After four years of fashion blogging and two-ish in the vintage/retro/pinup scene, I think I can sort us into a few distinct, albeit occasionally overlapping, categories.
On one end, you have what Jessica of Chronically Vintage deems “vintage appropriate“: not vintage, and not explicitly vintage reproduction either, but evoking a vintage aesthetic nonetheless. Bloggers in this category do sometimes wear true vintage or repro, but it’s not the cornerstone of their look. Such bloggers are more likely to describe themselves as “retro” than straight-up vintage, and they often emphasize the modern twist. They rarely go all out, preferring instead to mix in contemporary elements and give the past a subtler nod: an heirloom brooch, Grandma’s purse.
Examples from around the blogosphere:
- A Clothes Horse
- Noelle’s Favorite Things
- Petite Panoply
- Robot Heart
- Melodic Thrifty & Chic
- The Arbitrary Fox
- In a Nutshell
In the next ring, you have “vintage inspired”. The pinups, the lindy boppers, the rockabilly dames. Often covered in tattoos. These girls tend to go for a highly stylized, almost fantastical affect. Their closets are full of Hell Bunny and Voodoo Vixen, and their look is less a representation of the past than an abstract homage to it. There’s an aspirational element to this particular corner of vintage blogging. A glamour that transcends the everyday. While the first category is about wearable retro looks, this one is about playing a character. Many such bloggers are artists or performers in their everyday lives, and it shows.
- Fanny Rosie
- Junebugs & Georgia Peaches
- Chicago Chic
- Miss Victory Violet
- The Rockabilly Socialite
- Miss Hero Holliday
Finally, on the “haplessly obsessive” side of things, you have the lifestylers. The immersives. The ones who have a separate closet for their petticoats and stalk rare vintage on eBay (it sold for two dollars over my max bid, guys. Two dollars.). We in the third category certainly turn up the glitz at times, but we’re more focused on what women of old actually wore day to day – which was, sadly, a lot less flashy than pinup art would suggest. Category Two girls get asked if they’re headed to a photo shoot; Category Threes get asked if we’re in a play.
The line between Categories Two and Three can be nebulous. I’ve fallen pretty squarely into both. The main distinction I’ve noticed, though, is in accessories. In my experience, the more die-hard the enthusiast, the larger her collection of vintage hats, gloves, and brooches. Lots of bloggers wear vintage dresses, but we here in our strange little bubble refuse to forget the details.
What do you think? Any categories I’ve missed? Any bloggers you feel were slotted incorrectly? Let me know!