Thursday, June 11, 2015

One Suit, Five Ways

There are a few phrases we vintage sellers hear over and over again from people who aren't familiar with wearing vintage. They include:

My mother/grandmother had one of those!
You make a living selling this stuff?
The clothes are all so tiny!

and finally...

I really like vintage clothing, but I could never pull off something like that.

That last one really gets my goat. I very strongly believe that style is a state of mind, and any outfit is game if it's created out of confidence in oneself and love for the pieces. I also think that people give clothing too much power, especially vintage clothing. The vintage virgins I've encountered seem to think that donning a 1960s dress will make them look like a Mad Men extra, or wearing a 1940s day dress will make them look matronly, or an 80s number will make them look like Ralph Macchio, etc etc. I want to take people by the shoulders, shake them, and say, "You can style it however you want! The power is yours! The clothes are yours! Make them your own!" But instead of risking an assault charge, I thought I'd put together an example for how to style vintage in a way that feels "you," and how to include vintage pieces into a modern wardrobe. I do this with most of my vintage pieces, as dressing head-to-toe vintage has never really appealed to me. I'm a modern lady who loves her minimalism, feminism, and wearing underwear that doesn't have hooks and boning. Mixing the old and new fits my personality, and if you're just starting to dip your toe into the vast vintage pool, it'll work for you, too.

So, here's the outfit. It's a seersucker suit from the 1980s with a lot of great details and boat loads of potential. Not to mention it's super lightweight and perfect for these swampy summer days ahead.

I think most people would see the above and think, "Meh. It's from the 80s. It's seersucker. It's a suit. Three strikes, lady. I'm out." And I get that. Not many people are wearing stuff from the 80s, or seersucker, or suits. Unless you're my friend, Sam, that is. He wears all of those things, sometimes at once.

 Sam in seersucker, and his beautiful wife and my dear friend Ashley, who is wearing a dress from the shop. I love them and their preppy, whiskey-soaked ways.

As Sam proves, seersucker has serious potential beyond being the required summer uniform for all Brooks Brother's employees, and today I tore up my wardrobe and unearthed the heels I haven't worn in an embarrassingly long time just to prove it so. I purposely chose modern basics to mix in with the suit to show that with just a little creativity (and you really don't even need all that much, I stuck with one color palette because almost everything I own is navy blue), vintage can fit pretty seamlessly into your current wardrobe, whether you're a corporate lady...

or some yuppie who hangs out on boats, 

or a tomboy,

or an artist, 

or just some spaz with with big hair and glasses. 

Vintage clothing isn't just for vintage enthusiasts, and just because something is old doesn't mean it has to be styled that way.  Stay tuned for next time when I fashion a colonial bundling sack into a sexy and modern bandage-style dress for a night in da club!