Over the years, I’ve gotten into many conversations with women about vintage (shocker, I know). But, one particular path that we inevitably skip down is the phrase that has come to be known as “the whole vintage thing.” Women who admire bloggers or their favorite instagram ladies, but sigh and say, “I absolutely love that dress. But I could never, you know, do the whole vintage thing.”
There is a bit of a stereotype that, to love and wear vintage, it comes complete with the whole pinup package. If you’re rocking a 1950’s border print dress, your hair better be in victory rolls. You must only own midcentury furniture and listen to vinyl, cinched within an inch of your life into your corset. The only option for you is red lipstick, seamed stockings, and winged eyeliner. If one subscribes to vintage, they need to be all in.
Here’s something about me: I’ve never identified with being a pinup. I adore vintage – you know me, with my 1950’s silhouettes and stacks of crinolines. But, I’ve never put my hair in victory rolls (confession: I’ve tried. My hair does not obey. Plus, I learned quickly that it’s just not my style). I love winged eyeliner, but I also love a good smoky eye and piles of glitter and whatever strikes my mood on any given day. Sure, those 1940’s inspired heels are fab, but I also love the sky-high novelty heels that add a bit of a modern flair. I love pairing old and new, modern and vintage. Finding the things that make me happy, as opposed to something that fits a stereotype. Cause here’s the thing about style: it is yours and yours alone.
Fashion changes, but style endures.
I‘ve heard stories of women being shamed in the vintage community if their hair isn’t just right. If they’ve somehow paired a 1940’s dress with something that is so 90’s. If they spied a bobby pin in someone’s victory roll or a kink in someone’s wet set. The purists, who feel that they alone are doing it right. But here’s the thing: maybe they’re doing right for them. But what’s right for them doesn’t have to be right for you.
Rock that poodle skirt and bomber jacket. Burst forth in 70’s boho and a 1950’s rhinestone necklace and those cute heels you got at the mall last week at 20% off. Because that’s what style is: mixing eras, trying something new, finding a style that is uniquely you. Don’t deny yourself something you are drawn to, because you’re worried you can’t follow some unforeseen rule about what wearing that style requires. Here’s what wearing a vintage piece requires: Attitude. End of list.
My personal style is one that kind of mixes things up a bit and keeps people guessing. Pairing this genuine 1950’s border print dress of dreams from One Sweet Thread with my uber-modern Irregular Choice heels that smirk towards the 80’s and my new favorite vintage Judith Leiber bag from Fresh to Death Vintage. A city skyline meets the buggies of the past. I love the splash of gold from my handmade crinoline, which mirrors the shimmery eyeshadow offset by my winged eyeliner, and my pin straight hair, which laughed in the face of hair products today. The truth is – I’ve never felt compelled to fit into the mold made by what defines a “pinup.” I just felt compelled to be me.
If you find yourself drawn to something but fearful of that “whole vintage thing,” remember that there are no rules when it comes to style. Wear the pieces that speak to you. The things that make you smile. The things that will put a spring in your step and a bit of extra pizzazz in your day. I mean, it’s going on your body right? Shouldn’t you be the one to love it?
Now, what to wear tomorrow….
Dress: One Sweet Thread (similar modern or vintage here, here, & here)
Belt: from another dress (similar)
Necklace: ASOS (similar)
Crinoline: Hand Made Petticoats in gold
Handbag: Fresh to Death Vintage (similar here & here)
Shoes: Irregular Choice (similar here & here)
Lip Color: Ruby Woo