Do you take pride in individuality? Do you want to support small businesses and shop sustainably? Wearing indie clothing is all about embracing one-of-a-kind, secondhand, vintage pieces. When you do just that, you not only up your own style game, but you also reduce your contribution to the harmful environmental impacts that come with fast fashion.
Indie clothing marks a departure from the mainstream, and taking the time to search for vintage items is an investment in yourself. It allows you to develop your own truly unique style and guarantees that no one else will have your exact look. Oftentimes, buying secondhand items means a more affordable price tag too. Now, that’s something we can get behind.
Features To Look For
When you are searching for retro clothing items to flesh out your collection, there are certain features that we recommend looking for to ensure that your find is really distinct and will stand apart from the crowd:
- Bright colors
These are all great elements to consider if you want to add statement pieces to your wardrobe. Eye-catching colors and intricate detailing like embroidery and beading will draw the attention of onlookers.
You can pair these more complex pieces with basic or neutral items in the rest of your outfit, or if you’re feeling extra daring, go for opposing patterns. There are no rules when it comes to indie clothing, after all. It’s all about individuality and experimentation.
Our Favorite Finds
Shopping for indie clothing is now easier than ever, thanks to the limitless resources of the internet and online marketplaces like us here at Thrilling. While physically flipping through clothing racks can be fun, we also have a vast world of virtual options at our fingertips when we’re looking to save some time.
To make your search even easier, we want to spotlight some of our favorite finds that would be great additions to your closet if you’re looking to boost your indie flair.
We came across some items that we love, which we’ve placed into a few different categories. These looks may be vintage, but that doesn’t stop them from being totally hot and completely in style.
- Beaded Jackets
- Long Skirts
- Flowy Pieces
The Vintage Vest
Within the past year, vests have gained traction in the fashion world, earning some coverage in Vogue after Bella Hadid was spotted in a layered vest look. Vests are a great element to add to your outfit if you’re concerned mainly with aesthetics.
They’re an outer layer that will add some visual complexity without weighing you down or warming you up quite as much as a cardigan or jacket would.
If you want a more fitted appearance and to draw more attention to the vest itself, you can wear it closed, or if you’re looking for a subtle addition to your outfit, you can wear the vest open to show off your base layer.
This ‘90s floral embroidered vest includes a nice pop of red and detailed stitching. Throw it over a black turtleneck in the winter, or leave it open over a collared short-sleeve when the weather heats up.
Similarly, this horse graphic embroidered vest sports an intricate design and is essentially a walking art piece. Color like this is a bit more neutral if you find that earthy tones blend better with your existing wardrobe.
If you’re one who prefers a more subtle pattern, you may instead want to go with a simple striped option. It will still add that nice pop of color to your outfit without looking quite as eccentric as the other patterns we’ve looked at. Plus, with this piece, our prayers for more pockets are finally answered.
Something special about all of the vests we’ve looked at is that they were made in India. This quality is very reminiscent of the 1960s hippies’ desire to incorporate the influence of foreign cultures into their fashion.
The Beaded Jacket
If you’re not a fan of the vest look, there are vintage jackets on the market that also make for great outerwear. As we mentioned previously, we love to look for detailed items, and beading is often an interesting addition to any piece.
This gorgeous ‘90s silk jacket includes the same level of detail through its beading that we saw in the embroidered vests, this time in a more abstract design. Also, a color palette made up of white and pastels may be the right choice for you if you prefer softer, lighter tones.
The Long Skirt
A long skirt makes for an instantly retro look, given that it is a staple of “boho-chic,” a style that has recently been creeping its way back onto the runway.
Another piece originating from India, this bohemian cotton skirt with embroidered elephants is a unique and colorful design. An item like this would pair nicely with a tucked-in, neutral blouse. Go with a loose top for a very bohemian look or a fitted top if you’d rather combine modern and retro styles.
If an all-over pattern isn’t your favorite aesthetic, we recommend looking for patterns that are confined to a fraction of the fabric. Check out this ‘70s embroidered black skirt. This design is still multicolored while being more simple. You can totally get away with pairing it with a patterned top.
We’ve just looked at some drapey skirts, but there are some other kinds of flowy pieces that we would be remiss not to mention. This paisley scarf blouse from the 2000s is very retro in style due to its inclusion of several clashing patterns.
A flowy top of this nature would look excellent over a pair of plain, fitted pants because the blouse really lends itself to being the center of attention. But if you’re all about paying homage to the hippies, pairing it with big, flowy pants works too.
Another unique find of ours is this ‘70s kaftan cover up dress, which you can throw over your bathing suit this summer or wear as a stand-alone dress to go out in. Again, we love the vibrant, red color and abstract, floral pattern that is so indicative of many kinds of retro clothing.
This piece is a bit transparent, so if you do choose not to wear it as a cover-up, you may want to invest in a full slip or a striking bodysuit for an ultimate fashion moment.
Indie Is In
If you are to take anything away from this article, it should be that there are no rules when it comes to indie clothing. The fun of vintage shopping is all about being distinctive and individualistic, and it’s entirely up to you how adventurous you’d like to be.
You can always blend vintage pieces with modern styles by throwing a fun vest over a white button-down or a beaded jacket over black jeans.
On the flip side, if you’re all-in to the indie scene, pair a flowy top with a long, floral skirt. Combine patterns. Clash colors. The most important thing is that you are true to yourself and that you have fun while doing it.