Once you’ve gone through the basics to give you a rough idea of what you are looking for to start your wardrobe, where do you go next? The obvious answer is straight to your closet, of course!
Please be aware, though, that like with everything else on my blog this is my own experience and opinion. Some tips might not be applicable to your own style (once you find it), or budget, and that is fine. Hopefully, however, this will help to give you a rough idea of what you need or want to do to get your wardrobe fully changed over to your dream Vintage one!
Don’t rush into it!
Instead of rushing out, buying a thousand new pieces in the style you want to explore, and overhauling your wardrobe in one go, stop yourself. I know! I know! You’re so excited, and it’s so hard to control yourself. But trust me. You need to.
You need to have a game plan; an idea of what you want, what colors, what patterns, what styles, and so on. If you didn’t skip the research steps, you should already have a rough idea of what you want before you get to this point… But you also need to have a rough idea of the budget that you have for a new wardrobe, and a plan for tackling the purchase of the items you want to have. Are you going to purchase one new piece a moth? A piece every week? How much can you spend on clothes at any given time?
These are really integral questions to ask yourself. If you don’t have these answered starting out, then you can wind up spending more than you want for pieces that you’ll end up never wearing- or a wardrobe full of pieces that you don’t have anything to go with. I know, because I did this when I was first starting out. I really cannot stress how important a game plan and budget is in the beginning.
But most importantly? Before you purchase anything at all- regardless of whether or not you have a budget and a plan- you need to look in your closet at your current wardrobe first.
Don’t throw anything out just yet!
A mistake that I have seen a lot of people make when first starting a wardrobe overhaul, is to throw out most- if not all- of their current wardrobe the second they look in their closet. This is a big don’t in my opinion.
Throwing out a significant portion of your clothing right off the bat means that you have far less clothes for you to wear in general. And the fact of the matter is? Even if you are savy about your shopping, know all the good places to look, know how to find deals, and so on… Building a full and complete Vintage wardrobe can take a lot of time, effort, and money. Having clothing options to wear in the interim while you build your wardrobe is important.
What is also important, is that everything in your closet right now is safe. They are likely clothes that you are comfortable in, which you have owned for a while- and when you redesign your wardrobe to fit a new style, it often comes with a confidence hurdle that you have to get over; there can be a lot of insecurity, a lot of self consciousness when you are only just beginning to explore and find your place within a style you have never dabbled in before. Keeping safe clothing around does a lot to help ease that transition emotionally and self-image wise.
Sort the clothes you already own!
Before throwing out your current wardrobe, look at it with a different eye. Pull your clothes out one by one and separate them into two initial piles in this order:
Things you never wear; Things you wear regularly.
The stuff that you absolutely never wear should be the only pile that you throw out or donate in the beginning. This frees up a bit of closet space to store your new wardrobe pieces while getting rid or unused clothes. But don’t throw them out just yet, because you’re still not done!
Sort your clothes a third time!
Now that you have your clothes separated out into “wear” and “do not wear” piles, look over them again with a closer eye. Believe it or not, most people will have at least a few things in their wardrobe that go well enough with various Vintage styles; things like plain colored T-Shirts, spaghetti straps, waist belts, certain pairs of shoes, skinny jeans, and a few other items can be used in a beginning Vintage wardrobe without much effort.
Looking through both piles, try to find pieces that you think would go well enough with the Vintage look that you are trying to achieve. If you have anything at all that you think looks like it would go with the era or trends that you have picked for your Vintage wardrobe? Keep these around– yes, even if you initially sorted them into the “do not wear” pile. Doing so means that you have already eliminated some basic items that you would need to purchase, reducing the financial strain of rebuilding a wardrobe from scratch.
Only when you have that third pile built do I ever consider it safe to donate or throw away the portion of your wardrobe that you never wear.
Continue refining your wardrobe!
Build away! Experiment, try different styles from your era, or try another era entirely. If you don’t like an item? Then return it or resell it (just remember: never remove the tags if you can help it until you are sure you want it in your wardrobe), and keep going one or two pieces at a time (throwing out more old clothes as you go) until you’ve built a wardrobe that you are happy with.
The only advice or word of warning that I really have for this step, though, is to never throw out all of your modern clothes completely. Vintage pieces can be very, very impractical for modern life and it is always a good option to have at least a few modern items; keep around some modern t-shirts, shorts, jeans, and shoes to fill that practicality gap that will be created when the bulk of your wardrobe looks like it was pulled from the 50’s or 20’s or what have you- and never throw them all out entirely unless you are replacing them with equally modern items.