And while we're discussing vintage fabrics, let me pause a moment to sing the praises of polyester. Yes, polyester. It was a fabric that was used extensively in clothing from the 1950s on, so you'll see a lot of it out there and in beautiful designs, too. I've seen it in dress fabrics that felt like cotton, silk, knits, jersey...you name it, and there's probably a polyester version of it. It was perfect for the time's emerging working woman because it was (and is) comfortable, resists wrinkles, maintains its shape, and is wash and wear. I can personally attest that it's perfect for today's working woman as well.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Once upon a time, I needed an affordable wardrobe for work. That is how my relationship began with vintage about a decade or so ago. Fortunately, that element is still true today as you can find vintage at fantastic prices...like going on a trip to J. Crew but you come back with a one-of-a-kind dress. Though buying vintage can be a boon to any budget, my appreciation goes much deeper than that. Here are just some of the reasons that I find vintage clothing as incredible as I do.
You're wearing history.
The quality of these pieces is often so good that it's hard to remember they have somehow lasted 40, 50, and 60 years. Can you imagine pieces from your current wardrobe making it that long? I find it unfortunate that we are often offered apparel that seems quite disposable now. Very much a "try a trend and throw it out" mentality in many cases. A lot of the pieces made today can't make it through one month much less 60 years. Yet somehow vintage pieces, like the ones from GlamAmor, still look incredible.
And because of my passion for classic cinema along with being lucky enough to live in Los Angeles, I can't help but think of the life that these clothes had before me. That history. Who wore this? Where did they live? Where did they go to be entertained? Where did they travel? It's pretty easy to give your vintage wardrobe a very glamourous past, I assure you. I always try to make the clothes proud when wearing them, because after all...
The colors are inspirational. They are an instant mood booster when you're having a bad day or stuck at work. They make going anywhere--even just to work--an occasion. And the combinations of colors they tried back then are really something. Here's an example of a dress of mine that's purple and orange and red and off-white. Who knew? But somehow it works. I "ground" it with off-white accessories to not compete with the design of the dress--a classic 1950s frame purse (from Belgium), BCBG mules, and delicate drop pearl earrings.
And the form found in vintage clothing? Timeless. After all, these are the originals that gave birth to shapes that continue on the runways today. The 1950s hourglass with those nipped waists and flared skirts. The streamlined 1960s sheath dresses. The pencil skirt. Most everything today riffs off these original designs. Also, for those of us who actually have hips, you can appreciate these bygone eras as being a time when things were designed for and sold to women...not little girls.
From silk to chiffon to tweed, the texture of vintage clothing is also incredible. It's quite a feeling--literally--to be inside a vintage dress or coat. Much like the color therapy, it just feels amazing any time your hand brushes against the fabric. Again, art.
That vintage dress or coat or purse or whatever you choose to buy is going to be unique. I can practically guarantee that you'll never see anyone else wearing the same thing, especially if you get something that isn't a major label. I find great design all the time in vintage clothing that isn't from a major house like Chanel or Gucci, and the lesser known labels are going to be the ones that are less owned by other people. It's yours. Because of this, vintage really helps you to express your own style. And if you're a gal who goes to a lot of parties or events, vintage will be a dream for you. Again, no one's going to be wearing your dress.
I also find that wearing the dresses actually gets me out the door faster, which includes work in the morning. It's such a key piece that you can literally throw on a pair of shoes, maybe a pair of simple earrings, and you're out the door.
You're going green.
Why not consider this one of the benefits of wearing vintage? The fact is that you're recycling clothing that has been loved before--things just don't make it 40, 50, 60 years without a little love. So by recycling, you're taking something that might otherwise be wrongfully discarded, and you're also not adding to all the waste that comes from manufacturing new clothes. Now I'm not suggesting you eliminate new clothes from your wardrobe...I certainly wouldn't. But know that whenever you do buy and wear vintage, you are helping the earth out a little bit and every little bit does count. Environmentally conscious...always in style.
And so sets forth the foundation of my love for vintage clothing. I'd love to hear your own reasons for wearing vintage or being interested in it. You can feel free to email me in addition to any posts you make.