So in the winter, I have found a trick to dressing vintage, even when I don't really feel like going through all the effort. Some of my favorite vintage items in my wardrobe are coats!
A great vintage coat can cover up a multitude of sins; even jeans and sweatshirts (but not Ugg boots!) And best of all, vintage coats are easy to find. From James Dean-esque windbreakers, to Pendleton jackets, to furs, every single time I go to a thrift store I see a rack of great coats. Do yourself a favor and pick one up- it'll probably be warmer than most new coats and no doubt it will last longer. And with the right accessories, you'll pull off that vintage look even if you didn't put on a girdle and stockings and rolled your hair.
Over the years I have probably acquired at least a dozen vintage coats. I'm a sucker for them, probably because they're easy to wear, and they don't have to fit perfectly to be comfortable, like a great dress or shoes.
This is my hands-down favorite. It's a 1950s winter-white wool swing coat with a white mink collar. I always choose this one when I'm going somewhere dressy. Even with jeans and sneakers underneath, there is no doubt that you are a vintage-lovin' person when you wear a coat like this! Throw on a great vintage rhinestone pin and maybe a mink-trimmed hat and it would even make Ugg boots look good.
This is my everyday jacket, a Woolrich plaid wool toggle jacket. I have had this coat for about 12 years and worn the heck out of it- it still looks brand new and is warm and cozy. Woolrich was the maker of the iconic red plaid hunting suits men used to wear in the 1930s and 40s, and still makes great vintage-looking coats for men and women: http://www.woolrich.com/woolrich/browse/productDetail.jsp?icProduct=23375&icCategory=cat10064&icSort=&icColor=OLP
Everyone needs a raincoat; why not wear a vintage one? This is my favorite, a Misty Harbor, probably from the 60s. It's a great color- not that boring black or tan- and a very practical longer length. Plus, I love the tag line: "Wear in Good Health". Pair it with a vintage umbrella for extra style points, but leave the plastic bonnet at home! ;)
I often wear this 1950s cropped faux-Persian lamb jacket over jeans and a turtleneck. It's surprisingly warm and is a great olive-green color.
I'm sure at one point it had a collar - and was probably supposed to be worn with something like this:
But that's not really my style, and I would probably never wear a mink stole like this in public these days. I just don't need to invite that kind of controversy, even though these little guys have been dead for 70 years.
But accessories do make the outfit, and with the right hat, scarf, gloves and (my favorite!) a muff (real Persian lamb this time) any vintage coat becomes a showstopper. It helps if you're wearing vintage underneath, but with this kind of outerwear, folks might not even notice!
And don't forget the handbag! ;)