Friday, October 29, 2010

Something old...

What's your stance on vintage clothing?

Really, it's just the modern word for second hand of course, so do you ever wonder where it's been?

It's hit and miss anyway. I remember as a student we used to frequent a place that sold suede jackets and American baseball jackets and stuff of that ilk. It was quite pricey even then, and was all the rage, spreading outwards from the Flip phenomenon in London.

Even before that it was de rigeur at sixth form to get overcoats, etc., from Oxfam. My mum used to go mad. Why did I want to get a grotty old thing like that when she could get me a nice gilet or something. There had to be a compromise. But there wasn't really. I wore stuff from charity shops and when I was out she gave them to a jumble sale. So at least there was some recycling going on.

Mrs F-C is vintage mad, and picks up some groovy stuff. But me not so much. I'll go into the shops with her, of which there are many now, but for men it's a load of nasty sweat-stained airtex shirts, odd-shaped check numbers and don't even start on the shoes or trousers. I've picked up the odd nice jacket - one I recall was especially good from Martha's Vineyard near Cape Cod - but I've bought all sorts of things and eight times out of 10 there's a nasty old tissue lurking in the depths of the pocket or an ancient chewing gum wrapper. It's unlikely you'll find a tenner. The pockets are always really greasy and you just know someone's wiped a surreptitious bogey in there. And the smell...

And who knows under what circumstances these garments found their way to the vintage shop. That bomber jacket might have belonged to a murder victim. An old man may have lain dead for weeks in that jacket. Those racy 1970s floral curtains may have been hanging in a house of horrors. Brrrr.

But don't let that stop you.


Ishouldbeworking said...

I've hung on to a few old genuine 50s bits that I bought when I was a student (still getting my money's worth out of those), but a lot of the stuff that''s around now is overpriced skanky old dross that smells of sick.

Eastbourne and Bexhill have the best charity shops around, but they've cottoned on a bit in the last couple of years and bumped up their prices, which of course they have every right to do.

Cocktails said...

I've bought one or two good 'vintage' items from charity shops over the years, but for me charity shops are about the records.

The clothes might be a bit mucky, but where else can you pick up pristine Leo Sayer LPs?

Five-Centres said...

And they always have a plentiful supply of Paul Young's No Parlez too.

Mondo said...

It's mainly jackets for me, the last few buys (from Rocket in Neal Street and Brick Lane) have been: red and black check lumber-jacket, a red tab Levi denim and a Marks St Michael velvet jacket.

I'm buzzing for a Lee denim - but it's all long arms and short bodies. Couldn't do shoes or trousers though, they seem too worn in and fitted for someone else.

Charities it's mainly books and records. Although the shops on King's Road are meant to have some crackers.

Do you remember the huge second hand place in Kensington Market - it always smelt like an old persons loft.