Clothing & Decor
To me, it is one of the best parts of being vintage, because it is a way to define one's identity. I personally am very fond of the 1930s and 1940s. Therefore, I am currently looking for genuine clothes or for clothes in the style of that era. I would never be comfortable in just a t-shirt and jeans, which are clothes for hard work (and t-shirts are pieces of underwear by the way). Sundays are for one's best clothes, so I always wear a suit on that day.
Wearing clothes from a previous era is not always easy, but it is necessary. People will talk and say comments (whether good or bad). It may offend the vintage wearer, but the best thing is to ignore such nasty things. I personally feel that wearing what I like is part of my identity and that it is what I need to be happy in life.
Home decor is also very important, because it is the element that will create a special mood or not. Little by little, I am replacing modern furniture and actually anything modern by something old which was made to last. What does that mean? With the exception of a laptop that I keep (because yes unfortunately it is 2013), no mobile phone, no television set, no microwave, etc. I do keep a laptop because it is the tool I need to recreate that era at home. Would you simply imagine for example only being entertained by the wireless when you know how rude the programmes are these days? No way, give me vintage programmes! The same applies to cinema and much more! A computer allows me to recreate that.
I wouldn't want any ugly modern things to ruin my 1940's decor. I utterly love Art Deco so, this is one of the styles that I like to have at home.
I do experiment a lot with vintage and so far I have noticed that I learnt a lot of things. For example, in my kitchen I mostly keep bone china, enamelware and cast iron. I would never go back to a regular pan to prepare a nice steak. Cast iron does not only make food tasty, but it is also healthy! And on the bright side, it keeps its warmth so it is very useful to save energy!
For my birthday, I was given such a luxury : a 1940's General Electric washing machine and it looks like this:
I was really pleased with it and since I make my own soap, I can wash clothes for a reasonable price. Adding baking soda also helps to clean clothes. And believe me, a dryer is not going to come anywhere near my home!
Vintage living is about trying things and saving things too, because that's what people did back then. Unfortunately, today people throw away things if they are broken. Mending is necessary to keep vintage objects or anything at all. Making the best of what I have is something that I want to learn more about. I want tips and I want to be efficient.
In today's society, many golden rules are broken. Living vintage also means respecting a certain etiquette.
I couldn't be more annoyed when I go to any public place and clerks or strangers talk to me in an informal way. It shows a lack of respect and it gives the impression that I am not important enough as a customer for example. Like grandad likes to say: 'we didn't raise pigs together, show me some respect!' (he always likes to add a bit of humour).
Hats are also an issue. To me, it is common sense that a man should remove his hat in a church for example, or at the table and at school and so on. It is again a sign of respect and I feel all of this is slowly going away.
Holding a door to someone, saying 'hello' or 'thank you', removing your hat when a lady is present in the lift, all of these details make a difference. Respecting these rules is also a sign of a good education.
To me, being and living vintage is a way of escaping what I dislike about today's world.