Vintage Week: How To Style Vintage Part One | 1950s Silk Patterned Shirt

Vintage 1950s shirt, white blazer & leopard skinnies
Today is Day One of Vintage Week at Not Dressed As Lamb: throughout the week I’ll be sharing some outfits I’ve styled that include some proper vintage pieces, and on Sunday there’ll be a post sharing some Top Tips for Buying Vintage and an interview with the owner of Scarlet Vintage in Bath (one of my current sponsors).

So I’ve collaborated with Scarlet Vintage this week, who have very kindly loaned me several pieces to style on the blog, in the hopes that I can prove you don’t have to look like a museum piece or as if you’re on your way to a fancy dress party when you wear vintage! There are many great vintage-loving bloggers out there at the moment who absolutely rock a full-on retro look, but if you’re wanting to try vintage and are nervous about looking too retro, it’s better to go for one piece at a time and work them seamlessly into your existing wardrobe.

I chose this gorgeous 1950s silk patterned shirt because of its beautiful colours, and the pattern is very reminiscent of kitsch paintings I remember seeing as a kid – this one is a horse racing scene with abstract figures (very typical of the time). My tip for wearing vintage is to avoid wearing other pieces that are typical of the same period, so I paired the shirt with leopard print skinnies and a sharp white jacket – both very 2010s. The pattern-mixing brings the outfit right up-to-date, and the white jacket tones down the loud pattern. A few pieces of contemporary jewellery and some bright heels result in a modern look incorporating a 60 year old shirt – I don’t think you’d know realise at all looking at the outfit that I was wearing vintage.

(If you’re interested in buying this shirt, email enquiries(at) or tweet @scarletvintage and mention Not Dressed As Lamb)

So as an example, if you wear a vintage 1950s piece, I would avoid full midi skirts, short cropped cardigans, even your hair set in waves, etc. if you want to avoid a full-on retro look. In the same way, I wouldn’t wear my 1970s massive-collared shirt with flared jeans or my hair straightened and in a centre parting (as here) for the same reason. That said, I love a retro look so how far you take it is up to you!

The next outfit will be on Wednesday, and we’re going on a couple of decades to the 1970s. Though if you’re thinking flares and loud florals, you may want to think again πŸ˜‰

Do you have a favourite vintage piece? Do you find styling it easy or somewhat difficult…?

Vintage 1950s shirt, white blazer & leopard skinnies
Vintage 1950s shirt, white blazer & leopard skinnies

Vintage 1950s silk shirt
Vintage 1950s shirt & leopard skinnies
Catherine x

I’ve selected some vintage-style tops available to buy online that echo the retro pattern and colour of this shirt:

Shop the rest of my look here!

Shirt: 1950s Vintage (on loan), Jacket: Wallis, Jeans: Asos, Heels: Asos, Necklace: Debenhams, Cuff: New Look, Pink ring: New Look, Belt: Tk Maxx, Watch: Seiko


  1. 17 May 2013 / 4:15 am

    Killer colour combination on you!

  2. 15 May 2013 / 4:58 pm

    I love the whole look and I totally agree about mixing vintage and modern for a fresh style. I think a lot of people are nervous about vintage because they think they will look costume-y and it doesn't have to be that way.
    Becky πŸ™‚

  3. 15 May 2013 / 3:37 pm

    Love the pattern on this shirt, going to stop by now and check there website out πŸ™‚

  4. 15 May 2013 / 9:37 am

    I just loved your paints and your shoes they just look so damn classy.. And you look gorgeous in it. Lovely!!

  5. 15 May 2013 / 9:15 am

    This blouse is amazing! I love it with the blue leopard print jeans too! πŸ™‚ I have a gorgeous 1950's croc skin handbag that I love to this day but it rarely comes out of storage! I think I may have to dig it out! Andrea x

  6. 14 May 2013 / 3:33 pm

    It's interesting to have lived through the decades and seen vintage print trends firsthand, then compare what was with current revivals. It's especially nice to see the take new fabric designers have taken on water-color and Asian themes. Two of my faves from my childhood. Lovely job with this blouse, and I'm happy to see you advise mixing contemporary and vintage … makes everything more interesting to look at!
    As always,

  7. 14 May 2013 / 12:55 am

    That vintage shirt is pretty fabulous on you. What a score!
    xx, Heather

  8. 13 May 2013 / 10:41 pm

    Beautiful, unusual shirt, Catherine, and you've styled it to a tee! Thanks for sharing your fabulous look with Visible Monday. xoxox

  9. 13 May 2013 / 8:49 pm

    Very pretty, Catherine!

  10. 13 May 2013 / 7:47 pm

    Catherine this is such an exciting collaboration! I love this look and the modern twist you've given that vintage shirt, you look amazing! Already looking forward to your next look, 70s sounds fun! πŸ™‚

    Take care,
    Daniella xox

  11. 13 May 2013 / 4:21 pm

    great color combo! love those pants and the shirt tucked in with a blazer! darling!

  12. 13 May 2013 / 3:37 pm

    Fantastic blue!

  13. 13 May 2013 / 3:35 pm

    Hello my dear!
    I really like this look!
    and you re so cute!

  14. 13 May 2013 / 1:50 pm

    Great jeggings…. love the cobalt leopard print. Hope your having a great day Catherine.


DISCLOSURE: Items marked* are PR products (I never accept anything I wouldn’t choose for myself) and my opinions are 100% honest. I also use affiliate links where I may earn commission if you click through and buy, at no cost to you.