Toned-Down Vintage

Although vintage style is definitely more modest and some would say classier than modern trends, some situations nowadays require a more... "toned down" vintage look.  

For example, I don't think I would show up in victory rolls and bright red lipstick to a meeting with a military recruiter or an interview for a corporate position. Not all of us have the blessing of working in a vintage shop where obvious vintage is, of course, acceptable, so we may sometimes have to alter our look for our environment.  It's not a matter of conforming or suppressing my vintage love; it's a matter of channeling it into an event-appropriate look that communicates what I want to say.  This way, the interviewer will see me- a confident, capable candidate- not my victory rolls.

The past couple days were such a situation.  As an RA on my campus, I have been welcoming new students and helping them move in.  I'm representing the school and I'm around new students along with their parents.  I went with a more subtle 1940s look:
Flashback Summer:  Toned-Down Vintage
Well, sort of subtle.  I'm leeeeeeeeeeeaping!
Flashback Summer:  Toned-Down Vintage
Complete with official RA name tag!
Flashback Summer:  Toned-Down Vintage

shirt: thrifted
belt: Forever 21?
skirt: handmade
tights: Forever 21
lipstick: Estee Lauder
earrings: from Kenya

Flashback Summer:  Toned-Down Vintage
Sometimes you and your sister get bored with the same stuff and want to try jumping in pictures.
I still did the classic 1940s combo of lipstick-pencil skirt-blouse, but I modernized it a bit with the lace tights, belt and straight hair.  I still gave the front of my hair a bit of pouf and the outfit's lines resemble a vintage silhouette that can be recognized, but it's not as obvious as a giant saucer hat or crinoline.  

This kind of look is great for going to the office, days you don't feel like being stared at, or travel in other countries where you don't want to draw so much attention.

What do you guys think of this look?  Do you "tone down" your vintage look some days, too?  How do you do it in a way that still remains true to yourself and your style?


  1. Very true point, there are times when it can be extremely tricky to wear vintage without causing a scene (so to speak). I find I'm way, way more comfortable in vintage styles than modern ones, but when I simply have to wear modern pieces, I stick to lines and styles that are akin to the vintage ones I love (such as tailored blouses and pencil skirts, much like did with this outfit).

    You look adorable here! That last snap of you jumping is uber cute!

    ♥ Jessica

  2. cute outfit with a lovely touch of the 40s. perfect for work.
    luckily i can go to work with reserved rolls and curls. but i really love your hair here.