Saturday, January 3, 2015

10 Ways For Vintage Living in Modern Times

If you are a vintage-enthusiast, rockabilly, or someone who is just curious on retro life, you may want to give these a try. For some of you, these will be more or less everyday ways of living. This list of ten activities are geared towards the American Dream, a more hands-on time, and living a fuller life. If you are new to vintage/retro living, then gives this list a try for two weeks, see if you like it.

1. Wear vintage or retro-inspired clothing everyday.
It takes a strong person to wear clothing that is not mainstream. Wearing vintage or retro-inspired clothing will usually get you compliments. If you are a woman, you will feel feminine; if you are a man, you will feel handsome. I prefer retro-inspired clothing from the 40s and 50s because I do a lot of sewing and that means I get choices. Lots and lots of choices. If you go for this same time frame (I highly recommend it) then you’ll find the styles flattering and very functional.

2. Cook every meal.
Cooking is very cathartic for me. My mom had me start before I could talk, though it was very simple (like rice krispie treats). Living the vintage life means that you’re going to do some cooking. If you don’t think you’re all that great in the kitchen, don’t fret. Get yourself a slow-cooker and a slow-cooker cookbook. Meats, soups, stews, chili, veggies, etc can all be done in a slow cooker. If you can cook, then you shouldn’t have too many issues with this particular activity. You can get meals prepared early like lasagne. Also, don’t forget some of the classic ’50s staples: Jello, various pie, coffee cake, meatloaf, and tuna casserole.

3. String or Yarn Art.
Its kind of a strange title, but it does incorporate knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, and embroidery. A lot of women in the 40s and 50s were able to do at least one of these things. It could add a bit of flair to a blouse or be a way to create delicate doilies or even mean the creation of a new piece of knit wear like a scarf or sweater. If you already know how to do one of these, stick with it and start a new project! If you want to learn, this would be a great time to do it. If you are not a knitter or crocheter, like me, then give embroidery or cross stitch a try. I have found that I really like embroidery.

4. Make it or fix it by sewing.
Sewing is an essential skill for those living the vintage life. We buy retro or vintage patterns, fabric and notions, and sew our own clothes. If anything, we at least know how to patch a pair of trousers and sew on a new button. Take the time to make a new addition to your wardrobe.

5. Victory Garden
If the season allows it, start your own victory garden. This is typically a vegetable and fruit garden that often has some herbs. You can create or buy a vertical planter to save space. If you have a yard, you can build a raised garden bed. There’s something very satisfying about growing and harvesting food from your own garden. If you do this, you will find that if you mention that food you serve came out of your own garden people will be more eager to eat it. For the first time gardener, I would suggest starting small with the following 6 plants (unless you’re allergic): Lettuce, Strawberries, Tomato, Zucchini, Onion, and Snap Peas.

6. Work on that updo
Whether you’re a man or a woman, if you want to live the vintage life, you have to rock the hair for it. Men should obtain some kind of hair cream, oil, or tonic and figure out what they like. Maybe its a Pompadour or a DA. For women, there are so many various updos for various lengths, its mind-blowing! You probably won’t get it overnight, so practice practice practice!

7. Host a dinner party
Hosting an actual dinner party is not an easy task. Typically, dinner parties consisted of three parts: Pre-Dinner Socializing, Dinner, and the Parlour/Dessert Time. Pre-Dinner Socializing is typically filled with appertifs and appetizers. Its usually done in the parlour and there is a lot of socializing, similar to a meet & greet. Dinner is usually done around a dining table. Sometimes help is hired for the night - this could be a great job for any teenager trying to make a few bucks. Dinner can be served in courses or all at once. After dinner, during the Parlour/Dessert Time, you might want to have a group game in mind - charades, cards, trivia, etc. Its during this time that cocktails are usually brought out, along with dessert.

8. Unplug
While the internet is a great tool and we’re all addicted, its nice to have a day during the week that you set aside to become unplugged. Use a radio or other low-tech items if you want, but try to have a single unplugged day.

9. Enjoy Simple Things
Its important to enjoy the simple things. It can lower blood pressure and relieve stress. It could be enjoying lemonade on the porch after dinner or enjoying an after-work walk through a park or flipping lazily through a magazine while listening to an old radio show or even enjoying a bubble bath. There are a lot of things that you can do. When you’re spending time enjoying the simple things, try to remain unplugged.

10. Venture Out!
There are events all the time, all over the place. It may be a car show, a tattoo show, drag races, or a band gig. If you can’t find anything in particular, grab some friends. Go out somewhere in your vintage/retro stylings. If you’re new to it, have your friends dress up and make it a fun group lunch and trip to the antique store. Living the vintage life doesn’t mean staying at home all the time.


  1. This is such a nice list! I need to apply the last one more and more this year. Just gotta get the drivers license!

  2. A drivers license definitely helps! Here in Fairbanks, Alaska, you would be crazy not to have one since everything is so spaced out.


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