Why “Vintage” Isn’t Cool Anymore, But I’ll Keep Wearing It

July 11, 2011 • Magazine, Vintage

This article is slightly different from my usual vintage shopping column, but one that I think real fashion lovers will appreciate. For a few years now everything it seems has been vintage, vintage inspired or retro. It’s gotten to the point where “oh yeah, it’s vintage” is the only acceptable reply to “I love your coat/dress/necklace.”

For instance, take a look at red carpet fashion. Every single run-down of what the women wore will include at least one mention of the word vintage, whether it’s the Golden Globes, the Oscars or the Emmy’s. There are actresses that you expect to see wearing vintage like Renee Zelweger, Maggie Gyllenhall and Sarah Jessica Parker, and they usually do it well. But when the Olsen twins showed up to the Met Costume Gala in two severely ugly dresses (Mary-Kate’s is a 1970’s Givenchy Haute Couture creation, and Ashley’s is a 1980’s Dior dress), the fact that they are vintage doesn’t save them.

Vintage has always been around. That’s the whole point of true vintage clothing; reusing and celebrating beautiful things from past eras. But as it became trendy and ever since clothing stores started to describe their clothes as vintage, the trend had erased what true vintage lovers knew as vintage. Put in its place are new dresses from Forever 21 or H&M, which are too short for a true retro look or some old clothes that someone has decided to call “vintage” rather than second-hand. The lines have become blurred.

Vintage became popular because women wanted to wear unique clothes that were well made and didn’t break the bank. Well, the price of vintage has skyrocketed and mass made, poorly tailored and sewn together apparel are being branded as vintage-inspired.

So “vintage” even if it’s not true vintage has become so popular that it’s lost it’s cool factor. Everyone is wearing it, so it’s lost its uniqueness, right? I believe it really hasn’t, and that’s why I’ll keep wearing the beautiful vintage clothes that hang in my wardrobe, because even if the whole concept has lost it’s originality, the clothes themselves are pretty much one-off, and I feel amazing in them.

—Angel Cutsforth

Photos: (left) Mary-Kate Olsen, Larry Busacca/Getty Images; (right) Ashley Olsen, Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

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3 Responses to Why “Vintage” Isn’t Cool Anymore, But I’ll Keep Wearing It

  1. There will always be a place for truly beautiful creations from the past. Vintage is a celebration and I agree that it shouldn’t have a huge presence on the high street. We’re not letting in new and emerging talent as much. But this is not to say that we can’t still go green with envy when a friend manages to pick up a beautiful vintage Chanel jacket!

  2. I was with you until I realized this was an opinion piece – in my opinion, the Olsens looked INCREDIBLE at the Met Gala! Not only are the dresses fantastic, they are perfectly accessorized.

  3. SPEEDbit says:

    We agree! Vintage clothing is not only what we like wearing today to reflect the past, but we love clothing that is inspired by vintage styles as well. Thanks for the post and keep blogging!!

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