Friday, 22 June 2012

Signature Style - Retro Darling

From dresses to coats, shades to heels, updos to eyeliner, refine your retro look with a breakdown of Hollywood's sweet vintage style!

From bombshells like Amber Heard and Beyonce Knowles to Hollywood's sweethearts like Zooey Deschanel and Taylor Swift, we've deconstructed the keys elements of retro style. If you're looking to develop a signature aesthetic and love vintage-inspired looks, you've come to the right place. From shades to shorts, updos to eyeliner, we've honed in on the best of retro star style.

Let's start from the top. Looking to vamp up your 'do? Try Duffy's sweet half-up style with parted bangs and a dainty bow clip for added charm. Dita Von Teese, on the other hand, is the queen of retro glam and loves to vamp it up with side-parted shining '50s ringlets. Amber Heard shows off a voluminous twisted updo for the perfect bombshell look—learn how to remake this 'do with your hair here!

It appears all celebs are taking inspiration from the legendary Brigitte Bardot and trying out the cateye. There are countless variations on this sexy '60s makeup look. While Alexa Chung's signature cateye is created with a delicate thin line on her top lid, style chameleon Beyonce Knowles likes to bring out her retro side with a dramatic winged design. Country sweetheart, Taylor Swift, loves to play up her '50s looks with a bold red lip and fluffy false lashes.

An easy and affordable way to add retro edge to your look is with a glam pair of shades. From big '60s Jackie O sunglasses to the '50s cateye, get playful with your eye wear. We loved Olivia Palermo's Fashion Week take on the cateye glasses. Experimenting with new shapes for your face? Try cheap chic stores like Forever 21 or H&M to test out the style. Bonus points for wearing them with red lipstick!

It's rare to see women wearing hats these days, but at one point it was the perfect way to show elegance and personal style. What better way to channel the sweet retro look than by adorning your 'do with a decorative hat? Royals like Kate Middleton have mastered the exquisite accessory (may we refresh your memory with the Royal Wedding's headwear?) while modern fashionistas like Kelly Osbourne and Marissa Miller have also done some trail blazing to bring back the hat.

Options for retro handbags are limitless. Hit up any antique store and you'll find a plethora of elegant vintage clutches and shoulder bags. We loved Freida Pinto's lipstick red box clutch, as well as Emma Stone's olive silk envelope clutch. Also: You can add a playful pop of print to any look with a polka-dot frame clutch like Liv Tyler's.

Nothing screams retro style like the perfect day dress. Zooey Deschanel's closet is a vault full of these '50s inspired numbers. Bright colors and a fit-and-flare silhouette define the actress' signature style. Taylor Swift is another excellent resource of inspiration, from polka-dots to lace, she never strays from her throw-back aesthetic. Kirsten Dunst is another retro darling who wowed us in her mustard chiffon Chloe dress.

Going to a cocktail party and looking for a sweet way to amp up the elegance of your evening look? Fortunately Hollywood's red carpets are rife with fantastic inspirational looks for every vintage sweetheart. Rachel Bilson's Louis Vuitton dress at the Met Gala featured a '50s flared silhouette with a matching belt and wide straps. Anne Hathaway's organza Carven dress was ultra-simple yet perfectly flattering while Hailee Steinfeld's beaded Peter Pan collar and sleek pencil skirt showed off her sophisticated sense of style.

Finding a coat that channels the decade of your choosing is a perfect way to add a signature staple to your wardrobe. Try a slim-fitting '40s military inspired coat like Kate Middleton's, a mod '60s design like Kim Kardashian's or a floral '50s evening coat like Rachel Roy's.

Lately stars have been eating up ascot blouses and Peter Pan collars, which are a great way to sweeten up your style with a flashback to the past. Christina Ricci channeled Mad Men with her white silk tie-neck blouse paired with a high-waisted pencil skirt. Katy Perry went for a bright look with a chartreuse lace top and Kourtney Kardashian captured the throw-back aesthetic with her own ensemble from the Kardashian Kollection at Sears.

Another key to vintage-inspired style is the choice of jewelry. Pearls are the perfect addition to a day or night look. Once again, check out your nearest antique shop or flea market to find some steals on authentic vintage pearl necklaces, earrings and bracelets. We loved the styling of Chanel Iman for the Christian Dior show wearing onyx beads. Nicola Roberts made the look her own with a casual tee paired with a flower-adorned choker. Selena Gomez opted to wear a simple single strand of pearls with her black frock for an effortlessly elegant look.

Looking for the perfect date night dress to make him drool without loosing your signature aesthetic? We've brought in a few experts. Amber Heard's red carpet looks are an abundant source of inspiration—from her black Vivienne Westwood dress to her backless silver Salvatore Ferragamo number. Reese Witherspoon also blew us away with her royal blue off-the-shoulder corset dress that reminded us of a '60s Playboy Bunny. Meanwhile, Kate Winslet is always taking our breaths away with her curve-hugging dresses, like a sultry polka-dot Stella McCartney frock.

If the occasion calls for a more formal look, there are quite a few fabulous directions you can go. Dita Von Teese's waist-cinching Herve L. Leroux black gown is the perfect example as it looks sexy and modern while sticking to a timeless silhouette. Fan Bing Bing made us all envious in her fresh-off-the-runway Jason Wu dress featuring a full pink taffeta ball skirt and a cream-off-the-shoulder bodice. Meanwhile, Michelle Williams worked her pixie-cut with a Marilyn-esque mint lace Christian Dior gown. What do these all have in common? A cinched waist that is both universally flattering and classic.

Here's a lesson from Hollywood's sweetest in how to wear short shorts without looking like a streetwalker. High-waisted wide-leg styles are uber-popular at the moment, and perfectly in keeping with a retro aesthetic. Try out a crisp black pair like Alexa Chung and Amanda Seyfried or go for a charming pearlescent pair like Lauren Conrad's red carpet day look. Pair it with an ascot blouse and playful platforms and you've created a chic day-to-night ensemble.

Trouser pants are back in full-force, and with a lovely vintage twist! Rachel Bilson's high-waisted ankle-length coral pants exemplify the modernized retro look. We also loved Olivia Palermo's plaid trousers in the same vein of style. The ceaselessly stylish, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, channeled Grease in a pair of skin-tight black cigarette pants for her talk show appearance.

As we all know, footwear can make or break any look. We dug up a variety of shoe styles that fit our nostalgic aesthetic. We adored Camilla Belle's white and silver cap-toe pumps that were reminiscent of Old Hollywood. While Mandy Moore's ballet flats will make you feel like Audrey Hepburn and Georgie Henley's oxford heels will be a playfully sophisticated addition to any ensemble.

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