by Jade Fothergill
Tess Holliday’s favourite outfit is a 1970s vintage kaftan and many plus-size models like Georgina Horne have made a name for themselves with their killer vintage looks – so why do so many of us hanker after vintage?
Perhaps it’s a perceived wider appreciation of curves in years gone by that we yearn for – from Hilda, the adorable, plump and juicy plus size pin-up girl created by illustrator Duane Bryers to the stunning real life starlet Anita Ekberg, with those va-va-voom proportions?
Perhaps it is the creation of the hourglass silhouette that 50's styles in particular enhance – the ‘acceptable’ type of plus-size: tiny waist, big bum, big boobs?
Perhaps it’s the unabashed femininity we crave, with the victory rolls and red lipstick - in a world where we are often told we are better women the less space we take up?
Perhaps it’s a way to be different – to stand out from the crowd? Choosing a ‘kooky’ vintage look marks us out as proud to be seen, unapologetic, bold and beautiful.
Perhaps it’s because vintage has become synonymous with burlesque and empowerment – which has been pitched to plus-size girls as a way to become comfortable in your own skin?
Perhaps it’s the thrill of the chase? Genuine vintage pieces are notoriously hard to find in plus-sizes, because, we’re told, our collective body shapes have changed so much over the decades… or possibly because, as now, a huge number of the smalls and extra small sizes were manufactured to begin with, and there weren’t enough people who wore them? Or perhaps because the emergence after the war of the fashionably thin body-ideal coincided with the dawn of mass production of affordable clothing. Women whose bodies fell outside of the socially acceptable size range were consequently forced to sew their own clothes, the majority of which just haven’t survived. Plus ca change?
Perhaps it’s simply because vintage styles are just so pretty? We’ve always had vintage vibe pieces in our collections, because we just can’t resist the swing of a skirt and the dreamy floral prints - our colourful butterfly swing dresses, chic and simple tea dresses and edgier skater dresses are currently in the sale!
Why do you love vintage? We’d love to hear your thoughts!