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Is it me or has it become harder to sell things on Classifieds or anywhere else?

has it been harder to sell pre-loved good online?

  • yes. more price cuts needed

  • no. about the same as 2022

  • really depends on the category or item condition

  • I am just here for the responses


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LizzieMaine

Bartender
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32,876
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^^^^^^
I occasionally field questions from customers asking what hat I’d recommend they wear to a job interview. I typically respond “none at all,” unless the job is in entertainment or the arts or maybe advertising. You want the interviewer to remember what you said, I tell them, not that you wore a hat to the interview. “Proper” hats haven’t been the norm outside certain specific contexts in more than half a century, and it’s probably best not to come across as an eccentric, nor as a person who pays an inordinate level of attention to his appearance.
If you're sitting in a formal job interview with a hat on you've got worse problems than eccentricity.
 

Edward

Bartender
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24,709
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Part of what keeps this place going is the multiple sub-forums. There are some I visit regularly, some infrequently, and some not at all. If the Fedora Lounge limited itself exclusively to 1930s and ’40s material goods it would be signing its own death warrant. Or so I would think.

Plausibly, yes. It's always the same old trick: how do you keep the identity of the place, without becoming irrelevant, and at what point does maintaining relevance mean loss of identity... I'm all on board for 1919-1960 - for the sake of argument - though for me personally stretching it into flares, or eighties workwear is a bit much. There's a place for later repro, of course - and other stuff. One of my most complimented blazers at 50s leaning events for a long time was actually 'eighties does 50s'.

There's definitely something about having a thing for aesthetics from before your own time, though. I remember the eighties far too well ever to want to see them revived! Oddly enough, born in 1974, I'm very intolerant of Sixties revivalism, but I suspect that's simply because it's been done to death by those of my parents' generation in positions of influence and with a strong case of Tom Buchanan Syndrome.


As I’ve noted in other threads, much of what we’ve come to think of as post-war modernist stuff — furniture, architecture, etc. — actually predates the “Golden Era.” It may not have become the dominant style in the 1930s and ’40s, but its origins were in the decades prior.

I've always been wryly amused at those news items, human interest pieces, you know - "and now the couple who live in the fifties!" when what they've actually done is turn their suburban home into the set of Al's Diner. I've been musing on that a lot recently when I see much younger folks recreating an "eighties" that really bears much closer resemblance to what the early nineties were like, shorn of the sixties and seventies elements still prevalent in 1982. Around that time my grandmother on one side still had a late 60s B&W TV she didn't feel any need to change, and a kitchen installed in the 50s. I'm not that different myself: Most of my furniture now is still the Ikea stuff I bought when I moved into my flat in 2001, and little of it would have looked out of place in the mid nineties.


Re MCM, what is particularly interesting is how much mid-late 50s stuff from the US would be considered very much 60s over here in England, as that's when a lot of those styles got this far.

There are people here with thousands of posts I've never heard of. The historical stuff keeps me coming around, but there are few things in the world that interest me less than leather jackets. Unless John Garfield's wearing one in 1939.


It was inevitable, with the rising prices and rarity of original stuff that the leather jacket area would become dominated by repro; it's certainly rue, though, that part of TFL has become a much more generic 'workwear' type area now than stuff than a focus on a particular design era.

Though I'm not entirely sad to be moving into an era when original vintage clothes (as I see them) aren't as plentiful. I clearly was too late for the days when they were plentiful and affordable (and that was always moreso in the US anyhow, of course), but the growing availability of men's repro that just wasn't the case twenty years ago (unless you could afford big money for a suit or wanted to wear jeans all the time - not so great for day to day wardrobe) is definitely a plus.

As to OP's question, it's certainly true that there's a much smaller market for 30s-50s than once there was. Here in London, a whole slew of nights and events focussing on tat era have disappeared post, or even pre, Covid, and they've been replaced by a handful of eighties and 90s things - if anything has replaced them at all.
 

Observe

Practically Family
Messages
975
As someone in their mid-30s, I find the obsession with "retro" 90s stuff a bit silly. I also personally find 90s style to be disgusting looking, lol. All the zoomers with their mom jeans, oversized sweaters and whatever else all looks ridiculous to me.

That being said, perhaps someone from the Golden Age (if they're still alive) would feel similarly about style anachronisms from their era? Kind of a "kids these days" sorta thing.
 
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^^^^^^
There are better and worse examples of styles from every era, but in the case of my early adulthood years, the early- to mid-1970s, there was markedly more bad than good. I didn’t find the “hippie” look itself so objectionable, and I adopted it myself to a significant degree. But “dressier” wear from that period was often just dreadful. The photos from my eldest brother’s first wedding, in 1973, are sadly illustrative.

Faux fur lapels, anyone?
 
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My mother's basement
If you're sitting in a formal job interview with a hat on you've got worse problems than eccentricity.
It hadn’t occurred to me that a fellow asking about the appropriateness of wearing a hat to a job interview would be wearing the thing once he was seated and the interview was under way.

But, to go off on yet another tangent …

When was the last time you saw a hat rack in a waiting or reception area? My lid typically stays atop my noggin until I’m called to see the doctor or the accountant or whoever.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,709
Location
London, UK
As someone in their mid-30s, I find the obsession with "retro" 90s stuff a bit silly. I also personally find 90s style to be disgusting looking, lol. All the zoomers with their mom jeans, oversized sweaters and whatever else all looks ridiculous to me.

That being said, perhaps someone from the Golden Age (if they're still alive) would feel similarly about style anachronisms from their era? Kind of a "kids these days" sorta thing.

Never really understood the term "mom jeans". In context it seems to be an intentionally derogatory term, but this side of the Atlantic I've only ever seen it applied as a simple descriptor, by brands that make them. Just look like ordinary jeans, really, from what I can see. Some of the kids round here were into the early 90s grunge thing for a bit, though even more bizarre has been the trend for eighties style skintight jeans on recent years. Joey Ramone worked those. The average London beerboy.... not so much. It's amusing see fashions I remember the first time around (and often thought them a bad idea then) coming back round. I've never gotten into a retro thing for an era I lived through, though.

When was the last time you saw a hat rack in a waiting or reception area? My lid typically stays atop my noggin until I’m called to see the doctor or the accountant or whoever.

My hats typically get special attention in most cloakrooms now, precisely because they a] don't see them often, and b] don't have dedicated hat racks. The one place I can think of immediately offhand that does have proper hathooks available is Rules, my favourite restaurant in London (and it's oldest, in business constantly since 1798).
 
Messages
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My mother's basement

I've always been wryly amused at those news items, human interest pieces, you know - "and now the couple who live in the fifties!" when what they've actually done is turn their suburban home into the set of Al's Diner. I've been musing on that a lot recently when I see much younger folks recreating an "eighties" that really bears much closer resemblance to what the early nineties were like, shorn of the sixties and seventies elements still prevalent in 1982. Around that time my grandmother on one side still had a late 60s B&W TV she didn't feel any need to change, and a kitchen installed in the 50s. I'm not that different myself: Most of my furniture now is still the Ikea stuff I bought when I moved into my flat in 2001, and little of it would have looked out of place in the mid nineties.


Re MCM, what is particularly interesting is how much mid-late 50s stuff from the US would be considered very much 60s over here in England, as that's when a lot of those styles got this far.




It was inevitable, with the rising prices and rarity of original stuff that the leather jacket area would become dominated by repro; it's certainly rue, though, that part of TFL has become a much more generic 'workwear' type area now than stuff than a focus on a particular design era.

Though I'm not entirely sad to be moving into an era when original vintage clothes (as I see them) aren't as plentiful. I clearly was too late for the days when they were plentiful and affordable (and that was always moreso in the US anyhow, of course), but the growing availability of men's repro that just wasn't the case twenty years ago (unless you could afford big money for a suit or wanted to wear jeans all the time - not so great for day to day wardrobe) is definitely a plus.

As to OP's question, it's certainly true that there's a much smaller market for 30s-50s than once there was. Here in London, a whole slew of nights and events focussing on tat era have disappeared post, or even pre, Covid, and they've been replaced by a handful of eighties and 90s things - if anything has replaced them at all.

Those “people living like it’s the 1950s” (or 1940s or whatever) news features still pop up every now and then, but it seems not as often as they used to. I doubt it’s that the phenomenon itself happens less frequently so much as that writers and editors have determined that stories along those lines have been overdone and have become stale and kinda trite.

It might be fun to revisit those extreme atavists a decade later and see if they’re still maintaining the “lifestyle.” My guess is that in most cases they’ve either moved on to another obsession or become considerably less “hardcore” in their existing one.
 
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10,272
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As someone in their mid-30s, I find the obsession with "retro" 90s stuff a bit silly. I also personally find 90s style to be disgusting looking, lol. All the zoomers with their mom jeans, oversized sweaters and whatever else all looks ridiculous to me.

That being said, perhaps someone from the Golden Age (if they're still alive) would feel similarly about style anachronisms from their era? Kind of a "kids these days" sorta thing.
As someone in their 70's calling 90's 'retro' is just weird unless you are talking 1890's cuz the 1990's were like just yesterday.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
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Location
London, UK
As someone in their 70's calling 90's 'retro' is just weird unless you are talking 1890's cuz the 1990's were like just yesterday.

It fascinates me that they clearly perceive much greater differences between then and now than I, turning 50 next year, do. I remember hearing people talk about the possibility of a back to the 90s time travel show and thinking it couldn't work.... then I watched repeats of the old Cracker tv show from 1990-92 and thinking we've come further than I realised.
 

LizzieMaine

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32,876
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Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
I remember when we used to have serious discussions of atavism, which was, as I remember, the specific word I advocated using for the practice instead of "vintage-liver," which made made me think of stale meat hanging in a butcher-shop window. In any event, the usual consensus when these types of stories came up was that the media was playing them up to make the person involved look like some kind of bizarre fanatic when the reality was likely to be considerably less. Usually the person depicted was British, and given the general greasy unreliability of the British media, it was rarely a surprise to find that much had been distorted and exaggerated for effect. Given how thoroughly Daily Mailified all British media has become over the last decade or so, I have no doubt that this kid is a perfectly ordinary young man who just likes old stuff. Leave him alone and let him do what he wants.

I'm still considered very much an atavist by many around where I live, for the simple fact that I still refuse to have or use a cellphone. I'm not trying to be twee in this refusal, it's simply that I've never had one, and I can see no good reason why I should. I obviously have a computer, but for a lot of reasons I refuse to let it be the center of my life. As for the way I dress, well, I believe that everyone should dress in a way that looks good *on them.* And you don't want to see what I'd look like in a band t-shirt and velveteen yoga pants. And I'll also acknowledged that, being in show business, there's been a certain career advantage to dressing in a way that fits the environment in which I work. Being a sort of "living trademark" can be job security, and when you're a sixty year old woman with no other means of income that's something you need all of that you can get.

As for "rose colored" atavism, I'll just point out that anyone who's followed my writings around here over the past eighteen years knows if there's anyone on this site who doesn't "romanticize the past," it's me. Nor do I, or will I, romanticize any aspect of the present.
 

Doctor Damage

I'll Lock Up
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Ontario
As someone in their mid-30s, I find the obsession with "retro" 90s stuff a bit silly. I also personally find 90s style to be disgusting looking, lol. All the zoomers with their mom jeans, oversized sweaters and whatever else all looks ridiculous to me.

That being said, perhaps someone from the Golden Age (if they're still alive) would feel similarly about style anachronisms from their era? Kind of a "kids these days" sorta thing.
Yeah, agreed on that. Nice materials in menswear, but terrible fit. In fact, the super-big shoulders and super-drape that is generally associated with the 1980s was actually largely a 1990s things. Speaking of the 1980s, our style zeitgeist, which recycles the past relentlessly, seems to have skipped the 1980s, going right from the "retro 1970s" to the "retro 1990s." Wait, what about the 1980s? That pisses me off, since I think the 1980s was a high point for clothing and style (mainstream, not MTV nonsense).
 

AHP91

Practically Family
Messages
859
As someone in their 70's calling 90's 'retro' is just weird unless you are talking 1890's cuz the 1990's were like just yesterday.

Hate to be the bearer of this, but the 90s was about 30 years ago. I’m no mathematician, but I think that’s about right. Between 9/11, a few major world conflicts, the dot com boom, COVID, etc, the world has changed a bit.
 

LizzieMaine

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Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
The thing with the nineties is that. while I was living thru them, I felt like they had no style of their own. Everything felt like a regurgitation of the dreariest aspects of the previous three decades. Nothing was interesting. Nothing was distinctive. Nothing was worth bothering with. It's like being "nostalgic" about a brown paper bag. Which I guess is something you could get nostalgic about now...
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,709
Location
London, UK
It might be fun to revisit those extreme atavists a decade later and see if they’re still maintaining the “lifestyle.” My guess is that in most cases they’ve either moved on to another obsession or become considerably less “hardcore” in their existing one.

You'd probably find all of those in different individuals. Someone who was always 'naturally' - for want of a better way of putting it - "vintage" will likely still be there, albeit with the odd concession to modernity. In one of the more recent pieces I saw on a young man who had a very thirties existence in England he made no secret of having a fridge and a laptop. His laptop was tucked in a drawer when not in use, and his fridge obscured in his otherwise period kitchen with a small curtain. I think folks who adopt the "modernity in moderation" approach to vintage stick with it. Those I've seen who burned out hard on the whole thing were people who made it their entire existence - getting rid of the washing machine in favour of a mangle, not doing things they wanted to do because they didn't fit that time period, only listening to music from the era they chose to li, not because that's what they loved, but because they felt that if the were going to be A Twenties Person, then they had to listen to Twenties Music..... that sort of thing. When they came to miss the things they'd cut out, eventually they burned out on their chosen lifestyle, and moved on. Some of them had come to feel very badly trapped by it all; I've even seen some people become dismissive and actually quite spiteful towards the whole thing (and anyone still in such a scene) because it had soured for them.

I remember when we used to have serious discussions of atavism, which was, as I remember, the specific word I advocated using for the practice instead of "vintage-liver," which made made me think of stale meat hanging in a butcher-shop window. In any event, the usual consensus when these types of stories came up was that the media was playing them up to make the person involved look like some kind of bizarre fanatic when the reality was likely to be considerably less. Usually the person depicted was British, and given the general greasy unreliability of the British media, it was rarely a surprise to find that much had been distorted and exaggerated for effect. Given how thoroughly Daily Mailified all British media has become over the last decade or so, I have no doubt that this kid is a perfectly ordinary young man who just likes old stuff. Leave him alone and let him do what he wants.

Yes, the Mail's an odd one on that front. There's a delight taken by the readership in sneering - "Lives in the forties but owns a mobile phone! That car outside their house in modern! Fakers!" Though there are also those who approve. In particular, there's long been a Mailista strain who love forties revivalism (the more Churchill and WW2 it gets the better), because "Britain was better pre-1948, before women and ethnics got uppity". I forget what it was called now, but there was, briefly, a 'vintage' magazine in the UK that had very unpleasant undertones of that sort of thinking.

I'm still considered very much an atavist by many around where I live, for the simple fact that I still refuse to have or use a cellphone. I'm not trying to be twee in this refusal, it's simply that I've never had one, and I can see no good reason why I should. I obviously have a computer, but for a lot of reasons I refuse to let it be the center of my life. As for the way I dress, well, I believe that everyone should dress in a way that looks good *on them.* And you don't want to see what I'd look like in a band t-shirt and velveteen yoga pants. And I'll also acknowledged that, being in show business, there's been a certain career advantage to dressing in a way that fits the environment in which I work. Being a sort of "living trademark" can be job security, and when you're a sixty year old woman with no other means of income that's something you need all of that you can get.

As for "rose colored" atavism, I'll just point out that anyone who's followed my writings around here over the past eighteen years knows if there's anyone on this site who doesn't "romanticize the past," it's me. Nor do I, or will I, romanticize any aspect of the present.

There's definitely a world of difference between the atavist - for whom it is a natural state of being, and who adopts modernity only as they feel the need - and the cosplayer-absolute. The latter being the type who will strive for a total immersion, 24 7, and bend themselves to fit (their idea of) a particular period. Again, over here a lot of it all gets mixed up in the way a certain type of Britishness, or Englishness, holds WW2 as a key reference point to its sense of identity.

The other big difference is, I think, the contrast between those who are, for whatever reason, consciously seeking to live in or return to the past as some form of perfect golden era, and those who simply don't feel the need to adopt every new technological advance just because everyone else does. I find I'm more in the latter camp than I realised as I get older. It's far from unusual for undergraduates now not to carry a pen to class as they take all notes on a laptop and no longer submit anything for any form of handwritten assessment. One young man I taught on Friday morning tells me he hasn't carried a pen anywhere since he turned sixteen five years ago. Oh brave new world...

I've been expecting handwriting to become a thing of the past over time, though I begin now to wonder whether there will be a push for it to make a comeback - not only because a traditional exam could well become the only means of certainty that the work submitted represents the candidate's own efforts, but also because it's now turning out that handwriting stuff has a huge link to learning and memory. (I've definitely noticed the knowledge base of students - especially international postgraduate students - dropping off significantly since they stopped having to do a traditional exam and so commit nothing to memory, a trend I am fighting back hard against.


Yeah, agreed on that. Nice materials in menswear, but terrible fit. In fact, the super-big shoulders and super-drape that is generally associated with the 1980s was actually largely a 1990s things. Speaking of the 1980s, our style zeitgeist, which recycles the past relentlessly, seems to have skipped the 1980s, going right from the "retro 1970s" to the "retro 1990s." Wait, what about the 1980s? That pisses me off, since I think the 1980s was a high point for clothing and style (mainstream, not MTV nonsense).

That does depend on what eighties you mean, of course. It's certainly not the eighties I se spilling out of eighties revivalist nightclubs, not that those are as common as they were ten years ago. The fifties influence in the early eighties did produce some great stuff, though not much of it on display when I look back at family photos from that period! :D


Hate to be the bearer of this, but the 90s was about 30 years ago. I’m no mathematician, but I think that’s about right. Between 9/11, a few major world conflicts, the dot com boom, COVID, etc, the world has changed a bit.


When I stop and think about it, a lot more than I realise day to day. When I speak to my brother's kids, though, or engage my undergraduates in conversation about their technological and media experiences, it really is so very different than how it was for me at that age (and is now - their world even now in 2023 is very different from the same one I inhabit in 2023). None of this of course is new, but experiencing it directly is another matter...
 
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I have an online acquaintance with a young fellow living a couple thousand miles from me. He’s a big guy (pushing 300 pounds, I’d guess) who often dresses in styles dating from the 1930s and ’40s. He bought a house of somewhat uncertain vintage (record-keeping being what it was well over a century ago) which he is gradually putting back into how it was when it was new. He’s an excellent piano player and singer who favors the musical stylings of the early 20th century. His regular car is a 1956 Pontiac. I wouldn’t doubt there are others here familiar with him, but he’s not a member here, not under his actual name, anyway.

An atavist? I suppose. But I dig his way of being.

The difference between people such as him and the sorts I see featured in those “people living like it’s the 1950s” stories (or, perhaps more accurately, the way those people are characterized in those stories) is that he comes across as genuine. He doesn’t force it. He likes old stuff (as do I) but his way of being doesn’t come across as parody or pastiche. It’s a safe bet he owns a microwave and doesn’t hide it.

As has been alluded to many times here, rare is the recreated vintage interior that accurately reflects the interiors of the period being recreated. Most peoples’ homes weren’t art deco showplaces in the 1930s. Most peoples’ homes weren’t stand-ins for Al’s Diner (to borrow Edward’s example) in the 1950s. Indeed, very, very few were, in either case.
 
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Hate to be the bearer of this, but the 90s was about 30 years ago. I’m no mathematician, but I think that’s about right. Between 9/11, a few major world conflicts, the dot com boom, COVID, etc, the world has changed a bit.
Perhaps it is so to a youngen like you. Life tends to speed up the more decades you have under your belt. Wait til you get there and you will see but right now, for you, it is just theory.
It is even more true when I look at my wardrobe and half the clothes I own were purchased in the 1990's.
 

LizzieMaine

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As has been alluded to many times here, rare is the recreated vintage interior that accurately reflects the interiors of the period being recreated. Most peoples’ homes weren’t art deco showplaces in the 1930s. Most peoples’ homes weren’t stand-ins for Al’s Diner (to borrow Edward’s example) in the 1950s. Indeed, very, very few were, in either case.
This is what bugs me about most of the "recreated environments" I've seen that intend to reflect any particular period. Not only didn't an actual ordinary 1930s home reflect the high fashions of the period, it didn't necessarily reflect the "ordinary" fashions of the period either. If you stepped into an average living room in 1937 you'd see a couple of current-style pieces that might have been bought on time from Sach's or some place like that, mixed in with secondhand stuff from the 1910s contributed by parents or aunts or uncles, accented with the occasional piece left over from the days of Grover Cleveland that might have been inherited from grandparents or picked up on the street. All this on a fading Mohawk rug dotted with spill stains and cigarette burns. There'd be an attempt to pep the room up with new wallpaper, but it didn't do much to enhance the dark varnished woodwork the landlord wouldn't let you change. Look at the "before" pictures in Better Homes and Gardens -- that's what the real 1930s looked like.
 

Observe

Practically Family
Messages
975
This is what bugs me about most of the "recreated environments" I've seen that intend to reflect any particular period. Not only didn't an actual ordinary 1930s home reflect the high fashions of the period, it didn't necessarily reflect the "ordinary" fashions of the period either. If you stepped into an average living room in 1937 you'd see a couple of current-style pieces that might have been bought on time from Sach's or some place like that, mixed in with secondhand stuff from the 1910s contributed by parents or aunts or uncles, accented with the occasional piece left over from the days of Grover Cleveland that might have been inherited from grandparents or picked up on the street. All this on a fading Mohawk rug dotted with spill stains and cigarette burns. There'd be an attempt to pep the room up with new wallpaper, but it didn't do much to enhance the dark varnished woodwork the landlord wouldn't let you change. Look at the "before" pictures in Better Homes and Gardens -- that's what the real 1930s looked like.
Good point. I wonder how many period TV shows/movies get this detail wrong in an attempt to be period correct.
 
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Good point. I wonder how many period TV shows/movies get this detail wrong in an attempt to be period correct.
Almost all of them, I’d wager. Further, it’s doubtful they wish to create sets truly faithful to the period. There’s a reason it’s called the “Fantasy Factory.”

The easy part, I would guess, would be not including pieces that post-date the period being depicted.

It’s a hoot to watch Westerns wherein the characters are all clean and attractive and rather elaborately attired for folks living on the rugged frontier.
 
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Messages
10,536
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My mother's basement
This is what bugs me about most of the "recreated environments" I've seen that intend to reflect any particular period. Not only didn't an actual ordinary 1930s home reflect the high fashions of the period, it didn't necessarily reflect the "ordinary" fashions of the period either. If you stepped into an average living room in 1937 you'd see a couple of current-style pieces that might have been bought on time from Sach's or some place like that, mixed in with secondhand stuff from the 1910s contributed by parents or aunts or uncles, accented with the occasional piece left over from the days of Grover Cleveland that might have been inherited from grandparents or picked up on the street. All this on a fading Mohawk rug dotted with spill stains and cigarette burns. There'd be an attempt to pep the room up with new wallpaper, but it didn't do much to enhance the dark varnished woodwork the landlord wouldn't let you change. Look at the "before" pictures in Better Homes and Gardens -- that's what the real 1930s looked like.

That’s the world I and a whole lot of other people knew. Goods of all sorts went from uncle to cousin to cousin to brother to sister etc., etc., etc.

If there were any stigma attached to it, it didn’t stick to me, not in my early years, anyway. It was only later, when I found myself in the company of the better off, that I got the sense that our stuff was on the shabby side and that others perceived it that way, too. This realization wouldn’t have much troubled me had it not so troubled the Old Man, who seemed pathologically incapable of not sizing himself up relative to others.
 

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