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Retro Fashion Hacks: Tips for Achieving a Vintage Vibe

You’ve been seeing a lot of retro styles popping up lately and are dying to try the vintage look yourself. But how do you achieve an authentic retro vibe without looking like you’re wearing a costume? The key is to start with the right foundation pieces, add stylish accents, and pull it all together for a fresh look. Retro style is all about capturing the essence of the era, not copying what people actually wore back then. With a few simple fashion hacks, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a retro style all your own. Read on for tips and tricks to give your wardrobe a blast from the past.

The Comeback of Retro Fashion Trends

The retro fashion trend is back in full swing. Vintage styles from the 60s, 70s, and 80s are making a huge comeback. If you want to rock a retro look, here are some tips to get you started:

  • Look for iconic prints and patterns. Nothing says retro like funky prints. Keep an eye out for zigzags, polka dots, psychedelic and geometric prints.
  • Invest in statement accessories. Accessorize with items like cat eye sunglasses, hair scarves, bold jewelry, and retro handbags. These small touches will complete the vintage vibe.
  • Vintage items from the actual era are the epitome of retro cool. Just make sure to get them tailored to fit properly.
  • Shop secondhand stores. Thrift stores and vintage shops are treasure troves for retro finds. You never know what stylish gems from decades past you might uncover. With some digging, you can build an entire retro wardrobe for little money.
  • Mix modern and vintage. The key to retro style is blending vintage and modern pieces. Pair high-waisted vintage trousers with a contemporary graphic tee or style a 60s shift dress with on-trend sneakers. By mixing eras, you create a look that’s retro yet fresh.

With the right silhouette, prints, accessories and a blend of vintage and modern clothing, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a retro style all your own. So get out there and start hunting for those fashion gems from the past. Retro never looked so chic!

Styling Retro Outfits: Matching Prints, Patterns, and Colors

Matching prints and patterns is an art form. Do it right and you’ll look stylishly retro. Do it wrong and you’ll end up looking like a hot mess. Here are some tips for styling retro outfits with complementary prints and colors:

Start with a focal point

Choose one statement piece to be the focal point of your outfit, like a floral dress, polka dot blouse or plaid skirt. Build the rest of your outfit around that main item. Keep other pieces in solid colors or smaller, matching prints to avoid looking too busy.

Pair similar color palettes

Match prints that share colors or color families, like pairing a red and white gingham top with a floral skirt that features red and pink flowers. This helps create a cohesive look even with different prints. Or choose patterns in the same color palette, such as blues and greens or tans and browns.

vintage Retro Outfits
Vintage Retro Outfits

Repeat shapes or motifs

Look for prints that share shapes or motifs, like dots, diamonds, leaves or petals. A polka dot blouse pairs nicely with a small floral print, or a plaid shirt with a paisley bandana. The repetition of shapes ties the outfit together.

Vary scale

Mix prints in different scales, such as pairing a large floral maxi dress with a dainty polka dot scarf. Or a gingham shirt with a subtle pinstripe skirt. The contrast in scale adds visual interest without looking cluttered.

When in doubt, keep it minimal

If you’re not comfortable mixing multiple prints, start with just one statement piece like a cute retro sundress or skirt. Then accessorize with solid color items like a denim jacket, cardigan or belt. Or add just one small accent like a polka dot hair scarf or patterned socks. Keeping it minimal with one print and solids is always a chic, retro-inspired look.

With some practice, you’ll be a pro at styling complementary retro prints and patterns in no time. Start with these basic tips and have fun with experimenting and mixing different prints to create unique vintage inspired outfits.

Accessorizing for a Retro Look:

Accessorizing is key to pulling off a retro look. The right accents can take an outfit from modern to mad men (or women!) era in a flash. Here are some tips for choosing accessories with vintage appeal:


Headbands were hugely popular in the 1950s and 60s. Look for wide fabric headbands, especially in retro prints like polka dots, gingham, or bandana patterning. Tie a silk scarf around your head for an even more glamorous retro style.


Cat eye and horn-rimmed glasses were hallmarks of midcentury fashion. Find frames that are rounded, winged or browline in style. Blue light blocking lenses can be fitted to many vintage frames. If you wear contacts, pick up an inexpensive pair of empty frames just for fashion.

Accessorizing for a Retro Look
Accessorizing for a Retro Look


Big jewelry was part of the retro bold look. Consider wearing:

  • Chunky bead or gemstone necklaces. Pearls were always a favorite.
  • Brooches or pins on lapels, sweaters or dresses. Floral, animal or bow shapes were popular.
  • Cocktail rings with large center stones.
  • Dangle or hoop clip-on earrings. (If your ears aren’t pierced.)
  • Gemstone bracelets that make a statement.

Mixing gold and silver tones is very midcentury modern. Don’t be afraid to layer on multiple pieces for a dramatic retro effect.

In retro fashion Vintage-inspired accessories are an effortless way to give your outfits a retro kick. Raid your mother’s or grandmother’s jewelry box, hit up thrift stores, or shop reproduction pieces from retro brands. With the right touches of the past, you’ll be looking fly in no time.

Hair and Makeup Tips to Complete Your Retro Fashion Style

To complete your retro look, the right hairstyle and makeup are essential. Here are some tips to help you achieve a vintage vibe from head to toe:


Channel classic Hollywood glamor with voluminous curls or a chic chignon bun. Rollers, rag curls or hot rollers can give you luscious curls and waves like a 1950s starlet. For shorter hair, sculpt waves with a firm-hold setting lotion and finger-comb into place. A side part with rolled bangs or a bouffant lift at the crown are other era-appropriate options.


Keep your makeup minimal but polished for a natural retro glow. A flawless base with matte or dewy skin is key. Neutral and berry-toned lipsticks, especially deeper reds, were popular in past decades. Line your eyes with dark brown or black kohl liner and add a coat of mascara for a subtle vintage eye look. Thinly plucked and shaped brows will also help frame your face in a retro way.

Retro Fashion Hair and makeup styles
Retro Fashion Hair and makeup style


Long, almond or oval shaped nails with a neutral or red polish were ubiquitous in the mid-20th century. Oval tips flatter most nail shapes. Apply two coats of polish for an opaque finish and use a Q-tip dipped in remover to clean up the edges for a neat appearance.


Add retro touches with a silk scarf, gloves, jeweled hair combs or a floral hairpin. Pearl necklaces and gemstone brooches make glamorous accessories. A vintage-style pocket mirror, compact or cigarette case also adds authenticity to your look.

With the right combination of hairstyle, makeup and accessories you will able to achieve a beautiful retro fashion look. A few key touches can go a long way in creating a memorable vintage fashion statement. Showcase your retro style with confidence and grace like the screen legends of yesteryear.

Finding Retro-Inspired Clothing and Accessories

Finding retro fashion inspired clothing and accessories is all about knowing where to look. Thrift and vintage stores are a gold mine for unique retro finds at affordable prices. You never know what gems you might uncover – maybe a stylish 1950’s dress or a rad pair of 1980’s sunglasses. Estate sales and flea markets are also great for sourcing retro clothing, jewelry, hats, and other accessories.

Online Marketplaces

Don’t forget about online marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, and Craigslist. Independent sellers on these sites often have curated collections of retro clothing and accessories. You can find everything from poodle skirts to zoot suits and everything in between. The best part is, since these are individual sellers, you’re more likely to come across one-of-a-kind pieces.

Modern Retro-Inspired Brands

Many fashion brands are also channeling retro style in their current collections. Brands like ModCloth, Unique Vintage, and ASOS all offer retro-inspired dresses, tops, bottoms, outerwear, swimsuits and accessories. While not truly vintage, these modern reproductions capture the essence of retro fashion from the 1920’s through 1980’s. They provide a convenient way to achieve a vintage vibe without the hunt.

With some sleuthing, you can build a retro wardrobe filled with authentic vintage pieces and modern reproductions. Mix and match for a stylish look that celebrates fashion from decades past. The key is to have fun with it and wear what makes you feel confident and fabulous. Now go get your retro on!


So there you have it, a few easy tips to help you achieve a totally retro vibe with your style. Whether you go full pin-up glam or just add a few vintage touches here and there, embracing the fashion of yesteryear is a great way to make a stylish statement. Next time you hit the thrift shops or raid your grandma’s attic, keep an eye out for those classic cuts and prints that stand the test of time. Pair them with modern touches like bright lipstick or cat eye sunnies and you’ll be looking fly and fab in no time. Retro fashion lets you put your own spin on styles that have graced the pages of history. So go forth and unleash your inner vintage vixen – the retro revolution is calling your name!

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