Retro Fashion for the Modern Woman
This just might be the ultimate party dress: The pleated crossover bodice creates the look of a wasp waist (no need to resist that tray of hors d’oeuvres!), while the knee-length crinoline-layered bottom half will inspire you to twist the night away.
To buy: ML Monique Lhuillier polyester-taffeta dress, $209, neimanmarcus.com. Badgley Mischka earrings. Ben-Amun necklace. Lagos bracelet.
Here’s an oldie but goody—the car coat. Lightweight and tailored, this thigh-length style is a great spring layer that you don’t have to remove once you’re inside. (And you won’t want to, since it spiffs up almost anything you wear underneath it.)
To buy: Anthropologie embroidered linen coat, $198, anthropologie.com. Tamar Daniel polyester-chiffon blouse, $395, tmrdnl.com. Tory Burch knit skirt, $295, toryburch.com. Eugenia Kim hat. Carolina Amato gloves. Daniel Espinosa earrings. Max Mara bag. LuLu’s belt. Tory Burch heels.
This lavishly textured style has all the grace and poise of classic leading ladies—but with a price tag that suits average folks. And unlike most scratchy and stiff secondhand-store finds, it’s amazingly comfortable, thanks to soft, stretchy cotton.
To buy: Laura Byrnes cotton-spandex dress, $158, pinupgirlclothing.com. Ben-Amun necklace. Sequin ring. Erickson Beamon for Anna Sui bracelet.
Leave it to a timeless white button-down to take the June Cleaver primness out of a floor-length silk skirt—and to make a rowdy mix of bold shades (red, fuchsia, turquoise, and green) get along just swell.
To buy: Chico’s cotton-blend shirt, $40, chicos.com. CH Carolina Herrera silk-gazar skirt, $845, 212-744-2076. L.K.Bennett belt. Banana Republic necklace and bracelet. Kendra Scott ring. Blue couch courtesy of Liz O’Brien.
Accent on Glamour
Got a thing for accents? Stick with a contemporary outfit—say, a structured top and skinny pants—then layer on blast-from-the-past accessories: a pile of pearls, Bakelite-esque bangles, maybe even a turban headband.
To buy: Mango viscose-blend top, $30, mango.com. Max Mara viscose-jersey pants, $565, Max Mara, 212-879-6100. Anna Sui polyester turban, $108, Anna Sui, 212-941-8406 (available mid-April). Gabriele Frantzen necklace of Czech glass and Swarovski crystals, $430, Saks Fifth Avenue, 212-753-4000. Sequin resin bangles, $28 each, sequin-nyc.com for info. Max Mara belt, $90, 866-629-6272.
Now and Then
Another way to keep from looking as if you stepped out of a time machine? Choose pieces that offer a mash-up of old and new. Here, of-the-moment stripes and trendy cobalt make a corsage blouse and a below-the-knee swing skirt altogether modern.
To buy: Tracy Reese stretch-rayon top, $225, Louisa Ellis, 413-528-3388. J.Crew cotton skirt, $88, jcrew.com. L.K.Bennett belt. Kenneth Jay Lane earrings and bracelet.