Bought my first retro super feminine dress from Collectif and absolutely love the dress. It’s a green wiggle dress with fun black polka dots. I have always been interested in old hollywood elegance and movies like Grease, but thought the fashion style belonged in the past. This is because I associated that era with how limited women’s rights were and didn’t want to be a collaborator in women’s oppression. This is probably why it took so long for me to delve in to the 1950’s fashion world,but boy am I ready now!
This new passion gave me the opportunity to sit down and think what is really putting me off about classic romantic silhouettes. After having a long think, I concluded it was mainly two things. I felt I would not be a feminist if I wore cloths in the style of women who had no other choice but to wear such clothing for the ‘male gaze’. Secondly, I was personally not fully comfortable with all my natural curves being visible, so my style tended to focus on hair and shoes.
After further thought, I decided being a feminist to me is about being body positive, and having the choice to adorn your body in whatever manner I wanted without fear of judgement from society. I kept in mind the cultural context in which the retro fashion was created, whilst acknowledging how liberating it was for me to wear them. Embracing my pinup measurements instead of hiding them allows me to exercise agency to be confident and glamorous. In addition, I really cherish how the retro community is very inclusive as it has all sizes of people able to participate and radically encourage confidence.
I absolutely love modern vintage glamour outfits, make up, and hair styles. There are now so many stores available and fatale women that bring inspiration and joy to this growing fashion sub culture. For a dose of enchanting vintage style, I follow Angelique Noire, Forever Amber, Jenny Rieu and Chicago Chic.
Retro fashion can also force us to reflect and see what truly inspires us about our past and what aspects of it we want to carry forward. Fashion has a beautiful position that can invite you to recognize, engage, appreciate and enjoy the body you have. This dress is my nod to femininity, fun, and body positivity.