When it comes to owning clothes, I’m definitely a bit of a maximalist. My clothes are one of my passions and to me they are a carefully chosen collection. Each one tells a little story. There’s the story I’ll never know, like who owned it before me, where they wore it and what it meant to them. But the story of how and where I found it. It’s that feeling of delight when you find a new treasure. It’s the places I will wear it and the way I will feel wearing it. The memories I will make.
Buying vintage dresses is like a little love story. Finding that gorgeous piece, being lucky enough that it not only fits, but that’s within my budget. It’s special shopping trips with my friends out with my mum. That expectation as I rifle through piles of clothes at car boot sales or peruse the rails at charity shops. It’s being the winning bidder on eBay or finding exactly what I’ve been looking for on Depop.
My vintage dresses are very special to me. Even when I decide to let go of something, I know it’s story will continue and it will go to someone else who can love it and appreciate it. It’s a magic that brand new clothes will never have for me. That to me is the main draw to vintage and away from fast fashion.
I don’t care what era a dress come from, I don’t mind if it is a little worn around the edges. If I wear it and feel special, that is enough for me. My taste ebbs and flows between my gorgeous cotton 1950s dresses, which are wonderful on a hot day, their gorgeous prints always making me smile. Or maybe those amazing sleeves on my 70s dresses, which always make me wave my arms around to show them off like wings! It could be the amazing vintage straw bag that I found at a jumble sale, that everyone notices and compliments me on.
Of course I own pieces from the high street, that mix well with my vintage pieces. The secret is to take the ‘fast’ out of ‘fast fashion’. If I buy a brand new piece, I always ask myself “will I still love this in a few years?” If I know I will love and cherish something and it’s classic enough that I will keep wearing it, season after season then it’s welcome to join my collection. The most important thing is to love something enough that you want to give it a home in your wardrobe and give it all the wears it’s gorgeousness deserves.
When I’m ready to part with one of my dresses, I know that the vintage pieces especially will hold their value and that there will always be someone who will love it as much as me. Every few months I look at my wardrobe objectively and if I have something that no longer feels like I need it, I will happily pass it on. What I always find amazing is how much life there is in a good quality garment. Some of my vintage dresses are such good quality that one day I could pass them on to my daughters and they will still be going strong and that really is a bit magical.
I think we need to look at fashion differently in an age where everything has become so throw away and disposable. Where collections are designed to be worn a few times and then discarded. Our clothes and the people who make them deserve so much more.
I’ve pledged to take part in Slow Fashion Season this year. It’s basically a pledge to not buy any new clothes from 21st June to 21st September. It’s a great opportunity to wear what we have and see how easy it is to not impulse buy new things. You can find out a bit more about it over on their Instagram.
I’m going to be sharing lots of my vintage outfits over on my Instagram, If you want to support the blog and me, please give me a follow.
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