Over the years I’ve kept a few items from every decade, hoping to wear them again when the fashion comes around once more—but how do I make them look current? — Kathryn K., Naples
While you’re correct that fashion is cyclical, it never comes around again in exactly the same way. The trick to making your vintage items work (and in clothing terms, 20 years before the present day is considered vintage) is to customize rather than costume-ize your outfit by combining the old with the new. This fall, designers have taken inspiration from the 1980s, and it’s one of the key trends for the season.
Open your time-machine closet, pull out your clothes from the “Yuppie Decade,” and then shop from this year’s offerings for items that work with each piece. Until you gain confidence in combining the decades, stick to wearing one original garment at a time and build your look around it. You could team a typical ’80s, bold-shouldered blouse with a modern, skinny jean. Or, a boxy, long leather jacket (worn unfastened) from the period pairs perfectly with a contemporary shift dress and a sexy, strappy, stiletto. Eighties redux never looked so luxe.