As a woman I can say that I nourish myself with good food, good wine (and water when needed ;-) ), beer sometimes (unfortunately I have a weakness also for this beverage, having lived in Dublin for 3 years) and undoubtedly with good outfits. That's my motto: "Dress cool, drink cool, eat cool"!
I love vintage style, I have to say. I think that a combination of a modern look with some stylish vintage accessories is the best you can do to be really "elegant". But be careful, you have to study it properly.
First of all be careful about WHERE you buy your vintage pieces. Second-hand markets, corner markets and so on can be very tricky. You can rather pay few pennies (or euros :-)), thinking that you have done a good deal while you have instead fed your guardrobe with another unuseful "object", like a plastic old bag that you will never be so brave to use for example. It can also happen that you pay a fortune for something not even certified which might not be "real" (I mean that is just a fake or that, if not a fake, conditions are really poor).
Remember that if old items have not been kept properly, even if branded, they will destroy themselves very quickly.
So what to do? Try to find a reliable second-hand supplier. For sure you will find one in your city. For sure he has the right network and he can tell you which markets are reliable and if the product you want to buy is really worthy.
Do not buy in Internet. You can buy second-hand accessories but not vintage ones. You need to check with your eyes in which conditions they have been kept. This could make the difference.
Finally, if you have the chance, exploit your grandma guardrobe. I have the luck that mine was really fashionable. In each occasion she had the right piece to wear, always with class!
So this post is fully dedicated to her, who passed away some months ago. Thanks to my granny I have a full collection of vintage bags, which she used to give me as a gift when she was alive, certain that I would have enjoyed them. And that's the true. I try to preserve them but I also enjoy them as much as I can!