Tuesday, June 05, 2007

This Generational Gap Is Closed. Find Another.

I'm sucking at this whole "blog from home" thing. I don't seem to be doing it. I wish I knew why I was the way that I am. Or something.

I used to be crazy into vintage clothes. You should see some of the shit I wore in high school...queen of the polyester was I. It petered out a bit in college. It was just too fucking hot to wear anything but cotton in New Orleans. I just wore the least amounting of clothing I could without being mistaken for a hooker. I worked with children, after all.

When I moved back to Portland, I tried to get back into it again...my vintage shopping. But by then it had become so trendy that all the good thrift stores were either completely picked over, or they figured out what they had and started demanding payment to the tune of my first born for a decent 60s gingham shirt. That turned me off again. So here and there I would buy reproductions. They're also crazy expensive, but at least I knew they were new while they maintained the "look".

I've been dabbling in it again lately since trying to look more "corporate". Think Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock's Marnie. And if you've never seen Marnie...I'll provide pictures for you:
"Why, hello there Mr. Bond. No...I don't have your money...take me now."

She has fabulous clothes in this movie.

Anyway, as I find pieces here and there, I'm noticing something alarming and rather painful about this type of clothing. The measurements do not fit a normal human being. Take the brown linen pencil skirt I am currently wearing; it fits perfectly over my hips and ass (my...um..."trouble spots") but it's high waisted, so it zips up to well past my belly button and then there's this flap upon which are two buttons with corresponding holes that are, well...supposed to be able to reach each other.

Yeah, they currently don't. I have a safety pin through both holes holding the flap closed. Now, you may not be understanding of what a drastic difference in quantity of fabric is within the two ends of this one skirt. I have what are known as "birthing hips". They're something like 39"-40" compared to my 27"-28" waist. That means that whoever owned this skirt originally had my hip size and something like a 24"-25" waist. She would've looked like an alien. It's the same for a lot of the dresses and slacks I find. How did women in the 1940s - 70s stuff themselves into these clothes? Was it girdles? Did girdles do the trick? Is that the reason why so many of them in their old age opt for elastic waistbands and nothing but? I want to know. I want to know why I'm sitting here trying NOT to think about the cookies in my right desk drawer while several of my ribs actually hang over my waistband. My safety-pinned waistband.

Stupid vintage clothes. Somebody get me to a fucking Old Navy.

"I'd let you search me...but my waistband is just so tight!"

15 keep(s) me blogging:

Laura said...

I hate, hate Marnie. That movie sucked the life out of me.

Vintage clothes are overrated. Too much work. Just eat the cookies and go to Old Navy like I do.

Jill said...

Yes, those clothes were definitely designed for girdles. My mom tells me horror stories about how no part of a woman, from the boobs to the ground, was ever supposed to "jiggle." Ever. And they had the foundation garment technology to make it so. Sounds like a horrible way to live.

I just walk around with the top button of my jeans undone. That's why I never wear shirts that have to be tucked in.

The Future said...

Welcome to life in the '40's, 50's, 60's, girdles and bullet bras under Barbie doll dresses...enter 1969 and the whole world turns upside down. If you've ever looked at a photograph of Haight Ashbury or Woodstock, you'll see everyone in A-line dresses (no waists at all) that end at the top of their thighs. You no longer had to worry about your waist or hips, now you only had to worry about the breeze and view when you bent over the drinking fountain. Or, they would have on hip hugger bell bottoms with big, loose cotton shirts with Nehru collars over the top. And don't forget the "love" beads they had strung themselves (I had a fishing tackle box full of them).

We all had to be free to be me you know. We couldn't let "the man" tell us what to wear or where to go or what to do! I'm going to break out in song if I don't stop now.

slaghammer said...

Being a guy, I have no such concerns, although I was happy to learn recently that some brands of “boot cut” jeans are actually bell bottoms. Technically, by ‘60’s and 70’s standards, they are flair legged but who’s keeping score of that. I bought the last pair of bell bottom jeans that were sold in my “home town” sometime in the mid eighties. It was very traumatic. How was a person supposed to stick it to the man while wearing stove-pipe legs?

love bites said...

We have THE BEST EVER GOODWILL by our house up here. I have bought some of the cutest pieces from there. I tend to mix it up with things from Ann Taylor (some nice clean vintage looks), and even target has produced some cute stuff.

I was quite thrilled the other day when I was wearing a black officy type shirt, a black pencil skirt, a sort of punk-rock looking belt, and these cute spikey punks with rivets on them, and one of my co-workers asked me what my style was: "Corporate Vintage Punk" I said. "Nah, he replied, "I think you should call it *dark vixen*."

Ah, the sweetness of vintage.

Anonymous said...

This Generational Gap Is ALMOST Closed (except for the saftey pin)
Hope you can find a vintage girdle. :)
Actually, I must say I'm very impressed you are wearing an article of clothing that women needed devices to squeeze into without any such contraption!!!

AxAtlas said...

Thanks for the reminder (the first pic) that I need to look for a new suit with a 3 button jacket. By the way, I'm not one of those who worships Sean Connery.

Kara said...

waif - it's a psychological thriller of classic hitcockian proportions! how dare you! how dare you indeed!

jill - sweet jehoshaphat! my jiggly parts hurt just hearing that.

future - seriously, mom...if you ave flowers in your hair when next we meet...i'm going to vomit.

slaaaaaaaaaag!!!!! - good to have you back? are you sitting upright now? is there a working laptop in your vicinity? huzzah! and yes...tapered jeans are the devil.

love bites - why hello. see, i can see there being a best ever goodwill...but i can also see them charging $8 for a pencil skirt and that just makes me angry. or does it just make me cheap? i don't know.

pony - a 'vintage girdle' translates as 'dirty, used underwear'. i don't know if i can go that far.

ax - i only worship him in the early years. he's fugly as he gets older. and i hear he beats women...so, you know...that's not hot.

love bites said...

I think my goodwill charges $4.99 for a pencil skirt. The good thing about a goodwill is that you can often find things there that you can't find elsewhere.

For instance, my thing right now is these shirts with little cap sleeves, round necklines, and a bodice under the boobies. They're very 1950s. Where can you find a shirt like that? Not in the mall, but I've found 3 recently at different goodwills. Not to mention a mesh punk rock shirt (long sleeved), a couple of great dresses, the list goes on and on. :)

Come down and go shopping sometime!!!

(p.s. You've been reviewed at Ask.

Sarah said...

Two options for you: wear maternity clothes, they are fabulous I tell you. Or, you could dig up that tiedyed mumu you had from highschool. Everything would fit into that and you could still eat cookies. Besides, you're skinny, so shut up.

Kara said...

love bites - alright ALRIGHT...Value Village is having a half off day here soon...i'll check it out, but ONLY because you gave me such a nice review. And i would drink with you too.

sarah - i can't even think of something to say to that suggestion. nothing at all. and i'd COMPLETELY forgotten about that fucked up dress from high school! Oh my GOD. how could you stand to be seen with me!

Orhan Kahn said...

should see some of the shit I wore in high school.

And not a single picture to share.

parisian cowboy said...

Love these old photos.

Gorilla Bananas said...

You've got a big butt? Combined with your looks and general attitude, I think you'd have been perfect for the part of 'Hotlips' in M*A*S*H.

Kara said...

Or - oh, they exist...but lucky for ME i don't have a scanner!

cowboy - then you should check out the movie!

gornanas - i hated that chick! (tv show, not movie)