My desire for vintage clothing was ignited when I moved down to London at 18, with a case full of generic clothes and an ambition to 'find myself'. Three months and several trips to Camden and East London later, I arrived home to Scotland for my first holiday and my mum exclaimed "What on earth have you come dressed as?!", "I'm giving old clothes a new life Mum" was my reply and from that moment I knew I was on to a winner.
Aside from the obvious issues of mothballs and pungent aromas, I was fascinated at how in an age where everything shiny, new and slick is favoured, this new taste had not permeated the fashion industry. Worn, holey jeans and oversized pulled grubby jumpers are actually sold and bought in shops and we celebrate them. I love the thought of clothes having a back story and I do wish they could all have a little mini 'This is Your Life" book in the pocket. Furthermore in an age where even our rain coats are disposable, vintage garments are symbols of care and attention to have survived so long. Fittingly after a recent clear out, nine bags of 'new trends' trundled off to the charity shop and only my vintage gems and a few staples stood the test of time. This is not to say I'm not fan of an old school/new school mix up, you only need to check our Instagram (@themactwins) to see how I experiment with both camps and all sorts of price ranges.
My only bugbear is the huge outlets that sell Topshop dresses from last week and label them 'vintage' or '90's' - the only past this garment has had is that its owner (probably your next door neighbour) didn't want it! No, the items must be selected carefully, which is why I love "So Loves Vintage" (wwwsolovesvintage.com), which features select pieces with prices that represent the value of the item and which are lovingly sorted into easily searchable eras on their website. Importantly, I'm also assured that these pieces are definitely a 'one off' and I won't find them in the next 'boutique' along the street: being an identical twin has left me clawing for my individuality and knowing no one else has it, gives me a (perhaps disproportionate) thrill.
From 80's Cyndi Lauper inspired dresses to 1940's capes I own them all, and although an element of it is to stand out, but I also think it runs deeper than that. These clothes represent an era and social issues: my flapper dress wills me to behave daringly with an air of indulgence like the roaring 20's (coincidentally vintage usually refers to garments from, or inspired by the 20's). Although, more, poignantly woman grew in confidence during this time, with the ability to vote and work outside the home and started wearing what was deemed as rebellious and adventurous. This particular sequinned dress I own, symbolises freedom and choice, and that never leaves my mind when I wear it. Vintage wearing is more than just clothing, its an attitude.