Wearing vintage clothing doesn’t have to be reserved for a “Mad Men” themed party. You can get high style on a budget by adding the right vintage pieces to your modern wardrobe, especially with so many current trends drawing from the looks of the past. It’s all in how you put things together.
Old Suits are Good Suits
Now is a great time to look for the perfect vintage suit. Today’s suit trends favor a trim, clean look with narrow lapels and close-cut trousers. This style was first popular in the late 1950s through the mid 1960s and many of the originals are still around. A vintage suit from this era can often be found for much less than a comparable new one and will likely feature better fabric and construction than its modern counterpart. The suit pictured here dates from the late 1950s, but it looks fresh as ever when paired with a new white shirt and black, knit tie.
A Night on the Town
A black tie event offers an opportunity to look your best, but for too many guys it means wearing a cheap rented suit rather than putting on something special. A vintage tuxedo can be a great alternative. For about the same cost as a rental, you’ll have something that you’ll look forward to wearing (plus, you won’t have to get up early the day after to return it). The tux pictured is made of dupioni silk and dates from the 1960s. Best of all, it was purchased for a fraction of the price of a rental.
You can add a pinch of Continental style to your wardrobe by investing in a softly tailored jacket in a lightweight, casual fabric for summer. Jackets like this one have been popular from time to time in the past, so there are a wide variety to choose from in the thrift and vintage world. A jacket in blue and white gingham check may shout “used car salesman” on its own, but it has a very Italian look when paired with soft linen trousers, a spread collar shirt and a solid tie, all new items.
A Jacket for Your Jeans
Vintage jackets are often available in colors and styles that are inherently casual, differentiating them from more formally tailored modern suit jackets and making them a great choice to wear with jeans. A jacket in orange hopsack with soft shoulders and patch pockets looks dashing when paired with jeans and a white tennis shirt for a fun night out.
Take It Easy
With the “preppy” look in full swing for yet another summer, everyone loves some good madras. Buying vintage offers the opportunity to have some of the best stuff — whisper thin fabrics in vibrant, bleeding colors. Many companies these days offer great replicas of these old cloths, but with a little searching, you can have the real thing, usually for a lot less money.