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maximizing those fancy vintage pieces…

maximizing those fancy vintage pieces

maximizing those fancy vintage pieces

I have a mild obsession with vintage dresses. They have so much character, and I love that you’re unlikely to see anyone else wearing the same dress. I especially love them to wear for special occasions like wearing to a party or a wedding. But I often find that the really dressy pieces get lost in the back of my closet because I am always saving them for a “fancy” occasion that doesn’t happen that many times in a year. So, I challenged myself to pull those pieces out and see how I could wear them in everyday life (to work, out to dinner with friends, etc.)…

maximizing those fancy vintage pieces

A Sequined Dress – I love the idea of a full-on sequined dress. It feels very glamorous and makes a real statement for sure. However, how many times can you wear a sequined dress except when going to your once-in-a-lifetime gala? To make this dress a bit more wearable, we paired it with…

maximizing those fancy vintage pieces

A) A denim vest and neutral booties as well as B) a white button down shirt and black booties. By adding a layer of clothing on top, it helps to show a little less sequin while still letting the dress be the focus.

maximizing those fancy vintage pieces

A Bold Maxi Dress – I was drawn to this crazy, colorful dress I found at a local vintage shop. This one isn’t as formal as some of the others here but the mix of colors does make it very distinct. To add some versatility, we added… 

maximizing those fancy vintage pieces

A) A thin colorful sweater and necklace to layer on top which now turns the dress into a maxi skirt and adds an extra layer of warmth and B) a neutral vest to dress it down a bit but still allow the bright orange top and fun button details to show through.

maximizing those fancy vintage pieces

A Beaded Flowy Dress – I fell in love with the coral color and beautiful beaded details of the neckline of this vintage dress. Because it’s long-sleeve, it can be hard for it to not feel like a ball gown. Here’s where we needed to combine it with a jacket or long-sleeve top…

maximizing those fancy vintage pieces

A) We added this white button down shirt again to add a crisp summer vibe to the amazing coral color and paired it with metallic flats and B) topped it with an easy denim jacket that everyone probably owns mixed it with a statement hat and white sandals.

So, the next time you see an amazing vintage piece that calls your name but you’re worried you’ll never be able to wear it, I hope this inspires you to take that piece and dress it down so you can rock it more often!

{Photos by Casey Brodley, outfit styling by Joy Cho and Jessica Hong.}


  1. I couldn’t convince myself to like the first styling of the sequin dress but I liked everything else. That maxi dress is really cute.

  2. OMG I love this post Joy. I have a beautiful yellow flowy beaded dress that I refuse to get rid of, but I haven’t wear it yet since it’s very dressy. With these tips I’m def going to try your ideas. Thanks so much Joy, you are AWESOME.

  3. Love this post + what a great collection of vintage dresses! Where are your favorite places to shop for vintage dresses in LA? I will be in the area, beginning of May (for Cultivate… hope to meet you!) and would love to check a few places out.

  4. Ohhhh, I love this! I don’t have a ton of vintage pieces for fear of this! I’m always scared to spend money if I don’t think I’ll wear them very much! But I love the twists you’ve put on these pieces. My favorite is the beaded flowy dress with the white shirt tied over it! So adorable and definitely trendy.
    More vintage pieces will probably be added to my closet soon! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Love all these dresses, such great finds. Have you thought about shortening the hem on the sequin number? I am dying for it to be above the knee!

  6. Gorgeous!!! Joy-can I ask what size you are wearing in the cargo vest? The reviews online say that it runs big. Thanks!!!


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