Winters Past

20th Century Fashion from Deco to Disco

Making a Case for Vintage in the Workplace

Picture the most straight laced, traditional careers you can imagine. Think of accountants, bankers and lawyers. Can women in these professions wear vintage at work? 

I say yes! Let’s look at how one working woman wears vintage on the job. She’s a young corporate lawyer who adheres to a working world dress code yet loves vintage and wears it most every day, as shown in these bathroom selfies.  She says she’s “era agnostic” but has a special affinity for the 1970’s.

Here is a by-the-decade look at her take on vintage workwear . Follow along, reader, and see if you judge  her outfits to be professional, smart and not costume-y. I believe you’ll find the evidence very convincing.

Exhibit A, these two 1940s frocks:

Wearing vintage in the modern workplace
Steer clear of novelty prints when choosing a 40’s look for work

1940s dresses were very work appropriate in their day and they can be the second time around. Our modern model has paired them with dark hose and shoes and she has kept accessories to a minimum.

Next, I call these 1950s fit-and-flare beauties to the stand:

Wearing 1950s dresses in the modern worl
In the office, skip those 50’s pastels and stick to deep or bright colors

Paired with simple, modern hair and makeup, these 1950s dresses look professional and classic. Using the same template of wearing minimal accessories and pairing them with dark hose/dark shoes gives all of her outfits a cohesive look. She’s got her own style that transcends era. On the advice of my council, I give this look a vote of confidence.

Our next witnesses are a duo of early 1960s floral dresses:

Wearing 1960s dresses in the modern world
Steering clear of minis or mod looks makes the 60s look professional

Same idea, different decade. The judge rules in favor once again.

The jury is still out on these more wildly printed late 60s pieces:

Wearing 1960s dresses in the modern world
Here are some 60s prints that look very modern 

They are a slightly bolder take on the 1960s and might work better for office days than in the courtroom.

Today’s star witnesses are these sleek 70s stunners:

Wearing 1970s dresses in the modern world
1970s silhouettes are an easy choice for the modern office

Neat yet edgy, these outfits exceed expectations on all counts. Our legal eagle excels in her use of vintage 1970s workwear.

Are vintage pants too casual for the office? It’s a moot point when the trousers are high waisted treasures like these:

wearing vintage pants
A jacket will make these trousers more office-friendly

 On the left,she has paired 1940s pants with a modern tee.  On the right, 1980s pleated trousers with a 1940s top. 

Let the record show that our defendant has acquitted herself nicely. Case closed.

Author: Winters Past

I am a vintage clothing shop owner living and working in rural north Florida. I believe in adding a little vinegar and molasses to my greens, having my coffee outside whenever possible, and mixing something vintage into every room and every outfit.

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