Vintage and Me

Saturday, July 27, 2013

I've always had a thing for vintage stuff. Growing up, we didn't have cable so by age 5 I was all about antiques roadshow. I LOVED to watch that show with my grandparents. And when senior year hit and I was more than ready to leave my country bumpkin hometown(Corning,CA) for the beach lined campus of UCSB, the only thing that seemed to sooth was a drive in my beat-up '97 Saturn Sedan to a particular Chico thrift store. I had no grasp of what was fashionable at the time but when I found a mauve seventies dress that was 3 sizes too big with a huge polyester ascot, I squealed with delight and immediately bought what I'd deemed a total find.

I never wore that dress. I tried to present my thrift store finds to my fellow high school community carefully, testing the waters by wearing a big cocktail ring here or a pair of 50's clip on earrings there before taking the plunge with my "total find." The testing the waters thing didn't go well-- "What's that on your hand?" "Why are you always wearing weird stuff...?" Or, lets rewind a few years to middle school; to the day I excitedly showed up to class wearing vintage-inspired capri pants, because I was really into the movie "Grease" in AND had seen teeny bopper models wearing capris in a "Seventeen" magazine. I remember walking up the mobile classroom's ramp to first period with a bounce in my step and vigorously opening the door to reveal myself(hair carefully curled, glitter lip gloss applied). "Waiting for a flood?" some boy yelled. And then the entire class started laughing. At me. Fun. 

Corning didn't do vintage or fashionable, at least not while I lived there. Maybe they do now, having access to the internet and all, but at the time it was an isolated town with its own opinionated ideas of what to wear: Sierra Nevada Brewery sweatshirts, Wranglers, football jerseys, and Carhartt jackets. And I assure you that none of this was worn ironically.

*(Please Note: Now that I'm older and less angsty, I actually kinda love it when I see people in Corning wearing country-folk attire). 

So where am I going with all of this?  Honestly, I'm not 100% sure but come September 2nd I'll be turning 27 and feel I'm finally beginning to know the freedom that comes with the acquisition of a few lines and wrinkles, and additional inches to my ass: the glorious freedom of not giving a fuck. 

And yeah, It's not strange to wear vintage anymore but even if it was I still wouldn't be able to help but love it. I enjoy the pluses; the fact that it's sustainable and (usually)affordable, but there are reasons beyond those that appeal to me. I think a part of it is the story behind each piece, and the secrets kept by a thrift store find: Who owned this before I did? Where'd they wear it? Why do they no longer have it around? But the aesthetic reasons I'm drawn to an intricately beaded 20's dress, the look of a 30's gown cut on the bias, and the hideously spectacular shoes of the 90's is something I don't completely understand. I guess I just like what I like and I like vintage.  

What's something you love but are apprehensive to wear and why? And do you have any awesomely embarrassing stories you can share to make me feel better about my adolescence?

Until next time, 

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