Sartorial Splendor

Fair warning, this post is going to be word-intensive and picture-light.
Solanah over at Vixen Vintage had a post not so long ago that caused a combox uprising! She was irritated with those that wear "dirty PJs" to the grocery store and let go with a little bit of a rant on the topic. Let's just say it didn't earn her a lot of friends. Many combox posters were kind but some were downright mean.

I agree with BaronessVonVintage's thought that perhaps Solanah could've been a wee bit more diplomatic and that would've headed off the ire at the proverbial pass. And yes, one's blog is one's home turf and one should feel absolutely free to say what they really feel without editing themselves.

When I was younger so much younger than today... I used to be very, very opinionated and had very little brain/mouth filter. Which led to people thinking I was stuck up and a "mean girl". I'm going to blame it on having ADHD and not being diagnosed and not having the same emotional maturity as my peer group. That sounds like a pretty good scape goat, no?

Once upon a time, I wore authentic vintage clothing a lot. I had vintage 1920s sheets and furniture and dishes and whatall. And then I turned 16. 20 odd years after that, I live in a vintage 1920s home furnished with some vintage pieces ranging from the early 1900s to mid-20th Century. I don't dress in authentic vintage any more and for GOOD reason. Vintage clothing is DELICATE. If I can't toss it in the washer and hang it up to dry and not think too much about it, I'm not going to be bothered. Why? Because I have three adorable school age children who are in Girl Scouts and Religious Education and go to a performing arts magnet school and who take ballroom dance class and I have to be able to DO stuff without worrying if I'm going to spoil my antique whatever-it-is-I'm-wearing-today. That doesn't mean I don't still OWN vintage clothing or appreciate it.

I think I appreciate it more now that I'm older and realize just how freaking RARE some of the pieces are. I've got a 1960s coat by Balmain, a 40s era coat that I can't remember who the designer was, some gloves that belonged to my nana in the 50s, a sweater from someone famous in Scotland, that sort of thing.

Over at A Dress A Day, the issue of vintage vs. retro repro was raised and I fall squarely in Erin's camp.
I see repro as supporting lots of things I love: independent fashion, vintage aesthetics, and a deeper, more thoughtful relationship with the clothes we wear. And traditional vintage should only be helped, not hurt, by the repro movement: once you make a Claire McCardell pattern, your taste will definitely be whetted for the real thing.
To me, the limiting factor in wearing DIY repro vs. wearing the real deal is not only one of the rarity of the real deal but also the $$$$$ involved. I don't know about you, dear readers, but I don't have the hundreds of dollars to spend on *a* garment or *a* pair of shoes! Remember those three adorable kids up a ways? I've got to keep them clothed and shod too! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a pair of shoes. I love lots of pairs of shoes. Kitten heels, classic pumps, peep toes, wedge sandals, sling backs, even canvas sneakers. I love them all. As long as they fit my feet. Heck, I'm a member at both ShoeDazzle AND JustFabulous because they offer me shoes - lots of them - every month.

Sorry, folks, for a second I got lost in my contemplation of shoes, glorious shoes!

One commenter on Solanah's blog suggested offering ideas for dressing with vintage style or more glam on a budget since not everyone has access to the sheer amount of vintage that Solanah does. I think that's a great idea. And I'm going to steal it. Be on the lookout for more on this in the near future. I've got to get through February's Sewalongs before I can commit to any more serious blogging. But rest assured, I've got your back!

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