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Vintage Meets Modern: Your Guide To Navigating Contemporary Stores With A Retro Style

Vintage Meets Modern: Your Guide To Navigating Contemporary Stores With A Retro Style

cover image: the shopping struggle, navigating mainstream retailers when you'd rather be wearing vintageThe Shopping Struggle

If you’re reading this, you likely have a unique sense of style that incorporates lots of vintage and secondhand pieces. This is an awesome way to live, shop, and get dressed.

But what if you teeter between the lines of shopping at thrift stores and mainstream retailers? It can be difficult and even overwhelming to walk into a contemporary department store and find something to suit you. What do you do in that situation?

A young reader recently fell into this predicament and asked for my advice on incorporating current trends into her old school style. I thought I’d share my response with you and hope it can act as a jumping off point to getting your creative juices flowing.

Please be sure to Pin this post to reference back to later and also share your own tip in the comments so we can help each other out!

Where To Shop

When you’re used to shopping at thrift or consignment stores, it can be difficult to know what stores sell things you like.

Do a quick search for stores (or online sites!) that match your aesthetic. If you wear nothing but vintage and have no interest in testing out trends, places like Modcloth or Unique Vintage make reproduction and vintage-esque pieces with modern fabrics and colors.

In my case, I love the ’80s because of their use of fun patterns and unusual silhouettes. Even a place like Target is carrying lines that incorporate those details! So you can pick up your almond milk and a pair of palazzo pants, all in one stop.

How To Shop

I will always promote thrifting as a first choice for consumers but if you’re tempted by the great sales at modern stores, consider shopping there as a way to supplement your wardrobe with foundational pieces.

Think camis, t-shirts, leggings, etc.

These are staples in almost any wardrobe and are a great place to start building an outfit.

What To Buy

After you have your basics covered, look for clothes that can help enhance your current vintage style.

Trends are circular so you might luck out and there’s a jacket in a cut that matches your favorite era. Or there’s a pair of shoes in a timeless style that would be the perfect addition to your closet.

While most stores have their own distinct aesthetic, they also cater to a diverse customer base so you’d be surprised by some of the things you come across!

Still Confused? Try This

If you’re still struggling, my final tip is to go into any store and focus on pulling colors, patterns, and silhouettes that are already in your closet.

This is an easy way to make sure you’re buying things that can blend into your closet, regardless of what decade they were made in.

So… Vintage or Modern?

At the end of the day, if it doesn’t feel right to shop at a mall or you truly can’t find something you love while you’re there, just stick with vintage and secondhand!

Thrift stores are overwhelmed with donations and shopping there is a great way to save money and help out the planet.

What would you add to this list?


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