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Does vintage clothing attract a rude/violent response?

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10,879
Location
Portage, Wis.
I found what works best is to 'kill 'em with kindness' Getting mean is what it takes with some people but it's not right for every situation. If you can poke fun at yourself, too, it helps. People will question me and I just smile and nicely say "Aw, I'm just an old relic. I never felt the need to move past the fifties" people usually just smile and chuckle and then ask more questions about the attire. It's a good icebreaker.
 

mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
Well, whatever the reason I get loads of comments but it makes no difference, I'll still wear what I want because I think it looks great. I see my reflection and I get real pleasure knowing that's what I look like. I'm not bothered enough by the negative comments to change my style - I like it too much, plus girls seem to love it too. It's just I bit irritating that other people don't get the same treatmentment. I won't let it bother me, I'm not gonna change cos some people have no sense of class. And I don't mean social class... obviously.
 

Shangas

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,115
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Well, whatever the reason I get loads of comments but it makes no difference, I'll still wear what I want because I think it looks great. I see my reflection and I get real pleasure knowing that's what I look like. I'm not bothered enough by the negative comments to change my style - I like it too much, plus girls seem to love it too. It's just I bit irritating that other people don't get the same treatmentment. I won't let it bother me, I'm not gonna change cos some people have no sense of class. And I don't mean social class... obviously.

A perfect attitude to take, Mercury. The same one I use. Keep it up buddy. Keep it up. I don't want the only time I wear a suit to be when I'm lying in a coffin...
 

AntonAAK

Practically Family
Messages
628
Location
London, UK
I'm very sorry to hear about the hassle you get, Mercuryfelt and no, I'm afraid I don't understand it. I don't recognise the UK a lot of people are describing here.

Perhaps you should pop out with myself and Edward one night. Perhaps come to an NSC event and we will introduce you to some like-minded people.

All the best
Anton
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,704
Location
London, UK
I'm very sorry to hear about the hassle you get, Mercuryfelt and no, I'm afraid I don't understand it. I don't recognise the UK a lot of people are describing here.

Me neither. Sounds more like some Guy Ritchie / Daily Mail fantasy than the reality I have experienced. The only place I've ever actually been physically hassled was Liverpool. I was dressed as Phillip Sallon at the time, but there were a bunch of us, we were obviously in "fancy dress", and yet we had coins thrown at us in broad daylight, and were physically surrounded and shoved about later on. The weak-minded fear difference. [huh] That's the only time I've had it, though, and unpleasant comments are, in my experience, very rare (and half times meant in humour, just clumsily put rather than intentional insults). Otherwise, I simply ignore the very rare snide comment. It doesn't bother me at all: as my paternal grandmother, God rest her soul, would have said "If somebody calls you names, it's because there's something wrong with them, not you".

Perhaps you should pop out with myself and Edward one night. Perhaps come to an NSC event and we will introduce you to some like-minded people.

All the best
Anton

Ah, yes! Next meeting 6 July....



I've been afraid of England ever since I saw "Harry Brown" with Michael Caine, especially since I couldn't carry my .38 legally. Some chav with a track suit tries to start something with me about the way I'm dressed he'd wind up with some chewing tobacco in his face and lead in his gut.

That England doesn't much exist outside B-movies like Harry Brown and the dystopian wet dreams of the Daily Mail and its hungry-to-be-offended readership. Put it this way, regarding Harry Brown as reflective of real England is like saying "I'd never go to Chicago, it's full of Gangsters. I've read about Al Capone".

Seriously though, England sounds to me like they've got a large population of wannabe American thug types with Rasta accents who go around threatening people with knives. Am I wrong or am I just seriously skewed from watching your alls' films of some kind of society in decline?

It exists if you go looking for it. It is far from the norm.

In that case, I'd just shrug it off. One time when I was in England, I needed to buy a new watch, and did, but the metal band was too big. I took it to a watch shop in Northampton where I was staying, and the guy behind the counter asked, "You're American. Aren't you supposed to be fat?" I'd just chalk it up to people being people. Besides, a rude response is better than no response. It means you're somebody people notice. You're important enough to go out of the way to make conversation with. That's the best.

Not the opening gambit I'd have gone for, though in all likelihood that was meant in a spirit of poking gentle fun, that's how it's done over here.
 

Puzzicato

One Too Many
Messages
1,843
Location
Ex-pat Ozzie in Greater London, UK
What's your secret??????????????

Well, I'm a woman, which I think is partly insulating. And I am far too self-absorbed most of the time to notice if other people are looking at or commenting on me. It'd take a pretty direct confrontation for me to realise something was going on, and most of the snide people are far too weak and cowardly to do direct confrontation.
 

mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
I really don't want to give people a bad impression of the UK. From my personal experience it's a nice place but there are a few idiots. And we all know the empty vessel makes the most noise ;)
 

Shangas

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,115
Location
Melbourne, Australia
I forget who said this, but I am reminded of a quote that goes: "Shallow-minded people are like shallow bottles. The less they have inside them, the more noise it makes coming out".
 

K.D. Lightner

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,354
Location
Des Moines, IA
Wearing a fedora in Iowa can be a bit of an ordeal. At a casino, a guy who was working in valet, saw me in my stetson fedora and started guffawing about the mafia. First of all, I am a woman; second, the stetson was a rose red Mr. Stetson fedora with a stingy brim.

I just smiled and said, "see what kind of tip you get today."

Usually I get strange looks -- from people who are wearing baseball caps. Backwards. Go figure.

kdl
 

mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
I'm very sorry to hear about the hassle you get, Mercuryfelt and no, I'm afraid I don't understand it. I don't recognise the UK a lot of people are describing here.

Perhaps you should pop out with myself and Edward one night. Perhaps come to an NSC event and we will introduce you to some like-minded people.

All the best
Anton

Thank you Anton, I'd love to come. I get the impression some people think I'm making it up. Maybe when we meet you can advise me on how I can become immune from personal ridicule like Edward seems to be. Maybe I'm doing something which makes me look more of a push-over - are you a big fella Edward? I'm only 5"7' and I look young for 35. Maybe you look more menacing than myself and people leave you alone.
 

mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
Today I had some really nice comments about my clothes. Nobody ever told me I looked nice in jeans and t shirt. I've started wearing (correct me if I'm wrong) black and white spats shoes. I know spats are the shoe covers but what are the black and white shoes called? Anyway, I love em! And so many people told me I look great today.

We've talked about the negative comments but I wonder, does anyone get nice comments too? Edward, do you get complements?
 
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Puzzicato

One Too Many
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1,843
Location
Ex-pat Ozzie in Greater London, UK
The black & white ones I think are known as spectator shoes or co-respondent shoes. I believe because gentlemen wearing them are likely to turn up as the offending party in infidelity cases. So I should hope you get some good reactions!
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,704
Location
London, UK
Today I had some really nice comments about my clothes. Nobody ever told me I looked nice in jeans and t shirt. I've started wearing (correct me if I'm wrong) black and white spats shoes. I know spats are the shoe covers but what are the black and white shoes called? Anyway, I love em! And so many people told me I look great today.

You're wearing 'co-respondents'. This name fell into common usage back in the days before no-fault divorce, when adultery was one of the few (and the most common, I believe) grounds on which the legal termination of a marriage was available. One married man was famously identified as the male involved in an illicit sexual liason in a hotel by means of his distinctive, two-tone shoes: thereafter, the name stuck. They are typically considered a Summer shoe: I have half a dozen pairs of differing shades and styles that I wear between Mid March (a little early, I know, but I usually start on St Patricks, a significant point in the year for me both culturally and as right through school and university it typically marked the point in the year at which I would shed my Winter coat for the season) and mid September. Actually, I also have a pair in burgundy and black that get worn through the Winter too... I love them. Actually, through the Summer season, I rarely wear anything else on my feet. Only when I'm in evening or formal daywear, or when (as today) I've opted for saddle shoes, do I wear anything else, really. I'm actually going to be packing a piar to wear to a graduation ceremony in Beijing next week. They've become something of a trademark at work....

Anyhoo.... Our American cousins refer the them as "spectators" - not sure what the etymology of that one is, unless it's connected to the fact that they were considered a "sporty" over there shoe back in the day? The average person on the street here in the UK will refer to them as "spats" - typically I just say "thank-you" when they compliment my "spats" - unless we fall into conversation about them it seems discourteous to correct them. ;)

We've talked about the negative comments but I wonder, does anyone get nice comments too? Edward, do you get complements?

Oh, yes - all the time. Most commonly from older people, women and a lot of the Asian teenage kids round my way who favour hip hop fashions. Certainly taught me to think twice about how I look at them with their baggy jeans hanging below their bums! lol I'm sure I attract the odd jibe, but they're usually funny to me - I thought it was hilarious when a teenage kid looked at me in a trenchcoat and fedora and said 'Inspector Gadget' - I thought he'd have been far too young to remember that one. The other one that cracked me up was last Summer, couple of teenage girls in a tube station looked at e in a black suit, black and white co-respondents and a black fedora and did the Michael Jackson "eeee-HEEEE". I'm not sure how I stopped myself responding with a Michael Jackass (remember Bo Selecta?) line - that's what I always think of first with the Jackson thing. I think a lot of it comes down to just being comfortable in your own skin - for the most part, if you're not at all self-conscious, people mostly either respond positively or not at all. The sort of people who are apt to make sleekit remarks will typically target people that they think will be upset by it - they want a reaction. I'm usually zoned out to a fair degree in public spaces (or, at least, like to give that impression), so maybe that's why I don't tend to be a target.
 
Don't take Ali G too seriously.

Rude bwoah gotta git wif de program know wha I mean, aight? Bombaclatt be disresepeckin' me I get out de heata and do de bong bong, idn't it.

Seriously though, England sounds to me like they've got a large population of wannabe American thug types with Rasta accents who go around threatening people with knives. Am I wrong or am I just seriously skewed from watching your alls' films of some kind of society in decline?

Much of the hysteria around knife crime and declining society is daily mail type ranting, it's not like there wasn't knife crime in the 50s, or the 20s. BUt there is certainly a lot of wannabe hard types around. I agree with mercuryfelt on the east end. North east London is relatively placid, but fedoras get a lot of negative comment. [EDIT] I'll add that the vast majority of the issues I encounter (mostly "verbal") are with white men aged 35-60. There are a lot of asian and black people in the north east of london, and they're almost universally not a problem when it comes to dress, and are more likely first to understand that it's vintage style, and second to appreciate that somone has made an effort over how they look, a trend which is very pronounced in those communities, as opposed to the slobbish jeans and T-shirt "locals" outside the Union Jack and Bulldog pub .
 
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Gene

Practically Family
Messages
963
Location
New Orleans, La.
I assume the Daily Mail is your biggest tabloid? What's ironic is that England has given the world some of the best and most outrageous fashions, i.e. punk, rave, mod, skinhead...
 

mercuryfelt76

One of the Regulars
Messages
209
Location
London, England
The Daily Mail is generally considered, in the context being used on this thread, as the old fashioned right of centre "there's no discipline these days" newspaper for people who don't like the youth of today.

Thanks Edward, I'm starting to appreciate what you're doing different to me. Lately when I've noticed someone's pointing at me or says "look at that ****" I turn to them and smile and it seems to go in a totally different direction. Smiling at least conveys contentment and therefore confidence. It also seems to convey to the would-be verbal abuser that you're open to share his/her observation of you. Several times lately I seem to have stopped someone wanting to mock me, so instead of "Mr Churchill you look like a ****" they say "very dapper, you look like a young Winston Churchill". I was amazed. It's not in my nature to smile at complete strangers unless we're already sharing some moment. By smiling it seems I'm taking that first step for them.

Another thing, now that I'm wearing co-respondents for the first time I've noticed that I no longer look like I'm dressed like an old man. Now I look like I'm wearing 1930s stylish clothes. And with regard to race, I totally agree I only ever get it from white people. It's as if it's too culturally familiar and out-dated to be appreciated by the people whose Grandfathers probably dressed in a similar way. So often someone in "hip hop fashion" will tell me they love my style. Old people usually seem to love it too, although the older I get the older that bracket of appreciative old people gets. I forget that men in their late 50s don't remember the days when everyone wore a hat. When I was a kid men in their late 50s remembered London before the Blitz.
 

Shangas

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,115
Location
Melbourne, Australia
We've talked about the negative comments but I wonder, does anyone get nice comments too?

I very rarely get rude comments about my clothes or accessories. And when I do, it's usually from clueless, idiotic 15-year-old schoolboys who don't know better. The people I mingle with are used to how I dress and I often get compliments from strangers who wander into the shop where I work. Words like that, they boost your day, they do. They really do. I've had everything from...

"Nice hat!" (Several people on numerous occasions)

"I really like your gloves...Can I have them?" (At least two women on seperate occasions)

"I think this jacket would go really nicely with your style..." (Two women on seperate occasions told me that, when they were looking through the menswear section and I happened to be walking past. They whipped them out and held them up to me...)

[A man I was helping to move some stuff]: "So do you have a watch on the end of that?" (pointing to my watch-chain). After I took it out to show him: "I would knock you down for that. It's a beauty!"

Kitting up in classic vintage style makes people one of two things, I reckon. Scared and judgemental or jealous and envious. You get two kinds of responses. The first is: "Look at you. Aren't you sharp?...WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO PROVE? HUH? HUH? HUUUUH????" I've never gotten that. The other one is: "Nice getup. I wish I could dress like that, but I don't for *whatever reason*". Normally it's because they don't think they can pull it off, or it's peer-pressure to dress like something else or whatever.

My main motivator for dressing like I do now is...okay two...One is Fedora Lounge (Damn you all to Hell! and all that...) and the other is that I was sick and tired of wearing the same kinds of clothes I always wore as a kid. There were people out there wearing much nicer clothes...and I WANTED IN. And, as a character in a movie I watched once said: "If I die, I will die well-dressed!"
 

Miss sofia

One Too Many
Messages
1,675
Location
East sussex, England
I agree with Shangas on this, on the whole i have only received positive responses from people, although i have had my share of abuse over the years. I think though there is a rogue element who are envious/jealous perhaps, or find the look intimidating. Let's face it we do look pretty well put together (i'm using the royal 'we' here), compared to the majority of folk in the mainstream who tend to dress down most of the time. I have found with a few people, much as they have complemented me on my outift, it's almost as if it was a little begrudgingly, if that makes sense, in an 'oh don't you look smart, you're putting us scruffbags to shame, what are you trying to prove' kind of way.

Where i live, it's very touristy, Summer is pretty hellish when the hordes descend, sadly most of the abuse i receive is at this time of year from total cretins who should know better not the locals. But i just put it down to ignorance. Like the couple of guys in a car who called me a c**t earlier when i was walking home. Sad.
 

Shangas

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,115
Location
Melbourne, Australia
I guess some people are just intimidated/jealous and that's what brings out a rude/violent response.

Good!

It means you're doing it right and rocking vintage style all day long. Carry on, Jeeves, and all that stuff...
 

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