Work Work Work: How To Create A Vintage Style For Work

One of the things I often remark on when I'm heading home after work is how chic some women look for a day in the office. Some of us, and I'm including myself in this sometimes, just look very thrown together. Maybe it's the combination of early morning and seeing the same people from day to day, well we just don't always bring our 'a game'. In a recent survey, 52.03% of Irish women said they are fashion conscious about what they wear in the workplace, 75.4% of the respondents said it was about projecting a good image of themselves.  I've been asked a few times now to talk about what you can do to bring a vintage style to your work wear and I'd been pondering it for a little, but I think I've devised a few hints and tricks, I've even included a shopping list for you at the bottom of the post to make sure you get the capsule wardrobe you need.

How to vintage your workstyle.

1. Think classic vintage shapes, fitted tops and dresses. This tartan fit and flare dress from Miss Candyfloss is a fabulous look for work. For a more formal look think about the vintage suit from Pin Up Girl Clothing or perhaps the skirt blouse combo. Accessories can pull these looks together, keep the heels reasonable, but think about the detailing in your bags or your hairstyle, even the jewellery you wear. 

2. Embrace a vintage print, both of these are from Pin Up Girl Clothing I love the Harlequin print and the striped top. If you're going to wear the 50s swing skirt which can be really pretty for work, don't be scared to pair it with flats or even a little cardigan, top button done...obviously. Don't be scared of the vintage pant, cigarette pants can be very Hepburn, I like teaming them with flats for a casual look.

3. Vintage can be in the detail. From the high neck line of both dresses and the frill over the sleeves, even the tailoring and length speaks to vintage. You can team both these looks from Pin Up Girl Clothing with t-bar pumps to emphasise the retro feel.

4. Two different, two pieces. Classic vintage has to be the pencil skirt and pussy bow blouse, both these looks are from Pin Up Girl Clothing this is a direct go to for any woman. If you want a vintage look you need this in your wardrobe, a good pencil skirt can work with a variety of things. But, you don't have to just do a pencil skirt look, this little long sleeved body and patterned tartan skirt with flats is a really nice subtle play on a 50's campus look.

5. Buttons and bows. This buttoned tea dress from Lindy Bop is a very cute land girl look and it's smart enough to wear for work. Team with tights and t bar shoes to make it really smart. The little pussy bow on this polka dot dress from Lindy Bop and its fit and flare shape make it really easy to wear but also super cute. Keep the length just on or below the knee, consider wearing in summer with bare legs and flat pumps or in winter with tights and a little heel. 

6. Classic secretary chic. You can't really go too far awry with the classic secretary chic, think Mad Men, high waisted pencil skirts, blouses and even braces. These looks from Lindy Bop are really wearable and will pull in that instant vintage look.

What to Avoid

1. Avoid wearing nude tights with a black back seam. I know they're very popular in many vintage reproduction stores but they just aren't authentic and they scream burlesque rather than workplace. If you want to go with seamed hosiery, then keep the tights nude and the seams nude also.

2. Make sure they fit. I know that seems obvious but a lot of the vintage fashions are designed to be worn in a very fitted way, so make sure you try them on, make sure they fit how you want. If your dresses are much too long you can fall into a 'wearing your big sister's dress' look which isn't hot. Consider taking things to a tailor to have them hemmed perfectly for you.

3. To avoid that costumed look consider what you're putting together. If you want to go completely authentic, then go for it but embrace it. Feeling awkward in what you're wearing will show so feel confident that you look great. If you want to mix vintage pieces with vintage repro and modern pieces, again go for it but own it and feel comfortable. Remember this comes down to fit a lot of the time. Workwear has to be worn a lot and is something that you should invest in, a vintage styled capsule wardrobe is the gift that keeps giving. Make sure it fits!

The Vintage Capsule Work Wardrobe Shopping List

1. A well fitting black pencil skirt, ensure it ends under your knees. Consider one in navy also.
2. Pussy bow blouses, white is a must, but red is a nice contrast. Ensure they sit well proportionally.
3. A 1950s swing skirt, consider a muted colour, it will go with more.
4. 2 pairs of flats, one with a print, one with a solid colour. (I'm partial to leopard print)
5. A fitted turtle neck, I prefer black to create a 1960s spydress look with your black pencil skirt, or an Audrey Hepburn Parisienne look with the swing skirt.
6. T bar Mary Janes, make sure you can walk in them. 2 pairs.
7. Fit and flare dress, pick a couple of prints, polka dots or perhaps a plain detailed one.
8. A well fitting blazer, make sure it cinches at the waist and flips over the hips. Consider investing in this piece and getting it tailored to you.
9. A waist cinching belt.
10. A fitted cardigan, it should sit just at the hips, consider one with a ribbon tie at the top or at least a top button to create the 50s look.

So girls that should help with any vintage workplace dilemmas. Let me know how you get on!

Much Love

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