Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vintage Style and The Office…

Copyright Al Parker

How does one incorporate vintage into everyday life? As a ‘full-time’ retro gal, I dress head-to-toe 1940s-50s every day. During the week I work in an office, and I find that vintage style fits quite well in this setting. Granted, my office is on the more casual side, but I do think that vintage looks can be just as professional, if not more so, than modern trends. I tend to prefer simple day frocks and blouse and skirt ensembles over suits, given the laid-back environment, and pair these with heels or wedges, stockings (though I confess the blazing heat has inspired me to skip these as of late), and period jewelry. During the cooler months, wide-leg trousers paired with blouses or fitted sweaters, turn up in my wardrobe rotation, along with knit dresses and suits. I wear my hair in a variety of period styles as well: soft waves, victory rolls, simple updos. I find that dressing in vintage makes one stand out, and generally in a very good way—people always remember the woman who looks like she stepped out of the past!

Dress from Ballyhoo Vintage

A good friend of mine, who works in a slightly more conservative environment, found that as she began dressing more vintage on a period basis, her coworkers clamored to see her outfit each day. She follows a similar aesthetic to what I mentioned above, and feels that it fits right in and steps up one’s appearance in a very positive way(in this oh-so casual state, many people dress on the sloppy side these days.)

Suit from Wear It Again Sam Vintage

How do you incorporate your vintage sensibilities into your modern job? For those who work in ultra conservative settings, how do you adapt your style to suit?


  1. Although I've only fairly recently gone back to wearing actual vintage, I've found I just naturally gravitate towards vintage-style pieces because they tend to suit my curvier physique. Many of my stand-bys are similar to those described by you. Normally, I wear some sort of shirt or blouse that has 40s style details (collars, pin-tucking, slightly poufed sleeves or shoulder pads balancing a more nipped in waist), an a-line or more pencil style skirt, or Katherine Hepburn style trousers (some higher waisted, some cuffed, some with wider legs than others); cardigans and short sleeved knits. I'm still sorting out the hair do. I'd love to own more actual vintage suits, but my workplace is just not that formal. I like the idea of knit dresses.....hmmm.... Great post and divine pic!

  2. Thanks for the reply! I have always found that vintage/vintage-style clothing suits my build much better as well, and the styles generally look very classic and polished. It's a win-win! Knit dresses and sweater/skirt combos are very nice for fall and winter--they are comfortable and don't wrinkle, and look very polished. I see them quite often on eBay, and they can be picked up quite inexpensively too :-)

  3. I am in a pretty conservative environment, I don't wear head to toe vintage because I think it wouldn't be well accepted. But I incorporate vintage in at least 30% of my daily wear, sometimes a bit more. If the items are high quality and appropriate they work with all of my modern things! You're lucky that you have more "wiggle" room. Ha. Only a vintage wiggle dress lover would find me amusing. Oh well.

  4. Thank you for the comment, Marie! It sounds like you have found a good balance with you work wardrobe. And your "wiggle dress" joke was too cute :-)

  5. I am positively envious of girls that can wear vintage to work. I'm uniformed down to my make-up and hair (I work in a bank) so there's not even a tad of wiggle room when it comes to my clothing. I am desperately looking for a job that suits me more!

  6. Thank you for the comment, Miss Nikki! I feel your pain; I am lucky to work in an environment that accepts my style, but I know it must feel very oppressive to have to wear a uniform from head to toe :-(

    P.S. What glorious red hair you have!

  7. Aww thanks :) My hair is now back to it's natural blonde, I do miss the red though, but with having natural light blonde hair the upkeep was a pain!

  8. I've gotten more into a retro inspired style within the last 6 months or so and my office is casual plus I only work with one other person so there's no resistance for me. I tend to don circle skirts, pencil skirts, blouses and low heeled shoes with a retro feel to them. I really wish I had more vintage pieces but in time I'm sure they'll come :) I plan to grab up a few pieces at the next flea market. I've been working on my work wardrobe for a little while and it's getting there!