It may not always feel like spring but sprinkling your wardrobe with an intelligent array of vintage accessories will pop even the grayest day with a burst of color and hopefully will warmer weather your way. I give you my blessing to splurge on vintage accessories since they have one important quality that apparel lacks â€” the ability to wear them every day without inciting curious glances from coworkers. A few things to keep in mind when choosing an accessory:
1. Color. Is your object of interest flashy? If so, it’s best to let it be the centerpiece of your ensemble. Wearing a bright orange pair of sunglasses with an orange top proves to be overwhelming while at the same time, detracts from the uniqueness of the glasses. Tone a prominent accessory down with neutral or muted hues so that the accent piece complementsâ€”rather than competes withâ€”your outfit.
2. Balance. The accessories featured here are all, for the most part, bold and eye-catching; they have personality. If you choose to trot around with an oversized yellow tote, then it’s best to keep the rest of the outfit undersized. That is, wear skinny jeans or a tight top to keep everything from looking frumpy.
3. Style. Yes, that chunky vintage Lucite ring and your favorite sterling silver turquoise ring may share one thing in common (the color blue) but that doesn’t mean they match! When choosing a vintage accent, be sure it keeps in â€œthemeâ€? with the rest of your outfit. Don’t get me wrongâ€”I’m definitely not suggesting that you dress from head to toe in 60’s garb; but you should probably consider the spirit in which these accessories were made. You may have paid $165 for a bakelite bracelet but it’s not going to look so great paired next to a Tiffany charm bracelet in the same price range. Assess the stylistic elements of all outfit components before mixing or you may concoct an easily avoidable, yet fatally hazardous explosion of heinous.
4. Practicality. Are you making effective use of your accessory? Those orange shades may look absolutely amazing with your new Sonia Rykiel dress but if the sun’s not out, keep them at home. Now, I’m not saying that all fashion isâ€”or should beâ€”functional but I truly admire the woman who knows the appropriate time to exhibit her utilitarian pieces.
5. Tangibility. Not everything is best worn in its original vintage condition. Some original vintage pieces are well worth the investmentâ€”they’re also worth the enormous sense of accomplishment derived from a fruitful hunt. But some things just aren’t worth the time to seek them out, let alone the asking price. Go ahead and buy vintage-inspired accessories, like Sigerson Morrison flats, to complement your spring wardrobe. And if someone on the train asks you if that imitation Lucite bangle you bought from H&M is vintage, I’ll look the other way as you say, â€œYes, yes it is.â€?
Orange Sunglasses c.1960, $85 fashiondig.com
Etra Patent Leather Tote c. 1960s, $160 vintagebag.com
Vintage Lucite Ring c. 1950, $155 morninggloryjewelry.com m
Butterscotch Bakelite Bracelet, c. 1935, $165 fashiondig.com
Vintage Umbrella c. 1940, $75 bellaumbrella.com
Belle by Sigerson Morrison Flat $260 nordstrom.com