a little bird told me

Monday, 27 February 2012

How to Make Old Clothes More Modern

It's no secret that I love second hand shopping. I can't walk past a charity shop without 'popping in' (read - emerging an hour later with armfuls of stuff) and my favourite Sunday morning pastime is not reading the papers in bed, but getting up at 6am to wade through the mud of a car boot sale field. The excitement of finding a bargain is too great to miss, and I never come home empty handed.

The downside to my passion for second hand clothing is that I often get swept up in the moment and end up with items that leave me clueless. A sleeveless denim jacket springs to mind - save it for an 80s fancy dress party, maybe? Or the two-sizes-too-small-and-SO-not-me DM boots (which I actually sold on eBy for a tidy profit, so there is hope). More recently, it's this burgundy pleated midi skirt that's got me stumped. Bought on a whim because I love the colour and it has a vintage label (I LOVE old labels), it's hung in my wardrobe waiting for its first outing. And there it stayed for weeks, because every time I looked at it I could only see one thing - old lady.

fashion blogger UK

vintage fashion blogger

how to wear charity shop clothing
Vintage skirt via charity shop, Gap tee and blazer, Bertie boots, H&M necklace, ASOS belt

The calf-length, pleated polyester skirt is quite synonymous with OAPs. The demure length, muted colour and entirely opaque fabric (backed up by an underskirt) is the everyday uniform for many mature ladies, and so styling one for your average 20-something is no easy task. But, with the addition of a few key pieces I think I'm about there... here are my tips for making any old item look on trend:
  • Accessories are VITAL. Very few old ladies wear perspex necklaces. Go for bold pieces inspired by modern design in bright colours
  • Hitch it up and belt it in - vintage trousers and skirts always look better when they sit on the waist (as they were usually designed to do so). Adding a belt will define your shape and help the item stay in place
  • Choose heels over flats - especially when wearing clothing designed for someone a fair few years older than you are. A chunky heel will stop legs from looking frumpy under those modest hemlines
  • Mix with modern basics - never underestimate the power of a grey marl tee or well-cut blazer
  • A bright lipstick never fails to cheer things up if you're feeling a little dowdy
What do you think - any tips for making old clothes look modern?

28 comments:

  1. WOW I just love that skirt, great find. I love the midi length. I would usually wear with a modern top, but I am happy to wear flats with a midi though xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely!! I would also stitch with a bright contrast colour down the sides of each pleat and maybe sew on a motif of some sort xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great idea lanelynn - if only I was more crafty! :)

      Delete
  3. love this! i NEED that necklace in my life!

    http://www.mjlstyle.co.uk

    xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the way you've styled it - I think the brightness of the top definitely makes the entire ensemble look more youthful. I'd probably get my lovely mother to try and shorten it for me, as my stumpy legs wouldn't suit the length - it looks fab on you though! x

    ReplyDelete
  5. The neon orange belt works so well! Would never have thought to pair something that colour with a brown skirt. I love my midis and tend to wear them with sparkly, 'young' tops, though I still wear flats with them!

    ReplyDelete
  6. love the belt with it :) x

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great tips on how to wear older fashioned pieces :) The skirt looks perfect how you've styled it!

    Caroline x
    Caroline's Catwalk

    ReplyDelete
  8. I don't care if the skirt is "OAP" I love it! You pull it off so well! And to look more modern, high heels are a certain must! Also juxtaposing an old item with a new trend like like a studded leather jacket/denim jacket I feel always makes me outfits feel on trend and modern!

    Gemma x

    www.gemmasatire.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great tip, Gemma - my leather biker jacket was the second choice for this outfit!

      Delete
  9. Ooh, lovely outfit! Great tips!

    Pip x

    ReplyDelete
  10. that skirt is amazing the colour is gorgeous, love the way you have styled it with the bright top :)

    Vickyx

    Pretty-quirky.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gorgeous outfit. You have such an amazing fashion sence. xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love how you've styled this with the neon. Old lady meets Tron. :)
    x

    ReplyDelete
  13. Really good tips! I too am fond of rooting in charity shops. You're so right I think key to not looking like a granny is teaming with brighter colours and modern materials.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I would say that adding quirky accessories is a must to stop things looking frumpy and also bright bright colours! You look fab here jen.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love how you've styled this. Those ankle boots are lovely. x

    ReplyDelete
  16. Smart tips, I agree with the heels for sure! I sometimes just have to shorten because I am so short!
    Marie @
    Lemondrop ViNtAge

    ReplyDelete
  17. Nobody could accuse you of looking like a granny with that styling. Good work!

    I agree accessories are the key to styling up chazza shop finds. You can even get them a few sizes bigger with the help of a great belt.

    Amy x
    http://everytimeatillrings.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  18. This necklace is beautiful. Love chunky accessories

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love your modern take on this skirt! The accessories you chose are perfect for bringing it up to date - love that necklace!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow, love the update to that skirt, looks fab now!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Your article is both informative and interesting. You’ve made your points clear and I agree on most of them. Your content has given me reason to think and this is my favorite kind of material.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I like your post and its very helpful for me…I think your post become more comprehensive if you will give the further details through online links

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hey how do you know how to make everything match? I've never been one to be able to put colours together and match them!! Iv'e been trying, but I'm not sure that it has been working!! :P

    ReplyDelete
  24. LOL! i used to think i was the only one who ended up clueless with old pieces......

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ahhhhh the skirt is amazing! Love it.

    http://renbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete

Over to you...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...