Vintage Wearers Speak: What is one area of vintage style that you struggle with?

Photo courtesy of Atomic Redhead
This post is part of the "Vintage Wearers Speak" series. Read more about the series and find the other posts here.

Q: What is one area of vintage style that you struggle with?

I struggle with a couple things: makeup and a consistent "style." I have a very basic makeup routine of foundation, powder, mascara, lipstick and blush... but anything other than that gets out of my wheelhouse and I struggle. Also, I've had some difficulty making a wardrobe that feels me-ish and buying pieces that coordinate with each other and work for my lifestyle. I'm getting better at it though!
- Emileigh

Makeup. Hands down. I cannot do winged eyeliner if you paid me (and even if you did I probably could not). I have watched tutorials, my professional makeup friends have given me tips and still I mess it up. So I settle for a basic look and thank goodness my usual go to 1940’s look has simple makeup.
- Liz Gruening Hay, The Vintage Inn

Being consistent. As I'm developing my own style, I'm constantly trying different looks, types of clothing, eras, colors, etc. This isn't inherently negative, but it does often make me feel like I'm just dressing up for show or because a particular style or garment is popular and not because it really feels like "me." So it's tough for me to know sometimes whether I like something because it's beautiful or rare or interesting or because it really fits me and my style well.
- Jessica Parker, @noaccountingfortaste

I would say that my main struggles would have to be hair and makeup. When growing up I was never really into doing my hair or trying makeup that much. One can wear vintage clothing, but without our hair or makeup the look is not complete. So I’m finding that I need to practice to find the right vintage makeup and hairstyle that works for me.
- Deanna, @nostalgia_a_la_mode

Hair styles! I have naturally curly hair that doesn't quite seem to work with many of the methods and techniques other girls use. For example, if I wet set my hair if comes out looking exactly like my natural hair does. And a brush out just ends up being a crazy poof. So I just kind of make it up as I go instead.

- Lizzy, @iamlizzybits

There are probably more than one areas I struggle with. In general, I feel my strongest side is sewing, so the attire part of vintage is what I struggle with the least. I guess I struggle most with hair. I do have some tried hairstyles, which I repeatedly do depending on my mood. But there are many which I would like to try out, but I don't have the will and patience to do my tutorial research and to practice them. Plus I don't like spending much time on setting my hair. That's why I started using sponge rollers - they are so quick to set in comparison to pin curls!

- Ewa@kleineewa 

I often struggle with the idea of actually wearing vintage clothing. I love when other people do, and true vintage is so incredible to look at, but I am always nervous that if I wear it, I will ruin it. So far I stick to wearing vintage inspired clothing, and just getting true vintage purses and hats, since it is less likely that I will do something to them.

- Katherine FunkThe Modiste

I struggle with getting authentic-looking vintage hairstyles, because I have baby fine hair that doesn't hold volume, teasing or curl for very long, no matter what products I use. After an hour of taking my curls out, my style gets droopy. I also cannot do most vintage updos because of how fine my hair is. 

- Jocelyn de AndaSewing Siren

Definitely the hair! Setting stubbornly straight hair in hot and humid Singapore is not easy.

- GwenGwenstella Made

My hair.  I’ve had a pixie cut for the majority of my life, and sometimes when I dress up, I think “Gee, this outfit would look a lot more authentic with a Middy cut!”  I grew out my hair once in recent years, and while I liked it, my lazy bones couldn’t deal with the upkeep.  So I take inspiration from fashionable ladies like Nora at Nora Finds; she can pull off vintage with a modern haircut like no one else!

- SabrinaVibrant Vintage

I honestly struggle with the daily look. I thrive with attire for events, galas, contests, etc., but the daily vintage wear is tough for me! I demand to be comfortable going to the grocery store, or mall, and I haven't quite mastered that with vintage attire yet.

Velvet Presley

Makeup. Wings have never been my friend.

- Ruby Feldman, Ruby’s Musings

I'm constantly trying to figure out those gorgeous 1930's and 1940's updos. And don't get me started on wet set curlers, it took me forever to get a good pattern curling my hair to get the wave I wanted! Those hairstyles are definitely a skill that needs to be passed on to future generations.

- Carmen, Vintage Dream Blog

Girdles and Bras.  I never quite got the vintage underpinnings down.  I tend to go with modern stuff and hope no one notices.  And shoes and stockings.  They're the first thing off my feet at the quickest opportunity after I go to vintage events.  I prefer to go barefoot or in flats, to be honest!

- Lauren MaringolaWearing History

Do any of you struggle with some part of vintage style? What might that be?


  1. I don't wear vintage (or vintage-inspired) consistently, but for me the biggest problem is hair. I have hair past my waist, with zero interest in cutting it (for several reason, #1 being I *like* my long hair) getting my hair to look period correct is hard.

    1. Oooo, yes, very long hair is tricky for a lot of the vintage styles!

  2. I'm glad to see that I am not the only one who struggles with a vintage hair style and make up! I am finally after a couple of years getting a handle on my hair but make up? No way . . .I'm proud of myself if I don't lip stick all over the place. I would have to say though that the one thing with vintage style that I struggle with is learning when less is more. I have no problem wearing the hat, gloves, furs, etc. etc. but then there is a fine line (to me anyway) between rocking full on vintage effortlessly and looking like I'm trying too hard. There is a learning curve for sure but someday I will get it.
    Jennie from

    1. I totally agree! I've had many outfits that I look back on and think they were "too much." I'm definitely learning where I want that line to be for my own style as well.

  3. So funny that just about everyone struggles with hair! It's definitely the biggest problem for me, too. My hair is frizzy (I will never get the smooth waves or rolls other ladies do) and it's pretty wiry (so I can often get it to hold a curl, even un-set, just by twisting it around my finger ... but doing a set brush-out can result in the loss of all styling).

    1. Wow, that's awesome! My hair uncurls if I look at it wrong, haha. I think hair is also tricky because everyone's is a little different. Even stuff like weather where you live, hair texture, and amount of time to get ready can radically effect your 'do possibilities.