Build a vintage wardrobe Step 1: Who are you?

I have gotten the question on how to create or start building a vintage or retro wardrobe. So I thought it would be a good idea in making a blog series on what I have learned during my researches. Sometimes learning from your mistakes is a good thing. But I would say that buying the wrong things and then ending up with clothes you might not use is a rather expensive one. So I want to save you from this.

In this first part I will talk about what you need to think about no matter what wardrobe you are thinking about making. So what I’m trying to say this part is not only applying for vintage but for any wardrobe you want to start.

To know what kind of clothes you want, you need to know who you are and what you want to accomplish with this. Some questions I would say is important for you to answer are these:

  1. Where do you wear your clothes?
  2. Do you have a fav designer or brand you already like?
  3. Are you a warm or a cool person?
  4. What is your fav decade?
  5. Your fav color?
  6. How does your wardrobe look like at this moment?
  7. Do you have someone whoms style you get inspo from or that you adore?
  8. Do you like patterns or clean colors?
  9. What is your fav clothings piece? (pants, dress, skirt)

With these questions we get a lot of information on what it is you actually like. Just saying I want vintage clothes meaans so much. Vintage is a very broad term and we need to go down on detail on what you enjoy and what makes you happy. When I started buying vintage I spent a lot of money on things I today cant say I wore that many times. All I wanted was to have vintage and have it now.

So I bought everything and didnt think to much on having those simple basics in the wardrobe that brings an outfit together. Think a lot on not having only bold colors but having basics like white, black, grey etc to compliment.


The skirt above I bought because it was pretty, I love it don’t get me wrong. But Its not really my color and make me look very pale. So this is, even though my big love for it, one mistake I made without thinking. And I couldn’t wear this skirt for a long time because I only bought bold colors like pink, yellow etc.

This is how I would answer these questions:

  1. I work as an librarian and work both in an office, the library information desk and on the run. I’m not the kind of person who go out for resturants that often and prefer staying home.
  2. I dont know much about brands or designers that I have enjoyed much from.
  3. I’m a very warm person so earth tones looks best on me: Ivory, brown, yellow, green and orange.
  4. Mine is 1940s
  5. I love navy blue
  6. At this moment I have a very big mix of modern and vintage.
  7. I love these instagramers; JessicaoutoftheclosetMiss Emma O. and Retro lady from Paris
  8. I have always prefered clean coloures but I have started to enjoy patterns on mt clothes.
  9. I hate pants and would prefer a skirt. Dresses are lovely but I like to style an outfit with more than one piece.

I love very elegant dresses and when i started to buy for my vintage wardrobe I mostly bought way to fancy dresses without considering where I work and that I almost never go out. What I needed was something more casual and more basic items. Blouses, skirts and cardigans that I could style with different pieces and not just have many bold colors. This made it hard making more than one outfit.

So before you start buying: sit down, think what decade you like and why. Then think about where you work, live and how your daily life looks like. Where will you wear these clothes? if its for an daily life this is things you need to consider. While if this is a hobby and you only will wear it during car shows; you can spend money on fancy elegant dresses.


When answering these questions I would say that you should use Pinterest and make a style board. And if you already have one I would say look through it. Have you (like I did in the beginning) pinned anything that looked vintage and nice? or have you considered what you like and what would fit you?

I pinned everything I saw and have today compromised what it is I really want to see in my wardrobe and what I think would fit my lifestyle and personality.

My Pinterest style board


Do you already know some answeres to my questions? What is it you like and want?




23 thoughts on “Build a vintage wardrobe Step 1: Who are you?

  1. Milky says:

    This was a really helpful guide! Your point about considering your lifestyle is so important–buying too many flashy clothes was a problem I had when I was younger, too. XD Investing in a more realistic wardrobe is something I’m still learning how to do…but maybe I will improve now with your helpful list! :’)

    Hope you’re having a fantastic day~! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elin's Era says:

      Oh How nice to hear 😀 I hope the post will help you in some parts :9 I love evening dresses and long dresses so I have a lot of them and they costed so much XD Yet i never use them ^^ I play dress up at home XD so I know the problem in not being realistic XD

      Hope you have/had a great day too 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. wevegotpockets says:

    My wardrobe, which is not exactly vintage inspired has gotten a lot more colorful in the past twelve months and I’m really enjoying it.
    I agree though get what you will where not what for a second or two looks cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elin's Era says:

      yes 🙂 It can takes years to be done with a wardrobe and at the same time “they older” we get we also change our taste but also dare to try new things 🙂 And I think thats the fun part of it 🙂

      Hope you have a great day 🙂


  3. designedbydanita says:

    I really like how you gently walk people through the thought process! We all need help making decisions when it comes to WHY we are heading down a certain path! Your clear questions and examples are a great guide for anyone looking to redo their wardrobe; retro or modern! Excellent post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. quantumbetty says:

    This is really good advice! I work in a hospital environment and, while I love the vintage style that I see on some instagrammers, I think it would be a little over-the-top for my particular work. So, while I really like the aesthetic, I try to wear stuff that is a little more subtle to work. Great tips on bearing in mind what your daily life looks like to choose your style accordingly!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. retrodee says:

    This is a great post! I did the same thing at first, I was buying everything I liked, but now I have clothes and jewelry I’ll never wear. Just now I’m learning to only buy things I’ll use. That cuts down on cost and space. Your koi skirt is very cute even if you don’t wear it much!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mary Ann says:

    I love vintage clothing, recipes, and decor..
    I find it very difficult to find summer clothing that covers anything..
    Shorts are an inch longer than underwear and yet cost twice as much 🙂
    Lilies Apparel has an online shop and they make some gorgeous clothing, but since it is hand made it is a bit pricey. They seem to have a vintage theme in mind.
    Thanks for sharing your tips!

    Liked by 1 person

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