The Foolproof Way to Start Curating a Vintage Look

Photography by Michael Caronchi

Audrey’s of Naples’ co-owners Ashley Means and Quenby Tilley.

Looking to dip your toes into the world of vintage fashion? One simple and foolproof way to curate a stylishly chic vintage look is to start with a good vintage bag, according to Quenby Tilley, co-owner of Audrey’s of Naples, a luxury consignment store known for its expansive variety of vintage clothing.

No matter the era you choose, Tilley says you can always work a handbag into an ensemble, since the fashion runways are continuously borrowing from other eras to inspire the looks of the future.

“Fashion is on turbo drive, designers are moving so fast to stay one step ahead that they stumble over each other and traipse all over the past in a race to get there,” Tilley says.

For example, she points to the many styles of handbags that have been making their way back on the runways recently. From the vintage-style metal frame handbags (1930s) to bags with top handles (1950s) and those with chain straps (1980s) and for evening, the reticule bag. “Think Emily Bronte, and [Jane Austen’s] Pride and Prejudice with all its sumptuous velvety, lacy drawstring lushness.

Bottom line: If you carry a vintage bag you will always look like you’re in the know.

“If by some unlikely chance the bag you’ve chosen is not on the recent runways, it just ensures you’re way ahead of the game and it’s a virtual guarantee that by next fashion cycle it will be,” Tilley says.

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