PUBLISHED IN VINTAGE LIFE MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 2016
Lately you've probably seen the term 'squad' popping up everywhere, especially in social media where it has been getting a pretty big workout of late, but I think that it's time we vintage gals gave #squad a little twist. So I give you the #vintagesquad
So what exactly is a #vintagesquad and why do we love them so much? The Urban Dictionary describes a 'squad' as a:
“Crew, posse, gang: an informal group of individuals with a common identity and a sense of solidarity.” Ring any bells? Sounds like my #vintagesquad to me.
It's the weekend and you're about to get primped and primed for a fabulous day out with your vintage friends. There's nothing quite like that fabulous buzz of choosing accessories, popping on your lippy and then the explosion of 'wow factor' when you all get together.
Although my own squad is usually less than ten people, vintage squads can be any size. US-based vintage lover Terra Williams talks about her #vintagesquad:
“The Vintage Style Council is currently at 24 members! We met through a couple of different avenues; Instagram, The Art Deco Society of California, swing dancing, and simply through mutual friends.
When we have our get-togethers (which I’ve fondly dubbed Assemblies), I feel like I am with people who truly understand me. No one gives me a questioning face when I mention my Mending Pile, or how I often purchase a fantastic hat - then have to buy an outfit to match it (as opposed to the other way round).”
That feeling of belonging we get from our vintage squad buddies is actually satisfying a very important basic human need. Abraham Maslow's 'hierarchy of needs' places our need to belong as third in the list of basic human needs, trumped only by physiological needs like air/water/food and safety. Our vintage squads are satisfying our need to feel as though we belong. It shows us that there are others out there like us, who love vintage and aren't afraid to go out and about with us flaunting their unique vintage style.
That vintage style is definitely a huge part of most #vintagesquads. Terra says:
“I love getting to see everyone in clothing that I truly appreciate and covet! No jeans or sweats here! As a daily vintage wearer, I am commonly saddened by the fast fashion industry and the state of modern dressing, so being around women who take the time to curate their wardrobe and appearance is so satisfying.
I love getting to see everyone’s different style - even though we are all daily vintage wearers, everyone has their own tastes! We primarily wear 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, but that can be taken so many different directions! We have ladies who love bakelite, curate midcentury homes, and don circle skirts daily. We have art deco era dames who always have a jaunty hat, favour rayon crepe dresses, and smart peep-toe pumps. And we have some who do it all - and beautifully I might add!”
Interestingly, the variety of tribes within the vintage world were recently covered at a LondonEdge seminar discussion, by our own editor Rae Evans and fellow Vintage Life contributor, Kate Beavis, who spoke about the various types of vintage lovers out there. There are the 'purists', who love wearing true vintage from head-to-toe from a single era, there are the 'fashionistas', who include more recent vintage like the 90s (yes, the 90s are vintage now) and who tend to focus on current fashion trends, and then there are those who wear vintage to be 'unique'.
I personally would like to add another category and that is the 'eco-vintage' lover, who wears vintage pieces as a means of reducing the environmental impact of fast fashion (cheaply made modern pieces that negatively impact on the environment).
So do #vintagesquads have to be homogenous? Are squads always made up of a single vintage tribe or are we more inclusive than that? Well from personal experience I can say that my own #vintagesquad has a lot of variety. Although we do have some true purists amongst us, I myself am an unique/eco-vintage individual. My friends don't care if I wear 60s to a 50s fair, or jeans with a 70s faux fur jacket. My squad also has a range of ages, genders and styles. We can all appreciate each other for the individuals we are and that's one of the biggest things I love about my squad!
Can't wait until your next meet-up? If you're like me, the planning and anticipation of our #vintagesquad meet-ups is more than half the fun. Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin says:
“Anticipation is a key stage (of happiness); by having something to look forward to, no matter what your circumstances, you bring happiness into your life well before the event actually takes place.”
Need some inspo for your next #vintagesquad meet-up? How about these great ideas from Terra and the ladies at The Vintage Style Council:
“Our group of 24 women has monthly meet-ups where we do something fun, informative, and engaging with a historical twist - for example touring the Haas-Lilienthal House, getting milkshakes at the oldest running ice cream parlour in San Francisco and riding a historical train! This month we’re going to ride a 100-year-old carousel!”
My own friends and I love visiting vintage fairs, exhibitions and events together including markets, vintage fashion parades and recently the fabulous Sydney Fifties Fair. It doesn't even have to be in person, we often chat over social media about what we have been up to and what's happening in our lives.
At the end of the day your #vintagesquad can be anything you like, so run with it and make it your own! I am actually visiting the UK this November so if you're having a #vintagesquad meet-up please send me a message on Instagram @kittyvontastique Maybe I can be an honorary member of your #vintagesquad for the day!
Here at Vintage Life we'd also love to see photos of your vintage squads on Instagram so tag your photos with #vintagesquad and #vintagelifemag_editor to show us what you've been up to! After all, we are all one big #vintagesquad family!
Urban Dictionary: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=squad
Maslow's hierarchy of needs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs