Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wear What You Love

It makes me sad when I get comments from people saying they "wish they could wear vintage" or "have nowhere to wear it", because that's exactly what stopped me from following my heart for so long. I suffered for a long time from low self esteem, and felt that I didn't deserve fabulous clothes (though of course I never articulated the thought at the time). I spent years in a style wilderness, and although I did have occasional rather dashing moments, I fantasised about wonderful clothes that I had "nowhere to wear".

When in my early 20s I briefly dabbled in pin-up modelling my interest intensified, but I still didn't take it further. Even as I started selling vintage clothing, though I loved playing dress-up for photo shoots I still didn't have the courage to wear it on a day-to-day basis.

Until the time I had something of an epiphany and realised that no "courage" was required. I could wear vintage, I could wear twirly dresses and frothy petticoats and satin pencil skirts and dress like a pin-up if I wanted, there was actually nothing stopping me. And, well, as you know I've never looked back since! That's why I so want to encourage anyone who feels drawn to vintage not to be held back by a lack of confidence - because it doesn't require confidence, all it takes is the decision to wear the clothes you love.


If you love it, wear it, and it will bring you happiness.

24 comments:

  1. Well said! I've worn vintage clothes for over 20 years now and although I don't think it takes courage to wear them I also hear this all the time. I'm not really a dresses gal more a separates one, but it's not hard and in fact I get a lot of compliments on how I dress, as for my hair, even the checkout staff at Asda say how nice it is, so actually it's a boost not scary!

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  2. Agreed, just waltz to your own tune. Love the photo in the field, what a pretty looking place.

    Now, I'm about to ask you another question....sorree!...but I'm on the hunt for a fullish petticoat and wonder if you could point me to somewhere that I might find one. I have a couple of dresses I want to lift out a bit, but being in my forties now and a short ass I have no desire to look like a lampshade! Just something that would give a bit of lift without being over the top, most of what I've seen are very full indeed.

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    1. I don't like the 'super-poof' look either, so I usually wear 2-3 petticoats with just a bit of fluff to them (one layer of tulle, or just gathered fabric etc.) Just enough to make my skirts not cling to my legs and SWAY when I walk. I've found most of mine at Estate Sales on the cheap, but they're all over eBay and Etsy, but the prices can be high. They're easy to make as well; think short, gathered prairie skirt out of stiff material to give it 'body' and support.

      So I vote for layering smaller ones; if you have them with different fullnesses you can 'custom' create how your skirt will look, based on the dress you're wearing.

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  3. I agree! It's why I dislike fashion rules, etc. People should feel free to wear whatever they want (and, yes, that includes leggings as pants if it makes them happy!) However, I guess a lot of people can't afford to dress exactly how they want to all the time, either. But I'd still like to live in a world where more people felt comfortable (and safe!) to dress a way that better expresses themselves.
    -Andi x

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  4. That's totally true! Even if sometimes you get to hear people laughing beside your back, you should continue and never stop doing what makes you happy:)
    I never take care what other people say, as long as I'm happy with what I wear and as long as I feel comfortable. I think that clothes looks even better on you if you have that charm and satisfaction while wearing it:)
    Hugs and kisses

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  5. Totally true. You should wear what you want, when you want. Although, (as one of your more "ahem" mature followers) I also want to say that it's honestly ok to dip in and out. I wore vintage only in my late teens and early 20's, kind of rocked to different tunes in my 30's, and now my kids (and I!) are older and my life has changed again, I'm back in my vintage. Whatever feels right at the time. (Plus, you are never too old - but that's a whole different subject!)

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  6. I think people can choose what they want to wear! But it's probably easier in a larger city like London.
    Wearing vintage means to be often overdressed compared to today fashion. So you can have a lot of strange stares or comments behind your back but I try to not care. Moreover most of the time people come to me for a compliment and a lot ask to take pictures... I don't like that so much because it's sometime strange if a person come to me in a middle of the meal in a restaurant to take a picture of me!!!!
    But I always have a total vintage look, it must be easier if you don't wear hats or fur. I also collecting vintage clothes first, than wearing some for special events and after 3 years I had the courage to wear them everyday... I think it needs COURAGE if you are a shy person because you will be the curiosity everywhere you will go. But believe me it's worth it!!!

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  7. I really need a kick up the arse to actually wear my vintage stuff day to day. My more obvious vintage clothes that is, I wear charity shop clothes all the time

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  8. I so totally agree with you. It was about when I turned 35 when I started to think that life is too short for wearing clothes that felt somehow wrong and depressing. So I stopped buying high-street fashion and started dressing in vintage every day, instead of just wearing pretty cocktail dresses to parties. I mix decades and also wear 70's/80's machine washable stuff, but I don't compromise on feeling good!

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  9. very well put! I couldn't agree more. There's no special occasion needed to wear a lovely dress. Every day is a special occasion! After wearing vintage for so long, I don't have the confidence to wear jeans and t-shirts in public anymore. :P

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  10. Thank you! I am still on the fence, closet full of great things but the oddness I get back from half dressed people at the gas pump still bothers me so much.

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  11. I have nominated you for an award .. if you're interested, details are on my blog xx

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  12. How coincidental, I was just having this conversation with my mum today. I wear quite eclectic clothes including vintage (rather than classy proper vintage like you) - but the thought behind me wearing it is pretty similar I guess. Rather than worrying that I'm not all arty and living in a theatrical whirl so can't wear bright unusual clothes, I just started wearing them. And then they just became 'my' clothes and no-one I know bats an eyelid. Which is kind of nice (unless I want them to bat an eyelid. Then I just add more glitter mwahaha).

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  13. I think that if you are quite a shy person - dressing in vintage - or in fact any way that is perceived as 'not the norm' will always get you more attention than if you wore the same as the high street masses. It does take a bit of confidence to go against the grain, as especially in small towns - you will most probably be stared at/commented on (even if it is in a positive way). I think its this fact that people feel unsure about, rather than the actual clothes themselves.

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  14. Great post! Your written content is *always* as good as the pictures you post! Yours is one of my favourite blogs!

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  15. I love your post. I think no matter how challenging it could be to wear vintage, if you're determined and passtionate about it you will find a way. I cannot wear dresses bc I wear braces on my legs-I mean I could but its not comfortable for me but it isnt stopping me from pursuing my passion. I also have three small children and no income so the challenge is even greater but I think its so important esp for a woman to do whatever it takes to make herself feel amazing. I have a long rd ahead to creating a vintage wardrobe for myself but I have a lot of support and I am going for it all the way!!!! xox
    http://themusingsandadventuresofapinupmama.blogspot.com/

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  16. Excellent post! Cheers to all that wear what make them happy!

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

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  17. Beautifully said! I am just starting to get in to wearing vintage, although for a few years now I have been growing a reproduction vintage wardrobe and have always been drawn to classic styles. I "dress up" most everyday and I am frequently asked if I came from an occasion or where do I work! I am a stay home mom who homeschools her kids and wears heels to the grocery store! I just feel so happy in my pretty clothes and I am not waiting for a special occasion to enjoy them! :)

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  18. Always better to be overdressed versus under dressed right?!

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  19. Hear hear!! Funnily enough, I'm very shy and struggle with self-esteem, but wearing outlandish '40s garb around my rural, sartorially conservative hometown doesn't make me nervous at all.... and yet I've had some of the most extroverted people I know tell me they just don't have the "confidence" to dress uniquely. Stuff and nonsense! Confidence just has nothing to do with it, as you've said so well! In fact, wearing the beautiful vintage I love has really helped me to accept myself and built courage :)

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  20. Well said! I really agree with a lot of the comments, too. I have always been a fairly eccentric dresser (with mixed results), and I've always loved 40s and 50s style, but I always convinced myself I couldn't/shouldn't actually do anything about it... eventually I took the plunge, and here I am now!

    It also makes me sad when people say they 'always wanted to dress like that' or 'I want to but I don't have the confidence'- if there's one thing I've learnt, dressing how you want will bring you confidence, though I do admit dealing with stares/sniggers/idiotic comments wears a little thin. BUT the flipside of that is that I have had more compliments on my appearance since I started dressing vintage, than I have in my whole young/adult life beforehand. Go figure!

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  21. Amen!!!! I've always been drawn to more theatrical styles, but only dipped my toes into the "alternative dressing" pool as a teen. (Regency era and 80s-does-50s styles being my favorite!) It wasn't until I was a completely broke college student in my early 20s that I realized that my thrift finds and small vintage collection should be worn with pride daily. Yes, people stop and stare (and sometimes point--rude!), ask me why I'm so dressed up, and can be a bit catty and misunderstand me as being a showoff. But frankly, I've never been more happy or confident than the past 5 years I've been embracing my inner vintage girl! ;) Whenever anyone tells me "I could never pull that off", I look them straight in the eye and say: "yes you could!". I think more women need the encouragement to dress how they'd like, if they're so inclined--so I'm spreading the word! ;)

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