I really don’t want this post to be another one where I complain about the heat…but we’ve had a pretty awful summer this year. I also don’t want to be that blogger who apologises to everyone for their absence (because really, no one cares) but the last two months have been so hot that I ended up throwing in the towel and accepted defeat. This in turn made me pretty miserable because wearing nice things and having my hair and makeup done is what makes me happy. As a good friend of mine likes to say – when you look good, you feel good. I also really missed being outdoors! I missed nature and the fresh air, so we planned a trip to the beach to remedy that. This involved getting up very early in the morning to get to the beach and enjoy it before the sun became unbearable.
Normally I try to only go the beach on overcast days because that’s just how much I dislike the sun – and because bright sunlight and blog photos are a bad combination. We definitely had a go at taking photos but despite the early hour it was already too bright, and too hot. Too hazy. As you can see in this photo you can’t even tell that I’m actually standing in front of the ocean…I also ended up looking like a charming combination of Voldemort and the invisible man because of how washed out the lighting made me look. So I ended up popping some sunnies on and calling it a day – because no blog photos are worth risking skin cancer. You can probably tell from how covered up I am here, that I am one of those irritating people that preaches about sun safety. However, I’m very determined to be the first person in my family that hasn’t had to have any moles removed…
Aside from being excited about wearing a vintage dress after all that time, it was also the first outing for my Huggable Decapod brooch by Erstwilder! When I saw that a crab brooch was coming out I knew right away that I would have to get it to go with my Crab Calloway bag. I have always been obsessed with crabs, for me they’re one of the main highlights of going to the seaside – I love watching them scurry around on the shore and finding them under rocks. As it was high tide we didn’t get to see any of those guys unfortunately, but we did get to watch some lovely schools of silvery fish go by.
I wore a true vintage dress, which is a rare thing for me, and wearing it made me realise why I prefer repro over vintage. Now don’t get me wrong, this is a very special dress! It is a true vintage 1940s piece and I adore everything about it. It is really the perfect dress and I only wear it very rarely because of how special it is to me. I can’t stand the thought of anything happening to it. So every time I wear it I always feel like I have to be extra careful – I mean I’m wearing something that’s over seventy years old and a piece of history as far as I’m concerned. But this is what really takes the fun out of it for me, the fact that it’s more than just a piece of clothing – it’s an artifact. The level of caution that comes with wearing vintage means that I have to think carefully about every movement I make; eating a meal becomes a minefield of opportunities to ruin the dress and overall it is really anything but a carefree experience.
When I first got into the vintage look I decided to try repro first because back then it was easier to source a repro outfit than a vintage one. After a few years of wearing repro I decided to buy a few vintage pieces and give it a go. I quickly learned that I did not enjoy wearing vintage at all! Price wise when it comes to the brands that I prefer to wear vs buying true vintage, there actually isn’t that much of a difference. However, there is a huge difference when it comes to the longevity of an item, and when it comes down to it I like clothes that will last. I like clothes that I can have a good time in, without worrying that it will be the last time I wear that outfit. I don’t want to have to worry about how I move, how I sit or what I eat – I just want to enjoy myself. So I’m thinking of asking a dress maker to recreate this dress for me, that way the dress will live on.
I think it’s so important to preserve vintage so that future generations can benefit from the decades when style was impeccable and clothing was made to flatter all shapes. I am eternally grateful that today we have so many fantastic brands that work hard to create authentic reproductions. I don’t feel that there’s a need for me to say what I think of modern fashion as my decision to reject it should speak for itself! So while I do understand the appeal of wearing a true vintage outfit, I do hope that these clothes are worn by people who love them and care for them fastidiously and treat these items as the precious pieces of history that they are. Goodness knows that I am not dainty nor elegant enough to wear vintage very often, but I’m pleased to say that this beautiful dress made it home in one piece and with not a single rip or stain. Phew!
I’m also painfully aware of how it sounds that here I am complaining about the heat when the rest of the world is dealing with days when the temperature is in the negatives. Everyone reading this on that side of the world is well and truly entitled to resent me for complaining like I have been, I know I would. But, as much as I don’t like it when my makeup melts right off my face and my clothes become like a second layer of skin from all the sweat – I do try to stop and appreciate the part of the world that I’m lucky enough to live in. Which is why I like going out and taking photos, it’s like a reminder that even though it feels like I’m being burned alive, it’s still a beautiful country.