, relaxed fit, and rustic appeal. Flannel shirts are highly related to Grunge fashion which is characterized as depressed, aggressive, and reckless. These shirts are frequently created from a soft cloth with a plaid or checked motif that makes them ideal for wearing in colder weather. As a result of that, you can wear it on any occasion. Zontroldy Oversized Plaid Flannel Shirts make you feel comfy and soft.


2. The Leopard coat was a style icon in the 1990s due to its dramatic and glamorous look. So many famous people like Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell popularized it by wearing it. Large sunglasses were inevitable to wear with this coat. No need to say but…Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid looks amazing in a leopard coat.


3. Baseball Caps peaked in the 1990s and it is commonly used due to their functionality. While it was blocking the sun, it also made the outfit look cooler. And without a doubt, its popularity nowadays is understandable. Highly suggest reviewing our article about 90s hats if you are into them.


Elements of Vintage Fashion

We also need to talk about the essential elements of vintage fashion in terms of silhouettes, fabrics, patterns, and colors. Although each era has different kinds of variety, I will try to summarize as much as I can.


With a focus on the waistline and body proportions, vintage silhouettes are typically more rigid and fitted than contemporary ones. Fitting skirts and pants are examples of popular vintage shapes.


Vintage garments frequently featured natural materials like cotton, woolen, silk, lace, crochet, and linen, which were frequently of a higher caliber than contemporary synthetic materials. These fabrics provide vintage-inspired outfits to look more fashionable and soft.


Vibrant and unique motifs like polka dots, striped, floral patterns and geometric patterns are typical of vintage fashion.


In accordance with the era, color combinations changed dramatically. It is hard to indicate specific colors. However rich and intense hues like burgundy, navy blue, and emerald green are frequently seen in vintage clothing.

How to Build a Vintage Wardrobe?

First of all, do not try to change your style in one night. Wearing vintage and trying to style vintage aesthetic outfits are a process. Therefore, do not be discouraged when you struggle.

Step 1: Choose Your Timeframe

Try to pick a period that most fascinates you, makes you nostalgic, and makes you feel comfortable. There is no need to be concerned if you can’t discover something at first glance because every decade has witnessed a variety of fashion trends. You do not have to look at one part of the story. Ten years make up a decade, and there are numerous trends. Do not rain on one’s parade.


Step 2: Transform Your Makeup and Hairstyles

Everyone can manage to get their hair and makeup done. You can deal with new hairstyles or makeup styles without instantly spending money on clothing and then regretting your decision. This is also advantageous if you don’t desire a drastic shift.


Step 3: Shopping advice

Use keywords like vintage when purchasing online. Before buying which items you want, you can search for vintage outfit ideas on Pinterest and pin them on one board. Then, it would be easy to check it out every time you go shopping. You can also review our article about Vintage outfit ideas.

Trying to find vintage pieces in thrift stores may be challenging. You need to spend a lot of time and not avoid touching every piece of clothing in the store. So, here is a video about how to find vintage clothes in thrift stores. I highly recommend you watch it.

Step 4: Pay Special Attention to High-Quality Materials of the Items

While you do shopping, you also need to pay attention to vintage items’ material. Higher quality materials can endure numerous washing and stay in a good shape. For instance, cotton, wool, and silk are really good materials. While you focus on these materials, you should stay away from synthetic materials.

Step 5: Managing Budget

Asking questions like what you want, what you have in your wardrobe, and what you need is significant during this process. Basic clothing items are a budget-friendly solution when you try to style vintage aesthetic outfits. You can save time and money by developing a collection of fundamentals that you can utilize repeatedly to generate fresh styles.

Step 6: Styling Vintage Pieces

When you wear vintage pieces, it is possible to look costumey. Therefore, choosing timeless classic designs is the best idea because you will look elegant in any way. So, you can look for classic silhouettes and colors that you can easily add to your outfit. These pieces can be vintage denim jackets, leather jackets, bell-bottom jeans, floral dresses, shift dresses…


Recommendations for Vintage Aesthetic Outfits

While you can create your outfit by adding real vintage pieces, you can also buy vintage-inspired pieces which are easier and generally affordable. Let’s check these Vintage aesthetic outfit ideas. In addition, you can also match vintage pieces with new or modern clothes and accessories. If you want to go into detail about How to style a vintage aesthetic outfit from modern brands, read this article.

Cozy Vintage Inspired Outfit

I’m interested in brown outfits… And also if you are into brown and beige colors, you will probably fall in love with these kinds of vintage aesthetic outfits. All you need is a brown coat, white peter pan collar shirt, beige sweater vest, earth-tone pants, and earth-brown loafers. Pearl jewelry, a brown waist belt, and the leather bag shouldn’t be forgotten! And then you are ready for a coffee date!
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Mary Janes Outfit

Flat Mary Janes are timeless shoes that go well with everything…For instance, you’re ready to go out for lunch by combining a black jacket, jeans, flat mary Jane, a small leather black bag, and sunglasses. An elegant and fitted look is something that we look for in vintage-inspired outfits.


Cigarette Pants Outfit

Cigarette pants have amazing versatility. A combination of a white t-shirt, cigarette pants, cardigan, and loafers is chic and very elegant. Moreover, you can also wear the same cigarette pants by adding a turtleneck fitted top and waist belt.


Vintage Inspired Skirts

A black pencil skirt, striped top, and waist belt are enough to look vintage. Cardigan can be added to the outfit for chilly weather. Furthermore, you can choose a short vintage-inspired skirt, a white top, a black cardigan, a waist belt, and a black leather crossbody bag.

Vintage Accessories for Vintage Aesthetic Outfits

Waist Belts

Waist belts can be worn with skirts or pants to create the illusion of an hourglass figure. I believe that waist belts are saver for vintage aesthetic outfits. Jasgood Vintage Leather Waist Belt or Grace Karin 1950s Vintage Stretchy Belts might be a good choice for dresses and pants.


Pearl Jewelry

Pearl jewelry has been a timeless, elegant, and simple favorite for many years. Whatever you want, you can purchase some basic pearl earrings or a lovely necklace. I think it gives the clothing a very unique touch.



Another common vintage accessory you might use is a little scarf. You can wear a scarf around your neck or in your hair to create various hairstyles. Possibly the best example of someone who wore a small scarf around her neck is Audrey Hepburn.



Then, gloves were also a fashion icon during the fashion of the 1940s and 1950s. It was worn in spring or summer as much as in winter. As a recommendation, you can try to find some white or colored gloves if you want an authentic look. YCShun Short Satin Gloves would suit several occasions such as weddings or opera parties.



In general, berets are made of wool, linen, and acrylic fibers and these hats are comfortable to wear because they are soft. Berets can add a beautiful finishing touch to your vintage aesthetic outfits to enhance its appearance.



1. Black Pumps

Black pumps which are also called ‘’Mary Jane style shoes’’ are very classic and timeless. It is highly worn by celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. You might want to add this item to your wardrobe for formal occasions, parties, events…

If you are looking to buy pairs, Chase & Chloe Mary Jane Heels might be a stylish choice for your vintage aesthetic outfits.


2. Ballet Flats

Ballerinas which are also known as ballet flats were also common shoes that people admired at that time. Since it was timeless and comfortable, they were suitable for everyday life as much as special events. My choice is the Jessica Simpson Ballet flat for a vintage-inspired look.


3. Oxford Shoes

Lastly, oxford shoes are the most classic options that you might want to wear for finishing vintage aesthetic outfits. While it was highly preferred by men during the 1800s, it also became a popular choice for women in later times. Oxford shoes are very adaptable for both informal and formal events due to their closed-tying mechanism and flat or low heel.


Vintage Hairstyles and Makeup

‘20s Hairstyles and Makeup

Let’s start with the flapper era of the 1920s. Women’s hairstyle preference was short bob haircuts such as wavy bob, shorter bob, etc. Additionally, their makeup preferences were darkish eye makeup like smokey eye and red lipstick. Bold makeup style can be a summarization of that period.


‘30s Hairstyles and Makeup

Secondly, hairstyles and makeup preferences in the 1930s were more based on soft and natural styles. The most common hairstyle is the Marcel wave. Pencil-thin eyebrows, pink cheeks, neutral eyeshadows, and red lips were the essentials for 1930s makeup style.


‘40s Hairstyles and Makeup

Thirdly, women in the 1940s preferred simple and practical hairstyles and makeup due to the war. While hairstyles were victory rolls and curly hair, their makeup was more based on neutral tones such as soft gray or brown due to the scarcity of eyeshadows during the war. Black and brown mascaras were applied. Moreover, for the lipstick color, red was the main lipstick.


‘50s Hairstyles and Makeup

Fourthly, during the 1950s, the Poodle cut, the Bouffant, and the Full fringe haircut were very popular. The iconic 1950s makeup style included red lips and clearly highlighted eyes. The eyes were defined with mascara as well as eyeliner. In addition, eyeshadow would have been a simple and soft color.


‘60s Hairstyles and Makeup

After, the 1960s popular hairstyle was the Flipped Bob. Since this haircut is generally flexible, practical, and distinctive, it makes the entire look amazing. Early 1960s similar to the late 1950s makeup styles such as soft pink blush, huge amounts of powder, reddish or pinkish lipstick, and winged eyeliner. Then, while babydoll-looking makeup got popular during the mid-1960s, the bohemian makeup look was considered more fashionable in the late 1960s.


‘70s Hairstyles and Makeup

Sixthly, the 1970s was known for its wide variety of hairstyles such as straight hairstyles, afro hairstyles, mullet hairstyles, wedge hairstyles, shag hairstyles, feathered hairstyles…

Furthermore, makeup trends also varied extensively as much as hairstyles. For makeup trends, purely natural looks, cool glam looks, etc were extremely popular. Makeup styles had a little foundation, filled eyebrows, colorful eyeshadows, pink blush, and eyeliner.


‘80s Hairstyles and Makeup

Seventhly, Texture and volume were dominant in the 1980s. Curly bangs, Shag Haircuts, Bowl Haircuts, Bubble Ponytails, Asymmetrical haircuts, and Mullet Haircuts can be one of the common examples of that time. Additively, ‘80s makeup was colorful and vibrant. The goal of the 80s makeup was not limiting yourself to applying anything on your face. Blue, purple, pink, blended colors, or muted colors were popular for eyeshadows. Full thick brows were an important part of the makeup. For blush, brilliant pink shades, and dark plums were popular. Furthermore, highlighting the cheekbones was really important.


‘90s Hairstyles and Makeup

Lastly, when you think of the 1990s, it’s impossible not to think of the Friends TV show. It is absolutely enthroned in our hearts through comedy and fashion. The character of Rachel Green, played by Jennifer Aniston, has influenced and continues to influence so many people with her clothes, hairstyle, and make-up. Rachel Haircut is the most famous hairstyle in the 90s. Besides, makeup styles varied widely in the 90s. A darkish vibe, glossy look, no makeup look, and matte look can be examples. Darkish makeup includes metallic, dark eyeshadows and dark lipsticks such as burgundy, plum, and brown. Then, no makeup look only includes a little foundation, eyeliner, and nude lip tints.
Moreover, blue eyeshadow was mostly used in 1990 such as blue pastels, metallic blue, etc.


Finally, we are getting closer to the end of the article. If you are into vintage aesthetic clothing, you can also review our articles down;

Last but not least, there is a video that I think will be useful. I suggest you watch this video. I think it is detailed and interesting. The video is about outfit ideas that are inspired by Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. I believe that it might be a good inspiration for your vintage fashion journey.

Stay Stylish!

References for the Images

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