Monday, June 14, 2010

Are There Vintage Styles You Won't Wear?

Here is me (the toddler) and my sister, circa 1976. I am just under two years old which means my sister is about 8. It was the mid-late 70s. Carter was in the White House, the Bicentennial was happening, and Elton John and Steely Dan played our parents' turntable (or 8 track). The fashion scene was chock full of polyester, bell bottoms, Wallabees, paisley prints, frosted and feathered hair, short, fat neckties, and pointed collars.

I have to say that out of all the vintage out there, the mid-60s to 70s was the worst. I also cannot stomach most things 80s. I lived it and you cannot make me go back to day-glow jelly shoes, Madonna lace, legwarmers, Reebok hightops, acid wash, and zipper-ankle jeans! I wanted a pair of Reebok high tops so bad. My mom, being the frugal queen, refused to shell out the $58.00 and instead, paid $10.00 for a shoddy pair of knock-off from Pick n'Pay shoes. Not only were they ugly, they said "Winner" across the ankles. Yes, "winner." I wore these hideous abominations to school the next day and everyone laughed at me and yelled out, "You're a WINNER!" as I slinked shamefully down the hall to social studies class. Thanks, Mom.

However, there are a few saving grace pieces from the 70s and 80s like simple, black a-line skirts, Diane Von Furstenburg dresses, and boatneck striped tees. Regardless of the decade, each one has its classic, timeless stand-outs. Yet, in my opinion, I think fashion took a nose dive after 1955-1960.

When I do my vintage shopping (on Etsy or eBay), I look for 40s and 50s styles. I will also buy reproduction pieces now and again. I try to keep it simple when it comes to style and price. I will also hit up places like Target, Urban Outfitters, Charlotte Russe, and Forever 21 for layering pieces like retro-looking white blouses, camisoles, cropped cardigans, and accessories like jewelry and belts. I can adapt and make most things fit "my era."

I know it is all about perspective and personal taste but I think some eras of fashion leave me wanting or wanting to run away!

So, what era or looks do you girls like and which (if any) do you avoid?


  1. Ugh, I agree that the eighties were heinous! I lucked out since I was born when the eighties were halfway over, but I'm seeing plenty of it this time around. You ski/snowboard, so you must have noticed the trend that took over a few years back: NEON. Sad, sad times.

    I'm pretty right there with you on fashion, although I admire early sixties fashion ala Mad Men, and original skin/mod items like Fred Perry and Ben Sherman. Along with the eighties, I stay away from anything too hippie/bohemian or disco.

  2. i won't wear an era i already lived in - i avoid 60's on forward. Some early 60's clothes are still attractive to me but just don't suit my body type. I like to stick to 40's to mid 50's when shopping :)

  3. Shrinky Inky,

    I agree about not wearing clothing from an era I already lived in! So, no 70s, 80s, 90s and so on! lol I, too, stick to the 40s and and for me, the early 50s. I also agree that some early 60s items are lovely but they do not flatter me. The dropped waistlines and sheath styles are pretty but due to their tube-like shape, my body gets lost and ends up looking husky.

  4. Nicole,

    I totally know what you mean when it comes to the neon ski clothes! I call it the "skittles look!" Thus, I have seen lots of teenage/early 20-something "Skittle kids" on the mountains over the last couple of years. I think it is so funny!