Monday, June 11, 2018

Summer Chic: How to Style Vintage Lingerie as Everyday Wear

Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography
Photo by Rachel Dwyer Photography

Hello! As temperatures (and humidity levels!) continue to soar here in Richmond, my free time consists of desperately trying to figure out how to beat the summer heat ~in style.~ Layering is out of the question and I can't even think about anything with a hem past my knees. So what's a fashion girl to do? Get a little creative, I guess. Staying stylish in the midst of the dog days of summer requires a little imagination plus experimentation with texture. (And yes, okay, we may not be in the dog days of summer yet but damn, doesn't it feel like it?) 

Playing around with texture is key to having your ~best dressed~ summer yet. Hot, summer days give us the opportunity to have fun with a variety of textures and fabrics that may otherwise not see the light of day outside of the bedroom. You're going to want to reach for lightweight, breathable fabrics and natural textures. Of course, cotton works wonderfully for summertime but you can also play around with silks, chambray and linens. My favorite suggestion for staying cool (with regards to both meanings of the phrase) would be rocking vintage lingerie/nightwear garments as everyday wear. Think silky robes, short slip dresses and bodysuits. You can find these pieces in plentitude at thrift shops for practically pennies. 

I recently scored the rich blue robe/nightgown set that I'm wearing above at a local "junk shop" for just $5. $5 for both pieces! I love how the pieces look styled together but I'm also excited to style them separately this summer. I may have gotten a few looks as I strutted down the street in the look but hey- that's par for the course in a day of my life. The pieces do feel very "bedroom" on their own but I styled them to make them feel more appropriate for an everyday look- and even wore the look out on a date later that night. However, styling vintage lingerie as everyday wear can sometimes prove to be a difficult task so I decided to share a few tips to keep in mind when doing so. 

1. Consider balance. Think about the vintage piece of lingerie that you're styling. What makes it sexy? Is it really low-cut or so sheer that it's on the verge of showing some nip? Or is it sexy in the fact that it's daringly short? Play up that one ~sexy~ element but play down the rest of the sex appeal of the look. For example, if you're focusing the attention on your chest with a lace camisole, style it with a relaxed pair of boyfriend jeans or modest shorts. You don't want to overdo the sex appeal or the look will just feel trashy. In the look above, I wanted to highlight my long legs so I paired a vintage robe with a short vintage nightgown; the robe provides more coverage up top while the short dress makes my legs look a million miles long. 

2. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. Bedroom pieces will look like bedroom pieces if not accessorized well. And you certainly don't want to show up anywhere looking like you just rolled out of bed with your lover. Think about the vintage lingerie that you're styling as if it were just an article of clothing. What would you normally pair with your favorite blouse? Try styling those accessories with your vintage camisole instead. Adding a stylish purse, a few of your favorite pieces of jewelry and a pair of sunglasses will instantly make the look feel more everyday appropriate. My robe-nightgown combo felt very ~sleepy~ on its own but felt more polished immediately after accessorizing. And be sure to avoid excessive bling unless you're going for a distinctly ~glam trash~ look. 

3. Be picky about the shoes you select. Shoes matter a lot! Especially when styling vintage lingerie. You want to select shoes that will enhance your look rather than make it feel sloppy, or trashy. I'd suggest veering away from stiletto heels, super high chunky platform heels and anything slipper-like or super casual (like Toms.) Instead, reach for trendy sneakers or strappy sandals like I did for the look above. Again, it's all about balance. 

I'd never show up to the office in a piece of vintage lingerie but styling these pieces can be fun for looks for date night, photo shoots and thrift shopping with your gals. What do y'all think? Do you ever try to get away with wearing a lace camisole to Sunday brunch or a vintage nightgown to Friday night drinks? 

Photos by Rachel Dwyer Photography. You can browse through more of her work on her website here or her Instagram here

Blue robe/dress set: Vintage, thrifted
Feminine heels: Jeffrey Campbell via Poshmark
Neck scarf: Vintage
Boho purse: Earthbound Trading
Golden necklace: Vintage, c/o LA Retro Girl
Earrings: c/o The Gem Co Shop
Lipstick: Wet 'N Wild
Sunglasses: c/o Giant Vintage

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