Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Vintage Clothing Ethics Continued

I would like to continue a bit on the ethics of vintage clothing, having thought about it a little more over the past few days, I find it fascinating.

As women continue to fight for rights today, we must be careful to examine our wardrobe alongside our fight. I have always been a proponent of dressing well, no surprise here - preferring well-tailored clothes to throw away styles. Not that I don't mind picking up a "one season" item now and again, but the styles we choose to wear are a great indicator of who we are or who we wish to be.

If, as a collective of women we wish to show strength, courage and intelligence then I believe very strongly in dressing appropriately. Too much cleavage exposed, thigh high skirts, skin showing where it needs not be showing - all contribute to diminishing the hard work of our mothers and their fight for equality.

This fight continues to be a difficult one. As women grow more confident, we care not what we wear -  knowing who we are on the inside. A grand and noble destination, but one which continues to have problems. If we choose to continue on our path of eternal youth, our clothing seems also to become younger - competing often with teens. I greatly admire women who can wear plunging necklines and look terrific, as many of them do. However, it is the general message and first impressions I still concern myself with today.

Less clothing and more skin may be a sign of feminism and modern ideals - but is it appropriate to the message we wish to convey? A message that we are strong, capable and can do anything we want can easily be inhibited by the lascivious looks received by others. Caution needs to be exercised when choosing an outfit - as important as the color combination is the significance of the theme displayed.

While I love the feminine vintage dresses that are back in style and wear them lovingly, are we misinterpreting what our mother's went through for our fight? Is a pencil skirt too sexy? That is a personal opinion. I love pencil skirts and wear them often as on my petite frame a full skirt becomes overwhelming. But I find I am now wearing them with the realization that I am a strong and confident soul - one who wishes to be attractive but not force others to stare. I am aware of the feminist struggles and do not wish to impede them - is there a happy medium?

What do you think?


Lafe's Hidden Treasures said...

Great read!

jennie o. said...

This is a really interesting topic. I often wonder what people are thinking or what their motives are for wearing particular clothing. I tend to be very modest in my dress and sometimes worry that I will be considered a prude by today's standards. Even though I am young and could possibly wear more revealing clothing, I do worry about first impressions and being judged by my clothing and not my mind and what is on the inside. Great post!

Jessica Cangiano said...

I could not agree with your deeply valid points more! In nearly all facets of my life (politics, ethics, etc) I'm an extremely liberal person, yet when it comes to how I dress, I do prefer to always maintain a bit of modesty.

I actually feel I have more self-confidence when I wear clothing that isn't overtly revealing. I like fitted garments, but usually not skin-tight ones. Due largely to the fact that I loath my knees (I think they're unshapely) 99% of the dresses and skirts I own (and have ever owned) hit below the knee. Even if I woke up with a super model's body tomorrow, I don't think this point would change. I find there's something strikingly lovely and very feminine about a woman whose hem line covers her knees.

I'm not a fashion prude and I do feel that everyone should have the right to wear whatever they please, but it will be a cold day in Hawaii before you see me running around town short-shorts or a belly top. No thank you, I'll (gleefully) stick with my button up cardigans, calf graving skirts and one piece swimsuits.

Stellar article, my dear, thank you so much for sharing your views on this topic!

Oodles of hugs,
♥ Jessica

Anonymous said...

Personally, when I think of femenism, I think of these women fighting for their right to choose what kind of lifestyle they should want to live. If I make the choice to be a housewife, or wear vintage clothes, or even walk around my house naked(!), I'm not turning my back on my feminist sisters! I am making the choice that is right for me, and to me, the options are the important part.