— rescuing garments and the history of clothing by me, january 2010
working on a blog post about a few pieces in my warddrobe that i’ve owned and worn for over a decade.
what is the longest you’ve owned a garment that you still wear?
part of my empowerment through fashion and clothing has been largely due to my discovery of vintage clothing. i’d never felt at home in new clothing, never felt like it truly expressed what i wanted to. like most teenage girls, i spent a lot of time - and wasted a lot of money - trying to figure out what i liked to wear and what i wanted to look like. when i finally started foraging through the local thrift stores with friends at around fifteen, i felt at home. i started living in old man’s pants, ratty wool cardigans and little kids t-shirts (much to my mother’s dismay, but that’s another story).
the class dynamics operating here are interesting; my friend zach would borrow his parent’s van, we’d all chip in for gas money and head down the 401 to “the big city” of belleville to go to a few thrift stores there, since there were slim pickings in our smaller towns. when most of the other kids our age were going to the mall, the only reason we ever stopped there was to use the photobooth. we would inevitably end up at the now-defunct goodwill and forage through the racks to find the most hilarious things possible; obscure 1970s union t-shirts, old vacuum cleaners, 1960s mod coats… inside jokes would emerge around the clothes we’d come home with, the books we’d never actually read from cover to cover, the argyle socks and ill-fitting plaid pants.
it was a truly empowering experience for someone like myself, whose fashion choices had always been limited by how much money i had in the bank. at thrift store, i could find amazing dresses you couldn’t find anywhere else for a mere 5 dollars, as opposed to the beautiful new dresses in the stores in the mall across the street i wanted which cost nearly a hundred… i could play dress-up. i could be someone else. it’s something i really love about vintage; i quickly learned i could fool people into thinking i’m someone i’m not, and shock them in certain ways."
— quoting myself in “the politics of vintage" (december 2009)
— stephanie’s “the girlification of fashion" (august 2011) in at one sleepless night. this whole article is pretty awesome, i love that she addresses these really pervasive complex problems without resulting in alarmist boring tropes. why am i just finding out about this blog now? new favourite.