Over the past few days, I've been playing around with a silhouette that's new to me and also with separates. Basically shorter skirts, flat shoes, blouses and sweaters...actually, that doesn't sound so interesting now that I've written it out:) Its so easy for me to throw on a vintage dress and heels because (a) I've collected so many of them and (b) its an easy way to dress without too much worrying. Oh and (c) I love vintage dresses so much:) This felt right this week though, and gave me an excuse to wear the vintage yellow sweater vest that I thrifted in Florida.
I was quite happy with both outfits, but was thrown for a little loop the day that I wore the first one. I'd gone into our city center and stopped at a coffee shop for some tea. When I took my coat off, the girl who works there looked square at my outfit and barely suppressed a sarcastic little laugh. My first thought was, ' that was really mean.' And then my second was to feel sorry for her for being so narrow-minded. There are so many possibilities out there and such limited time to explore, why try to belittle someone else for making their own choice? Choosing their own little adventure?
Outfit #1: Vest: Thrifted Vintage, Skirt: Thrifted Vintage, Belt: Thrifted, Blouse: Thrifted Vintage, Tie: Vintage Dress Tie, Boots: Stonefly, Tights: Target
Outfit #2: Sweater: Hand-Me-Down, Pin: Antique, Blouse: Thrifted, Belt: TJ Maxx, Skirt:Anthropologie Sale, Tights: Target, Shoes: Thrifted Oleg Cassinis
Over the past few years that I've really started to expand my vintage collection, I've realized two things. The first is that nobody has an inherent ability to pull vintage off. When I talk to people about vintage clothing, they often say that they don't think they can do it...not that they don't like it or wouldn't want to experiment, but that they don't think they can pull it off. I remember saying that to myself...and having other people criticize the way I dressed when I first started to explore. Really, its about choosing what you like, being comfortable in what you like and knowing what suits you...In my experience, everyone else has either accepted it as a part of who I am or they act like the fashion snob at my local cafe.
The second thing that I've come to understand is that fashion, more specifically choosing garments and the act of dressing, is a way of communicating, a language without words but instead filled with textures and colors and associations nonetheless. The wonderful thing about fashion is that we don't all have to speak the same language (i.e. sport the same styles), but we can all appreciate that everyone else is trying to say something about themselves. That's why I don't think its trite or frivolous or vain to care about clothes. They say something about the person in them.
And that brings me back to the tea and the girl. Its really too bad for her, not because I think she should dress like I do or even like my style, but because she's missing out on a bigger picture of interest in the world and the people around her.
And honestly, she's not going to encourage repeat customers behaving like that:)