How To Build A Vintage Wardrobe: Part II Vintage Jackets & Blazers

Adding vintage jackets or blazers to modern-day looks is an easy way to begin building a vintage wardrobe as they are necessary in life and plentiful in vintage clothing stores and thrift shops alike.

Below are some suggestions for the types of jackets to consider as you flip through the racks. I encourage you to think outside the box and step outside your comfort zone. Then all of the wonderous choices and options will come to light.

Jean jackets can always be found in thrift and vintage shops making one a good place to start when adding vintage to a contemporary wardrobe. I was on the hunt for the perfect vintage jean jacket for years. I knew this one was coming home with me as soon as I saw it. It’s a 1960s Levi Trucker jacket I bought at a NYC vintage show. The patches and repairs made it the ideal distressed version I had been looking for.

For a unique and unusual outerwear choice consider a cape. I went through a phase a couple of years ago collecting capes including this handmade red plaid one from the 1960s. It’s fully lined and I love the big gold and black metal buttons. I purchased it from Camille Design for $60.

Army jackets and vintage military clothing is abundant in vintage shops and thrift stores. I’m lucky enough to have one that belonged to my Dad. As I mentioned in my earlier post, do buy the real thing if you like military clothing and pass on copy cat versions in stores. Pro-tip: don’t forget to hit the men’s section when shopping for vintage!

Wool blazers are also plentiful in thrift shops and inexpensive. I have an entire closet full of vintage blazers. I look for rich fabrics; wool or silk, and interesting details such as metal buttons, sharp shoulders, and good lining.

This green plaid blazer is vintage Yves Saint- Laurent from St. Lightning in San Francisco.

This navy wool blazer is a 1960s English school uniform and was a dream find. I picked it up at a London vintage shop for $13. The colorful trim and embroidery are to die for.

Statement anything is my jam. Jackets, shoes, jewelry, you name it really. I am drawn to clothing and accessories that look like art and find it incredibly inspiring. I actually look forward to getting dressed in the morning.

If you spend enough time browsing the racks, you will find statement pieces that no one else has. Sometimes I’m willing to pay up for something really special but I’m most excited about the bargains I discovered. I feel like I’ve won something.

I found this western style blazer in a Boston antique mall for $15. The fringe!

This red vintage corduroy blazer from a Seattle vintage store is a good example of an interesting and affordable vintage piece. Items like this are readily found in the racks. It just takes a little imagination to see how it could work with what you already own. This red color palette and bold pattern isn’t something I’d normally gravitate toward but I’m happy I took the chance.

I wanted to include an example of something really special that also illustrates the difference between what you can expect to find thrifting vs shopping vintage clothing boutiques or collectors. This gorgeous orange silk opera coat with fur trim sleeves is not the kind of thing you will find at a thrift store or at least not in pristine condition. Fragile clothing like this has been taken care of by those who owned it over decades. One can also expect to pay more when you consider the age+condition+rarity ratio. I bought this from Lifestyle Statement in Brooklyn. It’s divine.

This vintage black velvet jacket I found at a vintage clothing store years ago. The feather trim detail is the kind of thing that draws me in. It’s gorgeous.

This burgundy velvet blazer was a thrift store find and very inexpensive. Worn here by my boyfriend.

Happy hunting!

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