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Vintage Me!

April 14, 2013
Old Lady On Doorstep

This is not me – but I like her style!

One of the challenges of being on ‘the other side of 55’ is avoiding the common labels associated with this particular time in life (e.g., ‘senior/senior citizen’, ‘pensioner’, ‘retiree’, ‘elder’, ‘getting on in years’, ‘not getting any younger,’ ‘past my prime’, ‘old gal’, etc.)  And while I don’t exactly hide my age (clearly – see the title of my blog) and am willing to accept any and all ‘senior’s discounts’ that might be offered, I don’t FEEL (or look or act) like a person on the verge of turning 60. So – how to describe myself? I had no idea … until today.

I caught a short lifestyle segment on our local TV channel this past week promoting “The Vintage Marketplace” (a two day consumer show that brings together all of the best elements of vintage living … including vintage and retro clothing, accessories, furniture, antiques, collectibles, wedding inspiration and so much more). It sounded like fun, and since I had nothing else planned for today (except writing this blog post), and the admission fee was only $5.00, I headed off just before noon to check it out.

Vintage ClothingSeveral of the vendors were selling what I suppose I had expected to see – antique furniture and décor items, silver and ceramic tchotchkes and household accessories, jewellery, books and other ‘collectibles’ from the first half of the 20th century. What I hadn’t quite figured on seeing, though, was the dozen or so ‘vintage’ clothing vendors with racks of clothes and tables full of other items (LPs, books, posters, hats, purses, jewellery) from the 60s and 70s – the kind of things I wore, listened to, read, and owned as a teenager. Talk about a ‘blast from the past’!

It turns out ‘vintage’ just-about-anything is ‘hot’ right now.  What most of us over 55 might have thought was just plain ‘old’ is, in fact, highly valued and valuable; if it’s considered ‘vintage collectible’, it’s more likely to appreciate in value than depreciate. People are actually willing to pay – and pay well – for items that most of us tossed out without a second thought years ago.

65 Mustang

1965 Mustang: $2,365 new

I suppose I understood this concept as it relates to vehicles (think ‘vintage hot rods’ – cars that originally sold for $2,500 [new] back in the 60s would have been considered ‘old junk’ a dozen years later; now they sell for $25,000 or more if they’re in even reasonably good condition). I just never thought that the clothes (or the cheap jewellery or hats or boots) I wore in the 60s and 70s (never mind the music I listened to and the books I read) would be considered valuable today. It turns out there are actually dozens of physical and online stores that sell ‘vintage’ clothing (or reproductions based on styles from the 60s and 70s) – and they’re doing remarkably well. Who knew that our old bell bottoms, gypsy blouses, tie-dyed t-shirts, mini-skirts, maxi dresses, and fringed vests would be worth more now than when we bought them back then? Crikey! (If only I’d known, eh? I could have hung on to decades of wardrobe items and made a fortune selling them 40 years later!)

Vintage MeIn any case, what really inspired me today was the realization that the word ‘vintage’ can be attached to just about anything that is old and valuable (in other words, it’s not just wine that benefits from the ‘vintage’ label). When used as an adjective, ‘vintage’ means: classic; recognized as being of high quality and lasting appeal; representing the superior quality of a past time.

Wow! I love that definition – and so I am hereby adopting it. From now on, I’m going to describe myself as ‘vintage’: a classic of high quality and lasting appeal who represents the superior quality of a past time – and who’s clearly more valuable now that I’m on … the other side of 55.

Vintage Quote

  1. April 15, 2013 7:09 pm

    What a wonderful way to describe that which everyone younger than us considers ‘old.’ I will now consider myself as classy, with high quality and lasting appeal. And there is no doubt that we ALL represent superior quality of a past time. Thanks so much for opening our eyes. 🙂

    • April 16, 2013 9:26 am

      I sincerely believe we are more valuable now than we were 40 years ago – so much experience!


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