“It’s Vintage” –No, it’s not


Image: Chris Phutully. www.flickr.com/photos/72562013@N06/
Image: Chris Phutully. www.flickr.com/photos/72562013@N06/

So I’m up late, it’s past my bedtime and I might throw on my jumper. Well, it’s not exactly my jumper. It’s my ex-boyfriend’s dad’s jumper. Ah well, I might as well; it’s warm, snuggly and comfy as a cup of tea on a November evening. But do you want to know what it isn’t? Vintage. There’s a unique phenomenon that’s spread slowly throughout Queen Mary university. It’s surpassed twerking, it’s overtaking moaning about the price of the Village Shop, it’s streaks ahead of trying to navigate the Queen’s building (don’t attempt, it’s a labyrinth of despair.) It goes like this:

“I love your top, where did you get it?” “Thanks! It’s vintage”

BEEP BEEP BEEP. D*ckhead alert. No, your jumper isn’t vintage. It’s from a charity shop or a thrift store or it was your older brothers. It isn’t a time-worn, well-kept piece of clothing from the early 1920’s. It’s isn’t a hat that’s been tucked away in the loft since the 60’s, avoiding moths and mould by some stroke of luck. Heck, it isn’t even your mum’s prom dress from the late 80’s.

For some reason however, vintage has become the new buzzword. You can wear a spangly jumper that looks like someone spunked glitter all over the front, as long as it’s #vintage. You can parade around in a godforsaken lace dress the colour of a hospital bed with an iron deficiency as long it’s: “Oh, you know…vintage.” You can pop on a scarf that has so many holes it’s not going to keep you warm as long as; okay you get it. Let me set you straight, most clothing in the world isn’t vintage. Most of the things you’ll find in a charity shop are under ten years old. Most of the things you find in thrift stores will be high street with the labels cut out, or high end from the last few months. And most of the things your brother gives you, he will have bought the week before and it simply doesn’t fit. Vintage clothing is OLD. You probably won’t be able to fit into it because waist lines were smaller and people were thin as whippets in the war period. Try on a soldiers jacket or a pair of tweed trousers and you’ll need eight months on rationing to squeeze your healthily-sized derriere into the buttocks. Vintage clothing is also bloody expensive, barely anything from the 20’s is going to last unless it’s incredibly well made, which means it will be very expensive to purchase nowadays. Yes, your aunt may have found a 60s wedding dress in a charity shop in Westminster, but she was probably a very lucky woman with a little bit of cash to spare.

Vintage has become a way of acting nonchalant about whatever you’re wearing. And that’s fine, if you don’t give a f*ck, then simply don’t. But please, please, please don’t try and cover it up by mumbling how you found it in Oxfam because it makes you seem edgy and interesting. Even worse, please don’t wear clothes that are falling apart to hide the fact mummy and daddy have set you up a trust fund so big you could buy a house in Kensington, because that’s bloody patronising and slapping the word “vintage” across your Topshop leggings from five seasons ago doesn’t take away the bad taste in the mouth.

When someone compliments you on your outfit it means they like it, there’s no need to try and jazz it up by making out it echoes a period when men went out to war and women stayed at home, incredibly bored. Wearing a dress from the 20’s isn’t going to make you into some kind of Zooey Deschanel, Smiths loving, manic fairy girl. Wearing a bowtie isn’t going to make you into a perfect gentleman. Claiming all your clothes are vintage is going to make you seem like a w*nker though.

So please, your outfits nice, there’s no need to dress it up (don’t pardon the pun.)


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