How to Wear Vintage Styles for Business Success

7 Oct

To some, vintage conjures “stodgy” and yet this vintage 1960s dress is quite the opposite of dull or uninspired. 

{How to Wear Vintage Styles for Business Success}

It’s not just the color that makes this vintage dress a true creampuff — try the $5 price tag for the dress and bolero jacket set in mint condition!

The dress’ woven knit-wool and matching bolero make this vintage 1960s set an early spring and fall item, which was perfect for this mid-season weather. Albeit, the jacket wasn’t needed for the day’s balmy temperature, I was happy to finally wear this amazing dress for the first time.

And if mint condition vintage couldn’t get any better, the dress was the perfect answer to my dilemma of what to wear to be fashion-forward and yet powerfully business professional.

With a day filled with meeting major magazine publishing executives, I wanted to be memorable — true to my brand — yet, not distracting to the purpose of the day’s conversations.

Naturally, I found a way to add my signature style to the look with details that weren’t too loud. Take a look …
Window Shopping

Scarf Necklace Details

Jewelry Details

Stocking Details

Standing pose

How Much for ‘Vintage Styles for Business Success’? $48

$0 Tweed Chapeau (gifted)
$3 Pale Pink Large Fishnet Stockings (Daffy’s)
$5 Wood Necklace & Bracelet (Easy Pickens, Union City, NJ)
$5 Vintage Christian Dior Silk Scarf (Goodwill, Chelsea, NY)
$5 Vintage 1960s Wool Knit Cream Dress (thrift store, Chester Co., PA)
$30 Retro Sage Kitten Heels (closing sale, Manhattan) Also in this post

NYC Street Stopper

{So} What’s the Take-Away?

Bullet brassieres don’t belong in the boardroom.

So maybe that is stating the obvious, still couture or loud fashion statements just don’t mix well with mainstream business settings. Here’s why:

When making business presentations, the focus should be on your work not your fashion statement. In the first 30 seconds people decide  — consciously and subconsciously — something about you based on appearance.
Resting pose
So making the right first impression is key. Too fashionista-like and the thought could be: “This person is a joke, a poser, a flake”.

Too business- standard and the remaining thought is: “Nothing new here. When’s lunch? Boring, not fresh or unique”. So how can you win?

For job interviews or pitching to potential clients, it’s all about balance.

  1. Decide your core attire — dress, blouse, skirt or pants.
  2.  Add in the details  — scarf, necklace, contrasting jacket, colored tights.
  3. Complete the look — jacket, outer scarf, hat, business bag.

By starting with the conservative business base, you can add in the personal touches which transform the traditional suit look into something with a real personality.

With your signature touches, the look then becomes your calling card which will make you memorable for all the right reasons and it might even garner a Tweet — like this:

I was over the moon, with the thumbs up from the likes of the Ladies Home Journal editor-in-chief! Here’s hoping you get even more positive reactions in your business endeavours …
Best foot forward!


6 Responses to “How to Wear Vintage Styles for Business Success”

  1. Susan Stars October 8, 2011 at 5:10 AM #

    so, when can you take me thrift store shopping? i love it!


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic October 10, 2011 at 11:47 PM #

      😀 Gladly!! Although, my schedule for traveling to PA is pretty packed until nearly Christmas … so maybe some shopping first before a big dance at Swing Kat?


  2. Kimberlee October 19, 2011 at 5:04 PM #

    Great post! It was great working with you on the Goodwill DMD fashion show. Hope your son ate his sloppy joes 🙂


  3. lifevesting October 21, 2011 at 11:21 AM #

    Brilliant advice, thank you for the lovely post! I agree with your boardroom breakdown that dressing too over-the-top or too-old-hat can both work against you and the work you are trying to do.


  4. Jbird October 21, 2011 at 5:05 PM #

    Hi R. 🙂 Wow you look stunning. Those wrap-tie kitten heels and cream fish nets are divine. It’s amazing to me how you can pull these outfits together!



  1. Clickity Click! | The Karina Chronicles - August 3, 2012

    […] wondered how to make vintage styles appropriate for the office? Robin Wallace at Thrifty Vintage Chic has some tips (and a stylish […]


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