Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wearing Vintage ~ Real world vs. Blog land

Vintage in the real world | Lavender & Twill

I feel like a princess ~ I have donned my petticoat, pretty 50s style dress, floral heels and softly gleaming pearl jewelry.   Then I step out the door and all of that changes….  I walk with my head high, conscious of the stares and double takes.  Yes, I know I am dressed differently from the average person, but is it really that strange?

I have heard other vintage bloggers talk about their fashion choices and the effect it has on public when they walk out the door in head to toe, era perfect wear.   To be honest, I thought I knew what they were talking about.  I’ve had my fair share of odd looks ~ I haven’t really dressed in ‘normal’ clothing for sometime, but then again I have never gone the full head to toe of any style in particular ~ i.e. Goth, punk, Lolita, vintage etc.

Apparently outfits that are slightly off magazine trendy are unique and edgy, but a completely non~fashionable style such as vintage is peculiar.  I say this because the general public response to my vintage outfits and to my ‘interesting’ arty outfits is not the same and this surprises me for some reason!  Therefore, I am wondering if my expectations of people’s reactions is slightly warped perhaps?

You see, what I see on my computer and what I experience in the real world are two very different things.   You might say there are almost two separate worlds that I wear vintage in, one is the internet in vintage~friendly blog land and the other is my life; amongst real strangers with real judgments and preconceived ideas.

Dancing through life | Lavender & Twill

If you are wondering what I mean by saying that, let me say that this is how I see it:

In internet~blog land we read and visit blogs that we are interested in; so if you are into food you will read food blogs, and if you are into IT development you will read developer’s blogs.  It’s much the same with fashion blogs ~ if you are obsessed with runway fashion, you will read blogs that focus on that, and if perchance, you happen to like vintage fashion, those are the blogs you will focus on and immerse yourself in.

So everyday in your feed reader you will see gorgeous ladies dressed in 50s tea length dresses, 20s flapper outfits, 30s, 40s, 60s ~ you name it.  Every era, every style, every part of history is represented online.  And the thing about that is, you not only see bloggers themselves excited to wear these gorgeous clothes, but their readers eager to see them wear those clothes too ~ to me, these blogs are communities built around expressing yourself through your clothes. 

Therefore, in the online world vintage clothing is an acceptable mode of dress; and not just vintage, but pretty much any style of fashion distinct from main stream is okay.  I think that this acceptance creates an idea that dressing in vintage is a part of normal life.

But the thing is, in reality, that’s not the case.  Sure, anyone that wears vintage, or other subversive styles of dress, are really just ordinary people with different ways of expressing themselves.   However acceptable and ‘normal’ this is in the online world, it’s pretty unusual to see someone in everyday life wearing unordinary, un~everyday clothing!

Authentic style is sometimes hard to wear | Lavender & Twill

I forget that.   I walk out in vintage clothing and I forget that the majority of people around me may think that queer, bizarre or even odd. 

Because of that I find it easier to post pictures of my vintage outfits than actually wearing them, because in one world uncommon fashions are admired, but in the other, they are just plain weird.

Does anyone else have this problem when they make daring fashion choices?



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  1. Yes. I totally get this. Sometimes I coop myself up and read blogs after blogs and think "Gosh, so many people like me!" and then I step outside and I see baggy pants, pajama pants, hoodies, just...ugh. And then come the stares, the questions, "Yes, I'm wearing a giant hat, you can move along." "Yes, I dress like this everyday"

    As I take transit and walk everywhere, I think I get a larger amount of questions, as I am more exposed, and, well, it seems those who take transit seem to be of the more talkative type. While I feel that fashion is one of the most pure methods of expression, I take my days in stride. One day I may go all out, and others I may tone it down. It comes with getting burnt out on the questions and stares and some of the people who do those things just flat out make me feel uncomfortable.

    I think that the internet is so specialized, and that it is a place for unique people to find "their clan" and we get absorbed into these wonderful communities, while when we step outside, the world is so much bigger, with more "average" people who are not as focused on the things we are. Like you said, IT people will read developer blogs, however IT people will not be able to carry on a conversation about tech with just anyone they meet on the street.


    1. What a great insight, thank you Janey. I do feel like vintage wearers in the USA have to deal with that kind of 'negative/rude' commenting a lot more. In Australia people just stare, but usually don't comment unless it's a compliment. I think that also makes it a bit easier to wear whatever you want too!

      I understand the getting burnt out thing though; sometimes I just want to look normal you know? And then I realise that I've selectively weeded out all of my 'fashionable' normal clothes, haven't bought any new ones, and don't know what normal looks like any more.... : P Lol!


  2. I wear and adore the vintage style a lot. I have never had any one be unkind or say anything about it. Of course I'm a little different anyway as I am a girl that's never wore a pair of pants in my life. I honestly don't feel like I've missed anything. The way I see it, I'm making a statement that defines me as a lady. So be proud of who you are! If you like it let it become who you are. Merry from eachlittlebird.blogspot.

    1. Indeed, Merry I quite agree! I am making a statement and I want it to define me; how I look and who I am tend to be quite related in my mind.

      I think, however, the difficulty can lie in how comfortable you feel in making such a statement, or in the case where some vintage wearers and lovers face quite a bit of vocal judgement or negative comments.

      I have never had this happen to me thankfully, but I read about it and can see how that could be a painful thing to deal with.

  3. I thoroughly understand where you're coming from and suspect that you've voiced an outlook that a good many in our circle have, and continue to, experience(d) in their life of wearing yesteryear threads. This was a great read and I commend you for penning it.

    Interestingly enough, I find that wearing vintage makes me feel more confident, considerably happier about my appearance, and honestly even more eager to get out and enjoy life, so I adore sporting it almost everywhere I go, even though it will make me the centre of attention often (something that as an astronomically shy, introverted, self-conscious person, I'm not seeking intentionally) and rarely mind the many (repeat) questions and comments I receive.

    Most people I interact with are kind, sweet, and genuinely nice. Few stare at me in a strange way and to date (in person) no one has ever said anything that truly crossed a line. Canadians as a whole though are a very polite bunch who are apt to keep any unkind comments to themselves, so I may be getting off easier than some of my fellow vintage lovers around the world in that regard. I don't know if I'd go so far as to call vintage (clothing) my armor, because I'm not hiding or seeking protection from anything by wearing it, but it (sporting vintage) does certainly bolster my confidence and happiness levels and I sincerely hope that I'm always able to wear it in public without the slightest care if it isn't like whatever one else has on. Good!!! The world and the way people dress is far better when it's not all completely homogeneous.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Lovely thoughts Jessica, I really can understand your position. I to adore dressing up in my vintage {never thought of it like amour before, but it sort of could be I suppose!} ~ for me, it truly is about expressing what I feel inside, and expressing my creativity. I simply could not not do that if you know what I mean; it's so much apart of me.

      I think we may be a little luckier than some though ~ I find that Australians sound quite similar to you lovely Canadians, in that polite etiquette prevents rude comments or negative statements. I have definitely heard some sad stories from fellow vintage wearers from the States.

      But I am glad that we continue to brighten the world with our pretty frocks and fancy outfits, regardless of standing out and being different. Individuality can be so much fun to explore! :)

  4. Oh, gosh, I just found your blog and I love your outfits! I wish I could find/afford more vintage clothes because I adore them.

    As for your question I wouldn't judge you in the slightest if you only wore certain outfits on the blog and not IRL!!! I really wish people were more creative in their fashion so it wasn't unusual for everyone to dress like you (or just differently) but unfortunately that's not that case. I get so bored with Kohl's, Jc Penny, etc but it seems that if I wear a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g other than that I'm going to get stared out. Sometimes I don't mind, sometimes I do. So sometimes I wear outfits out and other times l only wear them for the blog. :)

    1. Hi! It's so nice to meet you Mollie! ♡ I must say, I have a similar problem as vintage is rare and very hard to find cheaply in Australia. If you can, I'd encourage you to maybe try sewing your own vintage reproductions? I started sewing when I discovered how much I love vintage but couldn't afford most of it.

      The patterns are often far cheaper that the vintage dresses are, you can use them more than once and it's a great way to express some creativity! That's just my tip to help balance the cost of dressing in this style. ♡

      And switching outfits sounds sensible ~ most of the time, what I post here is what I've worn for the day, but I do sometimes switch out my shoes for a higher pair of heels. (*◠。◠*)' I can't totter around in most of my heels chasing babies, even though I know that that specific pair are perfect for my outfit. Hence the swapping for photo shoots! ≧ ω ≦ ♡

  5. I've never really had a problem dressing vintage in the "real world". I'm pretty oblivious to when people are staring at me, so that definitely helps. My friend got really embarrassed one time when we were out together and apparently lots of people were staring (I was dressed in full 1930s style that day). I honestly hadn't a clue people were even glancing at us! Being terribly unobservant pays off sometimes ;)

  6. I live in Los Angeles where there are so many different kinds of people that no one gives a second glance. I tend to wear mostly 30s-60s for everyday wear and mix in some pieces which are vintage inspired. I feel a good way to seamless blend in with your vintage is not to do the "full on" look which is a bit costumey and give your vintage a new twist. I wear my 1930s day dresses with a vintage purse but maybe a mondern, vintage looking pair of shoes, I like to mix it up. I find if you pick items that have a timeless look to them then you are never strange looking.

  7. Mixing vintage and modern is a great way to balance out the intensity of a head-to-toe vintage look. Personally, I love true-to-the-era outfits, so I'll just wear them anyway. :)



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