My Atomic Closet: Or why I Dress Like a Nuclear Housewife

When I was a kid I used to wear my mother’s clothes. As an adult I wear my grandma’s. And my brother-in-law’s grandma’s. And the stuff I found in an estate sale downtown after some old lady’s family cleaned out her attic. In a society in which clothing can be found everywhere- in seven colors and fourteen sizes- what is the point of wearing other people’s old stuff? I can’t say that I speak for everyone who dresses this way, but these are my reasons:

I Hate Yoga Pants
Okay so I occasionally wear yoga pants. If I’m doing yoga. (Which is not often because I suck at yoga) But I would much rather wear something in public that doesn’t show every detail of my bum. I like the idea of leaving some things to the imagination. It creates mystery.

I Believe in Being Classy
I think that retro, rockabilly and even pinup represent a time when clothing was the result of planning and reflection. Every piece of clothing was special. Women’s wardrobes were planned to fit together. And people looked like they cared about how they presented themselves. Vintage dressing to me is about self respect, and caring about the image you present to the world.

Headscarves never look this classy on me…
I Believe in preserving Our Past
I’m a history nut. I like to spend hours researching the type of fabric used for women’s hats in the 1930’s, or how fabric was dyed in the early 1800’s. Everyone needs a hobby right? I like wearing vintage clothes because I feel like that gives me a connection to the past. I understand what it was like for a woman to wake up with rollers in her hair. It gives me a context to understand the development of our culture. It’s almost a study of human nature.

I like to Wear Things That Fit Me
Retro fashions were created to fit women. Today’s off the rack is often shapeless, and a lot of the time not flattering. Vintage clothing considers the shape of a woman’s (or man’s) body. It is often cut in a way that is intended to flatter. 
It’s Fun. (And a Bit Girly)
Vintage clothing is quirky. I have a dress with green and blue cats on it. It’s about expression. The 50’s was all about fun fashion. The 40’s was about making things work. 
Vintage is also about details. Thought was put into the construction and design of a garment. Retro clothing is often beaded, pleated, or somehow made neated. Yeah I made up that word. Just go with it.
Do you have a vintage style? Do you want to dress retro? Tell me why!

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