VINTAGE?

VINTAGE?

Last week while atendng a concert in the Brighton Dome we noticed that there was a sale of vintage clothes nearby and time to go to it. It was interesting.

I am a fan of charity shops. I often buy things there, which given the price you’ve paid, I then happily hack about, restyle, mend or do whatever’s necessary. Since I am small, any size can usually be adapted to fit me.

Vintage is a different matter however. For a start, the price you pay is significantly higher, almost as much as for a new article although in fairness, generally the vintage item has been, in its day, of superior quality.

Then the shape of woman, both in its natural form, and in its presented form, is quite different nowadays. Women used to be smaller, ie less tall, and thinner. Many older dresses are of such diminutive proportions there is no prospect of the modern woman squeezing into them. Undergarments are different too. Women wore corsets and had nipped in waists; they wore bust flatteners, or these peculiar pointed bras of the 1950s.

Plus lifestyle has changed. I can recall my own mother wearing a lovely suit to go shopping (for groceries). I have searched high and low for a similar material to no avail – it was of a fine wool, with a small houndstooth check in beige and cream. With this she wore high heels, cream leather gloves, and a beige pillbox hat with a veil. Well, we’re not going to grace Sainsbury’s in that ensemble, are we?

I tried on one coat (£175) because it was in a beautiful fine wool plaid that reminded me of my mother’s suit, in cream, beige and pale blue. It was immesely heavy to put on. It’s shape was peculiar – I don’t know what you would call it – the arms were sort of half magyar and didn’t hang well, and it came to my ankles. For £175 I’m not going to undertake a difficult re-making which may not be successful in the end.

But it was interesting to look at the clothes and reflect sadly that clothes one had worn in one’s youth were now ‘vintage’. There was a coat of that lovely colourful loosely woven tweed that was fashionable in the 1960s and which I coveted at the time (Bernat Klein); (it had sagged and was baggy, but I recalled that this happened to those worn at the time, so it wasn’t surprising); those brilliantly coloured psychedelic long dresses of the late 60s I think; pillbox hats; trim little duster coats with fur collars. There were some ladies shopping who were already wearing vintage. They looked – well, slightly odd; but interesting – adding to the gaiety of the nation.

But I’ve come to the conclusion that what I like is modern clothes, made to fit one’s actual figure, comfortable, and perhaps making a nod in the direction of vintage. Inspired by period pieces, but not actually one!

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About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.

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