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I love retro attire and want to wear it to work without looking like I’m dressing up for Halloween. What’s the secret to making retro pieces look stylish?

I love retro attire and want to wear it to work without looking like I’m dressing up for Halloween. What’s the secret to making retro pieces look stylish?


Want to tap into some classic looks from the last four decades -- without looking like an extra from a Tim Burton film? Get a fresh, work-ready retro look with these tips:

Get fit. Make sure your vintage finds are tailored to fit you. Fits today are more flattering than boxier vintage cuts, so tailor them in a more contemporary fashion. Make sure to have trousers taken in for a more modern fit. The same goes for jackets -- in both the waist and the length.

Be scent-sible. It's important to dry-clean vintage items because even the most high-end find will come with an odor -- and you don't want to walk around smelling like moth balls.

Break it up. Don't be afraid to break a suit into separates. You’ll get more wear out of each piece.

Modernize your classics. Coordinate wearable vintage jackets, coats or slacks with new versions of the classics like a pair of wingtips. This will reflect the period, but add something that's obviously new, so you’ll look smart and put-together -- as opposed to looking like you just stepped out of a time capsule.

Go sporty. Achieve a sporty retro look by dressing your office attire down a bit. Try sporting a webbed belt in a bold color, or add a pair of Clarks or Chuck Tailors (if you work in a casual environment).

Add color. Try wearing a pastel button-down shirt or a nice crew neck in red, which is a big color this season and will create a wearable vintage ensemble.

Accessorize. Give your vintage suit a contemporary feel with a modern tie or fun cuff links.

Add denim. A big look this season is the tuxedo jacket, which can be paired with jeans for a fun look.


About the Expert

Dai Burger, celebrity style-consultant, is a visual merchandiser and in-store stylist at the Patricia Field boutique in New York City.