About Me

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I am a Homemaker and Freight Broker (with my husband) who has a love of needle crafts, sewing, crochet, cross-stitch. I learned to sew in 2007, really love using vintage patterns (1940's, 50's, 60's) & and seeing how I can modernize them with fabric choices and trims). I need 25 hours in a day to get to everything I want to do!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Is it oppressive?


Not much sewing going on here, but I have been cruising the internet more than usual and was not feeling well today. I came across a post on a blog today (Gertie) about whether vintage clothes are oppressive, going backwards. I do not think this at all, I think it is individuality, flattering and enhancing the feminine look, wishing for simpler life and times, and probably other ideas out there. I also believe men and women are different, but capable of being equals in various ways, but there are things that are inherently male and female. Different but equal. And have no problem with dressing up the physical to be attractive. Not to the extreme, but to look neat, appropriately dressed, made-up. I am not a feminist in the traditional sense, I am a stay at home mom with kids. I believe the differences are good. Now, I do believe in equal pay for equal work, but does that mean I want to do the heavy industrial physical work? No, but I know some women will and can. If they are capable, sure, they should be paid the same. Office and professional work, absolutely should be paid the same at the level of compentency/seniority. But that's another topic...

My question, and would love some input from those who admire the vintage fashions/sewing, is do you think our love of vintage fashion is oppressive? I mean, we are seeing all decades' fashions coming back almost like we as a society are craving that sense of security. Tell me what you think...

8 comments:

Sewfast said...

Interesting topic...I don't think vintage fashion is oppressive...if you look back at fashion history, it's cyclical and what goes around comes around eventually! :)

Myra said...

My thoughts about fashion being cyclical. I wore capri pants in high school, we wear them now and my mother wore them in the 1960's. Current patterns look like vintage, now.

Aphie said...

I think the point about vintage fashion being oppressive is that it's rooted in the past, in sets of ideas about the world and people's place(s) in it that are oppressive. It's these ideas and views that are oppressive, more than the clothes, I guess.

I think there's also a danger that in romanticising the clothes we forget that they may not be very practical! For instance, styles from the early sixties and before really require correct foundation garments to work the look properly. Having worn a few versions of these, I can state that no matter how much a Victoriana afficionado may rave about the "comfort" of their corset, it's simply NOT a practical or particularly comfortable garment for performing a whole range of daily tasks (bending to lift small babies from the floor, putting washing on the line, getting out of a low sofa!).

Then, there's the fact that as women we were traditionally told we HAD to wear skirts - and for today's tree-climbing, bike riding, tumbling and chasing, active little girls, they're often not a practical garment.

All that said, I loves me some vintage styling (even the corsetry, at the right times)!

sewducky said...

For one thing, I thought being a "feminist" was the ability to choose what you wanted to do, be it a stay at home mom or a scientist or never having kids. I don't buy into a lot of women having to tell me what it is to be a woman. I can do that on my own.

As to being oppressive, I wear things I like, some of which happens to BE vintage. I wasn't aware dressing to please myself was a step back into being oppressed.

I wear more vintage then I do modern clothing because *I* like dressing well. *I* like the styles and *I* like the effect of it. It has nothing to do with simpler times, it's about my own empowerment to do, and dress, as *I* like. That just happens not to be in jammies and flip flops.

Sorry, I'm hopping off the soapbox now!

KID, MD said...

Hmm, thought-provoking... I don't think that fashion itself is "opppressive" per se. I think that each person interprets their own style in their own way. While I accept that others may have negative perceptions of a certain style, for whatever reason, I don't think that that makes that style oppressive to another person. I can dress like June Cleaver and still be a bright, capable, competent woman. (Aside, I think June Cleaver was pretty bright and capable in her own sphere.)

gwensews said...

All things old are new again. Sometimes, the "new looks" are not good, and sometimes a new fad doesn't catch on. There's nothing wrong with going back to a time when ladies were feminine in their dress. Love it.

Myra said...

Wow, some good thoughts. As I tried to formulate in my post, I do not consider myself a feminist. I do believe I am educated and knowledgeable to make my own decisions. I also love the clothing and also admire the simpler life of a long ago era. I agree with you, too, about June Cleaver. Any other comments are welcome. I was intrigued about this, since I read other comments on the other site and have even had comments from time to time about why I like something from a time when women were oppressed.

Gail said...

I think you missed Gertie's point. I agree with Aphie's comment entirely.