Fashion Tips: Spice Up Wardrobe With Retro Clothes @ Reward Me

Timeless Style Items

What classic clothes and accessories can you uncover in your mother’s closet?


“Fashion fades, but style is forever,” said Yves Saint Laurent. The next time you go clothes shopping, consider digging into the past for those perfect pumps or classic clutch. 

Trends come and go, but timeless design endures for decades. Actress Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s looks as chic today in that little black sheath and princess heels as she did in 1961—over 50 years ago. Retro looks in secondhand shops range from sweet 1940's sundresses to 1970's disco stilettos, offering a fun recycling of fashion that still looks stylish incorporated into a current ensemble.

Better yet, there may be a treasure trove hiding in the back of your mother’s closet, tucked in a drawer or hidden in her jewelry box. Clothes that don’t fit anymore, handbags waiting for a special occasion or forgotten baubles kept for sentimental reasons. With fresh eyes, this collection can find a new life, filling your closet with must-have basics without stressing your wallet.

Keep a lookout for the following timeless items and discover ways to spice up your wardrobe with gems from bygone eras.

From head to toe
Neutrals like black and cream are the most common clothing colors in secondhand shops. Fabrics often reveal their era — velvet, satin, rayon, crinoline or chenille are typical of certain decades. Refined workmanship and character-filled detail give the clothing longevity and heightened appeal, including covered buttons, hand-stitching and piped seams. Here are some items with staying power to snap up:

  • silk scarf
  • cashmere sweater
  • navy blazer
  • colorful sheath dress
  • gabardine skirt suit
  • cocktail dress
  • riding boots

Accessories — one size fits all
With the popularity of vintage clothing and accessories, you'll want just the right costume jewelry to complement your finds. Look for Lucite cuffs from the '60s and some of these timeless classics:

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  • windup watch
  • pearl necklace
  • patent-leather clutch
  • rhinestone brooch
  • Native American turquoise jewelry

Fashion designers across the decades
High-end designer creations increase in value, so you can’t go wrong if you unearth an iconic item from a well-known name or classic label. Stories abound of shoppers finding amazing fashion bargains at flea markets. Maybe grandma will part with one of her prized possessions.

Each era has its definitive items to mix and match with your wardrobe:

1920s: beaded flapper dresses, silk negligee and robe
1930s: Bakelite bangles, marcasite pins, puff sleeves
1940s: Dad’s fedora, bias-cut gowns, print dresses
1950s: cat's-eye sunglasses, cocktail rings, capri pants, full skirts
1960s: Kaftans, patent-leather boots, minidresses
1970s: Rock-band T-shirt, suede fringe vest, Jackie O sunglasses
1980s: Stilletos, punk boots, movie-star sunglasses
1990s: Designer silk blouse, denim jacket, cowboy shirt

Tips to make your timeless finds stand the test of time
Take good care of your new old clothes so the next generation can enjoy them. Try on the item to see if it fits and flatters your figure. Inspect the fabric for stains or holes and determine if a repair or alteration is necessary. If possible, hand wash rather than dry clean as harsh chemicals can cause deterioration.

Mom will be flattered to see her elegant scarf wrapped around your neck. She may let you “borrow” it forever.

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