I have an extensive closet - I don't think this is any secret. I only rarely get rid of things and I hang onto my clothes for years...decades, even. My style roots are in vintage and I used to wear almost exclusively vintage or vintage style clothing. (Oh my goodness! I was able to make every single word in that sentence a link to a different post featuring vintage clothing and I only looked through half the blog! wow!) Dresses, petticoats, house coats, vintage inspired shoes and jewelry reigned for years. I started wearing vintage in middle school and wore it throughout my early and mid twenties and I've collected a large amount of clothing from various eras ranging from the 1850s to the present. As I've gotten older my taste has evolved and I'm not wearing as much vintage. This is partly because I've taken a more preservationist stance on my originals, but also because my tastes of changed and what is practical and useful for me is different now than what it used to be.
Recently I was standing in my closet thumbing through my suits and blazers and I realized that I had a lot of pieces that just never make it out into daylight that are perfectly sturdy and wearable. I think this is a conundrum for many of us who have left our vintage phase. We can't really part with these one of a kind pieces but we don't really want to wear them, either. My initial solution was Acid Free Boxes but even that couldn't store everything, only the oldest and most fragile or most valuable.
I realized that, given a little thought, it'd be perfectly fine to mix some of my very vintage pieces into my daily wear. So, I did what any other person with too many clothes and not enough ideas did: I played dress up. I pulled out a dozen or so sturdy pieces of vintage clothing out and started trying them on over what I had worn to work that day to see how they would mix and match. Suits got separated, dresses got modern blazers over the top to liven them up, handbags were turned into clutches by turning the handles inside, skirts were given modern shoes and at the end of it all I had a few ideas.
For date night this week I decided to pull out a vintage clutch from the 1960's and the top of a suit from the mid 1940's that I bought in high school. Both of them are sturdy (the clutch actually was deadstock and had tags on it!) and I wasn't worried about potentially damaging something irreplacable. I paired this uniquely structured blazer with a basic t-shirt, Madewell skinny skinny jeans, and a pair of updated patent pumps from L.K. Bennett. I matched the red clutch to a red bracelet my friend had brought me from Spain and off we went!
Do any of you have this type of vintage conundrum? How are you handling it?
I'm wearing a vintage blazer and carrying a vintage clutch. The bracelet is a small gift ("Petite Cadeau" - My foreign language phrase of the day!) from a friend's trip to Spain. The Pearls are also vintage. The t-shirt is from Caslon (similar cut here - can't find the same color!). The jeans are Madewell's Skinny Skinny cut. The shoes are from L.K. Bennett.