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How to Style a Vintage LBD

3 Days, 3 Ways with
Emma Hearl

Name: Emma Hearl
Location: Northern Ireland
Occupation: Retail Assistant

Personal Style Advice: The best style secret is layering…putting shirts under dresses, dresses under dresses, skirts over dresses…the list goes on. The only limit is your imagination! Experiment with volume and texture to add more detail or a new slant to an existing piece. That and dress entirely for yourself.

Style IconS


I don’t have a specific icon I find myself endless inspired by so many people. My friends on Instagram, strangers in real life…my aesthetic always changes so my influences are never static. I do want to shout out Lucy @stylingismymedicine for her constant streetwear style, I’m obsessed.

Why I picked this dress to style

No real story about this specific vintage dress. I picked it up for an absolute steal on ebay a few years back just to have a fancy vintage cocktail dress in my wardrobe for a “special occasion.” I chose it specifically for this piece because we all have those “saving for best” pieces that lie neglected and unloved in our wardrobes. Why not make them everyday loved pieces. Our lives are the occasion, let’s get dressed to celebrate that! Why not throw on a ballgown to go to the supermarket to get milk?

Look One

Look One: Parisian Chic

I’m wearing a thrifted polka dot mesh blouse which has puffy sleeves to compliment the fabric of the dress and added a gifted vintage bridal underskirt (my local charity were going to throw this out because they thought no one would buy it) to create more dramatic volume. Plus it twirls epically! I love playing with textures so brought more mesh in with the socks and vintage loafers to anchor the whole thing. The ribbon necktie was a last minute addition but I think it works so perfectly and looks so cute.

Look Two

Look Two: Neon Dreams

I’m a huge fan of vibrant colour in my looks. It always makes me feel happier and amped for the day, I call it Serotonin Styling. So with this in mind I styled preloved neon green gingham minidress under the black one. I wanted to pair my absolute favourites snag tights in the shade wicked…tights are such a fun way to start experimenting with bold colour for the wary. I then threw on my preloved leather harness and chunky sandals just to toughen up the look a bit and add some extra hardware details.

Look Three

Look Three: Red or Dead

I am absolutely positively obsessed with berets….I have about 30 in various colours so had to include at least one in this restyling. I’ve taken a vintage 80s cropped jumper and added over the top of the dress this time. I love the proportions of this 80s knitwear leg of mutton sleeve with the puffy skirt. Adding colourful complimentary socks is just the funnest way to make a look your own. Big chunky trainers to round it all out plus these are super furry so added another textural dimension.

I’ve worn all of these outfits to work, out to dinner and socialising. It’s a very formal dress all by itself but by adding different textural or styling elements you can change its purpose entirely making it so much more wearable and a “reach for piece”.

Find more of amazing styles by Emma on:
Instagram: @emmahearl.tall.vintage
Tiktok: @emmahearl.vintage

You asked, and we listened! You said you wanted more style inspo of real people showing how they wear a garment in multiple ways. Great style advice on personal style and examples of how they do it. We’ll be doing this for you at least twice a month –if not more– and if you’re interested in being featured you can DM us on Instagram or reach out to

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