Vintage style


What is the allure of vintage styled clothes? Senior Divya Kirti takes a cerebral approach to the question, saying the point of vintage clothing is “[to] reach back into the past and relive the moments and memories that were associated with the clothing styles,” and adds that people “like to think about the memories that could’ve been had in [the clothes].”

Or, maybe, more simply, there’s only a fixed amount of clothing styles designers can possibly create that still appeals to the masses, and all of them have already been created. As a result, the fashion industry is forced to constantly reinvent looks from the past.

We can’t discount the power of the media as an influence on what we wear. Members of current bands like MGMT and Foster the People sport the slightly disheveled look of outfits seemingly thrown together with vintage pieces from their parents’ attics. Singer Adele’s structured dresses and big hair seem pulled right from the 1950s. The style of popular musicians definitely impacts teens’ clothing choices. Sophomore Katheryn Cua, who considers her style to be vintage, says she picks up style influence from the clothes worn by members of the band Vampire Weekend.

But if vintage style is so popular today, why do most kids wear faux-vintage—that is, new clothes purposely made to look weathered by years of use? Even though the vintage look is in, the feeling of buying something new and wearing it for the first time trumps the charm of genuinely old clothing. The problem with wearing authentically old clothes is that, “if kids wore clothes that their parents wore,” says sophomore Alex Solovyev, “it wouldn’t seem as cool.” Oldness generally holds a negative connotation, while newness holds the opposite. So, in a time when kids can easily buy affordable clothing from stores like H&M, most teens would rather pick up a new-vintage piece from a store rather than wearing the real deal.

Whether buying clothes new or sticking with the old, Kirti says that kids like to “make their own memories in them. Clothes are like a second skin to us; we wear them and they become a part of us”.