Monday, 23 January 2012

Dressing vintage and feminism


I have been thinking a lot about feminism and dressing vintage and have had some trouble writing it down. It either turned out too harsh or too fuzzy, but lucky me; Gemma at Retrochick ha now written this excellent post about it! She basically sums up what I wanted to say, so I hope you will forgive my lack of originality and just gives you a few quotes. Do read the whole of her post, though!

”I find this construction of identity as both feminine and feminist really interesting. I have come across people on my travels that for some reason think returning to an age when Women weren’t expected to worry their pretty little heads about complicated things like Politics would be a wonderful thing, but on the whole the “vintage” ladies I’ve met have been some of the most independent, forthright and modern girls I’ve ever come across.”

I have met those people too in certain contexts as well. Mostly male and men that have looked at me and assumed that the way I look also means that I would rather let The Man take charge of my life. Usually those conversation starts with “I love it that you dress like a woman.”

”We pick and chose our role models, not looking to return to a previous time in history, but take those bits from it that we feel appeal to us, suit our bodies and our lifestyles. We might want to lose a few pounds or tone up, but on the whole “vintage” women blame the clothes, not their bodies.”

I find clothe sizes a bit of a joke, really. I think we all would do ourselves a favour if we stopped thinking of each other as having a certain size. Depending on garment and material I can buy clothes in four different sizes? What is my true size? And it’s a bit of a joke when you need a larger size and you realize that the designer has no clue whatsoever how to make clothes for a woman who doesn’t look like a model.

”A feminist doesn’t have to look a certain way. Surely that’s the whole point of feminism./…/ I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to be beautiful, it’s wanting to be beautiful on someone elses terms that’s the problem.”
Yes, yes, yes. And yes again.



More related posts
The Style High Club.
Lost In the 50’s.

(Picture sources: http://www.stylishandtrendy.com/fashion/womens-fashion/why-old-women-still-prefer-stockings/
http://www.lafemmemagazine.com/new_page_35.htm)

12 comments:

Miss Meadows said...

Det där sista citatet är egentligen det enda man behöver tänka på när man klär sej SOM MAN SJÄLV VILL!!! :) Skitbra! Kat von D's smink säljs på Sephora. Tyvärr har den butiken ju inte nått lilla Sverige än, så man får passa på när man kommer till ett land där den finns. Annars går det ju alltid att beställa på nätet oxå! :)

Alice said...

wonderful pics!

My blog:
http://alicecloset-sewing.blogspot.com/

Rowenna said...

Great points--thanks for sharing this! To me, the whole point of feminism is opening doors and letting women chose who they want to be. To me feminism means more options--adopting a style of dress doesn't mean you're defining yourself one way or another! Love :)

Johanna Öst said...

Great post! This blog has really become one of my favourites, always worth reading!

Clare said...

Thanks for the link! I love the post, it's brilliant! And now I'm involved in the massive debate going on in the comments - oops! Have a read of the comments, ladies, if you haven't already - very interesting stuff.

Isis said...

Miss Meadows: Precis! :) Tack, det ska jag kolla upp!

Alice: Thank you.

Rowenna: I agree with you!

Johanna: I think she writes very interseting too!

Clare: I noticed! And I think you answer very clearly and intelligently!

Johanna Öst said...

I meant your blog actually, but the one you linked to is great too of course! :)

Isis said...

Johanna: Oh. :D Thank you so much!

Lillgull said...

This posts and the one in the link, really summed up my own thoughts on this subject and it was as if she had read my thoughts and put them into words!
I will print her post out and when ever anyone questions or do not understand my point of view and choice of style I will have an easier time explaining. Thanks allot and a imaginary bouquet of red and pink roses to you Isis for chairing.

Tia said...

Another point that I haven't seen anyone make about feminism and vintage style is that a lot of women who lived back in the '40s weren't the helpless little things that modern women believe them to be. My grandmother was extremely independent. Nobody told her what to do, and she was certainly not a "stay at home mom" as so many people ignorantly assume about all women of the day. She is my inspiration. ♥

Isis said...

Lillgull: I'm glad you enjoyed the post! I think it was excellent and also ratherinteresting, if not very upliofting, that most that have been critical doesn't seem to have really read it.

Tia: So true. There have alway been strong and independent women around, even during times were they have had next to no rights in the law.

magpiestitcher said...

Good thoughts. And, you know, your chosen decade - the 40's, especially the war years - those clothes always seemed very "feminist" to me - short skirts, lace-up shoes that don't fly off when you run, and Rosie the Riveter coveralls! Strong, practical clothes for women who had to be strong and practical because so many of their men were off in the Army and couldn't "take care of" them as formerly. MUCH more "feminist" that our current show-everything tissue-jersey-and-bare-skin craze.

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