Vintage Sewing

Obsession or just plain awesome?

March 20, 2012

Ok, so, while this post isn’t specifically sewing related it’s up our collective alley. I just finished watching “My Crazy Obsession” on TLC. One of the stories was about a 23 year old woman named Doris who was obsessed with the 50s. I immediately got sweaty. I love the 40s and 50s. Loooove with a Capitol L. Doris only has objects in her house made between like 1945 and 1959. She only wears vintage clothes or repro clothes. Her car made me drool. She cooks from 50s cookbooks etc. and they made a big deal about her wearing bullet bras and her two drawers of girdles (shout out to y’all doing to fantastic lingerie sew-along!!!). At this point in the show I’m starting to think about turning it because I didn’t want to hear about how many more ‘crazy’ ways she was (i.e. a direct reflection on me) but I really wanted to see what else she was going to wear. Sigh….

So my question to y’all is, are we obsessed with our vintage lifestyles/clothing of our chosen era? I personally don’t feel like my houseful of vintage stuff and repro/vintage clothing is obsessive. And why would it be obsessive to love red lipstick and fancy lingerie and high heels? Do our crinolines make us eccentric or is everyone else weird for blindly following trends, “fashion” and wearing grubby sweatpants in public. I know I get some weird looks when dropping my son off at school in my (totally awesome) dresses and such but it doesn’t bother me, does that make me obsessed? Would I be obsessed if I finally found my dream car; a shiny black and chrome Ford Galaxy? All us ladies and gents on WeSewRetro are not obsessed in an ‘out of touch with reality’ way are we?

BTW, while we all ponder whether or not we need therapy I’ll be finishing up a fantastic 40s shirtwaist dress. Ha! Take that TLC.

  1. Does a 1947 Frigidaire earmark an obsession? Does loving my wall mount rotary phone? I think not. Our retro/vintage lifestyles simply denote an unabashed sense of style. And btw, keep on the look out for that Galaxy. My Ford Shoebox is the ULTIMATE accessory!

  2. I don’t think you or any of the rest of us are “obsessed” or “crazy” at all. Born in the wrong era, maybe …

  3. I don’t think I am obsessed because I have hundreds of vintage sewing patterns, an entire dressing room for my dresses, and I don’t even own a pair of sweatpants! People do look at me funny though, when I walk down to the supermarket 🙂

  4. i think there is a difference between ‘obsession’ and ‘style’
    …or at least i hope there is.
    i too have a house full of midcentury furniture. i’ve spent the last year trying to restore it to its original 1948 glory. i have a lot of cook books from the 40’s that i use regularly, but that’s just smart thinking– when i am broke, i use cookbooks from periods of rationing! cheap and delicious meals, thank you!
    and maybe i have a drawer or two or three of girdles, corsets, vintage bras and swimwear… and maybe i don’t own more than 2 pairs of pants…. and i have +1,000 vintage patterns, a wall of old fabrics, am saving for an old fridge…..


    ….i’m not helping anymore, am i?

    1. Well, I figure that WeSewRetro is just group therapy! 😉 I think the rest of the good people out there in non-vintage land don’t know what they are missing. Or maybe they do and don’t dig it, idk. If I had to choose between the late 1940s and now, I would pick 40s every time. Maybe one of us should start inventing a time machine……..

  5. I think Doris MayDay is fantastic. She has a Facebook where she talked about the show and how some of it was played up for tv. She does have the Internet, (no cable though), and she doesn’t really go out with trash bags on her feet.

    But it did inspire me to be more vintage outside of my home, and to not care what “society” thinks.

  6. I did wonder how she would shop for her vintage clothes and house good without the Internet. Silly enough, I didn’t think the bags were that odd. I live in a very snowy area and have pulled a bag out to save shoes from the snow on my way from the car to a building.

    I know I’m not alone in wishing I had a wardrobe of all vintage or repro clothes. I think it’s a realistic goal many of us are working towards. I think my new personal slogan will be “keep calm and vintage on”. 😉 I applaud Doris for getting the vibe out there.

  7. LittleBlackCar is absolutely right. The difference between something being a normal part of your unique life and an obsession is the thing’s ability (and you acknowledgement of that ability) to wreck your life. Are you having difficulties maintaining relationships because your obsession interferes? Have you had difficulties holding down a job (or other duty-type role) because your obsession interferes? And the most important thing (and the thing that the DSM IV points out over and over again in its entry on OCD): is the obsession causing you distress? Do you think of your love of retro as intrusive and inappropriate?

    I doubt it (and hope not). I’m not really a retro person (although I love me some bright colors and crazy patterns from the 70s) but I’m amazed what you lovely ladies do and adore/envy your fantastic styles!

    Let’s be honest… TLC is using the word “obsession” (and “crazy,” while we’re at it) a little loosely for the shock value of voyeur entertainment.

    /steps off of vintage soap box

  8. I was just discussing this with my friend. I think slavish devotion to any era is a little on the weird side (at least compared to a sea of normies in Gap jeans) but in an awesome, charming way. Personally, I’m not into just one era and I like to mix vintage items with newer styles, but I always love seeing ladies who are really rocking their period looks. But anyone who wears old school girdles and will not permit non-period items into her home is totally obsessed. No question. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. More power to her.

  9. My first thought when I watched that episode was, “I see nothing wrong with that, that’s not an obsession. How is that an obsession?” Okay, two thoughts really, but still, I saw nothing obsessive about it, I rather liked it.

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