Vintage Is as Vintage Does

Yesterday I received The Vintage Shetland Project in the mail. What a glorious book! Quiteayarnblog had posted about it and I knew it would be for me. It has knitting, history, and patterns! But my real reason for mentioning it is I want to ask you a very important question. Do you think I can pull off wearing puffy sleeves?

I know we all say, “You can wear anything you want!” But honestly, I think I may feel ancient if I dress in — what appears to me to be — a rather old fashioned style. I loved to dress vintage when I was younger, and it was easy for me to pull off. I think I may also have had a sweater like this when I was in my 20s.

Maybe I’ll start with the mitten pattern and use my Fairlight Fibers gift card. I’ll add it to my queue anyway.

Aren’t pics of images funny? How they distort and skew but seem real? There’s an art project in there. Postmodernism at its finest. It’s probably been done.

Today I was thinking I might challenge myself to sketch a design for a knitting pattern every day. That would be good practice.

Here’s a knitting fashion quiz for you:

1. Do you think it’s true “if you wore it the first time around, you shouldn’t wear it the second (or third) time around?”

2. Do you believe there is a “first time around” anymore? Have you seen fashion produce anything new lately that you would like to wear?

3. Do you knit things you would never wear just because you want to knit them? Do you gift them afterward?

Here are my answers:

1. As I get older, my experience is that I don’t look (or feel) good in retro or vintage styles like I did when I was younger. I look and feel better in classic and/or modern but more sophisticated clothing. In other words, my Mother was right.

But I will never get rid of my overalls!

2. I haven’t seen anything new in fashion since the 80s. Everything is a rehash, except the jeans with the clear plastic over the butt cheeks and I wouldn’t wear that. (ETA: Bob thinks this was only in a movie, but I thought someone tried to make it a fashion after that.)

3. I only knit apparel I have in mind for someone to use and enjoy. I love beautiful things but I am prosaically practical. I do occasionally knit art that is for looking at and contemplating, although it’s been a while.

Please leave your answers in the comments, or on your blog and let us know!

16 thoughts on “Vintage Is as Vintage Does

  1. I have cardigans which are baggy in the arm and tight at the wrist and I haven’t been wearing them, but not for that reason…but now I’m wondering why I don’t wear them as they are cashmere and probably should be! I have never been a follower of fashion (with the exception of during the 80s where I ticked all the cliche boxes, bat wings, jumper dresses, permed hair etc etc).

    As for my answers to your new quiz…
    1. If perms came back in fashion I would definitely ‘wear’ a perm again, I loved having curly hair. As for clothes I think my clothes tend to be more practical and warm than fashion and that’s pretty much been the same the last 3 decades.

    2. Wait what…people are wearing see through in the bottom jeans in America?? That is not something I have seen here. I can’t think of when I last saw something that wasn’t a re-hash of a previous fashion…nope can’t think of anything new really. But perhaps if I was still working in London I’d see more.

    3. I knit things when I was learning I won’t wear but nowadays only knit things that I want to keep and wear. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think you can wear anything you want! The only rule I have is if something is truly way out of style then the entire outfit should be of the same vintage. So wear whatever you like but don’t mix current trends with something vintage. Stick all the vintage together and make a real statement outfit.
    I’ll will answer your quiz on my blog tomorrow:)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. No, No, and No. (I’m not really feeling negative, but that’s how your questions work out!)

    Two of the sweaters on which I get the most compliments (two different colorways, one for my sister, then one for me) are similar in style to that one but without the collar.

    If you want less baggy sleeves, make them less baggy! It’s only knitting, not brain surgery.

    If I want to knit something that wouldn’t suit me, the right person comes along and I knit for them. Or my donations basket. Most recent example: the cabled sweater that went to Korea (posted 11/10 on my blog)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 1. Do you think it’s true “if you wore it the first time around, you shouldn’t wear it the second (or third) time around?” Well, I broke that run with stirrup/skinny jeans. I wore stirrups in the 80’s and now I wear skinny jeans. They are really the same thing.

    2. Do you believe there is a “first time around” anymore? Have you seen fashion produce anything new lately that you would like to wear? Nope, nothing new in fashion, just new takes on old things. And I am OK with that.

    3. Do you knit things you would never wear just because you want to knit them? Do you gift them afterward? Nope, I only knit what I would wear or I know someone else will. Nothing artsy or fartsy! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your vintage knits, they’re right up my street! I’m wearing a sweater today which has been repaired because it got ‘mothed’; hardly surprising as it was knitted about 30 years ago! Pure wool and traditional fairisle designs with my own twist. It’s knitted in fine merino wool and I can remember where I bought it! Sadly the physical shop no longer exists although the owner is still selling online and also sells at fairs.

    To answer your questions, I think fashion is individual; what suits one person doesn’t suit another and to me it’s an art form, a way of expressing yourself. I do this with my knitting and some of the things I knit for other people would never go anywhere near my body and vice versa.

    I’m one of 4 sisters and boy (oops pun) are we different!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Followed the link from compassionknit to respond the questions.
    I don’t think it matters if you wore it first or second time around. If it suits you, wear it.

    That being said I wear simple classic styles that pay no mind to fashion. I am always thrilled when my favorite navy blue is “in” because then I can get a new skirt or two without having to make it.

    I mostly knit things I can ise or plan to gift to a certain person, but I definitely have knit things with no plan for who gets them, except to know I won’t be wearing them. If I have no one to gift them to, I can donate them. Though when I first started knitting lace, ai was sure I would never wear the shawls. Now I wear them all the time, and constantly knit them. Thank

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So glad you like the book! I love it – you can see it was a real labor of love for the author/designer 🙂
    As far as the puffy shoulders – definitely remember them from the 80’s! I couldn’t wear them then, and I wouldn’t now either. I have really broad shoulders, so they look just super odd on me. See if you can find a top with that same profile and try it on. Who knows?
    Sketching a knitting pattern every day is a great idea! That would be a really good creativity and design exercise 🙂 Am answering your quiz on my blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think you can wear puffy shoulders, as I will always recommend people wear things that remind me of Anne of Green Gables.

    I usually just wear what I want, if I wore it the first time around or not. I should point out that I am far from fashionable. I don’t know what is in style. I shop at thrift stores. I probably wouldn’t wear carpenter pants if they came back in style because I no longer have the body for them. If I suddenly lose 50 lbs I would wear them.

    I have no idea what is new and hip. When it comes to knitting I know cropped sweaters are the rage. I made one. I gave it to my mom.

    I knit things because I think I will wear them, but I am actively lying to myself. See cropped sweater example above.

    Liked by 1 person

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