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5 Vintage Summer Outfits to Try

Small Backyard Patio, Small Budget: My Summer Patio Glow Up
How to Update a Too-Big Collar

Has anybody else been evaluating/Marie Kondo-ing their closets lately in preparation for Summer?

As we begin the slow shift from jammies all day to actual clothing again, I thought you might like a little outfit inspiration.

This summer, I’m all about combining a vintage aesthetic with modern trends.

Summer 2020 is nodding enthusiastically towards ’90s fashion and DUDE…I AM HERE FOR IT.

For me, this means creating a budget-friendly look with thrifted pieces that look luxe, not cheap.

If you’d like to get a larger dose of my thrift store style (as well as the occasional pic of Douglas and Benson), make sure to follow me on Instagram!

1. Big Prints

refashionista in '60s nightgown
Big & Bold

Big prints are…well…big in 2020.

We’re all staying home much more than usual as of late, but that doesn’t mean you’re relegated to just sweatpants and ratty T-shirts.

I felt incredibly glamorous while hanging out around the house in the ’60s nightgown you see here. The print is ah-ma-zing, and that scalloped hem is a delightful detail. All this for $1!

2. Mix ‘n Match: ’90s Grunge & ’50s Femme

refashionista in polka dot skirt
Genre mixing is way okay!

This quasi-rockabilly look was a really fun one.

That tank is my absolute favorite. It’s just a $1 thrifted T-shirt that I ripped the sleeves off of. I love how it gives high waisted skirts and pants that might otherwise be a little too feminine for my tastes a bit of an edge.

The polka-dotted skirt was another $1 find. It was actually handmade! I can’t believe someone gave it up!

3. ’90s Floral Dresses

refashionista in '90s floral dress
I look like a way-too-old extra in the original 90210…

WHY did I not save all of my ’90s clothes? If you obsess over Pinterest Trends the way I do, you know ’90s fashion is EVERYWHERE.

Wearing the same styles I wore 10 years ago (The ’90s were only 10 years ago, right?) πŸ˜‰ fills me with wistful nostalgia and makes me want to watch Reality Bites.

refashionista in sweater close up
You Saaaay…

This outfit features a $1 thrifted ’90s midi dress, vintage Laredo boots, a sweater a friend gave me, and a $2 vintage purse (that still had its original $150 price tag attached when I bought it). The hemp necklace was made by a friend (You may remember its interesting story).

4. ’70s Maxi Dresses

refashionista in maxi dress
Let’s take it to the Max(i)!

Midi dresses are having their moment, but let’s not forget the Maxi!

I purchased this dress at a vintage shop in Ireland for $20. It was made in the USA, so it felt a little odd bringing back home.

’70s maxi dresses usually feature unique prints and color combinations. I love the tiny polka dots on this one, as well as the blue-yellow-red combo.

5. High Waisted Everything

refashionista vintage summer outfit high waisted skirt
Am I almost 40 and showing a bit of midriff? Why yes I am.

Now here’s a trend that gets a lot hate and I don’t completely get why.

I think high waisted looks are flattering, as they accentuate the waist really nicely. Some say they look dumpy, as shorts and pants in this style can be less than flattering for our rear ends, but I say that all depends on the garment.

5 Vintage Summer Outfits to Try 6
My patio’s not tacky. You’re tacky. πŸ˜‰

Vintage high waisted midi and maxi skirts are a more sophisticated way to rock this trend with class.

This skirt was scored for $1 (of course). I paired it with a knotted basic white tee and thrifted vintage accessories.

So there you go! My favorite thriftable vintage 2020 summer trends!

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to look put-together and stylish this summer. I hope you like the looks I’ve shared! Make sure to let me know if you have a favorite in the comments below!

See you on Instagram!


Vintage Summer Outfits
Small Backyard Patio, Small Budget: My Summer Patio Glow Up
How to Update a Too-Big Collar

50 thoughts on “5 Vintage Summer Outfits to Try”

  1. The yellow and green dress is darling. Looks more 60’s to me. And yes, I remember them, not clearly, but I remember them.

  2. My 14 year old daughter and I are watching 90s shows now – β€œMy So Called Life,” β€œJust Shoot Me,” and a ton more. Hoping the fashion wears off on her!

    And you rock that midriff as long as you want to! Age is just how we feel. I’m 45 and feel 25 most of the time – enjoy liking who you are and flaunt it!

    Most of all, thank you for encouraging my daughter to take up easy refashioning! This summer will most likely be different than most. I’m hoping refashioning will help her find a way to fill her time (and her wardrobe).

  3. High-waisted bottoms can help balance put proportions, especially of you have a long torso, like me! It can also give the illusion of length, which is probably why us petite women like it so much. πŸ™‚

  4. My Favorite…… “My patio’s not tacky. You’re tacky!” Actually YOU are incredibly fun to read! That made me laugh out loud! Probably should have just said LOL! I’m a nurse in Chicago. Covid is stressful in my world. I savor your posts like the best Godiva Chocolates! It gives me such joy & a sense of relaxation, normalcy, and inspiration to read. Thank YOU! I really liked all of your fashions but the 70’s one was great.I’ve been playing with my sewing macine much more with your inspiration!

  5. Oh, all the outfits are very nice. and you certainly rock them! I can’t believe the first one is a night gown. When you say you rip the sleeves off, do you cut them off or do you seam rip them out?

  6. I’m a tall(ish) gal, and I still love high-waisted stuff. (“Look, Ma, I’m a tree!”) When I’m feeling a little less than positive about my stomach, it gives me some confidence. Also, if I’m wearing a tucked in shirt, it might actually stay tucked in for once.

    These all look awesome, Jillian! I love your vibrant mix-and-match style.

    • They MIGHT. I had to ask a clerk if they ever have sales to find out how markdowns work in my favorite store, as they don’t really advertise it.

    • Here’s a link: But sadly, it’s out of stock right now. You can find other similar ones by searching “small rectangular frame pool”, but since they aren’t the exact same one as mine, I can’t endorse them one way or the other (since I don’t know how high or low quality they are). The ones I’m seeing are also much more expensive than mine was. :/

    • I ordered it from Amazon:, but they’re sadly out of stock right now. Apparently the toilet paper hoarders went after patio pools too! πŸ™ You can find similar ones by searching “small rectangular frame pool”

  7. My favorites are #1 and #4. But I like the others, too. Do you ever buy a gathered skirt just to tear it apart for the fabric? I always look for a good cotton skirt with lots of fabric but never find one.

  8. Damn! Everything (well, the things you have refashioned or chosen). looks SO good on you….your career as an almost 40 year old model is assured.

  9. All very wonderful looks! You do amazing work with thrifted clothes. (I’ll help you with the math: the 90’s were 20-30 years ago depending on which year you’re looking at. I know this particularly well because my five children were born in that decade!) Keep up the good work.

  10. You’re awesome! I LOVE #1 and #5. I really like the ‘old school’ vintage. I don’t need the 90s as much as the 50/60s haha I’m also in the South, mid South, AR. We have shops open(typing from work, we never closed). We did things a little differently here, like always. Goodwill is full on open. The flea market stores are open, and some of the other second hand stores are open with restrictions here. You have a great Memorial Weekend! And thanks for the ideas. Always love reading your blog!!

    • We’re starting to open up here in SC too. Fauci says we’re doing great, so that’s encouraging. I definitely want to support my local thrift shops again (and the communities they serve), as well as small businesses, as long as we can do it safely. πŸ™‚

    • I hadn’t thought of this, but I think you’re right! I’m on the short side too, but high waisted stuff makes me feel more limbsome somehow.

  11. I love #5 the best. Have to share something that a man (who is no longer in my life) said about my favorite 3/4 length sleeve thrifted teeshirt. “it doesn’t do you justice.” I replied that since I had recently lost 25+ lbs, it didn’t fit well. He than said “It’s not the fit, it looks like something from the 60s.” I guess he thought that was a bad thing (not me.) I told him I would put it in my giveaway pile, but instead did that with our relationship. Now looking for a man that appreciates my thrifting style πŸ™‚

    • I used to date a guy who hated how I dressed, and whose friends referred to me as “that alternative girl” (alternative to WHAT?). He ended up in the giveaway pile as well. πŸ˜€

    • They ARE open here. SC is opening up slowly, and it seems to be going well. Fauci commended us on how well we’re doing, so that’s positive. This week I’m definitely getting back to the thrift shops and supporting the communities they serve. πŸ™‚

  12. They’re ALL so cute, but if I have to choose, the high-waisted #5 look is my favorite. Perfect for traveling, cool and breezy.

    • YOU CAN’T HAVE THEM AMY. THEY’RE MINE. πŸ˜€ Thank you so much! Hopefully you can score some sweet thrifted finds of your own! πŸ˜‰

  13. I’m inspired to go thrifting when we can go shopping in person again! Love the 90’s styles, especially those boots.

  14. As usual you are just so stinking cute in absolutely everything. I love your insights and how you are not afraid to rip something apart and go at it. Keep on Refashionista!!


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