Vintage Hat Style: Why We Love the Fedora

fedoraIt goes without saying that the fedora is ultra-chic. Just as abundant in high street fashion as it is in vintage fashion, it’s perhaps one of the most accessible accessories to wear when it comes to channelling trends from decades passed. But that’s not why we love it so…

The vintage fedora dates all the way back to 1882, but became hugely popular with 1950s gangsters; a sea of hats would fill the bars of Brooklyn and soon the fedora hat would become a style statement for male movie stars of that time. But there’s more to the fedora than Hollywood and gangsters; the fedora is also one of the early symbols of first-wave feminism. It represented a stronger, tougher female species; someone who wasn’t going to be treated as a second class citizen. And that’s why we find the vintage fedora so empowering. So if you love this chic, on-trend accessory, we urge you to buy vintage. It just has so much more meaning, don’t you agree?

Vintage Fedora Style for Men

james dean fedora hat

This image of James Dean wearing a fedora shows how the look had transfigured from gangster fashion into a cult style worn by movie stars and everyday men in the 50s…


And today, we see the fedora mutate into all the different subcultures of both music and fashion, crossing every boundary from hip hop and gangster rap to R&B and pop; and let’s not forget how indie rock badboy Pete Doherty brought this look to the masses back in the 90s and early 2000s, pinning it as a festival staple for both men and women.

Vintage Fedora Style for Women

annie hall fedora

Perhaps one of the most iconic looks of all time, Diane Keaton as Annie Hall; this whole look symbolises androgyny in fashion which merges well with the hippie look of the 70s. The look had a carefree, cool and laissez faire, don’t-label-me kind of vibe which worked well with Keaton’s character as a struggling nightclub singer.

fedora how to wear

Today though, symbolism aside, the vintage fedora style has so much more reach and appeals to girls from just about every walk of life. As seen on high profile women of today, the versatile fedora adorns the heads of stars as sweet and innocent as Taylor Swift, as hipster and as a sexy as Shay Mitchell, as effortlessly cool and tomboyish as Cara Delavigne, and as timeless as vintage fashion queen Alexa Chung.

So if you’re looking for the ultimate vintage accessory this year, the vintage fedora is a must – and it’s so incredibly easy to style no matter your fashion sense.

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Stay stylish, SBP Team x


The Iconic Fringe Jacket: A Vintage Trend Worn by Music Legends

vintage fringe jackets

According to recent catwalks, the bohemian trend which has been dipping its toes in and out of fashion and flirting outrageously with the runway, is making a serious comeback. That 60s / 70s look is set to be super hot in SS16 and girls are getting their fringe on in time for music festivals. It’s so Woodstock 69. But here at Style By Portobello, we’re not so moved by trends and what the designer catwalk dictates. We’ve loved that 70s look since the beginning of time and we’re big fans of the iconic fringe jacket. And we don’t believe that fringing gets any better than vintage fringing. So before you hit the high streets for a fast fashion fix, we think you should head to your local vintage market such as Portobello Road. 

As worn by some of the most iconic music stars of the 60s and 70s, the fringe jacket is a serious style statement, one that represents love, hedonism, freedom, progression, the hippie movement, liberal thinking, world peace and even a bit of self-indulgence. What started in the 1920s with flapper style dresses became a major look in the 1970s; taking inspiration from Native Indian clothing, the bohemian fringing that happened in Western fashion was a great representation of free thinking, openness and kindness. 

If you love 1970s vintage as much as we do, a fringed jacket or waistcoat is a wardrobe must-have. And whether you go for leather or suede, you can’t wrong with some vintage fringing this summer! Here are some of the most iconic people to have worn the fringe jacket.


vintage fringe jacket jimi hendrix


vintage fringe jacket janis joplin


GRACE SLICK fringe jacket


vintage fringe jacket HOW TO WEAR


vintage fringe jacket elvis


vintage fringe jacket marsha hunt


vintage fringing stevie nicks




If you love this iconic style of the 70s, browse the vintage stalls and boutique shops around Portobello and Golborne Road the next time you’re in the area. And for more vintage style updates, vintage shopping guides or vintage fashion inspiration, make sure you sign up to the Style By Portobello newsletter.

SBP Team x

Love Vintage, Love Animal Print: A Look Worn by Vintage Icons

Sophia loren animal print

We just can’t get enough of animal print here at Style By Portobello. “Love vintage, love animal print” – that’s what we say. Because no matter how many trends come and go, this print never seems to go out of style. And it’s been worn by some of the most glamorous stars of the past, including some of our favourite vintage icons. From the sexy, sultry Marilyn Monroe to the sophisticated and classy Jackie O, or the ethereal and elegant Audrey Hepburn to the forever stylish Sophia Loren, animal print has always had a place in time.

 vintage leopard print how to wear

Hugely popular in the 1960s and as part of the bohemian movement for women, animal print was everywhere. Popular prints and furs included leopard, cheetah, tiger, zebra, spotted hyena, striped hyena and even giraffe print. But if you’re searching local markets for your perfect print accessories, one of the most common and accessibly simply has to be the leopard. This print has been worn by some of the biggest stars of the 60s and beyond. And it’s been styled in so many different ways by women from all walks of life. If you love this timeless look as much as we do, here’s some vintage style inspiration on how to style it…

Marilyn Monroe: Sexy Leopard Print

marilyn monroe leopard print

Marilyn Monroe was a big fan of prints and it’s very Marilyn-esque to reveal her animalistic side; always styled with a bold red lipstick, the finished look was always sexy and seductive. She rocked the leopard print look like a true pin-up and her one of her favourite (and more classier) pieces was the fur stole. Style a vintage animal print cape or faux fur stole with a sparkly brooch like Marilyn to get the look.

Jackie O: Oh So Classy


Proving that leopard print really is for everyone, First Lady Jackie Kennedy sported a fabulous leopard coat for her presidential duties back in the sixties. If the pin-up girl look isn’t for you, go for a classy ensemble or formal black shift dress and finish off with a vintage fur coat like Jackie O’s. This look is perfect for night and day, making an animal print fur (or faux fur) coat a very versatile investment. If you buy vintage fur, just make sure you get it dry cleaned / steam cleaned to kill off any dust mites that could irritate the skin. And always check the coat thoroughly for holes, rips and tears when you’re shopping; one of our best tips is to always hold clothing up to the natural sunlight.

Audrey Hepburn: Simple and Understated

audrey hepburn animal print

If you want a subtle look, try styling a simple pillar box hat. Visit your local vintage market and you might be able to find a whole offering of vintage hats, including animal print berets, fedoras, caps and more. To get that elegant Audrey appeal, style with a longline coat, some pretty pearl studs and some natural looking make-up. Don’t overdo the styling and let your animal print do all the talking.

elizabeth taylor animal print

Animal print isn’t just for winter and Elizabeth Taylor took the print to new heights with this spectacular bathing suit. Sexy and modest at the same time, this look helped to popularise the trend across the seasons. If you’re looking forward to SS16, look for some vintage animal print accessories (such as bags, neckties, headbands or headscarves) to add a bit of glamour to your spring / summer outfits.

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SBP Team x

Tweed Today: Rock this Heritage Fabric with a Vintage Tweed Jacket

vintage tweed jackets how to wear
(Img src: Carmen C on Lookbook)

There are fewer things in the world quite as beautiful tweed. This textured woollen fabric and its signature flecked design originates from Scotland and has been historically linked to Northern England’s rural areas. So if anything is quintessentially British, this is. Named after the Tweed River on the Northern England and Scottish border, tweed fabric became popular in the 1930s. And as plenteous as tweed has been throughout 20th Century fashion, time is but a numerical symbol. Because tweed fabric and tweed jackets are truly timeless and there is no “trend” or decade to which it belongs. It’s a forever classic and we just can’t get enough of vintage tweed here at Style By Portobello.

how to wear tweed 1940s style(Img src: Vogue to Vintage)

Tweed jackets have been worn by fabulous women throughout time – Audrey Hepburn to Kate Moss – and we think that every wardrobe needs at least one tweed jacket. If you need some inspiration, take a look at some of our favourite vintage tweed jacket looks from some of the most iconic designers that have influenced us today.

Coco Chanel

Legend has it that the Duke of Westminster in the 1920s was the first person to introduce tweed to Coco Chanel. Not before long, tweed became Chanel’s fabric of choice and the famous Chanel Boucle Jacket was born…

chanel tweed jacket history

chanel tweed jackets vintage

Yves Saint Laurent

This amazing tweed suit for women was designed in the 1930s and this look continued to be hugely popular throughout the 40s and 50s too…

YSL tweed suit 1930s


Design house Balenciaga turned the popular Chanel fabric into the perfect wool for outerwear and oversized coats. This look is perfect for AW and a longline tweed coat is ultra-luxurious!

balenciaga tweed

balenciaga tweed


There are some really famous tweed labels (such as Harris Tweed) but you could say that Burberry helped to bring back the tweed / country revival. Together with the Burberry scarf, the whole look is just so iconic. And so wonderfully British too!

burberry tweed vintage

If you’re mad about tweed like we are, don’t forget to look out for gorgeous tweed jackets and coats the next time you visit Portobello Road Market. The vintage tweed jacket is a wardrobe must-have.

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SBP Team x