Vintage style, not vintage values

If you’ve been around a little on this blog, you may have noticed I like vintage things… a lot! It seems at this point, that I should make something clear:

I endorse the “Vintage style, not vintage values” moto.

Vintage Camera - Boy Scout 1930
Vintage Camera: a Boy Scout from 1930

I like vintage things!

What can I say, I like vintage stuff!

I do have lovely Victorian tea cups and should really be looking for a Victorian teapot to match. My tea strainer is Art Deco.

In fact, I have quite a few pieces that are Art Deco, including jewelry pieces. If I could afford antique jewelry, I would buy antique jewelry!

You may have noticed, on some pictures published previously, a brass & wood telescope, a folding silver coffee cup, a gorgeous brass compass, which all come from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.

This kind of makes me feel like an Amazon warior - a modern one!

There is no way you didn’t see my Singer sewing machine which is from 1923. And of course, my Indian motorcycle from 1941!

My bicycle is from the 1930’s! (it has been upgraded with an electric wheel!)

I have antique glasses, chairs (I still haven’t shown you how I reupholstered them, sorry), cutlery…. I now have a gorgeous silver egg cup! A recent find. I don’t eat eggs, since I’m vegan, but it was too beautiful to pass.

Well, I guess the list goes on, not much longer really, because I don’t own that much stuff but a lot of things I own are old, vintage or antiques.

Note: Antique refers to things that are at least 100 years old. Vintage refers to things that are at least 20 years old. This is a generally accepted rule. A lot of my vintage things are border line antiques since I’m not into 1980’s stuff.

Why do I buy vintage?

There are a couple reasons I favor vintage things over new things.

Vintage things are often eco-friendly purchase

These things already exist, no mineral or precious ressources have to be extracted to create them, no energy needed again to create something that already exist. Old vintage & antiques things were not made of plastic. Bonus point!

Vintage ring

Vintage things were usually made to last & to be repaired

Again, I’m referring mostly to old vintage. Vintage from the 1980’s were probably things just as cheaply made as they would be now. I admit to exception to this as I have examples of plates, coming from a reputable manufacturer, which, within 10 years, lost 30% of their weight when you compare old ones to new ones. Clearly, quality often feels like a word of the past.

Anyway, old vintage was made to last. There was a sense of a lifetime purchase. Things were supposed to be passed on.

Look at my vintage Singer sewing machine again!! A bit of cleaning, oiling, tightening and it’s ready for another 100 years of sewing!

just another picture of my lifesaving Singer vintage sewing machine

Vintage things are beautiful

A lot of vintage things are just beautiful. Beautiful materials, beautiful craftsmanship, details and more.

Yeah, yeah, new things can be beautiful too. But there is just more beauty in vintage objects overall. OK, it’s just a personal opinion I guess. I’m totally biased.

Maybe it’s the quality that attracts me. The overall attention to details that was put into creating such and such item. Maybe it’s the respect I have for the ingenuously required to create such objects, at that time. (The attachments for my sewing machine are just brilliant! Considering the time period, the inventors were border line geniuses!)

I don’t know what it is specifically, maybe it’s because these objects seems to have a soul.

You were born in the wrong era

No! I wasn’t!

Like you, I couldn’t live without my phone!

Plus I don’t really adhere to a particular era. In case it wasn’t yet clear on RTatW, I love medieval castles. I am fascinated by Gothic architecture, but I do like Roman architecture as well.

I so want an 18th or 19th century frame to hold a huge mirror. It’s on my list.

Victorian furniture is not what I like best but I do love a good Victorian tea cup. Art Nouveau is interesting but not my favorite, although I wouldn’t mind certain jewelry pieces.

You see my point? In case it isn’t clear: I like different things from different eras!

Now, because of my Indian motorcycle, I am considering sewing 1940’s inspired clothes but before that, I was more into medieval dresses. I’m still not a good seamstress so anything like this is too much of a challenge, for now anyway!

Exhaust pipe - Indian Scout 741
My new exhaust on the dining table! Because why not! Also my partner didn’t like my new decoration ideas!

I’m not quite sure what I would do with 1940’s outfits anyway. Just pictures with my bike I guess?! Recently, I’ve come to peace with wearing proper motorcycle gears when riding because, you know, I do want to stay alive and in one piece after all.

Even if I’m considering sewing clothes inspired from the 1940’s, I would not want to go back. Who would want to live through WWII, seriously?!

Unnecessary digression? I think not! Because this leads us to the most important part…

No vintage values

As explained above, I like antiques or vintage objects for various reasons. However I do not adhere to the values of the corresponding periods.

Back to our different time periods?

In medieval times, women enjoyed a lot more freedom than what most people think. But I would not wish to go back in time, because, you know, stuff like being married at 13 years old, dying during child birth, constant wars, famine and/or plagues.

I’m not a fan of the idea of poisoning myself with mercury because of the 16th an onward centuries beauty standards. Not a fan of the concept of ‘woman hysteria’ in the 19th century, nor the treatment of it!

Silly little examples!

Indeed I do like my freedom, being able to have my own bank accounts, not having to be married… I say yes to voting rights, birth control, equality at work… Yes, I’m a privilege white woman…

Because I’m a white privileged woman, I did not yet address the elephant in the room… racism and any other kind of white supremacy ideology, these period represents.

I do not think of myself as racist but the current events got me thinking of my own privileges and probable biais. Still, I can not talk about any of this for the lack of words. I will however continue to educate myself.

For now, I can just say that I am most likely imperfect, but I do not adhere and do not want to adhere to any of these outdated beliefs, these ‘vintage values’.

So indeed I say: Yes to Vintage style – No to vintage values!

Just needed to make it clear, just in case…

Vintage Style not vintage values

Let’s all continue our path in the right direction…