I think it’s a pretty justifiable fear that many people have of being laughed at. If we’re honest with ourselves we’ll admit that it affects us more that we’re proud of…it’s why for some every item of clothing needs to have a luxury label on it (regardless of if they can truly afford it), or why in spite of that fact others have closets full of clothing they still complain about having nothing to wear, and God forbid the teenager next door be seen wearing the same thing twice in one week. The point I’m making is that the fear of standing out, of not fitting in holds us back from a lot of things we desire to do in life. This topic comes up in the Vintage Community all the time mostly because while many people love the fashions and styles of yesteryear, to bring them into today kind of makes you stand out like a sore thumb doesn’t it. It’s one thing to have that single unique vintage handbag, jacket or really gorgeous piece of jewelry that everyone loves, you may be stepping outside of the box but you’re still controlling it. You get to smile and enjoy the compliments when everyone asks where you got it from and how much thy love it. But when you’re dressing and acting in a manner that is blatantly from another time day in and day out, well; that’s something different. Something that people don’t understand at all. (Lol hell for all the stares you get you mine as well be a Goth) In fact in my personal opinion it takes more than just a “high opinion of yourself”.
I know what you’re thinking “yeah, yeah, yeah all I want to know it how do I get people to not stare at me? How do I not look like a joke?”
Well…You can google this question a million times, watch countless pinup/vintage lifestyle gurus that will all have their own formula for this very question. They’re ever a million YouTube posts on the subject but the truth is… It’s all BULL. There’s nothing you can do that will stop people from staring, let’s face it in a world where jeans, and tee-shirts are the extent of the general public’s fashion knowledge you are going to look out of place walking down the street with a pair of black Maryjanes and Cuban heel stocking under a full-skirt day dress with a crinoline slip underneath and your hair in victory rolls (as utterly fabulous as you and I both know you look). It comes with the territory, People either aren’t going to understand or will think you’re in costume, some will love it, some will stare just for the hell of it, and some will hate it. You just need to be strong in your choice because anything that’s different will always invite attention and ridicule at times. However as far as looking like a joke? Well that; I can help you with.
I personally go by a saying ‘it only becomes a joke when it stops being you’. Like with anything else you need to keep in mind your personality, your body type and your essence per say to help you really determine what’s believable on you. Keep this in mind when shopping, you don’t want to buy random pieces and just be all over the place. Just like with modern clothing there is a time and place for certain outfits and more importantly certain styles look better on certain people (it’s a fact of life). Also if you don’t feel comfortable in what you have in people can sense and you will invite attention. In the end finding your niche is the key to stopping yourself from looking costumed, which is what we Dolls don’t want. A good way to do this it by narrowing yourself down. Determine which era looks best on you and using your body type is the perfect way to do it. . Throughout history even though the standard of beauty has ever evolved it has consistently always been associated with the body. To help give you a frame of reference these are the classic body type classifications according to how they would have been defined during our mom’s time (or grandma whatever).
Pear Shape: Slim upper body, usually heavier on the bottom with rounded hips and bottom. These Dolls have amazing shoulders, halter tops and anything sleeveless is amazing on you. Pear shapes are also perfect for the styles of the sixties in particular their flattering A-line dresses. The seventies is also a great decade for the pear, the flowing fabrics and long skirts can have a nice lengthing effect to the pear Doll. You want to avoid heavy fabrics, as well as boxy and bulky fabrics, while a great blazer from the eighties may do you wonders; stay away from all seventies bell bottoms (trust me). Your best bet is dark colors on the bottom with splashes of color or a nice, fun print on top.
Apple: The apple happens to be one of my favorite and what I like to call a buxom goddess. This Doll has great breast (often more than a handful ;)) and the double blessing of getting a set of awesome pipes too (I mean legs), but they aren’t hippy. Since many apples tend to carry extra weight in their mid-section your goal is to balance that out by tricking the eye away from the stomach. The 1950’s is a perfect decade for you, I can’t tell you enough how amazing you would look in the classic housewife dress, Or the famous 50s full skirt which will do wonders to add definition to your waist and give you that much needed volume to the hip area. The Seventies will also be very good to you Dolls particularly the sleeveless dresses and miniskirts (can’t forget to show off those pipes), but remember to keep away from styles that put emphasis on the mid section which is anything supper form fitting or with an empire waist.
Rectangle: The Rectangle is the classic model, she’s evenly proportioned, slim. More commonly referred to as a boyish figure, not very curvy but her body is made for clothes especially designer clothes. Your perfect for the sixties mod era one of my favorites as well as the flapper and men’s inspired ware of the 20’s and 30’s. If you’re feeling daring you could also try your hand at the seventies gypsy look. Your lanky frame is perfect for lush, drapey fabrics, cap-sleeved tops and short circle skirts to give you a few examples. But stay away from bulky layers, things that swamp your small frame.
Hourglass: My personal favorite considering this is my particular body type. We all know an hourglass when we see one but all women are not built alike so in the end an hourglass shape is this: Her bust and hips are measured the same or just nearly with her waist being visibly smaller. Your best era, the era you were made for is the 50’s that was the era that celebrated the hourglass figure (hell they were obsessed with it). Your best asset is your tiny waist (no matter what size you are), accentuate it at all time. The wiggle dress is your best friend, also get close and personal with the pencil skirt Doll they are flattering and nip in your waist to perfection (trust me I know). Lengths that fall at the knee and just below the knee are the most flattering on you, also belts should be your number one accessory.
In the end it’s all about confidence and you deciding that you’re going to do this for yourself. You can’t stop anyone from doing something they want to do and when you’re different (and let’s face it we are ) people are going to be curious, so instead of finding you upset or turning the attention negative. Empower it, use it as an opportunity to educate people about another time, or just simply smile and remember that even though people often forget their manners at times they usually mean no harm the end.