The Art of Vintage Part I by Allie Michelle

Vintage Fashion (v n t j): Characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal; classic.

Vintage fashion for women has an appeal as well as a mystique. There exists a certain fascination associated with classic styles. Taking inspiration from vintage clothing allows us to step in the shoes of fashion icons and relive romantic notions of the past.

History repeats itself and fashion is no exception.

Trends from the past are continuously revived and never go out of style. Current styles hearken back to the past, and vintage or vintage reproduction styles have been in vogue for years. However, shopping for vintage pieces proves difficult with the supply of quality garments steadily dwindling and prices on the rise. Shopping for vintage inspired clothing serves as a convenient alternative to those who admire classic styles, but prefer a modern interpretation. Unlike the original garments, they usually come available in a range of sizes and colors at a better price. Begin by understanding the era which inspires you most. With some simple wardrobe pieces and beauty basics incorporated into an existing wardrobe, it’s easy to recapture the essence of your favorite classic style.

The Screen Siren: Old Hollywood Glamour

They are some of the most beautiful, glamorous and sensual women ever to have been captured on film. The Screen Siren exudes sex appeal and she knows how to use it. As the original fashion icon, she is sultry, mysteriously sexy, and vampy with a dark side.


The Clothes

Between the 1920s and 1940s, trends in fashion reflected an era when women especially were experiencing a greater sense of liberation and independence. Ladies tossed the conservative and constricting fashions of previous generations for low cut necklines, lingerie, shorter pleated skirts, and slits. For the first time, it became acceptable for a woman to wear pants and masculine cuts became popular as made famous by the boyish silhouette of the flapper dress. With some simple wardrobe items and beauty basics, it’s easy to achieve the seductive and stunning look that embodies Old Hollywood Glamour.


The Glamorous Full-Length Gown

Every Screen Siren owned at least one glamorous full-length gown. Opt for a dress with either a plunging neckline or backless, made with materials such as silk that fit close to the body to emphasize curves. For the ultimate glam factor choose a dress with a long, straight silhouette in one color paired along with a faux fur stole. This is a great look for a special occasion such as a wedding or New Year’s party.

Rita Hayworth, 1946

Rita Hayworth, 1946

Look 2: The Boss Lady

For the first time, women began to liberate themselves from constricting clothes and openly embrace more comfortable styles like pants and short skirts. Hems were cut to the knee and tailored. A more streamlined belted style similar to a trench coat often fell past knee-length and could be worn over slim suits and skirts. To attain this look, start with a basic component such as a tailored jacket or a knee length pencil skirt incorporated with existing wardrobe pieces like a cardigan. Corsets provide a good option as a foundation garment to give off the “femme fatale” sex appeal (Pictured left). For a more casual variation, wear a loose cardigan in place of a more formal jacket with a pencil skirt (Pictured below).

Rita Hayworth and Marlene Dietrich

Rita Hayworth and Marlene Dietrich

Look 3: The Flapper

The Flapper represents the party girl of Old Hollywood who flaunted her disdain for acceptable behavior by partying, driving cars, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, and otherwise breaking the rules. The short hemline of the Flapper dress made it just as provocative as the woman. Straight and loose, with a waistline at the hips and a hem anywhere from the calf to the knee, the Flapper dress remains iconic look on runways today and makes for the perfect party dress.

The original "party girl"

The original “party girl”

The Accessories

Pictured: Fur hits the runway, Source:  Coco Chanel in Vintage Hat and Pearls, Source:  Grace Kelly in Pearls, Head Wrap, and Dark Sunglasses, Source:

Pictured: Fur hits the runway, Source:
Coco Chanel in Vintage Hat and Pearls, Source:
Grace Kelly in Pearls, Head Wrap, and Dark Sunglasses, Source:

Fur or Faux Fur: When it comes to Old Hollywood Glamour, fur is a must. Vintage fur coats, wraps, stoles, or shrugs are easily found in thrift stores and auctions at a very reasonable cost. Use faux fur if you object.

Vintage Hat: The era saw a huge variety of hats suitable for any face shape, hairstyle or personal preference. Cloche hats without rims, wide brim hats, juliette caps, or even a vintage head wrap would all compliment the look.

Costume Jewelry: Old Hollywood Glamour exemplifies luxury and nothing says expensive more than jewelry. Mix fine jewelry such as diamonds and pearls with costume pieces (the bigger the better). Draping multiple ropes of faux pearls and gold chains made costume pieces more acceptable and allow women with smaller budgets to adopt stylish looks.

Dark Sunglasses: When out during the day, the Screen Siren always wears the darkest sunglasses to hide her face from the paparazzi.. that and they make any woman look fantastic.

The Look

The Hair: A Screen Siren has the hair side-parted and wavy with full thick long-length curls. For an alternate option, pull back hair into a loose bun low or to the side with finger waves. For an added glam factor, wear a beaded headband or headpiece.


The Makeup: Old Hollywood Glamour makeup always looks elegant and vampy. For this look, apply matted powder onto skin, with red or maroon lipstick. (Try Chanel Rouge Allure in Passion or Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in Merlot)

Other tips:
• Match nail polish color with lips.
• Faux eyelashes are divine if you want drama or for short eyelashes. Top off lash
es with black mascara.
• For the “cat’s eye” effect, use black liquid liner. First, apply a neutral eye shadow color slightly lighter than your skin tone. Line upper lids with black liquid liner and finish with a small sweep for the full effect.

Stay tuned for Part II which will include ‘The Pin Up’ and ‘The Mod’!