My love affair with vintage clothing began as a small child when I would play dress-up in my mom's `going away suit', at least that's what I used to call it. You know, the outfit that she wore on her wedding day to depart for her honeymoon as the guests threw rice all over her and my dad. A three piece `suit' cinnamon in color, with a jacket, skirt and `dickey' instead of a full shirt, I loved the look, feel and smell of it. Dress up then, vintage today.
From there I progressed into the coveted hand-me-downs from my two older sisters. Shopping for them was for me a means to an end as most of their purchases eventually ended up in my closet. I couldn't even wait until some of the items fit properly so I would get out a needle and thread and `nip and tuck' and shorten wherever necessary. The look was a little disheveled but I owned it. Anything to be unique, quirky, but unique.
As a working woman, I enjoyed a brief stint in the world of newer fashions. Each day I would bind myself in one of my man-tailored suits, a look that made me feel important as I shuffled paper all day, but honestly, a look that would have better `suited' the guy sitting next to me. A welcome departure from the business attire of the 80's into the 90's and one of the things I most love about vintage clothing, especially dresses, is that they are constructed to enhance the female physique, made to show-off the curvaceous silhouette allowing us to be feminine and intelligent at the same time.
Well, old habits are hard to break and having come full circle, I now find myself back in the closets of others, pulling out the treasures. Some for me, most for you. Each of these items has a history and story to tell, of the women who first wore them, of the places they have been. A tribute to women from another time and place, not too apart from us, but just born into an earlier decade, a different setting, a unique set of circumstances. That is how I see these items, not just for what they are, but for who they represent and for how they make us feel - special, unique, beautiful.
If I were to define vintage it would be a sip of fine wine from my grandmother's goblet, the lingering scent of tobacco from my grandfather's pipe, a favorite family recipe, an old re-run of `I Love Lucy'. If I were to define vintage clothing it would be a dress that dictates trend from a designer or dressmaker who captured a stylistic moment, it would be a signature piece from a retired designer or a unique item that depicts the socioeconomic climate of its era. Vintage can, but does not have to bear a label, it is of a time when getting dressed was an art form and clothes were constructed, not just made, it is a time when we celebrated our bodies and revealed ourselves from the outside in, when women were demure, yet sexy, temperate, yet sensual, coy, yet poised. It is also fun, exciting, playful and outlandish. Vintage is what you make of it and what it makes of you. So come and discover the world of yesterday and see that while it is not brand new it is not yesterday's news.
VintageVirtuosa.com, more than a boutique, it is a nostalgic journey linking the treasures of yesteryear with contemporary life where fond memories become new again and history eagerly repeats. I am honored you stopped by and hope you will come again and again...
Ok, so it's just about the clothes. I can deal with that.