Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thoughts on the "vintage" trend

A friend passed on to me tickets to a Vintage Market on this weekend, promising "Vintage and Retro Men's and Women's Clothing and Accessories", and sorry, but I can't help but feel a bit yawn-y about the whole thing.  And hate to sound cynical, but the current fad for "vintage" is just becoming a tad too commercial for my liking.  I've even heard stories of ladies who have been op-shopping like mad for this event, scooping up masses of clothing and up-marking it to put in their own "vintage" stalls in the market... well count me out.  
I've got nothing against op-shopping, per se.  Well, I have done it myself once in a while...  Op-shopping (if done when you can afford not to, I mean) is of course partly a political statement of one's non-dependence on commercial and new products, and how better to make that first-impression "I rebel against the system" message than in your clothing?  As well as satisfying one's artistic desire to dress uniquely, not to mention saving a few dollars at the same time; so it's not surprising this is a long-term favourite occupation of real bohemian souls... 
But is one being truly thrifty or merely conformist when following the "vintage" trend?  Or worse, opportunist, as in the case of the Market sharks vendors.
So I think I'll just be occupying myself with sewing and gardening this weekend.  Plus I've already got my own "vintage" (hahaha) treasures; this dress is very Jackie O, don't you think?  I picked it up when she had her White House garage sale... of course I'm joking, I made this myself about five years ago, and no pseudo-retro or "vintage" pattern was used either, just an ordinary one.  Sorry to disappoint.  I'm merely wearing it to stay cool.
Funny thing when I was putting this on this morning; I put it over my head just as usual then struggled a little to pull it down, and I couldn't understand why it felt tighter than usual.  Then went to pull up the zip.  The zip was already up.  Lol!

Dress; Burda 8511 slightly modified to fit, printed synthetic stuff (thus the "indestructible" dress)
Sandals; Franco Burrone, from MarieClaire shoes


  1. What a perfect little dress to wear when it's hot. I got a little chuckle when you said the struggle was all because the zip was up.

    Such a shame that the vintage sharks are taking such advantage of people. I do love some of the vintage/retro styles and have made a couple, but I don't do the whole getup. I wear them more in a modern setting; so I don't think anyone would look at them and think vintage. I love many different styles of clothing. I guess I'm kind of eclectic. I enjoy modern and vintage patterns. I enjoy really dressing up and putting on a pair of jeans or sweats. I also enjoy doing some refashioning. I think it's fun to try different things.

    I do buy a lot of mine and my children's clothing from thrift and resale, but it's more of a necessity for us versus a political statement. We are on a fairly modest income, one-income with several children; so it really helps to keep everyone with clothes on their backs and food on the table.

  2. Hm, I understand what you're on about concerning the 'vintage-fad'. I think by now, we all have seen the likes of two year old H&M cast-offs marketed as 'vintage'. And lots of 'vintage' market seem to sell mostly new, cheaply made retro stuff...
    That said, I think there's still a lot to like about the trend. It does encourage a lot of people to mix and match the trends of the past with those of today to create a style which works for them.
    I actually play around with retro/vintage looks quite a bit but I adept things to my body shape and I have no problem with mixing eras of origin.

  3. Some vintage clothing has such a luxe feel to it-the coats and jackets were better quality wool, or maybe the tailoring was better than I see in the RTW I am able to afford now. In any case, I do like scouting vintage shops for outerwear, hats, purses, and clothing to refashion. I must say that for me, vintage is 50+ years ago. Anything from my childhood and beyond is just plain old.

    That's a lovely shift dress you are modeling today. Enjoy your weather, we are in the deep freeze here. :-p

  4. I quite like the enthusiasm of people who go the whole hog to dress authentically 50's with their hair styles and everything else. But yeah, otherwise it's a whole lotta excitement over a worn out cliche. The good thing is that the charity shops must be doing a roaring trade (having noted the not so cheap price tags on second hand of late) - which in turn helps those who need help.
    Love your shift - that's a very pretty border with a lovely bouganvillea in the background.

  5. Mary - I have to say it; luxe-feel?, wool?, 50+ yrs?, and tailoring?? oh my gosh, the charity shops where you are must be a vastly higher quality than we are used to!! Here the chances of finding something not either made in China, rayon, around 5-6 yrs old, and/or very well worn in the op shops are slim.
    I need to come and visit you!!

  6. haha, and have just realised that apart from "made in China" the above describes my own outfit today quite well... lol!

  7. Ha ha re: zipper!

    The boob darts in this frock is very 1960s ala Jackie O, as I have made a couple of dresses with those darts from that era. Using authentic vintage patterns!

    Bet it's hot over there!

  8. A lovely shift dress, and how clever of you to find a cool synthetic.

  9. Caroline--I like your thoughts on this "vintage" phenomenon. I often admire the looks of it, but when I have tried to shop it, I am unwilling to spend top dollar on clothing I may have to be very, very careful with. The flower detail on your dress is quite nice.

  10. Oh, I love thrifting ... but don't expect to find anything "vintage" - I wouldn't know anyway - ha ha! Actually, I like to do it to fill in the holes in my wardrobe sooner and with better quality than I would if I waited to make it or to buy it new ... besides, there's the thrill of the hunt ...

    Your zipper story made me chuckle. So something I would do!!

  11. Personally I find the whole vintage thing a bit ho-hum. I am old enough to remember my mother struggling into 1950s corsets that she continued to wear until she was liberated in the 60s. Why young women want to wear clothes that were designed to constrain women and bring them back into the home after the war years confounds me. My daughters and I are great op shoppers. In fact right now I'm wearing a great Harry Who khaki linen jacket with shell beads around the collar ($25) with white David Lawrence jeans ($9)both bought at my local St Vinnies. I have been assured that the money raised through clothing sales supports their charity assistance work.