The One Tip That'll Finally Get You to Try Vintage

Apr 23, 2015


Shopping for vintage can be a tricky thing. Racks of citrus '60s-Miami colors, puffy sleeves, sequined patterns, sweeping skirts. It's enough to throw anyone into a panic. It all seems so completely...wrong. The silhouettes are old, the cuts out-dated, the collars flamboyant. How does anyone pull it off?

Granted, some of us are blessed with the eye to pull off a head-to-toe rockabilly look without looking even slightly ridiculous. It just fits. Like of course the girl buying grapefruits in front of you would have her hair in victory curls and be wearing a gingham skirt. What else would she have on? But for the rest of us, that style can be an intimidating thing. 

But there's an easy way to play with it and make it fit with your own personal style.


And that way is: altering. And before you say you're no good with a thread and needle, I'm just going to say it right now: Stap it. You think I am? I can barely create a proper grilled cheese let alone tailor a whole wardrobe. All it is is some sloppy stitching by hand as you watch reruns of Bob's Burgers. Easy.

And by knowing how to do some sub-par sewing, thrift stores will seem like a new Mecca to you. If you like a pattern of a wildly printed maxi dress, nab it. All you have to do is hem it into a mini. If a dress has outdated sleeves? Snip them off and turn it into a sleeveless. High waist jeans look too mom-jeans-y with their tapered leg? Turn them into high waist shorts. Does a top have a cute pattern, but feels too overwhelming? Make it into a crop top. There are so many possibilities!

Take this dress for example. It used to have long sleeves and looked a bit on Amish side. So I cut them off, popped a white collared blouse underneath, and have myself a clean, slightly girly look. And all for one dollar. 

So what do you think- would you give vintage a go if you could make it more you?


Let's Discuss: What has been your most recent, favorite vintage buy?

PS: Liked the vintage inspiration? Continue reading on to:

outfit details
Dress: thrifted (vintage similar: here)
Shirt: Zara
Purse: thrifted
Belt: thrifted
Shoes: Urban Outfitters

 photo divider_zps9a1dedc9.jpg


  1. I totally agree. All vintage needs sometimes is some alteration. I remember the first thing I ever hemmed was my high school kilt, and all it took was knowing one type of stitch. Plus, practice makes perfect.

    I love this outfit. Pinafore style dresses are a huge plus.

  2. You make it sound SO easy...but maybe it is!

    I stay away from vintage for the reasons you've captured here: the cuts are often outdated and can look frumpy. That said, I can hardly sew a button onto a top, so I don't know that I could improve upon the garments....but if I only paid $1 to experiment and have fun, maybe that's not such a bad thing.


    Something About That

  3. I have always really admired your sewing skills :D

  4. Aw, you look so pretty! I used to have a denim dress very similar but it had ruffles on the sleeves.

  5. You made that dress super adorable! And for a $1, why not?! I haven't found any good vintage lately at my thrift stores here - I can usually find more when I head to the stores near my parents house in Pennsylvania. But, it getting to be warm, which means I can break out the vintage dresses that were my mom's that are so springy and fun!


  6. Love this tip and the way you describe trying it out. If I were intimidated by, but interested in, trying out vintage styles, I'd be on my way to a vintage store right now. ;-]

  7. I rarely buy vintage but I really do love your dress and I like that you made a few alterations to update the style a bit. Great styling with the little shirt peaking out from underneath. :)

    xx Nina

  8. So cute! Yes, I stay away from thrifting for that specific reason, I really want to but always have no success. Love how you altered this dress to fit your style!
    Lattes and Lavender

  9. I really would like to try vintage, but my problem is everything I have liked that I tried on is too small! I don't get it... I am not fat by any means but at 5' 7" and weighing at 150 lbs of muscle, most of the much older cuts just don't fit. Maybe I am shopping at the wrong places or not being creative enough lol. I do a lot of thrifting, but not necessarily a lot of vintage.

  10. Loving this refashion! I'd say my style is pretty in between modern and vintage. Love me some old fashioned florals and collared dresses. Especially the elusive poof when I wear the perfect petticoat. But I do love my herringbone, my solid cardigans, and even a few modern patterns. I think finding the perfect balance really works for me.

    Whenever I'm thrifting I always ask myself if I'm passing up on something due to sleeves, length, etc. Easy things that can be fixed. I can't sew however, so I have to be a little more selective.

    My most recent vintage buy is this beautiful white and pink tailored jacket. It had a weird green stain on it but the print was too lovely to pass up. With some scrubbing the stain vanished. Which is awesome because I paid .50 for it! It used to have crazy puffy shoulder pads. I simply cut them out to modernize it. (; Have a lovely weekend!

  11. I love this! I used to do stuff like this a couple of years ago. I loved adjusting my thrift finds!
    Melanie @

  12. Love this dress! So cute!

  13. I love this - my sewing is absolutely subpar as well (and I've definitely sewed while watching Bobs Burgers lol, love that show). I completely agree though, even having minimal sewing skills can totally change your thrift/vintage shopping experience.

    Miche from Buttons and Birdcages

  14. I love the way you altered the dress, your whole outfit is beautiful! My most recent vintage purchase was a 1930's velvet evening gown,it's got flower studs around the waist and down the front and falls just below the knee.People may think it looks "antique" but it's just because none of my friends wear vintage clothes so something that old may seem intimidating to others. xx

  15. Altering is everything! My friends likes to go vintage/thrift shopping but I'm not great at it. lol. I need to keep in mind that things can be altered :)

  16. This outfit looks like it what meant for you only, well done. Have a great weekend. I especially like the shape of the shirt, the dress wouldn't have been the same without it.

  17. Converting awkward length skirts into my preferred length is my favorite trick! I haven't done that in a while though...I'll have to pop in the thrift store sometime :)
    Love what you did with this dress! I can just imagine what it must've looked like before - you definitely breathed new life into it!

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

  18. Alteration is definitely a savour and its so nice to breathe new life into a beautiful vintage dress that would have just sat gathering dust. Even little things like taking the hem up makes a huge difference!

    Loving the pleated denim, definitely giving me inspiration for a sewing project


    New Post

  19. You surely know how to write a good title, and make altering your own clothes sound like a breeze...haha...The only reason I've been avoiding thrift stores and charity shops is the time consuming hunt for the perfect piece. But I guess this is the same as saying that I can't be bothered to buy a piece that isn't perfect and invest the time to make it so. If only I wasn't such a lazy bum :D

    Jasmin xx

  20. Such great outfit , I love your bag and your shoes. You look pretty amazing !!!


  21. I love how you altered the dress to make it more wearable and updated! I wish I had enough patience to buy vintage - the vintage shops in my area aren't that great either haha ❤

  22. I would have never guess that this was a vintage piece a la amish-ish (is that a word? i'm making it a word). It looks amazing! I love the sweet shirt you wore underneath it. I always think about altering things like this but honestly, I just get lazy and then I just have a pile of clothes I never wore with ridiculous padded shoulders, etc. Ah, Bob's Burgers..truly a classic. Tina is my spirit animal.

  23. This dress is so cute on you, I love how you have styled it too! Never a truer word has been spoken of vintage as well!

    Em x

  24. That dress looks absolutely perf with no sleeves.

    My favorite vintage buys have got to be the dresses that are "one size." They're huge, but that makes for a sweet and dreamy effortless look when belted at the waist.

  25. Smart advice! I live in thrift-stores and yet 97% of the clothes there don't fit me because of..., um... my shape. So sewing -- even rudimentary sewing -- makes the difference. I wish more people took your suggestion; it opens new doors. And vintage is fun to explore and play with. Styles from past eras are novel and interesting. I've bought and enjoyed several vintage dresses.

  26. i just discovered you and you are absolutely your work and your style :)
    kisses from dubai ♥


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