Guest Blog from Jody Pettet
I remember the first time I wore something vintage I was fifteen and had to go to a party. Getting frustrated with wearing the same as my friends and being judged on everything I had on, I wanted to step out of the repetitive style that was being churned out of Etam and Miss Selfridge. I huffed and puffed and the shuffled into my mum’s bedroom, slumped onto her bed and proceeded (in typical teenage style) to moan that ‘I have nothing to wear.’ She looked at me and said ‘what do you like wearing?’ I realised I didn’t know what I liked I just followed what was in fashion. I dived into her wardrobe and started looking at what she liked wearing.
My mum kept everything, going right back to when she was eighteen and we trawled through mountains of memories, sparked by an item of clothing. At the back of the wardrobe still in it’s plastic cover I found a beaded dress from the 1980s. After some pinning (using vintage brooches to change the shape) I was ready for the party.
I was so nervous walking in, after all I was stepping out of the norm and opening myself up to judgement. That night I had so many people comment on how different I looked, how cool my dress was and where was it from? Telling people that it was vintage and my mum’s’ gave me a great feeling of individuality.
So my vintage obsession was born. Fast forward 24 years and it has grown into a full blown love affair. I now mix vintage with the high street. Still some of my favourite items in my wardrobe are things I stole from my mum and items I’ve bought on a whim.
Since having my little boy Leo my style has changed considerably. I just don’t have time to play ‘dress up, think about colour combinations or layering. I normally grab the first thing I see, often from a pile on the floor!
It’s so important to try and give yourself an evening in your bedroom every now and again and go through your wardrobe and just look at everything with fresh eyes (maybe with your best friend and a bottle of wine can help here if you are trying clothes on from your uni days!) If you’re thinking of throwing something away then it doesn’t matter if you cut it, push a brooch through it or even dye it a different colour!
I really believe wearing vintage clothing is all about confidence and fun. Just because you’re a mum doesn’t mean you can’t express yourself through what you wear.
I’m going to put some combinations of outfits together using items of clothing that I bet is in everyone’s wardrobe and show you that you can make something fun and different without spending a fortune or needing lots of time.
So here we have a silk scarf (probably bought by your Nan or on a trip to Italy.) I have so many of these, back in the 90s I would thread them through my jeans to make a belt but these days I use them to hide my unwashed hair.
Denim dungarees! I can’t tell you how much I have worn mine during my pregnancy and since having Leo. The fact I can get ready in literally ten seconds (I’ve timed it) and most importantly the kangaroo pocket in the front. Every item of clothing should have this. When Leo is having a meltdown and I need to call upon Pepper friggin pig asap I’m not tipping my bag upside down in the middle of the street or restaurant. I manage to fit in my phone, glasses, toy car and maybe even a biscuit.
Sequin jacket, vest, coat or jumper…. Now when I say sequins don’t think Abba. Sequins never go out of fashion. The beaded ‘trophy’ jacket should be in everyone’s wardrobe. This got me through a lot of days when I just hated every item of clothing I owned. When I felt drab and repetitive and didn’t have the energy or enthusiasm to go shopping it was there to lift my mood.
The fact that ‘boyfriend’ jeans became fashionable was like someone up there throwing me a bone. I still wear my maternity vest tops (mainly due to the added support – which, let’s face it, we never stop needing), teamed with the famous jeans and the sparkly sequined or beaded jacket really does add some sparkle in to a life that’s otherwise been overtaken by puke, poo, grubby hands, homework or teenage strops.
Vintage is fun, spontaneous and risky, but I love it and urge you to get out there and give it a try. Enjoy!