How to Modernize a ’60s Maxi Skirt

by Sammy in Comment — Updated December 13, 2019

What I love most about vintage is that you can modernize the pieces of the past to suit your style of today. Vintage isn’t OLD … rather, it’s OPPORTUNITY.

I’m SO happy to have the opportunity to shoot some of my favorite vintage pieces and present them to you here with background on where I found the vintage (or as vintage lovers would say, where it found ME!) and to also elaborate on what inspired the look.

Let me know what you think of today’s modern vintage style in the comments below — and please, update me with your latest vintage outfits by posting a picture on Facebook, tweeting a picture on Twitter or attaching a shot via email.

For more on all things ’60s fashion styling, check out this guest post from Wayfaring Magnolia to see a ’60s dress recreated in 3 unique ways!

xx, SD


women's vintage fashion outfit

THE LOOK: I paired a ’60s maxi skirt with a ’80s bustier-style onesie leotard. It’s maximum sexy for spring/summer strolls … or date night when you want to cover up a little but reveal JUST enough!

THE INSPIRATION: This maxi skirt is SO EPIC! As you can see from below, the skirt has a white slip with eyelet design along its bottom. I found this skirt in the closet of a woman who lived along the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She was the – get this! – mother of MY stepmother’s STEPMOTHER. Woah.

I know the skirt was handmade because a.) there is no tag and b.) the stiching along the seam is not factory-perfect. I know it was from the ’60s only because of my relationship to the family of the woman who owned it, however you can make a good guess that it is from this era thanks to the fact that it was handmade, its high-quality material and the almost watercolor-inspired design.

HOW I MODERNIZED IT: But here’s the thing about this vintage skirt: It covers up my entire lower torso. So to wear it for summer with a modern, sexy twist, I thrifted a leotard/onesie (it has a snap button in the crotch, haha!) that when worn alone, looks a lot like something Lady Gaga would wear.

I don’t want to wear either the skirt OR the onesie alone … but when paired together? It makes modern vintage magic because I’m wearing a high-quality vintage piece with a lower quality, but contemporary piece to create a high/low style combo for the overall look.


women's vintage fashion outfit

THE SKIRT: ’60s maxi skirt with eyelet lining, zipper back and about four handsewn fish-and-eye hooks (thanks to family member’s collection)

THE TOP: ’80s black bustier-style leotard/onesie (thrifted)

THE HAIRBOW: ’80s fabric hairbow (thrifted)

THE NECKLACE: Second hand silver chain with painted white pendant (gift from friends)

THE EARRINGS: ’80s black & gold rounded studs (gift from my grandmother)

THE SHOES: Nada! Showing my naked toes ;-)

women's vintage fashion outfit


women's vintage fashion outfit
women's vintage fashion outfit

To recreate the look, go for a play on “opposites.”

Look for a high-quality floor-length maxi skirt in muted colors. Feel comfortable visiting your local vintage store or Etsy shop to work with a seasoned vintage seller on investing in a timeless staple piece for your wardrobe.

Add a lower-quality sleeveless top in a solid color that can be tucked into the fuller skirt. The tightness of a top — think a black or white cotton cami or lace shell — accentuates your feminine frame and when paired with the skirt, creates that tiny waist for a sensual hourglass effect.

The next opposite to play off? Sexy & darling.

Clearly I’m showing some skin with this bustier-style onesie. But I’ve toned down the look with accents of innocence — the hairbow, minimal accessories (earrings & necklace are in the same “circular” shape family), simple hair/makeup and no shoes.

When dressing in vintage for a modern look, look to one piece for your “focus.”

The skirt is my main focus here …. the main entrée, of sorts. The added pieces are just samples of what the entire meal should both taste AND look like.


women's vintage fashion outfit

I’ve styled the maxi skirt for dinner & a movie appropriateness … think first date impressions!

I’d pair a cropped cardigan (no longer than one inch past the top of my skirt) to cover-up the lovely ladies a tad more … and not to freeze in the movie theater, of course!

A floor-length maxi skirt, while covering your entire lower torso, has a graceful flow when walking that’s attractive to the eye of the beholder.

You’ll look poised & proud on your first date, leaving an impression that’ll last (and maybe even more than your vintage piece!)

Add flat T-strap leather sandals (no heels! you’ll look clunky with such a long skirt) for easy traveling and an independent style all your beautiful own.


TRENDS: How Trends of Today Were Influenced by the ‘60s
HOW-TO: Style a Drop Waist Dress from the 1960s
SPRING: The Perfect Polka Dot ’60s Dress
STYLE: Your Easy Guide to ‘60s Bathing Suits
HISTORY: More on the ’60s from Paperpast

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