Do you yearn to embrace vintage fashion but don’t quite know where to start? Or find the whole idea of changing your image a bit daunting? So did I to begin with, after all sticking with jeans and a t-shirt is the easy option…

But here are 5 easy ways to add a touch of retro style to any outfit without having to be too brave or buying a whole new wardrobe.

1. Vintage sunglasses

It’s worth looking around and investing in a really nice pair of vintage sunglasses, whatever style you like whether it’s fifties cat-eye, 40s horn rimmed or big sixties shades this is a really easy way of adding some retro style even if you’re just wearing jeans and a jumper.

There are lots of stores which specialise in vintage sunglasses and have some wonderful and rare finds, but they can be very expensive. If this is out of your budget don’t be put off, have a search on eBay once or twice a week to see what’s around – it’s amazing what people are selling – I’ve got 2 pairs of gorgeous sixties sunglasses this way and both for under £10 a pair.

Vintage sunglasses

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2. Liquid eyeliner

Whatever you’re wearing a flick of expertly applied liquid eyeliner can immediately add some retro chic. Your might think “I could never do that” but equipped with a good eyeliner pen (go for a felt-tip type instead of a brush if you’re new to this – Barry M does a good one) you’ll get the hang of it after a couple of attempts.

Don’t forget: you don’t have to get a single perfect line first time, you can do little dots of eyeliner where you want the line and then join then up afterwards. Also the line doesn’t have to go right along your eyeline, you can start at the centre and go to the edge – just take a look at Scarlett Johannsen in that perfume ad on TV and you’ll see her eyeliner is like that!

Oh – and to get that perfect flick at the edges, draw your line and then run a slightly damp finger along the bottom line of your eye to draw the line out. If it goes too far just remove the extra with a dab of makeup remover!

1960s makeup

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3. Vintage accessories

Adding some vintage accessories can really upgrade your outfit, just wear whatever you love, whether it’s a cute pair of retro earrings, a vintage handbag or, if you’re feeling braver, a stylish vintage hat.

Don’t worry too much about whether it goes with the rest of your outfit, as you get more confident you’ll get to know your own vintage style, and as long as the rest of your outfit isn’t competing too much with it the 1 stand-out accessory is what people will notice.

Vintage hat

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4. Red lipstick

I hesitate about this one, as I know red lipstick isn’t for everyone, but if you love lipstick it’s worth going one (or a few) shades braver. A woman wouldn’t feel properly dressed in the 50s without a dash of bright lipstick, so if you can find a good red lipstick which you love, wear it!

My only advice for this is to go for quality – I’ve bought numerous red lipsticks over the years and the cheap ones always stay on for far too long when you generally want to take the straight off! The red lipstick I love is by Chanel – if you put it on lightly it’s like a rosy lipgloss, but if you apply it properly it’s beautifully bright. Just go for a red that will compliment your skin tone…

Fair skin: coral reds
Medium skin: pinky reds
Dark skin:  rich, warm reds


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5. Retro hairstyles

A great hairstyle can make or break an outfit, so don’t be afraid to experiment with vintage styles you love. Even 40s hairstyles which can look really daunting to begin with get easy with practice and look amazing.

Like everything, just try, practice and go with what you like!

How do you add vintage to your outfit?