How to Dress Vintage in Winter (6 Warm Vintage Tips)

Woman dressed in vintage outfits. Find out how to dress vintage in winter
Photo: cottonbro / Pexels

Dressing in a vintage style sets you apart from the modern trends. Vintage style is eternal and will always look good, so if you get tired of following the never design trends, this could be a perfect style for you.

While this fashion aesthetic isn’t for everyone, it’s a great way to express yourself through clothes, accessories, hair, and makeup too.

But, how do you stay warm in the winter when many of the vintage style tips are focused on summer fashion? Most vintage guides indeed focus on clothes for warm weather, but it’s not impossible to curate winter vintage looks! All you need to do is add an element of practical fashion into the mix.

Want to nail your winter vintage wardrobe? Follow these tips to stay toasty and stylish at the same time.

How Do You Dress Vintage in Winter

Whether you’re new to retro clothes or a veteran of vintage style, you can always add some extra tips to your fashion book. Here are our top picks for staying warm whilst stepping out in the winter months. 

1. Always Add A Beret

Photo: Olya Prutskova / Pexels

A beret is a sure way to make your style more vintage-looking. This versatile hat can be worn in all months, but it’s perfect for the cooler weather as it adds some extra warmth to your hair.

Though placing a beret in the right position can be confusing, once you’ve got this nailed down your outfit will be looking complete!

The typical black beret is the most popular, but other colors are popular in winter too. Burgundy, dark green, and navy berets are often seen, however, pastel shades like pink and purple are popular too.

Crochet and knitted berets are also popular in the winter months as these are softer and warmer than standard wool beret hats. 

2. Layering With Cardigans

Photo: stylingbycharlotte.com

Cardigans often have an association with Grandmas and old women. These older women did grow up wearing them, so it’s no surprise that they’re popular with the older generation!

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try them though, as a simple cardigan can offer you some vintage style and warmth at the same time.

Cardigans were popular in the 1940s and 1950s, so if you’re a fan of the style from these decades it’s time to purchase one!

You can find modern alternatives in boxy styles, cropped styles, and baggy styles too if you want to try an updated version. Cardigans are great for layering, so try pairing them with other vintage-inspired clothes for a complete winter outfit. 

3. You Can’t Ignore A Cape

A coat is essential in the colder months, but how do you mix your love of retro fashion with a warm winter coat? Easy! Try a cape coat.

These coats and jackets take inspiration from the original cape styles from the 1950s and they’re a great coat choice for anyone after a classy and feminine style.

A cape typically features excess fabric that covers your arms and the whole jacket has a “swing” look. These usually come in thick fabrics and sometimes have fur trims or decorative details too. 

You can style a cape with jeans or tailored pants for a modern look, but they also work well with pencil skirts for a true vintage style too. 

4. Vintage-Inspired Tights

Photo: Никита Рощупкин / Pexels

Many retro outfits feature skirts or dresses, as these were some of the more popular styles for women in the past. While these styles look great, they’re not practical in the winter months as bare legs in the cold weather is not an ideal combination!

Luckily, modern tights are optimized to keep you warm and looking stylish at the same time.

While you can opt for plain black tights or skin-color tights, vintage fashion is associated with patterned tights too.

The three most popular vintage-inspired tights include polka dot designs, faux-seam tights, and tights that mimic suspenders.

The pair that’s right for you will depend on the decade you are taking your style inspiration from, however, we love the kitsch appearance of polka dot tights!

5. Embrace Thick Fabrics

Modern clothing is smarter than older clothes as we now have smart synthetic fabrics that can keep us warm while not being too thick. Back in the day women had to bundle up in thick wool fabrics to stay toasty as they didn’t have any insulating-heat-tech layers. 

Though thick fabrics may seem uncomfortable, they’re worth trying if you want an authentic vintage look.

If you are sourcing genuine vintage clothes you’ll probably be aware of how different the fabrics feel, but if you haven’t ever tried real vintage it might be time to investigate these garments!

This tip might not be for everyone, but traditional thick fabrics are essential for winter for vintage enthusiasts.

6. Don’t Ignore Long Skirts

Photo: aplentifullife.ca

Unless it’s a summer maxi skirt, our generation tends to ignore the long skirt style. As we’ve moved on from past styles, skirts have got shorter and shorter, which is great – until it gets cold! A long skirt not only looks flattering, but it provides extra warmth too.

Key vintage styles to embrace are long pleated skirts or maxi-length skater skirts. Both carry a 1950s aesthetic, but the skater style is more feminine.

If you’re wearing these skirts around the Christmas period, we recommend wearing a traditional red tartan design with some bold red lipstick for a festive ensemble.  

Adding a Vintage Touch to Your Wardrobe

Photo: Artem Maltsev / Unsplash

Here are some common questions about adding vintage clothes to your current wardrobe.

Can I Mix Modern and Vintage Pieces?

Many vintage style blogs focus on recreating the true vintage style, but if you don’t want to look like an extra from a 1950s movie you can add some modern pieces to the outfit too.
For example, a cute 1960s pinafore dress works well with modern heeled boots and an on-trend puffer jacket too. This gives you the best of both worlds and it keeps you warm.
Experimentation is key when trying to mix the past and present styles!

Where Can I Find Vintage Clothes?

A touch of timeless vintage style can change your aesthetic for the better! While we love modern trends, experimenting with past fashions is fun and very accessible too.
You don’t need to spend excess cash on genuine vintage garments to succeed at this look, there are many replicas and modern-inspired vintage pieces available online and in most fashion stores.
You should also try resale websites like Etsy and Depop as these often have affordable vintage clothes for sale too.


Hopefully this article has given you some extra tips for staying warm in the winter! Remember, outfits can look good and keep you warm, so don’t catch a cold trying to look fashionable.

Related articles

About The Author