Just to Play Devil’s Advocate
Vintage clothing is cute as a concept, but I’m getting bored. There’s nothing exciting about wearing something that someone else wore 37 years ago. Technically speaking, that’s a cross-decade outfit repeating, EW Tacky. . Instead of just wearing something vintage or something new (which is just as cliché), I propose we start turning vintage items into something new. Isn’t that idea such a slay?
The very thought of vintage items becoming historical artifacts makes me shudder. Historians don’t know the difference between a Louboutin and a pink Croc! We can’t let them get their grubby little unmanicured hands on them. We have to protect vintage items from the unstylish, so we have no choice but to gatekeep them for the sake of fashion. That requires mutilating clothes. But hey, it’s 2022, upcycling is cheugy and downcycling is a serve. Sustainability is for scientists in sensible shoes, not hotties.
I don’t have an aversion to vintage clothing, I love vintage clothing- which is why I repurpose it. It has nothing to do with Melissa Mahoney in seventh-grade English class calling my thrifted outfit “shady-maple retirement community chic.” I mean, I hardly even think about her, and who even cares about her new lifestyle brand boyfriend and getting verified on Instagram two days ago.
That hand-knitted sweater your great-grandmother made with her arthritic hands for your mother’s high-school graduation? We’re cutting a cleavage window in that. Then the scraps go into the fire because if Louis Vuitton can do it with their unsold handbags, we can certainly do it with a tiny bit of fabric.
I heard you were looking for an original Juicy Couture pink velour tracksuit. Sorry babes, a thirteen-year-old named Mackenzie from Milwaukee turned the last one into scrunchies. She’s selling them for $39.99 on her Depop if you want one.
Of course, I have the white lace puffer vest I made which is an entire gag. I mean sure, my mom cried for nearly two weeks straight and grounded me for the entire summer when I cut up her wedding dress, but it was worth it for the 437 likes on my TikTok post.
The trend cycle is speeding up, and you have to be on top of it or you’ll get run over. The mini-revival of shutter sunglasses you saw on TikTok just before reading this? That’s already out of style.
This is becoming a huge trend, and you need to hop on it now if you want any mileage. You know those stylish people you run into at the Goodwill, whose very presence means all the good clothes are gone? They’ve started taking the ratty old blue carpet stained with god-knows-what and the clothing racks. I think I saw them leaving with the elderly cashier Brenda blindfolded in a shopping cart too, they were wearing the sales tags as earrings.
It’s getting competitive. The indie fashion kids that work at your local thrift store will now no longer hide the clothes they want in the wrong section or among the furniture, they will now be nestled in the pizza boxes in the recycling bin from the dying Domino’s Pizza across the street. If you want that ironic support-the-troops graphic tee with the cartoon groundhog and flame decal, you’re going to need to go dumpster diving in greasy pizza garbage and then fist fight for it.
You need to hurry up! By the time you’re done reading this, our little venture will be going mainstream. Depop just announced an option for you to sell pre-vintage clothing 30 years in advance. Shein now has an option to sew fake designer labels on their merchandise for an additional charge, “Because even Shein knows it’s Shein.” Urban Outfitters is currently lobbying the Oxford Dictionary to change the definition of “vintage” so they can sell last quarter’s backstock.
Well shit. I just got a notification. The wave of downcycling is over. Now you’re never going to be able to revamp your basic and tired quarantine wardrobe from 2020. Yes, it’s been two years and you still couldn’t manage to switch up your look. There is no clothing left actually. They downcycled it all. No clothing exists anymore <3. Sorry ‘bout it. Go make it yourself like it’s 1907, go buy some sheep or…something.
Connor Stanford is a first-year theatre studies major who is always wearing ancient lace and is at constant risk of a nip slip. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org