Thursday, March 19, 2015

Wearing Damaged Vintage (Oh Yes You can!)

I have been a very naughty blogger.
I have an excuse:  I am currently packing up our whole lives and all my stock for a move to another state.  So yeah, it’s been crazy here.

As promised, I am discussing the wearing of damaged vintage here. 
And YES, you can.

First:  have you ever gotten a stain on the clothing you were wearing in a situation, (like work) where you are unable to go home and change the offending blouse, pants, skirt, jacket, sweater?  For the whole day you walk around feeling like there’s a big spotlight on that stain and everyone sees it, right? 

Self-conscious much?

How about “stain conscious”?

Well many can feel that way, wearing a vintage jacket with a moth hole or fading. 

I’m telling you to forget about it.

Example in mind:  

This is my fabulous swing jacket from the late 40's to early

50's.  I call it my “Lauren Bacall jacket”.

It is SO divine.  
It is an obvious vintage plaid.
It is lined in navy crepe.
It has front pockets on the front pockets!

It has moth holes.

Do I care? 

What do you think?
I wear it all the time (in the right weather, of course) and really, all people see when I’m coming is a fabulous vintage jacket that is unlike anything that’s around nowadays.  Unless you’re standing behind me at the bank (who does THAT anymore?) you just don’t notice. I completely forget about the little bit of damage when I wear it...

…which helps a lot.
It’s really about presence.  In recent-day vernacular, I say “WORK IT!”  If you have a fabulous vintage item with some slight damage, it certainly can be worn, as long as you ACT like it’s perfect.
Convince yourself first, then you can convince everyone else.

A lot of this goes best for young people with eclectic styles, who can get away with a lot.

But if I were younger:
I would wear this damaged cocktail dress as a casual dress with a motorcycle jacket, big scarf and clunky boots:

I would wear this coat with a few moth holes just the way I styled it, grunged up, like the coolest bag lady ever.

I would wear this faded dress (if it fit me) with much the same treatment as the cocktail dress above.  Maybe add a heavy cardigan and sweater tights and lots of knit scarves in the fall and winter but with a military jacket and lighter fringed scarves in warmer weather. (Oh yes, and those great clunky boots too)
I would wear this fabulous but faded purple cocktail dress with faded purple gloves, faded purple fabric heels and a fringed Gypsy shawl.

Guys who have a cool sense of casual would wear this rare 40s vintage Masland safari or hunting jacket with turtleneck and scarf and think nothing about the damage on the leather:

Last but not least, this jacket from the 40s is to-die-for vintage!  It’s a gabardine with HUGE shoulder pads, nipped waist and embroidery on the shoulders.

It’s a mess.
Of COURSE I wear it.  It has fray holes in the sleeves (I roll them up), it had some metal beading in the embroidered area and they rusted and faded onto the fabric.  I don’t care.  I love this and wear it casually.

OK, so maybe this is not for everyone.  This is all about wearing the clothes and not allowing them to wear YOU! There are too many amazing pieces of damaged vintage out there and selling for “as is” prices.  Go get one and then WORK it.