“So soon as a fashion is universal, it is out of date.”
— Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
THEY say “old is gold”. But when I was younger, the idea of wearing my mother’s hand-me-downs was just not cool. I did accept those clothes on occasion just so I didn’t hurt her feelings. Truth be told (I hope she doesn’t read this), I banished those clothes to the deepest corners of my wardrobe. Out of sight, out of mind.
Looking back, I see that it’s more like I was out of my mind. What the 15-year-old me hadn’t realised is that those “old” clothes were vintage gold. Vintage! Now, I think they’re the best kind of fashion. Wearing vintage is like wearing a piece of history — not just fashion but also cultural. The bonus? You probably won’t run into someone else in the same outfit. And there’s the likelihood of an interesting story behind it.
A couple weeks ago, as my boyfriend’s mum was spring-clearing her wardrobe in preparation for renovations, she called me over, pulled out a vintage Guess denim jumpsuit, and handed it to me. It was mine if I wanted it. IF I wanted it? I was over the moon. I had been looking for a jumpsuit for a while now. It was perfect. It fit like Cinderella’s glass slipper — oh, it was meant to be.
And yes, this one has a story — a love story. It was 1994. Her husband went to the US for his very first business trip. She couldn’t go with him as she was very pregnant (with my then future boyfriend!). One day, en route to the Mexican border, he drove past a factory outlet in San Diego, and decided to pop in to get his wife a little gift. He spotted a pair of denim overalls (oh yes, overalls were all over fashion at the time, too) that would become a part of the fabric of their story, bought it for her, and made plans to jumpsuit it together with their little boy. Aww…
Fast forward to 2015… Guess who gets to inherit this special piece of sartorial heirloom because my boyfriend has two other siblings — both boys? I’m telling you, this was written in the stars since that fateful day in San Diego (did I mention I was born in 1994?). I feel like I’m not only preserving a slice of someone’s history, but also creating my own stories in it.