Modern Vintage

I always like to mix my outfits up by pairing new and vintage pieces together. This helps put a modern twist on a vintage outfit. It also helps to break the outfit up so that you don’t look like you’re wearing a costume. Unless of course that’s what you’re going for in which case go for it. There is nothing wrong with a little theatre in reality if that’s what you’re going for but for most people I know they struggle to know where to draw the line and so end up totally avoiding vintage items. It's a pity when there are so many wonderful items waiting to be discovered and loved again.

The best bet when looking through rails of vintage items or scouring the Internet is to look at current fashion trends and find items that are similar to those. For example there is the trend of oversized denim jackets often in an eighties cut. Be aware of what you are purchasing and that you won’t necessarily be able to wear this with just anything in your wardrobe. It is a specific piece that will create a style and look. If this isn’t something you would wear don’t buy it. Rather choose items that reflect your personality and style. Perhaps that’s a statement vintage designer blouse for you. Keep searching till you find the right item for you.

Once you have found your vintage item and paired it with something modern in your wardrobe don’t overdo the look with too much hair and makeup. I know who knew there was something like too much hair and makeup but in reality outside of the Instagram world there is such a thing. Go for contemporary styles. Simplicity in your hair and makeup will ground your outfit. Even a modern take on a vintage hairstyle is doable and will get you the right nods.

Should you choose to accessorise your look make sure you pair your outfit with modern accessories. Pairing vintage clothing with modern shoes or sunglasses will immediately pull together an otherwise whimsical look. Another great way of using accessories to make your outfit stand out is by adding items in a similar hue or colour to the vintage pieces. This highlights your statement piece or if you’re wearing all black use a pop of colour in your accessories to make your outfit look more modern.

If you are a practiced vintage shopper and enjoy wearing head-to-toe vintage I’d recommend mixing eras to keep your look interesting. There is no reason not to throw in a few modern pieces or accessories and if you’re really smart you’ll have people guessing what’s new, vintage or even high-end designer clothing.


Special clothing features for this shoot were from one of my favourite vintage stores here in Cape Town. Shop the canary yellow Escada blouse and denim jumpsuit both from Afraid of Mice. Its like their slogan says: "The clothes you wish your mother had kept for you." A true treasure trove for vintage and gently used designer items. Go pop into the store on 86 Long Street or visit there social media to see what exciting items they have in store for you.

PHOTOGRAPHY // Glen Montgomery
STYLING // Daisy May
HAIR & MAKE UP // Tremayne West
RETOUCHER // Lauren Bubb


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Michelle Benas - 19 Oct 2016