In my last post I wrote about common vintage misconceptions and in the comments Harlow of Suburban Retro said she would be interested in hearing my responses to the questions and comments I get while out and about. Let’s be honest, we vintage gals don’t dress like everyone else, so it draws attention and sometimes questions and comments. Below are some questions and answers from myself and some of my fellow vintage loving friends…
Are you in a play?/going to a costume party?
“Are you in a play?” is the question I get asked most! I really don’t understand why I get asked this question so many times. I was heavily involved in theatre growing up and unless the costumes were our own clothes we were NEVER allowed to wear our costumes out. In fact, wearing make-up after a rehearsal or show was not encouraged. So, the questions seems rather silly to me. I often reply with “No.” And either they do not respond or respond with one of the following questions. However, if you are feeling daring, you can always respond with Solanah’s (of Vixen Vintage) answer of “No. Are you?”
Where are you going all dressed up?
Often where I am is where I was going… so I often respond with “Here.” Whether it’s the grocery store or a restaurant. Sometimes that will shut them up. My friend Lyndsie of Retro Rejuvenation had this to say on the matter “I just tell them it’s how I dress everyday and that it’s actually a lot easier to throw on a vintage dress and heels than it is for me to find pants/shirt outfit. I don’t mean to come off as rude but people dress so poorly these days…”
Do you dress like this every day?
This question often requires a simple and polite “Yes.” Sometimes people follow up with other questions or comments. Comments often include “It’s nice to see a woman dress like a lady” or “I like it”, and in that case I simply say “Thank you.” My husband is very good and quashing questions from big-eyed on-lookers, by very curtly replying “Yes.” almost in a tone that says “Do you have a problem with that?”
This question often follows one of the above. I often respond with “I really like vintage fashion. I think it has much better styling and of much better materials than that of today’s clothing.” My friend Angelica responds with “It fits me better and the materials are better.” (Amen to that, sister!) And my friend Megan responds with a very good answer “Do you see the way my body is shaped? I wear clothes made for women with real curves.” Which is a very fair response. Vintage was made without stretch fabrics, so it is made for women’s bodies, not to accommodate them.
“Is that real fur?”
Fur has been the topic of debate for a long time, and has been covered by many blogs. I covered it briefly after purchasing my fox. I have yet to be asked anything or received any comments regarding the fur I wear. However if someone were to ask me, I would respond with “Yes, but it is vintage.” If they still have qualms with it, I would simply respond with “I don’t buy new fur, so I’m not supporting the current industry, and there is nothing I can do about vintage fur.” Angelica had someone inquire about her fur and they said “You know you can look good without killing God’s creatures.” To which Angelica responded with “It’s okay, it’s been dead longer than your mom has been alive.” Megan responds with “Well the way I see it, this animal was killed long before I was even alive, I am in no way harming it nor even supporting the company that originally made it. I’m just being classy AND warm.” By far my favorite response to the fur controversy is that of my friend Sara, of Lilies & Remains; “You’re wearing clothing made by children!”
“Are your seams tattooed?”
Wearing stockings causes a lot of questions, including “Are your seams tattooed?”. My friend Hannah has the perfect response for that question as well as why many of us like to wear stockings in general, “While it would save me a lot of money to just make them permanent, for me it’s about the style of what I’m wearing.” Often I get the comment “I like your tights” when wearing seamed stockings. Depending on the situation and the person, I tend to just say “Thank you” despite their comment being incorrect.
“Where do you find this stuff?”
Many “normal” people seem to not quite understand vintage fashion and shopping. It’s as if it’s shocking to find old clothes. I just tell them “Vintage clothing shops, second-hand shops and antique malls.” Often they just raise their eyebrows at me…like they still don’t get it.
A Few More Words of Advice…
My friend Heather takes every question and comment as an chance to educate, “I treat all questions as a teaching opportunity! Any chance to preach the gospel of vintage and reuse and American/Union made is a good one. I love any chance to chat with strangers! If I didn’t, I wouldn’t dress this way. Always be polite, gracious and kind.” And I agree with her. Sometimes the simple fact is that people don’t know any better. They think everyone shops at the mall.