My trick is getting plain colored separates for the repro or vintage inspired companies and re-using them with other mall type items. I have been able to find some great (and cheap) items in tons of stores and I pretty much always pair them with something vintage for a casual look. Some of my favorites...low ankle strap espadrilles (i have on tons of colors) with a vintage or repro circle skirt and a plain tank or tube top. I also LOVE rompers and I have managed to find some great vintage style ones in some pretty common stores. To make them more vintage looking, I usually add a belt or the sweater over it.
Not everything you buy has to be from Pinup Girl or Bettie Page. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE their stuff, but I don't like having on the same thing as everyone else, so I always pair things up with something else.
i use any excuse to get dressed up, but on days when i have class/work/or dont have many people to impress heres what i step out in. Cardigans are your best friend, and to give it that pin-up flare sometimes i add a flower or do a red lip. anything you wear can be "pin-up-ified" with the right hair/makeup/accesories!
I find that toning down my hair or even giving it a more modern style can give my look a more relaxed feeling. Also I would wear minimal to no make-up. Try just the basics, nude eyeshadow, mascara, blush, and lip balm. Also I like to wear sweaters a lot I find that they are casual enough for my non-gussied up days. And then to top it off try sandals, even flip- flops, or saddle shoes, some kind of casual shoe. Remember to forget to experiment and mix and match.
You try Ebay for genuine vintage and thrift stores as well. Casual can be jeans and loafers or jeans and gymboots (not sure what you call them there....converse?). t-shirts, singlets and little cardigans for the top. Cute little white blouses or patterned blouses from thrift stores or online. Go for original rather than the reproduction stuff and save money. Buy reproduction PUG styles for evening or events.
Daytime makeup can consist of foundation, blush, winged eyeliner, mascara and red lipstick. Look at some of the photos from the era, the daytime makeup was really all about the lips rather than anything else. Hair can be a ponytail and just curl the bangs or do a roll in the front. Paired back and simple for day, elegant and classy for night.
My casual style is as simple as skinny jeans, tank top, cardigan and ballet flats. Basic makeup, blush and mascara. High pony tail and maybe a ribbon for the hair. I also used to have a hard time with casual style, especially in winter, until I just looked at what kind of winter vintage was available, then adapted it to suit my tastes.
I live in Colorado and it is COLD! So I do not wear any dresses this time of year. My uniform right now is dark wash skinny jeans with Iron Fist flats and a cute cardigan or sweater, I am always on the look out for anything cheetah for tops! On a casual day I usually have a high ponytail with a bumper bang or I put my bangs in a victory roll. I try not to go too dramatic on make up, so I will do up my eyes and just put on pink or light red lipstick. There ya go!!
Try to look for vintage style stuff at thrift shops, and I just found a couple of cute spring dresses on clearance at Forever 21. The clearance racks are the way to go right now because no one is shopping for dresses right now in the winter.
I just wear a nice pair of jeans that fit me well and also a well fitting shirt that isn't too frumpy.It may not be "retro" but it's not exactly modern either. The most important thing for me is hair. I figure if my hair is styled well, I can go casual. Also red lipstick helps too. :)
I was able to find some really pretty vintage jewelry from http://cutfj.com/jewelry/jewelry-designers/elizabeth-showers/
Found some great earrings to go with a PUG style dress of mine!
i like american apparel for jeans, especially, they have great high waisted jeans in lots of colors. only problem is sizing can sometimes be off when ordering online. they also have knit pencil skirts that are inexpensive. I try to stick with things that hit at the waist, if i'm looking for a vintage silhouette. you can tie a button down or a t shirt at the waist over high waisted jeans or a pencil skirt. I have a few thrift store cardigans, vintage blazers & jackets, and the masiumi shrug from PUG that are staples. I love the vamp tops, they go with everything. ballet flats, oxfords or loafers are good if you don't want to wear heels. or riding boots if its cold out (or combat boots are cute if you lean a little to the punk side!) one of my favorite casual looks is a cute collared shirt peeking out of a cropped sweater. I like to dress casual outfits up a bit with brooches or other jewelry, like a brooch at the collar or lapel, or used to gather a t shirt at the waist. like another poster said, just stick to the classics, they'll be easier to mix and match into vintage looks. i think dark/thicker tights look a little more casual than stockings. scarves are always good - 3rd day hair i do a pomp with a bandanna or scarf around it. experiment with setting your hair, if you're into that - trial and error, if you don't like how one part came out just wrap that part differently the next night. but a little curl & body always gives you a bit more of that vintage look than straight hair. hmm, makeup.. I go pretty light on foundation, I usually mix a bit of foundation with a moisturizer or facial oil and some liquid highlighter for a dewy look. for eyes I use the limecrime primer, set with powder, then longcils boncza liquid liner and cake mascara. apart from being fabulously vintage in packaging, they work wonders and stay put. i don't do lipstains much, but I like a sheer but dark lipstick, theres even a covergirl one that looks like a big crayon, i've got it in a berry color.
ugh i think i'm starting to ramble... I hope this was somewhat helpful. always fun to share tips and see what you girls like to do as well!