This stuff is definitely worth adding to your cart.

By Samantha Sutton
Updated Apr 21, 2020 @ 3:00 pm
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Photo Illustration/InStyle.com; Photos: Getty Images

I'll admit that lately, a good portion of my downtime has been spent on my phone. When I'm not scrolling through Instagram, stuck in a TikTok hole, or FaceTiming family and friends, I'm most likely on Etsy searching for vintage clothing. Snagging slightly more affordable, vintage versions of today's top trends is my ultimate fashion hack. And, right now, my cart is full of fabulous finds waiting to be purchased — when the time (and my budget) is right.

For me, the key to getting the good stuff on Etsy has been knowing exactly what I'm looking for. The more detailed you get in the search bar — embroidered cardigans, '50s prom dresses, red leather pants, etc. — the better your results will be. Then, you can play around with filters to find options in your size, ultimately leading you to the perfect piece. This method hasn't failed me yet; some of my favorite dresses, sweaters, and coats have been purchased through the site.

As summer approaches, I've been using Etsy to plan out which styles I want in my wardrobe. So what, exactly, have I been searching for? Ahead, I've rounded up nine vintage-meets-current fashion trends that you might want to check out, too.

Matching Sets

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I'm talking coordinated tops and bottoms, suits, and my current favorite, cardigan twin sets. These matchy-matchy looks, which are often from the '90s and farther back, bring me joy — they make a statement, are pleasing to the eye, and pretty much ensure you'll look put-together. But, most importantly, they're easy to wear. Your outfit is already complete, and all you have to do is put it on.

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A Whole Lot of Collars

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There are so many throwback collar trends happening at the moment, between polo shirts and pilgrim collars, that I find myself constantly gravitating toward pieces that include that detail. Personally, I'm big into dresses with bold, contrasting white collars — which really makes the piece pop — as well as collared cardigans, which help me achieve a '40s and '50s vibe.

Shop Similar: Pilgrim Collars

Mom Shorts

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Blame it on a love of comfort or the fact that the '90s is still going full force, but over the past few years, my shorts preference has gotten longer and longer. This year, I'm gravitating toward options that are high-rise and nearly hit the knee — aka, a true mom short. Plus, considering khakis have returned, I've been on the lookout for beige options, which will no doubt pair well with a simple T-shirt and sandals.

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Sling-Backs

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There's something so elegant about a classic sling-back, and a closed-toe style is the perfect in-between on days when I'm not willing to wear sandals. I've recently become obsessed with finding a block-heeled, sling-back loafer, similar to ones from Fendi's spring 2020 collection, and am also a fan of cap-toe options, which give off Chanel vibes. Even an old school, woven sling-back flat would look great with those aforementioned shorts.

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Playful Prints

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Last summer, my overall aesthetic was "fashion clown," and in 2020, I've embraced it even more — especially when it comes to polka-dots. This timeless print adds whimsy to any outfit, and sometimes, it acts as a neutral when mixed with other prints. I'm also a big fan of summer gingham and colorful plaids (especially when they include a combination of seasonal shades), so I've been searching for checkered shorts, sundresses, and pants, which will help to liven up the basics in my closet.

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Pleated Skirts

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Adding a jacket or scarf to your outfit is a quick way make things more elevated and pull together a look. However, I can't (and definitely don't want to) pile on layers in 90-degree heat. The next best alternative is investing in small, eye-catching details, such as pleats. Whether it's with a mini or midi skirt, this design makes things more interesting, and helps achieve the '90s preppy trend — which has totally returned. Plus, pleated skirts look great with almost any top, and can quickly replace your go-to shorts or jeans on days you want to take it up a notch.

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Voluminous Details

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Ruffles, balloon sleeves, neck ties: I'm into it all, mostly because it suits my typically feminine style. A trick I enjoy pulling is styling my oversized, puff-sleeved Etsy find underneath a dress or jumpsuit, creating a new, standout combo that's suitable for in-between weather. Plus, these shirts — which yes, are likely straight from the '80s — go well with slim-fitting bottoms (e.g.: bike shorts), which will provide a bit of balance.

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Jumpsuits

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Whether you type in boilersuits, jumpsuits, or coveralls, the results will likely lead you to loose, zip- or button-up one-pieces, which come in handy on days when you crave comfort or are having a fashion dilemma. I simply slip into one of these, add sandals or sneakers, and boom — I'm ready to go. A mid-section belt or a scarf are also great additions if you're hoping to dress it up.

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Colorful Pants

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While I love color blocking and wearing bright pants, the options I love from Saks Potts and Simon Miller are slightly above what I'm willing to spend. The good news is, Etsy is a goldmine for all things colorful from the past century. Whether you're looking for something pink, green, or yellow, want a structured pant or some dyed denim, you're bound to find it if you get specific.

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