Why Velour Makes a 1980s Baby Happy

11 Dec

I’m an ’80s baby, but I’m really not an ’80s baby, in terms of loving that decade’s claim to fashion fame (or was it infamy?). However, this classic 1980s shirt dress has made me double think the era’s possible sense of style …

Photos by Christopher Doherty

But, that is in combination with one of my favorite fabrics: velour. To any outfit, velour as an accent detail or as the focus garment, creates a tone of regal royalty as the light just dances across the fabric in endlessly lush and rich hues. Naturally, with such a strong statement, what you pair with velour needs to be able to lend support to it. And, in this brilliant blue 1980s pin-stripe shirt dress, I found the perfect mate to my black velour Gap blazer, circa. 2005.

Please, don’t mind the wrinkles. This was shot following a full day of sitting at work!

Found deep in a Goodwill $.75 bin, this dress caught my attention first in its color — a brilliant compliment to my redhead — and secondly for the slink of the fabric.

Once I tried the dress on, I knew it was a keeper — the over-sized shirt top still complimented the figure without making me feel like I was swimming in fabric. Then, the pencil-fitted skirt bottom brought the modern edge of an ever-relevant style.

And, as luck would have it, I later found my royal blue velour beret-style hat at a thrift store while visiting the family farm. So this was the inaugural wear for both my new acquires!

{The Details}

Vintage velour can come with its flaws — such as this shiny spot where the beret’s fabric was crushed. Generally, the damage is irreversible, so you gotta embrace it, or add your own detail to cover it. So, always store your velour without any friction or pressure points!

How Much for ‘Velour Makes
a 1980s Baby Happy’?

$0 Houndstooth Plaid Scarf (Christmas Gift, 2007)
$0 1980s Braided Snake Metal Bangle (mine since the ’80s – a gift from a BFF)
$0 Black Velour Blazer (Christmas Gift, 2005)
$.75 Cranberry Tank Top with Rhinestone Detail (Goodwill, Lancaster, PA)
$.75 1980s Shirt Dress (Goodwill, Lancaster, PA)
$3 Vintage Blue Velour Beret (The Hill Top Store, Dushore, PA)
$4 1980s Avant Garde Patent Leather Purse (Salvation Army, Englewood, NJ)
$7 Cranberry Texture Tights, Vera Wang (Kohl’s)
$30 Patton Leather Wedge Mary Janes, Kenneth Cole (TJ Maxx)

{So} What’s the Take-Away?

Get over your hang-ups!

I am SO not into ’80s fashion, and this is due to my belief that very few of the decade’s designs created classic lines to compliment the feminine figure that weren’t rude. What I mean by that is: while I love being unique and making strong statement in my garb, the 1980s did so in a manner that seemed to throw it all up in everyone’s face.

Rather than allowing the observer to say, “wow, there’s something different about that dame,” the 1980s shouted at observers, saying: “I’m different and strong, so whaddya think about that? Pysch — rhetorical question!”

Totally my opinion … Still, I did not let me strong feelings keep me away from seeing the possibility that wearing a 1980s dress could have in pushing the range of my style.

Take-Away No. 2: A head-to-toe look comes from balance!

This outfit could have waltz right onto Noah’s Ark because everything is in pairs:

  • Cranberry Tights & Cranberry Tank
  • Royal Blue Dress & Royal Blue Hat
  • Patent Leather Purse & Patent Leather Bag

But, that leaves out the velour jacket and the houndstooth scarf … or does it? Because, those two elements naturally tie in all the above colors and textures. You can do crazy, amazing things with mixing all kinds of prints, textures and colors simply by following this rule! So, go get creative … and keep in mind, around the holidays velour is the perfect fabric for looking festive!

Thank you to so many who have already voted in the first Thrifty Vintage Chic contest — I am hoping it is the kick-off to many more to come in 2011! But, if you have not entered yet — what are you waiting for?!? Just click here, and let me know what you love, hate or would rather see here on the site, then leave your Guesstimate!

Rate this post above & leave your own two cents below!

  • All images on Thrifty Vintage Chic are shot in the context of real life — ie before or after the work day. All images on Thrifty Vintage Chic are not altered with post-production “airbrushing” or touch-ups. All images and written copy on Thrifty Vintage Chic are copyright protected and may not be used without first gaining written permission.


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