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Does vintage make you look.... *older*?

hailey greenhat

A-List Customer
Messages
484
Location
Redondo Beach California
Personally i do think it makes one look older, but is that a bad thing? By no means, if you look good, you look good and there's no more to say.
And the looking older thing is proven if you take a gander at old year books the ladies and gents DO look older than high school age.
 

Viola

Call Me a Cab
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2,469
Location
NSW, AUS
I think wearing stuff that flatters one physically will help it not look aging.

'20s, for me, is very much a no-fly zone because big drape-y dresses and long single-strand necklaces would look deeply un-charming on me. Other women look delightful in that stuff though so I am NOT saying '20s ages women across the board.

I also think some hair sets add time for women, even more than clothes - probably half out of "old people wear it that way" and half out of very visibly styled/dyed/set hair looking like you're covering up something, presumably grays or whatever. Very stage-y evening type makeup does the same thing - even if perfectly applied it can imply coverage for other things and a more natural look on the same lady may be softer and more flattering even, ironically, if it shows more imperfections.

For men, I don't agree it necessarily has to make them look older - it very much depends on what it is. And I don't think it has to be rockabilly to be youthful. Especially if you throw the goth and steampunk side of vintage in. That's a youthful look, to me.
 

Chasseur

Call Me a Cab
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2,494
Location
Hawaii
I think there is a general perspection that dressing up equals older or more stuffer, stiff, etc.

I was amazed at a conference I went to last month. When many of the participants (a mixture of government and private sector folks many of whom spend a great deal of time traveling) showed up for the social mixers in the evening came in the same clothes that my 18-24 year old students wear and the conference participants were all 40-50s year old. I still wore my conference clothes (collared shirt, linen sport coat, no tie) because, well thats how I dress... Many who were older than me looked at me a little odd, sort of "Why are you still in your work clothes?" I wondered why many 50 year olds were dressed right out of a Holister or Hot Topic ad...
 

ThesFlishThngs

One Too Many
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1,007
Location
Oklahoma City
There are certainly connotations to distinctive hairstyles. Short, curled, salon-set, netted 'dos are what I remember 'old ladies' having in my childhood (60's, 70's). Even my mother had that big teased nest in the 70's. Looking a pictures of her now, she looks very young, but in my mind she was older, because of that hair.
As hailey pointed out, you only have to look at school pictures from the 60's and before, to see how old the girls look, because of their hair.
When women want to look younger, they (often mistakenly) wear their hair long and straight, presuming it will youthen them. It usually makes them look like older women trying to be something they're not.
 

pdxvintagette

A-List Customer
Messages
362
Location
Portland, OR
What a strange idea. Vintage making you look older! Any clothes can, if you wear them "wrong." But this is more an issue of perception that anything else.

In regards specifically to women's wear, I have always thought of WWII era styles - especially daywear - as being particularly youthful AND particularly connected with an image of youth, too. The curled hair, combs or rolls at the front/sides, shorter length of the dresses and playful prints all seem to give a vibe of freshness and youthful energy.

As for men's wear, there are "old guy" suits and "young guy" suits from each era. Of course, the "old guy" suits of the mid-late 50's happen to look a heck of a lot like early 40's styles half the time.

Details and accessories that can age people should be carefully avoided, if you're concerned about it. For the 40's gals, the lower and chunkier the heel, the more grandma it IS gonna look. But stick with a 4" cuban heeled peep-toe platform, and that vintage would never been taken for "old lady".

Similarly, if a guy dons a plain or paisley tie with his crisp 40's suit, it is going to look a little more conservative and old-mannish. But if you pair it a shiny, exuberant satin tie with wild colors and print - you're unlikely to be mistaken for a grandpa in disguise.
 

BinkieBaumont

Rude Once Too Often
Edward said:
Slightly rattled at the weekend by a (n older) friend who was very obviously shocked at my age, as she had assumed me to be much older. She wouldn't say exactly what age, so I'm assuming it really must have been bad. Normally I wouldn't care, but women are usually fairly perceptive like that. Another female friend (who is sorta vintage, she's into the rockabilly thing) suggested that it's because "unless you go rockabilly" men's vintage clothing "will always make you look older". (Yet another female friend has in the past put the occasional person thinking I'm much oler own to an assumption brought on by my lack of hair rather than anything else). Is there anything in this, though? I mean, my mother has long given off about me dressing "like an old man", but I'm inclined to treating her opinion on the matter with the contempt it so richly deserves....

"Youth is all much of an illusion, i personally think you can wear Vintage at any age, if you are more mature you can carry it off by being very "Gay" and lively, suddenly squatting on the floor to listen to the radio, or do like I do at 52 next month, whenever i am at a chums whenever I hear a piece of music i love, i go into an "Interpretative" Dance twirling a couple of Ascots in my two fists" It shows any doubting Thomas's how youthful and flexible you are. If you try and dress like a "Bright Young thing" folk will say you are "Mutton Dressed up as ram" getting old is not about how you dress but having things like "Favourite Chairs" (Although Sitting with your back to the light of the window, is usually more flattering!) and having paper thin skin that suffers 3rd degree burns from hot water Bottles"
 

Edward

Bartender
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24,709
Location
London, UK
John in Covina said:
I went to Guitar Center in Hollywood and the last time I was there 20 years ago it was filled with teens to thirty somethings all dressed as either rock stars or the rock t-shirt and jeans.

This time the place was filled with 40 to 60 somethings in rock t-shirts and jeans. I felt like they had never left GC.

lol I see that over here too. Generally they fall into two groups - those who are stuck in 1973 (pre-punk) and those stuck in the 'New Wave of British Heavy Metal' (post-punk) stage. What is perhaps more disturbing are their kids, who very often dress the same, are into the same music, and moan like an old fart about how "there's no good music any more"..... at fifteen! I've seen it far too often....

Carlisle Blues said:
If I act in a curmudgeonly manner and dress vintage then I deserve every reference to appearing older. ;)


Aye, well..... I have to admit I have the soul of a crabby old man, and have had since I was in my early teens.

lolly_loisides said:
Does vintage make you look....*older*? No (Edward, I'm guessing you are late 30's to early 40's)
Does vintage make you look....*distinguished*? Most definitely.

Ealy-mid thirties, actually. :(

I did think maybe it's the tweed, but possibly not....
 

klind65

One of the Regulars
Messages
162
Location
New York City
LizzieMaine said:
In an era when grown men are encouraged to walk the streets dressed like Charlie Brown, vintagewear couldn't help but to make them look older. Or at least one would hope so.
I'm with LizzieMaine. What I think when I see people dressed in today's "style" of T-shirt, dungarees, baseball caps and trainers, is how childish and immature they look - as if they were all kindergartners.

Whereas today, adults simply continue to dress as they did when they were children, in the Golden Era and before, there was a definite distinction or rite of passage at the onset of adulthood which was recognized by ,among other things - boys adopting long pants ( and suits) in place of short ones, girls wearing their hair up and donning cosmetics, stockings ,... "dressing up" always meant dressing like one's parents etc.. .

So, does "proper" attire make one look older? Well from the perspective of a child, yes, and since many adults today choose to dress like children, they would define traditional adult attire as "older" in comparison.

Modernly - oriented folks might call it "older" but Golden Era folks would simply have recognized you as being well dressed, "respectable" and quite handsome I might add. ;)
 

scottyrocks

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,160
Location
Isle of Langerhan, NY
High Pockets said:
:eusa_clap Charlie Brown!! :eusa_clap

:D I can't wait for the next "Indy" or "Capone" remark!

I know I look older in nice clothes and a hat,......but at the ripe old age of 55 I don't mind at all!

Thats hilarious, I cant wait to use it, as well. However, given the general age range of people that I have heard the Indy comparison from, they may very likely not even know who Charlie Brown is. :)
 

Ethan Bentley

One Too Many
Messages
1,225
Location
The New Forest, Hampshire, UK
I think it can do and I have experienced this. Sometimes this is elaborated as seeming to have "things together". I also think having facial hair can have the similar effect.
The remarks are never really negative and I don't mind people thinking I'm a bit older, I've got to the point already where I'm starting to pay less attention to my age and focus on who I am.

BTW. I too used to get the odd comment from Mumsie when I first started going vintage. :)
 

Tiller

Practically Family
Messages
637
Location
Upstate, New York
Well personally no, being 23 (24 on the 5th) I've never been accused of looking older. When I'm in my 40's dressing in this style will people think I look older? Maybe. Probably depends on my other physical features besides my clothing by then would be my guess. I think the "classic" or "vintage" look right now is connected with Mad Men, and is seen as being an almost rebellious look, at least for people my age and a bit younger.
 

C-dot

Call Me a Cab
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2,908
Location
Toronto, Canada
klind65 said:
...in the Golden Era and before, there was a definite distinction or rite of passage at the onset of adulthood which was recognized by...

That's true to a point, but don't forget that casual or childrens'-only clothes didn't really exist in the Golden Era and before. At one point children were dressed in, literally, miniature versions of adult wear. Golden Era children were still dressed up; There wasn't the option of dinosaur printed turtlenecks or sneakers.
 
Messages
11,579
Location
Covina, Califonia 91722
C-dot said:
That's true to a point, but don't forget that casual or childrens'-only clothes didn't really exist in the Golden Era and before. At one point children were dressed in, literally, miniature versions of adult wear. Golden Era children were still dressed up; There wasn't the option of dinosaur printed turtlenecks or sneakers.


You need to watch the original Hal Roach Studios Little Rascals episodes.

The kids weren't dressed up unless they were supposed to be rich or going to church.
 

docneg

One of the Regulars
Messages
190
Location
Pittsburgh PA
Edward said:
I mean, my mother has long given off about me dressing "like an old man", but I'm inclined to treating her opinion on the matter with the contempt it so richly deserves....
Oh, is your mother still living?! ;)
 

Amy Jeanne

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,852
Location
Colorado
Paisley said:
I think a 50s look often makes women and girls look older. Maybe short 50s hairdos remind me of the menopausal helmet.

I totally agree with this. I think I look cute in my 30s head-to-toe, though. And my new platinum blonde chorus girl hair. People usually think I am 25 -- I'm 34. As my husband says, girls can get away with a lot more than guys.
 

C-dot

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,908
Location
Toronto, Canada
John in Covina said:
You need to watch the original Hal Roach Studios Little Rascals episodes.

I've watched plenty of Little Rascals episodes, in my opinion their playclothes look smarter than the children's of today do. They also must have been better quality to withstand such beatings!
 

Lauren

Distinguished Service Award
Messages
5,060
Location
Sunny California
I think it depends!
I think I look younger than I am in everyday wear. When I wear vintage I think I actually look my age! But when I wear my vintage glasses it tacks on some years.
For example.
I'm nearly 29, for reference.
Normal, in vintage, in vintage with glasses.
normal.jpg
normal2.jpg
normal3.jpg
 

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