Good morning, dolls! I figured that the best way to get into writing this blog is to share with you my story about how I started to dress, and live, a vintage-inspired life…
Ever since I can remember I have always been fascinated with the aesthetic of decades passed. When I was in elementary school I became absolutely obsessed with The Beatles – I loved their unique and classic sound, the fact that their image and style changed dramatically from album to album. To me, The Beatles encapsulated everything I dreamed to have in my life: the active exploration of imagination and creativity, a dry sense of humour, the ability to be honest and express my emotions. When I fell in love with The Beatles it was absolutely magical, and hasn’t wavered since. As I got older I realized that I really wanted to go back and live in that time. I loved the daring style of Jane Asher and Pattie Boyd, Paul McCartney and George Harrison’s famous beaus. But I never had the confidence to actually dress the way I wanted to, instead conforming to what everyone else in my small hometown wore. I didn’t want to draw any attention to myself and often felt very uncomfortable in my skin. I’ve always had wide hips, a small waist, and a large bust, but I didn’t like how these characteristics looked in modern fashions. But still I continued to dress like everyone else, even as I would longingly peruse vintage-inspired clothing sites like Modcloth and Pinup Girl Clothing, hoping for one day when I would have the confidence to do so.
That day didn’t come until 2 years ago, when almost everything I owned was destroyed by a fire in the student house I was living in. Thankfully I had moved back to my parents’ house for the summer, but my wardrobe was completely ruined. A couple of weeks before this had happened I had finally made my first order to Modcloth, purchasing two adorable 60s-inspired dresses with peter pan collars, called the “Record Time dress.” I was very lucky and blessed because a group of my friends had banned together, along with my summer workplace, to raise money and gather clothes for me as I waited for my insurance settlement. But as it became time for me to actively replace my wardrobe, I finally decided to plunge head-first into wearing the vintage-inspired clothes of my dreams. As my new clothes kept coming in the mail, I realized that I was more attracted to a 40s and 50s inspired silhouette, since it showed off my hourglass figure much more nicely than a lot of the 60s shift dresses. When I would put on a wiggle dress, I felt so feminine and strong, like I was finally coming into my own.
But I also felt a little unsure of myself at first, since I noticed I was getting a lot of stares when I would go out in retro-inspired apparel. Most notably, I would feel a little self-conscious going to class donning red lips and a swing dress, but I generally received positive feedback from my peers. I began to notice that other women were equally enamoured by this type of dress, often having women of all ages stopping me in public to comment on my style. I am so happy whenever I talk to older women who were my age when these fashions were all the rage, as they tell me stories about their lives and what they used to wear. Vintage-inspired clothing has definitely paved another avenue of connecting with other women, and that is one of my favourite things about it. I love seeing other people of all different shapes and sizes dress in clothes inspired by all different decades, because it’s not only an appreciation of that time, but also of the art and culture from that period.
Sometimes I can find a piece of clothing I like in modern clothing stores, that still conform to my 50s-inspired way of dressing. That is the amazing thing about
fashion – it is constantly reinventing itself and borrowing from the past. However, I still think that most clothes created nowadays only take into consideration one body-type, and mine isn’t it. In my opinion, every body type can wear vintage-inspired clothing and still look amazing, it just looks different on each person. I am a firm believer in being body-positive and loving the figure you were born with, and I have found that through the way I dress and style my hair and makeup. I never feel more womanly than when I put on a red lip, have my hair curled, and am stepping out in a gorgeous, pinup-styled dress. It makes me feel powerful and like I can take on the world, one polka-dotted dress at a time.