Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Living the vintage lifestyle?
This is something I have been thinking about, from time to time, since I started this blog. When reading this thread at The Fedora Lounge about what it is that attracts you to the vintage areas, I started to think about it again.
First of all; what is a vintage lifestyle? I suspect that it is very different depending on who you ask. Is it to try to really live as if you were living in the past? Or just to adopt the visual markers when it comes to your clothes and home. Or just to adopt some of them to create a vintage feel to your outfit? So I will refrain from trying to define it, especially as I don’t even have a clear definition made up in my own mind. I don’t think I live it, though. I have no wish to live my life after the standards of the 1940’s and I don’t look back with rose-tinted glasses either. I wouldn’t want to live 70 years in the past in a decade when a war was fought for the first part and the last part still reeled from it. Nor do I hanker for a time where men where men and women and women (and possibly little green furry creatures from Alpha Centauri was little green furry creatures from Alpha Centauri). If I had lived back then I would probably have been a middle class housewife and I most certainly don’t want to be a housewife, it is not a lifestyle for me. I work full time and so does my darling and when it comes to household chores we share that pretty equally. So no, I can’t say that I live a vintage way of life. I’m fine with being a modern Millie when it comes to my day to day life.
Clothes then? Well, do I dress 1940’s style each and every day? The answer to that is no as well. One of the reasons I started this project was that my wardrobe badly needed an overhaul and after having a lifelong attraction to the fashion of the forties I liked the idea of giving my wardrobe that flair, but my wardrobe doesn’t solely exist on such clothes. I’m not completely faithful the 1940’s either, I’m also very drawn to the fifties and especially my party clothes have a distinct fifties flair. I would say though, that I generally dress “vintagy”. I always wear dresses and skirts and practically live in cute cardigans for work. I like stockings and high heels and curling my hair. I almost never go without my red lipstick.
There is a discussion that crops up now and then in regard of dressing in a vintage style. There are people who think that you only do it right if you solely dress in actually vintage clothes. For some reason they are very often anonymous and leave catty replies to people who don’t come up to that standard. It is a type of people who, I think, can be found everywhere, people who makes a narrow definition of what is right and then look down upon those who don’t conform.
It’s pretty obvious that I’m not one of them, especially as I would have a very hard time wearing vintage clothes as they are rarely found in my size. I can admire those who do, though- it takes some time and effort and probably money too, to be able to put together a look solely out of vintage clothes. Me I go for reproductions and what I sew for myself, the important bit is how it looks. The conclusion is that I pick the plums out of my forties cake. I choose the glamour and the stylishness but leave out the hardships.
Of course I’m not being very original in my views- there are a lot of great blog posts out there on a similar vein, like this post by Fleur.
Vintage vs. Reproduction.
Retro Chic discusses The meaning of vintage and What is “vintage” anyway?.
And a bit different, but some good advice when going for the vintage look: Vintage caution.