Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Hadley Freeman on the rise of granny chic



She's considering the inexplicable rise of vintage

Nonetheless, I think it's fair to say that the majority of pieces culled from vintage bargain bins tend to be things such as floral blouses and tweed skirts and I think it is similarly fair to say that they were probably last worn and then donated by more mature women. Yet because vintage had become a byword for a kind of eccentric trendiness, this has led to the strange sight of twenty- and thirty-something women in predictable parts of east London and similarly image-conscious areas proudly sporting too-tight tea dresses, frumpy cardigans and battered, Queen-like handbags.


Quite satisfying that young girls are wearing the ugly clothes and we get to wear the beautiful ones, no?

7 comments:

Toby Wollin said...

'You gotta love a trend that enables mary jane shoes to be described as "toughening up" anything.'
Best comment of the article. Now, I have some very very nice 1930s and 1940s sweaters left to me by my Mum (she was one of those people who could knit while reading an Agatha Christie novel and with the tv on)and yes, I wear them not only with tweed skirts but pants as well. They are great, lacy "feather and fan" pullovers.

Lindsay said...

'there is surely a happy medium between dressing like a Wag and dressing like an OAP'

...and herein lies the reason for granny chic - isn't it just the predominance of WAGgery breeding an equal and opposite reaction? Sadly, it doesn't work for me. I tried the tea dress/big cardie/boots combo at work last week and overall was sadly reminded of myself circa 1994...

Deja Pseu said...

Back in my early 20's (in the early 80's) I was quite fond of thrift store granny wear. Gold lamé sunglasses frames, bowling shirts, etc. But I never thought of it as "chic;" it was more reactionary against fashion. A bit of thumbing my nose at the bourgeoisie, as it were.

Dain said...

I think that young people feel they have to make choices between more trends than before, trends that change faster and faster. It doesn't surprise me that people get fed up and just want a steady reference that they know once worked well. But whether it works now is anybody's guess.

shryh said...

I've always liked granny chic, but I suspect only the lean and the lithe can make it fashionable. With some personalities, it's quirky but it turns dowdy on me. I'll stick to my mother's pieces from the seventies. As for my grandmother, there's a touch of Yohji Yamamoto in the way she dresses - no florals for her!

Phyllis said...

What I find interesting is the rise of upscale vintage. During college ('76 to '80) my wardrobe was almost 100% vintage, and most of my friends did the same thing because we were all into Punk and it was part of that whole aesthetic. Punk had an unspoken fashion rule which dictated that you never EVER EVER wore the same outfit twice. Of course we did have to shop in the really sketchy parts of Boston because we didn’t have the cool stores like Trash & Vaudeville and Manic Panic that they had in NY. So we were going to Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Plus everything was cheap cheap cheap, nothing was ever more than $2. Alas, I have none of it today (other than some jewelry), which is a shame because I had some real gems too.

Linz said...

When I saw Granny Chic on the front of the Friday's Q2 Guardian mag. I thought Hey, Good, some chic clothes appropriate for a Granny. Took me some time to find the article - Oh dear silly me..... These are styles that my Mum would have worn, and could almost be called Great-Granny Chic by the young women that wear them.

I suppose I will just have do with Marks and Sparks, when I asked for a pencil skirt in dark denim, The assistant looked at me and directed me to the Classics range, where the only denim skirt was flared and in pale blue!! As a new retiree I obviously I need to dress the part!