Here are some tips on how to wear a vintage cardigan:
- Pair with high-waisted bottoms: Tuck your vintage cardigan into high-waisted jeans or trousers for a slimmer silhouette46.
- Layer over dresses: Put a chunky sweater or knitted cardigan over a dress and wear a belt at the waist to still get a feminine look35.
- Wear with a graphic tee: Style your vintage cardigan with a graphic tee and vintage Levi’s or leather pants for a classic look5.
- Oversized styles: Opt for oversized styles to prevent your look from being too twee4.
- Accessorize: Add a pair of earrings or a statement necklace to elevate your vintage cardigan look6.
- Off-the-shoulder: For a sexy look, pull your cardigan back over your shoulders to reveal your clavicle4.
Choosing the Right Vintage Cardigan
When it comes to choosing a vintage cardigan, it’s important to consider the era that the piece originates from. Each decade has its own unique style and design elements, so selecting a cardigan from a specific era can help create an authentic vintage look. Whether you’re drawn to the glamorous Hollywood style of the 1950s or the bohemian vibes of the 1970s, knowing the era you’re interested in will guide your search for the perfect vintage cardigan.
Check for Quality and Condition
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a vintage cardigan is the quality and condition of the piece. Take a close look at the cardigan for any signs of wear or damage, such as holes, stains, or loose threads. Additionally, examine the fabric to ensure its durability and overall condition. Opt for cardigans made from high-quality materials like wool or cashmere, as they tend to stand the test of time and retain their shape better.
Select the Right Size and Fit
Finding a vintage cardigan that fits you well is essential to achieving a flattering and comfortable look. Vintage sizing can be quite different from modern sizing, so it’s important to take accurate measurements and compare them to the garment’s measurements. Look for cardigans that have some stretch or give to accommodate your body shape. Keep in mind that vintage cardigans tend to have a more tailored fit, so don’t be afraid to try on different sizes and styles to find the perfect match for your body.
Styling Vintage Cardigans
Casual and Everyday Looks
Vintage cardigans can easily be incorporated into casual and everyday outfits, adding a touch of retro charm to your look. Pair a colorful, patterned cardigan with your favorite jeans and a basic tee for a chic and effortless ensemble. Roll up the sleeves of the cardigan for a more relaxed vibe or button it all the way up for a polished appearance. Complete the outfit with some classic sneakers or ankle boots, and you’ll be ready to conquer the day in style.
Dressy and Formal Outfits
Don’t let the casual nature of cardigans fool you – they can also be dressed up for more formal occasions. For a sophisticated and elegant look, choose a fitted cardigan in a luxurious fabric like cashmere or silk. Layer it over a silky blouse or a little black dress for a refined and feminine ensemble. Add some statement jewelry and a pair of heels, and you’ll be the epitome of timeless glamour.
This image is property of i.ytimg.com.
Pairing Vintage Cardigans with Bottoms
Denim jeans are a versatile and classic choice for pairing with vintage cardigans. For a relaxed and laid-back look, choose a loose-fitting cardigan and pair it with high-waisted jeans and a tucked-in tee. Roll up the cuffs of the jeans to show off your footwear, whether it’s a pair of ankle boots or some colorful sneakers. If you’re aiming for a more polished outfit, opt for a fitted cardigan and straight-leg jeans. Add some heels or loafers to elevate the look and give it a sophisticated edge.
Skirts and Dresses
Vintage cardigans can also be paired with skirts and dresses for a feminine and romantic aesthetic. Choose a cardigan in a complementary color or pattern to layer over a floral maxi dress or a flowy midi skirt. Leave the cardigan unbuttoned to showcase the dress or skirt underneath or button it up and add a belt to cinch in the waist for a more defined silhouette. Complete the look with some dainty jewelry and a pair of flats or heels, depending on the occasion.
Trousers and Pants
For a more tailored and polished look, pair your vintage cardigan with trousers or pants. Opt for a cardigan that hits at or just below the waist to create a balanced silhouette. Tuck in a blouse or a button-up shirt and add a belt to define your waistline. Choose pants in a coordinating color or a contrasting shade to add visual interest to your outfit. Finish off the look with a pair of loafers or oxfords for a sophisticated and chic ensemble.
Layering with Vintage Cardigans
Tees and Tops Underneath
Layering is key when it comes to styling vintage cardigans, and a simple tee or top can be the perfect foundation for your outfit. Opt for a fitted, long-sleeved tee or a lightweight blouse to layer underneath your cardigan. For a pop of color and pattern, choose a top that complements the colors in your cardigan. If you prefer a more minimalist look, opt for a neutral-toned top to create a streamlined and polished outfit. Experiment with different sleeve lengths and necklines to find the perfect combination that suits your personal style.
Button-Ups and Blouses
If you want to add a touch of sophistication to your vintage cardigan look, layer it over a button-up shirt or a blouse. Choose a collared shirt in a contrasting color to create visual interest and dimension. Roll up the sleeves of the shirt and cardigan for a relaxed and effortless vibe or keep them buttoned and cuffed for a more polished look. This layered combination works well with both skirts and pants, allowing you to create versatile and stylish outfits for any occasion.
Turtlenecks and Sweaters
For extra warmth and coziness, layer your vintage cardigan over a turtleneck or a lightweight sweater. This combination is perfect for colder months or when you want to add some texture and dimension to your outfit. Opt for a turtleneck in a solid color to create a clean and streamlined look, or choose a patterned sweater for a more playful and whimsical vibe. Layer the cardigan over the sweater or turtleneck, leaving the collar exposed for a chic and stylish ensemble.
This image is property of www.lizzieinlace.com.
Accessorizing Vintage Cardigans
Adding a statement necklace to your vintage cardigan can instantly elevate your outfit and draw attention to your neckline. Choose a bold and eye-catching necklace that complements the colors and patterns of your cardigan. Whether it’s a chunky chain necklace, a sparkling pendant, or a beaded collar, the right statement necklace can add a touch of glamour and personality to your vintage look. Pair it with simple earrings and let the necklace take center stage.
Scarves and Shawls
Scarves and shawls are versatile accessories that can be draped over your vintage cardigan to add warmth, style, and a pop of color or pattern. Choose a lightweight silk scarf for a more feminine and refined look or opt for a cozy wool shawl for a cozy and bohemian vibe. Drape the scarf loosely around your neck or tie it in various knots and styles to create different looks. A shawl can be draped over your shoulders or worn as a wrap, adding an elegant and sophisticated touch to your vintage cardigan outfit.
Brooches and Pins
Brooches and pins are small details that can make a big impact when it comes to accessorizing your vintage cardigan. Choose a vintage brooch or pin that complements the colors and style of your cardigan. Pin it to the lapel or collar of the cardigan or use it to gather the fabric at the shoulder for a unique and personalized touch. Vintage brooches often feature intricate designs and sparkling gemstones, adding a touch of vintage charm and sophistication to your outfit.
Tips for Caring and Maintaining Vintage Cardigans
To ensure the longevity of your vintage cardigans, proper storage is essential. Avoid hanging them on regular hangers, as this can stretch the fabric and cause misshaping. Instead, fold them neatly and store them in a clean and dry environment. Consider using acid-free tissue paper or garment storage bags to protect the cardigans from dust and sunlight. If you have limited storage space, invest in some vintage-style trunks or suitcases to keep your collection organized and well-preserved.
Cleaning and Washing
When it comes to cleaning vintage cardigans, it’s important to proceed with caution to avoid damaging the delicate fabric and embellishments. Always check the care instructions on the label, if available, and follow them carefully. If there are no instructions, consider having the cardigan professionally cleaned to ensure thorough yet gentle cleaning. For minor stains or odor, spot clean the affected area using a mild detergent and cold water. Avoid wringing or twisting the cardigan, and instead gently press out excess water and lay it flat to dry.
Over time, vintage cardigans may develop small tears, loose seams, or missing buttons. Don’t let these minor damages deter you from wearing and enjoying your vintage treasures. Instead, consider learning basic sewing skills or find a reputable tailor who specializes in vintage garment repairs. Replace missing buttons with vintage or vintage-inspired ones to maintain the authenticity of the cardigan. Small tears or loose seams can often be repaired with a needle and thread or a fabric glue designed for delicate fabrics. By taking the time to repair and restore your vintage cardigans, you can ensure their longevity and continue to wear them for years to come.
This image is property of hips.hearstapps.com.
DIY Vintage Cardigan Customizations
Embroidery and Appliqué
If you want to put your own creative touch on your vintage cardigans, consider adding embroidery or appliqué. Choose a design or pattern that resonates with your personal style and use embroidery thread or fabric appliqués to add it to your cardigan. Whether it’s delicate floral embroidery, quirky shapes and motifs, or a bold statement word or phrase, these customizations can turn a regular vintage cardigan into a one-of-a-kind piece that reflects your individuality and creativity.
Adding Ribbons or Lace
Another way to customize your vintage cardigan is by adding ribbons or lace. Choose ribbons in different colors, textures, and widths to complement the design and colors of your cardigan. Sew them along the edges or cuffs of the cardigan to create a feminine and delicate touch. Lace can also be added to the collar or sleeves of the cardigan for a romantic and vintage-inspired look. This simple customization can instantly transform your vintage cardigan into a unique and whimsical piece.
Dyeing or Tie-Dyeing
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to completely transform the color of your vintage cardigan, consider dyeing or tie-dyeing it. Choose a fabric dye that is suitable for the type of fabric your cardigan is made from, and follow the instructions carefully. You can opt for a solid color dye, such as black or a vibrant hue, or experiment with tie-dye techniques for a more bohemian and eclectic look. Dyeing or tie-dyeing your vintage cardigan can give it a fresh and modern twist while still maintaining its unique vintage charm.
Celebrity Inspiration for Vintage Cardigan Styling
The timeless style of Audrey Hepburn serves as a major source of inspiration for vintage cardigan styling. Known for her elegant and sophisticated looks, Audrey often wore fitted cardigans paired with A-line skirts or tailored trousers. Take cues from her iconic black and white outfits and accessorize with pearls and classic ballet flats for a polished and feminine look that never goes out of style.
For a more edgy and grunge-inspired take on vintage cardigan styling, look no further than Kurt Cobain. The legendary musician often sported oversized, chunky cardigans paired with ripped jeans and band t-shirts. To channel his effortlessly cool aesthetic, layer a vintage cardigan over a graphic tee and some distressed denim. Don’t forget to add some combat boots and tousled hair to complete the look.
Brigitte Bardot’s sultry and feminine style is perfect for those seeking a retro-inspired vintage cardigan look. Embrace the French bombshell’s iconic off-the-shoulder style by layering a vintage cardigan over a fitted top or dress. Choose cardigans with delicate details like lace trim or pearl buttons to add a touch of femininity. Finish off the look with tousled hair, cat-eye sunglasses, and some strappy heels for a glamorous and effortlessly chic outfit.
This image is property of i0.wp.com.
Shopping for Vintage Cardigans
Local Thrift and Vintage Stores
One of the best ways to find unique and authentic vintage cardigans is by visiting local thrift and vintage stores. These treasure troves are filled with hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Take your time browsing through the racks and explore different sections to increase your chances of finding the perfect vintage cardigan. Don’t be afraid to ask the store staff for assistance or if they have any new stock that hasn’t been put out yet. Remember, patience and perseverance are key when it comes to finding the right vintage pieces.
If you prefer the convenience of online shopping, there are plenty of online marketplaces that specialize in vintage clothing. Websites like Etsy, Depop, and eBay offer a wide selection of vintage cardigans from sellers all around the world. When shopping online, carefully read the descriptions and look at the provided photos to ensure the authenticity and condition of the cardigan. Consider reaching out to the seller if you have any questions or need additional information. Shopping online allows you to access a larger variety of vintage cardigans, but be mindful of sizing and return policies.
Garage Sales and Flea Markets
For a more adventurous and thrifty shopping experience, look out for garage sales and flea markets in your area. These events are often filled with unique vintage finds at affordable prices. Be prepared to dig through piles of clothing and negotiate prices with sellers. Garage sales and flea markets can be hit or miss, but the joy of discovering a hidden vintage gem is worth the effort. Bring cash and a keen eye for spotting potential treasures, and you might just come across the vintage cardigan of your dreams.
Conscious Fashion: The Sustainability of Vintage Cardigans
Choosing to wear vintage cardigans is not only a fashion statement but also a sustainable choice. By opting for secondhand garments, you are reducing the demand for new clothing production, which contributes to waste and carbon emissions. The fashion industry is known for its detrimental environmental impact, but by embracing vintage fashion, you are actively participating in the movement towards a more sustainable future. Vintage cardigans have stood the test of time, and by giving them a second life, you are reducing your own carbon footprint.
Preserving History and Style
Vintage cardigans are not just pieces of clothing; they are a part of fashion history and a window into the past. By wearing vintage cardigans, you are preserving the stories and craftsmanship of previous eras. Each vintage cardigan has its own unique charm and style that cannot be replicated by modern fashion. Embracing the beauty of vintage fashion allows you to connect with the past and celebrate the artistry and creativity of earlier generations. By incorporating vintage cardigans into your wardrobe, you are making a statement about your personal style while honoring the legacy of fashion that came before you.