- Blue scarf – TJMaxx, remixed
- Tan bag – Etienne Aigner, remixed
- Skinnies – thrifted, remixed
- Boots – BR, remixed
- Sunglasses – H&M, remixed
- Trench – vintage, from my grandmother’s closet!
Greetings from Bavaria! I made it and I’m settling into my new ‘home’ here. It’s been a crazy few days, but I love this city and I love getting to use so much of my German as I’m desperately trying to take care of everything needed before I can settle happily into my research.
As far as first (style) impressions go, these Münchner sure know how to dress! I’m seeing a ton of very stylish men and women and taking note! And talk about the many chic cyclists on the roads. As for my own outfit of this past weekend, it’s been a simple skinnies-boots-and-coat combo that manages to feel both practical and comfortable without screaming ‘tourist’.
A while ago, when I acquired this yellow bag, I asked readers how one knows when something is truly vintage. Well, this time, I know. This classic trench is definitely vintage since I can date it back to at least 1974, when I have photographic evidence of my grandmother wearing it:
These pictures were taken in Budapest in 1974 with colleagues of hers on a work trip. Can you spot her in the group shot below? (She later had the coat shortened to the length you see on me today).
This trench has made many more appearances in our family photo albums, as it was my grandmother’s one “good” spring and fall jacket. She’s often told how how “back then” you had “one good item” and you just took good care of it. She’s certainly done that since I was able to find it in perfect condition on this recent visit and claim it for wear.
Her point about having less things but of distinction calls to mind the difference between today’s consumer culture with emphasis on more, more, more and perhaps a more ‘vintage’ mindset of acquiring fewer pieces with quality and longevity in mind. Although I like the latter approach better, I must confess that thrift shopping and the ease with which one can collect and acquire things today makes me more of a participant in the prior category.
How to do you feel about this dichotomy, do you see yourself consciously opting for one approach over the other? And in this age of ready-made clothing, thrift-store abundance, and ebay-auction-accessibility, can these same ‘vintage’ mores still be applied? While you ponder those questions, I leave you with one more picture of my beautiful grandmother at age twenty-three, photographed with a monographed “V” for her name, back in 1950. S.