Back in the 40’s and 50’s women looked uber glamorous.  Hair and makeup were absolutely perfect and the pinched in waist and pencil skirt look was everywhere.  A girl’s best friend was a pair of high heels and some red lipstick.  This vintage fashion style is still in vogue after all these decades, so let’s take a look at how you can recreate the glamour years with a modern twist.

Vintage Fashion Style with a Modern Twist

Vintage Fashion Style with a Modern Twist

Coco Chanel

One of the most iconic fashion icons of all time is Coco Chanel.  She made the Little Black Dress (LBD) and the Little Black Jacket (LBJ) two of the most important wardrobe staples back in the 50’s and they are still hanging in most women’s wardrobes today.  So what made this woman so classy, elegant and relevant? Why does her vintage fashions still spark the desire for many women to own one of her pieces today.

She knew that simplicity was the key to elegance. Were she alive today I have no doubt she’d be rocking a pair of skinny jeans, black of course, with a basic white tee and that famous, LBJ.  Chanel knew that the material and the cut would do the talking.  

Marilyn Monroe

Well-fitted outfits are a must for this look.  Ensuring they pull in at the waist and make the most of your bust.  High necks were very common but figure hugging material and incredibly shape enhancing underwear meant you could be covered up whilst showing off your assets. The Hourglass figure is, and was, the look that everyone craved and this can be easily achieved with a boost from modern shape enhancing underwear.  You just have to look at another icon from the past, Marilyn Monroe, to draw more inspiration.  A high waist, black pencil skirt with a black woolen jumper, ¾ length sleeves and a fitted jacket all need to be in your wardrobe to get classic elegance bang on.  White shirts and a killer pair of heels are also must haves to nail the trend.

Hair & Makeup

Hair and makeup always packed a punch.  There are modern day twists on the Victory Rolls hairstyle and using rollers overnight will help give you that movie star glamor.  You need to think high gloss so purchase a good shine spray. For makeup, flawless skin, a dark defined brow and red lips always give the edge when going for vintage style, try using The Balm makeup with its quirky packaging to get you in the mood too and take a look at how to bring the vintage look into your home here.

Pearls for Accessories

When it comes to accessories, pearls are the order of the day.  Either worn in long strings or looped around to give a shorter style.  If you want to give this look a modern feel, try wrapping a longer string of pearls around your wrist.  A subtle nod to the past.

Nailing the vintage look is all about confidence. Women of the 40’s and 50’s put a lot of effort into looking good and it really shows, but it was as much about attitude as anything else.  Graceful, polite elegant and chic, were the words of the era.  This was a time where women were greatly underestimated but incredibly desired.  

Images Courtesy of Canva.

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About the Author: Patricia Davis Brown

Patricia, like her blog, is not a one-dimensional designer, which is evident in her accolades of 17 national design awards. Over a 38-year career in the industry, she has carved a niche in several areas of design. Licensed in interior design and certified in kitchen and bath design, she offers a full menu of design services ranging from whole house interior design, kitchen and bath design, lighting design, full remodels, commercial design and universal (ADA) design. Patricia is a sought-after speaker in the industry and has been published in many publications as seen on her interior design firm’s website, She writes for such publications as QuinStreetinc, Relaxed Remodeler, and talent offering design tips.