A few years back I feel in love with a vintage needlepoint handbag from Revolver. Although it was gifted to me that Christmas, it wasn’t until recently that I found a new appreciation for its aesthetic. When I was younger, I felt it could only be worn with more “housewife” ensembles; uber feminine with a touch of kitsch. Now I rock it with distressed jeans and a random white sweatshirt from an Icelandic university. Without fail, I receive compliments on its unique design everywhere I go.
Recently I was visiting with Andi from Raleigh Vintage at their studio and noticed their fantastic collection of needlepoint bags. “I have to do a styling tutorial with these!” Everyone asks where I purchased mine, but they’re all one-of-a-kind. Of course contemporary designers (like Gucci, Tory Burch, and Stella McCartney) have brought embroidery back into the spotlight, but there’s something special about the authenticity (and lower price point) of an original needlepoint handbag.
So I went into Raleigh Vintage and created three rad ensembles based on their fab handbags. The first was such a thrill: a 1940’s jumpsuit likely used for camping (it unbuttons on the butt!) paired with Prada heels. I love the monochromatic palette of this look, as it allows the colors of the floral print to pop. This is one of those outfits where you can throw it on, put in little effort, and look amazing!
The next outfit was inspired by my love for mixing prints: I found this great, dark background floral design that picked up the subtle green in a 1940’s check blouse. Paired with an Edwardian skirt, this outfit definitely has some edge.
I must admit, this look was not inspired by the bag so much as this amazing 1960’s “carpet” vest! I was channeling my inner Woodstock hippie here, with a touch of menswear influence. This ensemble is not for the shy: not only because of the missing shirt, but it takes a strong sense of personal style to mix different floral prints (plus stripes!). Courage is rewarded, as this look was one of my favorites from that afternoon.
The last look I put together was actually out of my own wardrobe. I walked in wearing “vintage fit” jeans from GAP, a front-tie white blouse from Anthropologie, and lemon yellow sandals from Steve Madden. I immediately picked up this beautiful bag and loved how it matched perfectly! Neutrals are a great way to start experimenting with a statement piece. Note how my shoes bring out the accent color in the print, tying the look together from head to toe.
You don’t always have to wear vintage with vintage. Even if you do, try mixing decades! Fashion is cyclical, therefore what was trendy in the ’60’s can certainly be worn with something popular now. The key is to knowing your personal style and prioritizing that over any fad or fashion. I always say, style is in the act of intent: so find a beautiful needlepoint handbag and be inspired!
Special thanks to Andi of Raleigh Vintage for taking my picture :]