As I've recounted on various occasions previously, I've always been drawn to classic styles and have eschewed trousers (with the exception of jeans, though even they have long been banished from my wardrobe) since I decided in my mid teens that they did nothing for my figure. However, much as I would like to present that I've been effortlessly stylish and vintage inspired my whole life, I have to confess that's sadly not the case. For a long time I languished in a style wilderness, often wishing I could go back 50 years to a time when clothes were designed to flatter my body type. Then one day I came across a vintage style blog while researching something on the interweb, and discovered that not only were there other people who enjoyed vintage style, they wore it on a regular basis. Which made me realise that I could too, and I stopped wishing and started wearing the clothes I'd always admired.
So that's why I started dressing vintage "full time", as it were. I've been full-on vintage wearing for about three years now, though as I mentioned I've always really dressed in classic styles - I still have pieces in my wardrobe from my "pre-vintage" days that I wear on a regular basis.
At 18, dressed for the sixth form ball in a Karen Millen devore gown with Edwardian/1910s
lace overblouse and antique jewellery (sorry about the slightly dazed look)
But as to why I wear vintage on a daily basis, to the exclusion of modern fashion, well that's slightly harder to answer. I do sometimes wonder whether I'm limiting myself by eliminating modern looks from my wardrobe, but the clothes in vintage magazines and catalogues excite me in a way modern clothing just doesn't. Part of it is in the detailing - you simply don't find anything like the same level of detail in high street clothes.
I also like old things, and I get a kick out of the fact that some of my clothes have survived - against all the odds - for 50, 60, 70, even 100 years. But age isn't the only aspect, and I'm happy to combine modern and me-made repro with original vintage to get the look I want - in fact I even get a certain pleasure in sourcing modern clothing, either thrifted or high street, which looks vintage-y.
Really, the reason it's so difficult to say why I love wearing vintage is that there is no one reason; there's just so much to love. I love looking glamorous and getting complimented on my outfits. I love the thrill of finding a 1950s party frock for £2 at a car boot sale or winning a 1940s novelty print tea dress on ebay for $25. I love recreating a look from history, in the same way as modern fashionistas revel in recreating a designer look on a budget. I love knowing that I'm wearing something unique (that's part of the reason that I don't - yet - own any repro other than me-made, though certain items from Heyday are on my wishlist). I also love being able to indulge my creative side and combine vintage eras with modern for a look that's distinctly "me".
What it comes down to is that I dress this way because it makes me happy - on so many levels. I don't know why I squeal with delight over 1940s peeptoe platform heels while modern strappy sandals leave me cold, and I can't articulate exactly what draws me to certain eras (generally I favour 40s/50s, though lately I've found myself thinking about looks from the 1970s and even the 90s!) any more than I can explain what I like about chocolate hobnobs; I just know I love them.
How about you? Do you find this question the hardest to answer or do you have specific, definable reasons for loving vintage?