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Embrace the Past: Essential Vintage Styles for Your Summer Wardrobe

Our job as fashion editors is to report on all that’s new and cutting-edge, but anyone on our team will tell you how much we love vintage. Slack, our meetings and our happy hour all get excited at the mere mention of vintage. Everyone seems to have an interesting story about a vintage piece or thrifted item they own. It could be a hidden vintage shop, a designer piece that we found at a Paris flea market, or even a cool Instagram profile we follow.

Nothing beats the excitement of finding an original piece that no one else is wearing. Vintage shopping not only encourages individualism, but also expression. It gives you more access to heritage designer brands, such as Prada, Chanel, and Dior. Quality over quantity is encouraged, as well as sustainability.

We’re thrilled to present our first edition of Vintage or Nothing. We’ll be sharing the best vintage finds each month by scouring our favorite vintage retailers and brands. We’re all thinking about summer, so we’ve compiled four current aesthetics you should consider buying vintage. Get inspired by our mood boards and shop cool-girl vintage pieces that will add a unique touch to your summer wardrobe.

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(Image credit: @luciazolea; Getty Images; @retold_vintage; @shopnou_)

All things sheer aren’t going to slow down anytime soon. Prada, Givenchy and Coperni to name a few, showcased a variety of ethereal dresses in pastels and gray. Vintage options are available to suit any style. You can choose from romantic lace dresses or delicate organza blouses to minimal slip skirts of the ’90s. They’re all perfect for sunny days.

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(Image credit: Apple TV+, Slim Aarons/Getty Images;)

The 1960s is having a big moment in fashion. From the minidresses inspired by the 1960s that dominated the spring/summer runways of 2024 to the sherbet colored world of Apple TV+ Palm Royale. The summer is the best time to embrace the vibrant and captivating decade. There are many ways to incorporate bold, vibrant styles into your summer wardrobe. Maxine Dellacorte is the inspiration for our summer wardrobe.

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(Image credit: Slim Aarons/Getty Images; Fotos International/Getty Images; @tennistimevintage @bazzasporty; @themillennialdecorator)

Tenniscore is the new fashion trend this season, thanks to Zendaya and her iconic Challengers Press Tour wardrobe. Tennis has long been a sport that fashion loves, and it’s appeal should not be understated. Tennis has long been a favorite of those who want a sporty, yet chic, summer look. Its elegant, refined and wealthy connotations have always made it a popular choice. If you want to look “country club chic”, opt for retro and preppy athletic wear. Think vintage tennis dresses, polo shirts, and pleated skirts.

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(Image credit: @shop_rlt; First View; InStar Images; Getty Images; @jordanrisa; @treasuresofnyc)

We at Who What Wear are huge fans of the ’90s. That’s why we were thrilled to see a variety of minimalism-inspired silhouettes on recent runways. From column skirts and gray tailored clothing, to relaxed straight-leg denim, slip dresses and boatneck silhouettes. Designers like Proenza Schouler and Gucci have brought new iterations of these silhouettes. It’s clear that we are constantly inspired by the runways of the 1990s (Calvin Klein S/S 99, Prada S/S 1995 and others are among our favorites). They provide a good starting point when searching for pieces to add to a forever wardrobe.

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