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Mixing Old With New – Vintage and Modern Pieces Collide

Posted on June 26 2018

Usually with vintage pieces, people are on the hunt for something very particular – different and stands out in the crowd of clothing racks. There’s a reason for this that I think many people haven’t realized completely. This breakdown can give you further insight into this trend, so that you can maximize your personal style as trends change.

Modern design is minimalistic, sleek, neutral-toned, and clean-lined. Imagine a typical Instagram post showcasing a bedroom. White walls, gold accents, sleek bedding sliding off the edge of the bed frame. The model within it is probably wearing small amounts of makeup, naturally styled hair, and a silken robe...  This leaves so much room for bringing in exciting, old-school pieces. Now look a little deeper. An oblong rug, shag carpet, or your guitar – unique items that not only bring character to a room but personalize it to represent you. Just as you’d do for your space, you can do with your style.

Modern design begs for a pop. Especially at this moment, a lot of 70s designs are being taken advantage of: suede and knit, flares and fringe, swaying and psychedelic. Although this is a prominent example for this moment in fashion, the idea can be broadened to any era that fits your personal taste.

Now, you may be feeling a bit apprehensive about the idea of reanalyzing your wardrobe to fit a trend, but have no fear! I can’t help but organize until I can’t organize anymore – so hopefully this guideline, of how I would move forward into this Old vs New styling technique, will be a stepping stone to aid you in revitalizing your closet to fit in with this theme.


First and Foremost: Rediscover What You Already Own

Thumb through your closet and pick out pieces that you wear on a regular basis. Your staple pieces always have something to say about them. Is it a simplistic pair of black skinnies? A bright, floral-printed blazer? Decide what it is about these pieces that motivates you to wear it so frequently. Once you know, you can continue to the next step. But wait a second! We cannot forget about the boxed-up bygones. Do the same thing with the clothes that you never or have never worn. What is it about that piece that restrains you from making it one of the regulars? Boredom? Fear? Ask yourself these questions to get a new perspective on what you have.

    Pair and Mismatch

    Think about the details you have used to describe these pieces and categorize them into modern or vintage/vintage inspired. Rather than focusing on WHEN these pieces were made, think in terms of the details. Recall that modern design is typically minimal and neutral-toned. And remember – this is completely subjective once it is in your hands. What you find to be exuberant as opposed to simplistic is in your eyes to behold (And isn’t that just freeing? You can now take that big sigh of relief!). With your sections separated, piece the puzzle by off-setting those simple, staple pieces with the uniquely designed, old-school ones. Notice what you are missing here. Too much pattern? Not enough basics? If you need further guidance with this, refer to our other blog post on the elements of design!

    It’s time to thrift!

    Before I conclude with this final step, I must remind you that clothing is an investment! Whether you found your favorite jean jacket at Goodwill for $2 or you got your handbag from Soho, NYC, for hundreds or thousands of dollars, it all carries significance. With the proper care, your clothes can last you for years and years – or can be given as a hand-me-down gift to someone with love. With that said – you are looking for pieces that you love and admire… Clothes that represent you at your best. Start at your local thrift shop, moving from downtown to online. From what you previously saw was missing from your closet, search for what you were looking for with an open mind and creative spirit. Sometimes thumbing through racks and racks of random clothing items can be exhausting – but don’t give up yet! There are so many online options. One of them being ThredUP ( ). Another is Nasty Gal, run and started by the inspiring Sophia Amoruso ( ). On platforms like this, you can be very specific on what you are looking for by selecting size, color, and style in each section – thrifting made easy

    Now that you have recognized, organized, and searched – you can style. As a general rule, begin with a base and work from there. Starting with the basics, ask yourself what’s missing once again. Don’t be afraid to pile on the vintage and flamboyant pieces over the modern ones. This is your look. Your story.

    What you see fits, goes.



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