Monday, 26 July 2010

The Trouble with Vintage Dresses

I found this dress at the recycling centre, which, by the way, has become my favourite thrifting location in Helsinki. The prices are right, and the people who work there are friendly and warm. The dress in question cost four euros, and I could bet any money that UFF would have charged me 20 euros, and Fida at least 10 for something similar.


Anyway, the title of this post refers to my difficulties wearing vintage dresses in the summertime. I am not one for head-to-toe, one-decade-at-a-time type of vintage. Don't get me wrong - I like seeing intense vintage looks on others, but on me I think they'd just look (to borrow Tim Gunn's favourite phrase) costume-y. Vintage separates are easy: I can combine a vintage skirt or a blouse with something that doesn't quite match, and the ensemble will end up looking like it was my own. By itself, a vintage dress just often looks like, well, a vintage dress. I'd wear this dress with a long cardigan, a chunky necklace and a pair of platform ankle boots if the weather agreed to that, but sadly, it doesn't. I can't think of anything weather-appropriate that would make the dress look less vintage and more like my dress. I guess my current haircut doesn't help either.

Summa summarum: I love vintage dresses, but I seem to be more comfortable wearing them in cooler weather. I am not sure whether this realisation really required a blog post.



Dress: thrifted at the recycling centre
Belt: mom's old

9 comments:

Modesty is Pretty said...

hehe well that dress is awesome and it fits to so well. I have a vintage yellow dress that I haven't worn for the same reason, although I can wear head to toe vintage with my skirts, with dresses it's so different, I love dresses to pieces but they are oh so hard to style (for me). =)

Sal said...

I hear ya ... but I think you're ROCKING that dress, for what it's worth.

Charlotte said...

I love the dress, and disagree that it looks too vintagey. It just looks fresh and pretty, and that red belt is perfect (did that come with it?). When the weather cools, your idea of a cardigan and ankle boots will be perfect. It's not a dress you'll be able to wear very long into the autumn, so you might as well enjoy its virtues. I'm glad I didn't know about the recycling center when I was in Helsinki. I'd probably still be there.

Rad_in_Broolyn said...

You look great, and full skirted shirt dresses are very popular right now in the states, so I don't see this as a costumey look at all. But I totally get the need to want to "tone down" vintage looks sometimes.

Holly said...

I'm with you; if I'm wearing a vintage piece I have to have some modern accessories. Barring that, I'll do my hair some distinctly un-fifties (or whatever) way...

mirattes said...

Fabulous dress!

tigerteacher said...

I love this dress on you! There are times when I feel a bit costumey in thrifted items too. Sometimes I'll embrace it and sometimes I'll deliberately try to break it up. This looks just perfect on you - I wouldn't change a thing! :-)

Sheila said...

I really love this dress on you.

melina bee said...

totally worth a post. even though I adore and own many many vintage dresses, it is still a struggle sometimes for me to feel like I'm wearing it 2010 style. I think that's maybe why so many very modern women who like vintage also have body mod or have a more edgy element to their look via hair or just attitude?
that being said, now it is so ubiquitous to see cute, totally not old-fashioned women wearing vintage dresses that it doesn't conjure up costume so much as a subculture/trend to me. that may be due to living in oregon though, where people regularly wear tutus out so...