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With the new look society we now find ourselves living within, and the enforcement of social distancing by law, why would you be motivated to buy vintage we ask? Why would you want to wear that crazy jumper, put that 80s dress on or walk around the home in your best 70's get up?
In this post we address the importance of self-expression, of personal identity and recognising the importance of sustainable fashion on the mental health of the individual. For more on this topic, you can also view our Arkive TV episode on why shop vintage?
‘Clothing is self expression’ and the power of that statement cannot be underestimated particularly in the very uncertain times we now find ourselves in. In all previously hard hitting global events such as the great depression, world wars, social revolution and now a global pandemic, some of the most profound societal changing subcultures have emerged.
The importance of mental health has never been more paramount as it is now during the Coranavirus pandemic. In a time when loved ones are separated, community events are halted, interaction with others is limited, and the uncertainty of economic hardship is ever-present in all our minds. When culture as an entity itself, which brings so much joy to people, is no longer available to us in all its usual forms, the power of self expression (particularly through clothing) has never been so important.
We express so much through our clothing. We project our personality in such subtle or extravagant ways through unique and sustainably sourced vintage clothing. As a form of expression clothing shares to the world our personal cultural heritage, the art forms we enjoy, our personal experiences, our sense of humour and much much more. Through what we wear we sing out a self-confidence found in the individual character and uniqueness of us all.
In Australia but particularly here in Queensland the power of this concept is rather lost at times. Here in Queensland within our stores we encounter the idea that clothing is just about the purpose of its utility. We hear the notion that its too hot here to wear clothes full stop, (yet hot countries all around the world such as Italy who value clothing as a form of expression aren’t walking around their thongs and underpants!) We have customers who fall in love with an item but not purchase it on the belief that clothing must have an exact purpose for it to be worn, eliminating all the joy found in the frivolity of self expression .
The narrow rigidity of conservative attitudes toward culture is hugely stultifying and would of prevented any great artistic movement of ever happening. Can you imagine Van Gogh when painting ‘The Starry Night’ thinking before his brush touched the canvas I need a purpose, a place to put this painting, some sort of practical point to this before I do it, of course not! He just did it, and because of it something sincere, soulful and beautiful was created.
If the alternative to self-expression in a fashion context is every second guy wearing a stripy Guess T-shirt, feeling frisky the next and wearing the same t-shirt but in a different colour way then shoot me now! Hiding the essence of who we really are because of a fear due to a commercialised conformity is cowardly shying away from who you really are and hugely depressing indeed.
The first thing an absolute authority does in controlling its populous is to remove the ability for anyone to show self-expression firstly through clothing, enforcing uniforms, and even going as far in the case of North Korea by even limiting the choice of hairstyles! The whole purpose of this is to crush personal confidence and eliminate the self-affirmation of character and spirit clothing gives an individual when being individual in what they wear. The effect of this on mental health is too large to comprehend fully.
So when at home (and most of us will be home a lot over these coming months) dressing up or simply wearing all of those core sustainable pieces we have in our wardrobe that make you feel like you, is so important to maintaining your sanity and happiness in these rather troubling times.
When washing the dishes put that Pink Floyd vintage tour Tshirt on, or wear that 1950’s dress when watching TV because this is how you signal to the yourself, that you are a unique and expressive individual, so much more than the daily role you perform or what ever mainstream society says you should be. Remember that the joyful frivolity of self-expression found in what we wear has a hugely positive effect on our mental health, so never be afraid to wear vintage even when social distancing, and remind yourself of the very effecting power of self-expression in clothing.
If you wish to share your view on this blog post, please feel free to connect with us over on our instagram. Send us a DM, have a scroll of our feed and follow if you feel so inclined. We would love to see how you are working vintage into your isolation antics, tag #wearyourarkive if you find yourself sporting your favourite Arkive garms for the chance to WIN!