Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Who Says "You Cannot Wear Vintage From Head to Toe?" My Thoughts
The other day, the lovely Laura of Betty2ToneVintage blog asked me about thrift and vintage shops here in the DC area. I did some research and found a few websites detailing shops' locations, shop reviews, and an article listing five shops along with a vintage clothing "do and don't" list. Here is a link to the article:
Here is a 'copy and paste' of said list:
Vintage Shopping Do’s and Don’ts
DO check the stitching of a top, dress, pant, etc. before purchasing if it looks cheap-y, do not purchase it (unless it is ridiculously cheap and you plan on wearing it twice).
DO expect that some pieces will need to be tailored. Find a tailor you trust ASAP. (Trust us, all clothes look better after they’ve been fitted to you).
DO take a risk on buying vintage pieces; you are not looking for what everyone is buying at J Crew.
DON’T, and this is a big don’t, wear vintage from head to toe. Best rule to live by when debating on adding vintage to your outfit, no more then two pieces (pants and top do not count).
Overall, this is a good list with good advice. However, I admit that the last "don't" is a bit bothersome. What is wrong with wearing vintage "from head to toe?"
I agree that not all vintage clothing looks good. Some examples of 'bad' vintage are certain polyester fabrics, 70s butterfly collars, 80s shoulder pads, corduroy bell bottoms, late 60s styles, and cat suits. Vintage or contemporary, there will always be a difference between flattering and stylish and ill-fitting and down right ugly.
Nevertheless, I know that many of us vintage bloggers wear vintage "from head to toe" while many wear vintage mixed with modern pieces. There really is no wrong answer when it comes to personal style. If a look suits you, wear it. Who cares if it's all vintage or not?
I have never been one to worship fashion and/or follow the trends. Sometimes when I am in my salon getting my hair done, I will flip through Vogue, Glamour, InStyle, Harper's, or Allure. These publications will often feature their "Must Have" list, a "Do Don't" article, or a "What's In and What's Out" piece. Do I really care of if the editors of InStyle say gladiator sandals out and jeweled flat sandals are in? No. Therefore, I am not concerned if a "DC fashionista" deems my pure vintage look as a 'fashion faux pas.'
The main reason for "do don't" lists is marketing. If editors and fashion houses decide what's in, what's out, or what's a 'no no,' they make money. The fashion house creates the must-have style, they pay the magazine for advertising, and the editors and the fashion house make money. Create a false demand for a trend, lay back, and let the fashion-obsessed masses run to their local mall or Neiman or Saks to buy the latest thing so they can be an "in."
As for the 'no all vintage rule,' I am not sure why some think wearing all vintage is a bad idea. Who decided this? Now, like I said, I totally understand the classic rules regarding fit, tailoring, dressing for your figure, matching colors, complimentary colors, accessorizing, not mixing stripes and plaids, and making sure your clothes are in good condition. But when it comes to applying the whole "do and don't" mantra to style, that is where I refuse to yield.
Vintage clothing flatters my figure best. Modern skirts, jeans, and pants have waist-lines that are too low. Due to my small waist and round hips, lower waist anything makes me look dumpy and bottom-heavy. In addition, contemporary cardigans are cut longer to match lower waist lines. Whenever I pair a modern-made cardigan with a 50s shirtwaist dress, the bottom edge of the cardigan hits the top of my bum and as a result, it covers my waist like a tent! Moreover, the cardigan makes me look shapeless and lumpy from behind. So, I wear vintage-made cardigans that are shorter in length that slim my waist and complement my shape.
I could give several examples why I prefer vintage over contemporary fashion I do not want to bore you! l also do not want to distract myself from my argument! Nevertheless, I wear vintage simply because I like it and because it looks good on my body. If a gal wants to wear something she likes that looks good on her, then why not wear it?
So, ladies, what do you think? I would love, I mean really love to hear your thoughts on this one!