Vintage accessories have become all the rage once again, thanks to the change in consumer attitudes toward buying and wearing second-hand goods. The aesthetics are top-notch, too!
Fashion has always been cyclical, and what was once old will almost certainly become new again. And vintage accessories are no different.
Whether it’s funky headpieces or jazzy jewelry, vintage accessories have a timeless charm that effortlessly elevates simple outfits. A vintage ensemble might seem tricky to master, but it all comes down to combining the right elements to complete a fabulous look.
So, whether you wish to keep things low-key or want to go all out and flaunt your style, there are plenty of ways to embrace the vintage style.
Let’s look at some of the vintage accessories that are trending today.
What Are Vintage Accessories?
Accessories have always been part of fashion history, just as much as clothing has.
A vintage accessory is a generic term for accessories originating from a previous era. Vintage accessories are timeless, classic objects that have become trendy statement pieces today due to their elegant touch and unique appeal.
There’s something about wearing something with a rich history, showing off a one-of-a-kind piece that didn’t come off a soulless assembly line.
Whether it’s jewelry pieces like earrings, bracelets, necklaces, or other accessories like belts, neckties, and headpieces, past objects have always held a special allure. This is one of the primary reasons why vintage accessories hold so much charm and fascination in the fashion industry today.
How and Why Did They Originate?
Vintage accessories are like pieces of art. Since the beginning of civilization, people have combined apparel with unique accessories, so its actual origin is a broad and lengthy subject.
One of the most popular and oldest types of accessories that even ancient humans have used is the necklace. They were once crafted from carved wood, bird feathers, stones, shells, animal bones, and other objects found in nature.
Eventually, gemstones, corals, and other precious materials came to be used to craft necklaces. After discovering metalwork, humans had more options for making jewelry, such as copper, silver, and gold.
Gradually, gold and silver necklaces with pendants and gemstones emerged as a symbol of wealth, glamour, and prestige among the elite.
Today, most of the designs and patterns of ancient jewelry have emerged as a blueprint for vintage jewelry, ideal for bridal and other professional wear.
Similarly, accessories like bracelets, shawls, gloves, and headpieces had their reason and purpose for use. However, with time, they gradually emerged as pieces of accessories used to glamorize the overall look of apparel.
Battle of Times: Top 5 Vintage Accessories Old V/S Modern
There’s nothing like merging bold new favorites with refreshed classics. Here are the top 5 vintage accessories that have evolved with time:
Tiaras and crowns were once reserved for royalty as they symbolized wealth and aristocracy. But today, delicate tiaras and sparkly crowns have emerged as popular vintage bridal accessories as they ooze glamor and luxury.
A bridal hair vine is another stunning piece of hair accessory that was a staple among ancient Greeks. It’s a long wire studded with attractive stones and jewelry that can be worn either across the forehead or at the back of the head.
Other modern-day head accessories like hats, berets, and bandanas serve two purposes in one. They are fashionable and functional items that provide warmth and comfort while effortlessly making a fashion statement.
Jewelry has long been a favorite in the world of vintage accessories because its authenticity is next to none.
Here are some of the vintage pieces of jewelry that have made a comeback recently:
- The chunky chains of the 90s are now used as necklaces, bracelets, and straps for handbags.
- Vintage charms are symbols of love, luck, protection, and good fortune.
- Hoop earrings with Victorian designs are popular today as they go well with many types of outfits. They make for subtle jewelry pieces that ooze sophistication.
- Popular silver jewelry from the 90s is slowly making its way back to the mainstream.
- Whimsical, candy-colored, vibrant jewelry from the 60s has struck a chord in minimalist vintage lovers.
- Brooches are making a comeback as one of the most sought-after vintage jewelry pieces—they add instant jazz to an outfit!
A trending fashion accessory that’s sweeping the world today is face masks. They are not exactly a novel fashion accessory as they have been worn for a long time.
In the nineteenth century, wealthy women in Paris wore lace veils to protect themselves from dust on busy streets. Fashion face masks were a rage during the cholera outbreak and the Spanish flu pandemic that clashed with World War I.
Out of necessity, the demand and need for fashionable face masks in recent times have been unlike anything in the past years.
Perfectly crafted face masks that match outfits, designer face masks embroidered with creative patterns, and luxury face masks studded with beads and stones have become unique fashion accessories in the last two years.
Bags And Purses
Handbags became popular because pocket-less streamlined dresses created a need for exterior pockets. They quickly became a chic fashion statement that most women couldn’t go without.
Purses, too, have a rich history dating back to the medieval times when they were used to carry all the essentials for a woman’s everyday life. Before long, they turned into sophisticated fashion accessories featuring decorative artworks, weaving, embroidery, knitting, and leatherwork.
Today, you can find top international brands manufacturing vintage bags and purses that hold the old-world charm of previous decades.
From exquisite beaded purses featuring gold and silk embroidery to sophisticated jute and leather bags with rustic charms, vintage bags have emerged as a stylish accessory and an indispensable component of top-notch fashion.
Shawls and scarves have served as a symbol of femininity since time immemorial.
What was once a garment solely meant to shield the wearer from extreme temperatures, shawls have become an ultimate fashion accessory that oozes elegance and finesse.
We can trace the origins of the scarf back to Egyptian times when royal women wore tightly woven ones beneath a jeweled headpiece. And in the nineteenth century, cashmere shawls emerged as the embodiment of high fashion.
After the emergence of silk, the exquisite nature of the material offered endless possibilities to style scarves and shawls in various ways.
Today, shawls have come back into the fashion space as a form of self-expression—shawls with vivid, sharp details can easily turn an otherwise plain dress into something very striking. They are also worn as neck ascots, winter garments, and hair accessories.
Retro Comebacks: Vintage Accessories Returning in Style
Here’s a list of vintage accessories that have returned to the fashion space in style.
Headbands were a popular fashion accessory in the 1920s. Women wore them to flaunt their independence, often as an accessory choice with a flapper dress.
Today, statement headbands are modern tiaras that add colorful detail to basic outfits and add a pop of personality.
Scrunchies are versatile hair accessories that have returned to the fashion game with a bang. From satin and lace to leather and plastic, scrunchies come in many styles and fabrics. Nowadays, they can also be used as funky bracelets!
Umbrellas have been indispensable fashion accessories since ancient times.
Vintage umbrellas and parasols are classic retro accessories that pair excellently with retro outfits.
Today, you can find umbrellas in different styles, colors, and patterns to pair with your outfit, from plain and neutral-toned umbrellas to jazzy and embroidered ones.
Centuries ago, upper-class women wore gloves to show off their social status and maintain their hands' unsullied appearance and delicateness.
Today, gloves, especially lace ones, have become a popular choice as vintage accessories that pair wonderfully with sheath dresses and maxis.
The Multifaceted Corset: As a Belt, Accessory, and More
Corsets are among the oldest and most exciting accessories with cultural and social significance, whose meaning and usage have evolved over time.
Once, corsets were considered instruments of physical oppression and sexual commodification. Today, they are one of the best fashion accessories out there, used for many different purposes.
Here are some ways you can use a corset to up your fashion game:
Overbust corsets end above the hips and start just under your arms above the bust. They help reduce the waistline, offer support for the back, and lift the breasts to give you a confident, sophisticated look. You can wear them on top or beneath your clothes.
Here are some ways to style it based on your needs and the occasion:
- Wear it over a button-up shirt and pair them with formal black pants.
- Pair a strapless overbust corset with a chic blazer for a night out with your girl gang.
- You can use it in place of a vest and pair it with a button-down top or coat.
- Pair a mini skirt with a white corset top.
- Wear low-rise, baggy jeans with a corset top to get that natural hourglass figure without compromising your comfort.
Corset belts are the new rage in the fashion space because, when used correctly, they can be incredibly flattering. These versatile and stylish accessories can give you a defined waist without causing discomfort.
You can also wear corset belts over any style of clothes, from dresses, button-up shirts to oversized sweatshirts:
- Layer a leather corset belt over a utility jacket for a structured, put-together look.
- Wear a bold-colored corset belt over a neutral top to add a punch of color to the outfit.
- Layer a leather corset belt over a t-shirt and wear it with a pair of jeans.
- Wear a corset-style bralette over a t-shirt dress and pair it with an oversized denim jacket for an extra edge.
- Wear a mini-corset belt over a maxi dress to put an edgier spin on it.
That was our list of the vintage accessories that are trending today. From jewelry, gloves, and shawls to face masks, umbrellas, and scrunchies, fashion accessories have evolved tremendously in the past few years.
So go on, experiment with all these vintage-inspired accessories, and add a flourish to all of your outfits!