As you’re probably aware, vintage fashion has been all the rave for several years now and it’s mostly not a fad, since the appetite for this style doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Searches for vintage clothes and their sale are still maintaining a steadfast position among fashion interests, both in the country and in Europe, as well as elsewhere in the fashion world. While it’s true that sometimes store attempt to just sale ugly and bad-fitting clothes as vintage because they were a part of their collections from 10 and 15 years, most clothes and accessories labelled as vintage are uniquely beautiful and desirable.
Such objects also tend to be quite expensive, because the quality of good vintage items is also impressively high; this is especially true of accessories (like jewelry or belts or bags) and shoes. Still, for most people concerned with creating a personal style which is both unforgettable but also distinguished enough to be able to dress like that at work, vintage items are definitely worth it in spite of being quite pricey. Also, this makes vintage items that happen to not be too expensive quite a bargain to jump at. To cut a long story short, retro and vintage fashion items are something you too should seriously consider taking an interest in, even if you usually tend to leave fashion topics for the ladies only.
Out guide will give you a few tips of what you should consider looking into if you’re a man not usually too concerned with fashion. This is also a great fit if you usually feel most comfortable in a casual style (don’t worry, we’ll really not get too fancy with our suggestions, you’ll see). Without further ado, these are the main items or combos you should consider.
1. A vintage leather messenger bag
This may very well be the central element of your unique but classy vintage style. Therefore, you need to really choose a high-item quality that will last you for many years to come, and look stunningly beautiful as well. My personal favorite is this brown leather retro messenger bag that looks straight like something out of a Wild West postal duty ad (only a bit more tempered). Since such a bag also has plenty of practical virtues as well (can hold and protect your laptop or tablet, for instance), you’ll soon stop wanting to use any other bag.
2. A vintage shirt
When shopping for a good vintage shirt (or even a suit too, if you want to go all the way Mad Men-style or you have an office job that requires the full run-up), this is the number one rule to keep in mind. Try on smaller and smaller suits until you actually reach the bottom limit and you’re in one that is definitely too small to be comfortable. Then, just shop for the size immediately bigger. This way, you’ll make sure that you have a shirt or a suit that actually fit. According to Janie Bryant, the designer that actually dressed up all the Mad Men characters, the mistake most men make when vintage shopping is getting clothes which are too big for them. Also, if you’re feeling bold, try wearing your shirt with a bowtie and suspenders, like the guy in the picture here. A good place to start looking for quality vintage-style shirts (albeit a bit top of the line) is here.
3. A vintage belt buckle
You don’t need to invest in a whole range of fancy leather vintage belts as long as you have just one (or a few) well-chosen vintage buckles. Then, you can feel free to attach any good leather belt to it and your style will be as good as new (well, actually, as good as retro, which is even better). This example in the photo belongs to a vintage beer brand, and it was originally meant to be worn by their employees, probably. You can find various models of imposing buckles on eBay and sometimes on Amazon, sometimes even for surprisingly low prices.
4. Leather shoes to match the bag
There’s nothing wrong with having shoes and a bag of different colors in more modern outfits, not by far. Still, when it comes to emulating a perfectly poised vintage style, it’s better if you stick with the classic combination rule of having your bag and shoes match. In this case, since the central element of your outfit is the vintage brown leather messenger bag, your shoes need to be up to the level and their color should be as close to the bag’s as possible. If you’re a bit more daring (and we highly encourage it), maybe even try a pair of vintage Justin boots (featured in the photo here). They look stunning and their levels of cool distressing is sky-high. You can find them on eBay, Etsy and so on.
5. A high quality Fedora hat
Wearing a Fedora is optional, since your outfit can not withstand a vintage style check-list if you’ve already put on the rest of the elements. (If you’re wondering about the pants, since they’re not directly addressed here, you should know that suit pants are great, but jeans are alright too). A Fedora is maybe something you wouldn’t want to wear at work nowadays if you work in a more conservative environment (you know your office policy best), but on any other occasion, go for it. Even if it feels weird at first, you’ll get used to it sooner than you think and you’ll grow to wear it confidently, just the way it was intended to be worn. There are also many types and models to choose from, so the more the better.