Vintage Trouser and Top Combinations for Women

Vintage Trouser and Top Combinations

Trousers and women’s clothing have had a complicated history. In some places like India, pants like salwars are part of traditional attire. In other countries like France it was technically ‘illegal’ for women to wear pants even as late as the early 21st century. That said, the garment has evolved over the years. It went from high waisted to low waisted, the cuffs were flared then tapered and even the length has moved up and down. Depending on your chosen era, there are many ways you can style a vintage trouser and top for ladies. Let’s check out a few ideas to get started.

A quick note on vintage trousers

When you talk of vintage trousers, the region being looked at is usually the countries in and around Europe. Here, trousers were initially considered masculine and women were ridiculed for wearing them. It was after the war when women started looking for more comfortable clothing that allowed them to work that the idea of wearing pants was accepted by society. Given that the surge in popularity was driven by practical needs, the initial silhouettes followed the form of skits with fitted waists and flared cuffs. It took for a few decades for trousers to taper down. Like all things fashion, the evolution of trousers took a cyclic form. From tapered slim-fit styles, the cuffs flared out once again with the hippy era though the flare usually began from knee length marking them different from the trousers of the 20s and 30s. 

Styling a 30’s style vintage top and trouser for ladies

Trousers were uncommon in the 1930s but there were still a few women sporting them. Sailor style trousers were the most common amongst them. This was a nautical style of pants with a high waist with gold and silver-toned buttons on front. The buttons were often arranged in two lines along the sides of the waist. It was particularly popular in the summer in cities along the sea. If you’re looking at including this style of vintage clothing in your wardrobe, you could pair it with a cute striped top. Longer tops can be tucked in or you could pick a cropped top. To complete the look accessorize it with a contrasting scarf, a cute beret hat and funky jewellery. 

40s style trouser and top for ladies with vintage material

Women wore trousers in public in the 1940s mostly only if they were participating in a sporting activity. The trousers usually had high waists and wide legged to maintain a feminine silhouette. These trousers were versatile and could be styled for casual and formal occasions. Now, let’s get to styling them. Given the flared cut and high waist, a tucked in blouse is a great choice. This helps balance the outfit. Tucking in your blouse also keeps the trousers’ waistband and detailing around it exposed. Choose a solid top of any colour or experiment with prints for a more casual look. For a more dressed-up look, how about trying these trousers with a corset top? Accessorize the outfit with chunky jewellery to complete your look.

Styling beatnik vintage top and trouser for ladies

Women in pants became a more common sight in the 1950s. They were recognized as casual and practical. Hence, the styling was no longer limited to silhouettes that emphasized feminine curves. Trousers became more fitted and the flared cuff was tapered down. Colours became darker too. This is illustrated beautifully by Audrey Hepburn’s cool, casual signature look of black capris and slim-fitted boat neck tops. Since the trousers are fitted, you could pick a hip-length top. For a more formal look, layer the top with a boxy, cropped jacket. Alternatively, style these trousers with a turtleneck and fluffy cardigans. If you’re wearing a longer top, cinch it at the waist with a broad belt. It’s a smart way to keep your look sleek and simple yet fashionable. 

What top is best for trousers from the 60s?

1960s saw the second wave of feminism. Along with encouraging the use of contraceptive pills, Yves St Laurent introduced the first women’s tuxedo. Of course, the collection sparked outrage. Trousers from this decade were straight fitted. These pair well with formal shirts and ruffled blouses. Since the pant itself is sleek, you can introduce a few more decorative elements with the top. Blouses with an elasticated waist look good too. To stay true to the time period, pick a top with polka dots. And finally accessorize the look with a pair of big-framed glares and a sun visor. 

What do you wear with vintage trousers from the 70s?

The hippy style revolution of the 70s brought in a whole new dimension to trouser styling. Gone with the straight tapered fit. Instead, women took to wearing bootcut jeans embellished with studs and other decorative elements. It was the epitome of casual styling. Bootcut jeans are slowly making a comeback in modern fashion too though with a slightly less flare and sans bedazzled ornamentation. Vintage tees are the ideal top for this style of trouser. You could wear a plain tee or tuck in the corners of a band tee. You could even try knotting the front of a tee to give it a cropped appearance. Accessorize your look with beaded or leather jewellery. 

Finding the perfect vintage trouser and top for ladies

Vintage clothes are a in demand today. And so, they’re easy to shop for. Every city boasts of quite a few vintage clothing shops. These often take the form of thrift shops. Alternatively, you could shop online. Riaaj Vintage has a large collection of trouser and top for ladies with vintage material. The clothes are in the best of condition and often dated to the year of production. To minimize confusion about sizing, the garment size as well as measurements are listed on the website. 

Styling tips

Here are a few more tips to help you put together a confident look with vintage trouser and top for ladies:

  • Always keep your outfit balanced. If the trousers are wide, opt for a narrow top. On the other hand, if the trousers are fitted pick a fuller top.
  • For a stylish look, team your vintage trousers with high heels. You can wear pencil-heeled pumps or block-heeled open-toe sandals.
  • Layering your top with a slim-fitted jacket adds oomph to your look. Look for jackets with well-defined shoulders.
  • Accents like floral headpieces and fancy hats can give your look a glamourous vintage edge.
  • To look taller, always tuck your top in to the trouser waistband.
  • Make sure your trousers are the right length. They should ideally fall just above the floor. So, if you plan on wearing heels, make sure you wear them when you’re trying on the outfit for the first time.

Summing it up

The vintage trouser and top for ladies combination is an all-season look that can be flaunted at formal and informal settings. As with any outfit, the most important point to consider is that the outfit fits you well. Especially when shopping for vintage clothes, pay attention to measurements and choose pants that complement your personal style. So, are you ready to go shopping…

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