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Bringing Swanky Back

Merging Vintage with Modern Fashion

By Lena FolkertPublished 3 years ago Updated 3 years ago 6 min read

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I have always loved everything vintage: cars, houses, fashion, décor, you name it. Maybe it is the old soul in me, but the term "modern" really doesn't hold much interest for me. I would much prefer to see more of the timeless sophistication of the bygone eras.

I find myself drawn to the elegance of a long and tailored 1930's ballgown, or the swaggering charm of a double-breasted suit. Not to mention the abundance of accessories and timeless makeup styles that the older eras had to offer. I also know that I am not alone in my nostalgia. The fashions of old have long fascinated newer generations, often resurfacing and being expanded upon, and I believe a major reason that we become so enthralled with these older styles possibly has more to do with the eras themselves, and less with the fashion and clothing that we fixate on.

For me, the appeal of these days reaches far deeper than just the clothing, but I cannot deny that the clothes really do captivate me. I find that I truly long for the days when a person could walk out the front door and just know that everyone they met would be looking their best. What woman wouldn't prefer to see a little more of this everyday?

There is something so romantic and classic about these styles, and I truly believe that we have strayed in many ways from the idea that fashion can be so much more than just an expression of individuality (which I am all for), but it can also be something that highlights and accentuates the natural beauty of the human form in a way that can simply take our breath away.

Don't get me wrong. I live in jeans and flip-flops, and my favorite accessory will always be a ball cap that hides my face. So, I certainly embrace the idea that we all have our own fashion sense and are fortunate to live in a time when we can wear pretty much anything that we want. The opportunity to express our individuality has never been greater, and that should be embraced and welcomed.

Still, when I look at some of the fashions that we are surrounded with these days, I find myself longing for a time when the clothing showed the beauty, softness, and elegance of the human form a little more than just the individuality of the person beneath. Perhaps, my obsession with older fashions really does have more to do with the social tendencies of the modern, digital age, though.

I yearn for the time when romance was more than just swiping up, down, and sideways and sharing a burger while both people check their phones to fill the awkward silent moments. I long for the time when a date meant a dance at arms' length with a fantastic lead who puts effort into getting to know you and doesn't pull out his phone to check on his followers.

You might be wondering what this all has to do with fashion, but think about it. Our clothing doesn't just tell people something about us and our own personality. Our clothing tells others how we view them. It can tell others our level of respect for them, and how much interest we have in them.

I know. I probably sound like that annoying dad or teacher that pestered the girls to wear longer shorts and the boys to wear a belt. But there really is a fundamental truth to the impact that our appearance has on our relationships with other people.

And this cannot be denied when it comes to meeting someone for the first time. That first date. That first sense of who a person is, and how they will treat you.

That is why I would love to see, especially, men's fashion to revert just a little bit. As much as I love vintage women's fashion, I find that lately I really long for the charm and refinement of vintage men's fashion.

What woman doesn't love a man in a suit, after all? Today, though, most of the time you see a man in a suit it is because he is a car dealer or politician, and it sort of takes the fizzle out of the outfit - at least it does for me. But that doesn't mean that I don't still love the sight of a man in a suit. I know I'm not the only one who misses the days of men who show up at your door looking more like this:

And a little less like this:

When you go out on a date with a guy who's dressed in skinny jeans and a t-shirt, or sweats and a sports tee you don't really expect much from the date. I'm not trying to attack the fashion sense of our men nowadays. Not at all, but when a guy shows up at my door looking like this, I'm much more inclined to want to play video games and binge on pizza than I am to swoon. So, it would be nice if we saw a little bit more of the sophistication we used to see... at least on date night.

Personally, I would be happy if the whole world of fashion reverted about a hundred years, but I wouldn't dare ask that much (also, I don't want to give up my flip-flops). How about just the occasional change back to the days of swoon-worthy attire?

Because, let's face it, when a guy shows up at your door looking like this:

You expect the date to be a little more like this:

And a little less like this:

Again, it's not that I can't get on board with a lot of today's fashion or that I don't enjoy a good video game night bash with the guys.

Sometimes it's just the right look with those skinny jeans and bare ankles that poke out from deck shoes that have probably never seen a boat before, and every now and again, a girl wants to just chill out on the couch in her pajamas with a guy.

But, then, sometimes a girl really does want to see a man in a suit and be able to trust that he isn't going to try to sell her a car or pin a "vote for -X-" button on her lapel while he checks out her chest.

Sometimes a girl wants to see a man who takes pride in the way he looks and knows that she will too, and let's be honest - don't you just want to see an outfit that allows you to resurrect old words like "Swanky" and "Swoon?"

It's a dangerous tale to tell, I know, but I also know I am not alone in my longing for the days of old. There is something outrageously entertaining about the way some men (and women) dress these days. But - Hey! Do you! Be you! Still, I would by lying if I said I didn't occasionally dream of seeing a resurrection of the everyday fancy dress.

We see it all over Hollywood and with the rich when they go somewhere special, but why does it have to belong to them alone? And why dress up only because of some fancy event that happens maybe once or twice a year? Let's not leave the suits and ties only to those who are trying to sway our vote or finagle a big commission out of us.

Let's see more of these things everyday:

Photo by Collis from Pexels
By Royal Anwar on Unsplash
By Raphael Nast on Unsplash
By Dominick Valencia on Unsplash
By Alexander Naglestad on Unsplash
By Albert Dera on Unsplash
By Tyler Nix on Unsplash

So, let's bring back the Fedoras and Scarves, the Italian Suits and Cufflinks of the everyday. Let's shine our shoes and bring back Spats and Wool Sweaters, the Bolo Hats - but not their matching ties!

Let's resurrect words like "Charm" and "Swagger."

Let's merge the modern with the vintage.

And let's. . . Bring Swanky Back.

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About the Creator

Lena Folkert

Alaskan Grown Freelance Writer 🤍 Lover of Prose

Former Deckhand & Barista 🤍 Always a Pleaser & Eggshell-Walker

Lifelong Animal Lover & Whisperer 🤍 Ever the Student & Seeker

Traveler 🤍 Dreamer 🤍 Wanderer

Happily Lost 🤍 Luckily in Love

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Comments (2)

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 years ago

    Totally agree with you! And thank you for tha James Franco gif 😍

  • Cathy holmes2 years ago

    This is great. I agree, love a man in a well tailored suit.

Lena FolkertWritten by Lena Folkert

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