Women over 60 have many options for how to be stylish; fortunately, more clothing designers and manufacturers are starting to understand the potential of selling fashionable clothes to women our age. But one of the biggest trends in fashion right now for women of all ages is vintage clothing. While many new designs are inspired by clothes from previous eras, it’s possible to look great without buying “new” clothes at all!
Here are a few reasons that vintage fashion is a great fit for many women over 60:
Vintage clothing is often much cheaper than brand-new merchandise. You can find great vintage clothing at secondhand stores, thrift stores, consignment shops or even a few specialty boutiques that only sell vintage fashions. If you’re trying to make your retirement savings last longer, saving money on clothes can be a great way to start.
Instead of buying modern, mass-produced, mass-marketed fashion that is worn by millions of other women each day, vintage clothing gives you a chance to express more of your unique personality. Many vintage clothes have more of a sense of distinctiveness and simplicity than the stuff that’s made today. Or even if you don’t feel like dressing in a full vintage outfit, you can accessorize with antique brooches, bracelets, barrettes, bandanas or other unique pieces to accentuate your overall look.
If you love to shop, vintage clothing adds to the fun by giving you the “thrill of the hunt” to find the best, most unique clothes on the rack. Thrift stores and secondhand stores are often crowded with less-than-desirable merchandise – but you can find some amazing discoveries there as well. If you love every item in your closet to have a story, vintage clothes shopping is a good way to go.
Vintage clothing technically refers to any clothing older than 25 years ago, but there are many different eras of vintage fashions that are currently in vogue, depending on your interests and personal style.
The recent popularity of TV shows like “Mad Men” (1950s-60s), “Boardwalk Empire” (1920s) and “Downton Abbey” (1910s-1920s) have sparked widespread interest in the styles of these earlier eras. More women are wearing flapper dresses from the 1920s, or stylish cocktail dresses from the 1960s. In fashion, “what’s old is new again.”
Many families have traditions that include passing down pieces of clothing or accessories. Do you own any jewelry that your mother used to wear? Do you have any old clothes that your mother used to wear on special occasions that could be repaired and fixed up to look like new – or “old-is-new?”
Wearing vintage clothing can be a great way to connect to your family history and express a continuity of style with the wonderful women who helped make you who you are today.
Another advantage of vintage fashions is that clothes used to be better made back in the “old days” – tailoring and stitching was much better quality and clothes were made to last. Buying vintage clothing is a way to counteract the trends toward cheap, disposable clothes and mass-produced fashion where most of our clothes today are made with industrial machinery in low-wage countries.
If you’re interested to learn more about the economic and ethical issues of cheap fashion, this is a very interesting interview on U.S. National Public Radio with Terry Gross about an author who wrote a book on the “high cost of cheap fashion.”
Vintage fashion is likely to remain a popular trend, as more women over 60 are looking to save money, express their unique selves (instead of looking like millions of other women in identical mass-produced fashions) and connect to the unique styles and values of clothes from an earlier era.
Do you wear vintage fashion? What is your definition of “vintage” and what appeals to you about it? Let us know in the comments.