Vintage clothing has been one of the great loves of my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been drawn to the eras before my time, and when I discovered thrift and vintage stores as a teenager, I never looked back. My heart is stuck in the ’60s and ’70s — if something has flower power or a weird pattern, I’m sold.
I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions, but this year I wanted to try something different and maybe, just maybe, challenge myself ever-so-slightly. I don’t really know why I decided to do it or where the idea even came from, but as of January 1, 2018, I vowed to myself that I would wear something vintage every single day, whether it be a full outfit or just a single piece of jewelry. To my surprise, I learned a few things:
A New Way to be Creative
Everyone has a favourite shirt, pair of shoes, set of earrings, but this resolution really challenged me to get creative every morning and try out new colour combinations, layers, pattern mixing, and have fun with accessories. As I’m writing this I’m wearing vintage loafers, pink tights, a red checkered dress, brown houndstooth coat, and bright green pom-pom earrings. That actually sounds insane now that I’ve written it down, but I love how it all looks together and it reflects how I was feeling this morning: bright, happy, and excited that the holidays are almost here!
As the months passed, I became more and more aware of the clothes hanging in my closet that weren’t being worn, and hadn’t been worn in a long, long time. I packed up a lot of great pieces to donate or consign, but it really opened my eyes to my own greed and wastefulness. Now I think twice before filling my cart with all the fast fashion it can hold. Shopping vintage and wearing second-hand clothing has become more than just a fashion statement for me, it’s another way that I can try to reduce my own carbon footprint.
It Makes People Happy
I’ve always loved loud colours and patterns, but this challenge really forced me to pair different pieces together that I hadn’t considered combining before. And I really started to notice reactions from strangers — friendly compliments, a bit of laughter, definitely some confusion, but most of all, a lot of smiles. If an outfit that I feel great in can ignite a memory of someone’s past or bring a smile to their face, then I really don’t ever want to stop dressing this way.
Sense of Accomplishment
I’ve never made a real New Year’s resolution before, and never really cared for the idea of holding myself accountable to one. But now that I’m less than two weeks away from accomplishing what I set out to do, I’m feeling really good! It’s nice to feel proud of yourself, even if it’s not for anything particularly huge or important. And it’s even nicer to have something special that you do just for YOU; until today, I had only told two people about this resolution! I hope this inspires you to challenge yourself to try something new (even if it includes a lot of old stuff). You never know what you might end up learning!
By Ayla Gilmer
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