Rose’s Wardrobe chat to modern vintage muse, friend of RW, Robyn, from @wheelingalong24 about what, when and why they started wearing vintage fashion.
HELLO ROBYN! PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF...
“Hi, I’m Robyn & I use they/them pronouns. I am a plus size, ambulatory wheelchair user & am both chronically ill & neurodivergent. I post disabled cottagecore & vintage inspired fashion on Instagram & in my spare time I am a cat mum.”
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO TRY VINTAGE STYLED FASHION?
“It was a lot of different things. I was an emo (much to my shame) in the early 2000s but always preferred a more vintage-y circle skirt kind of silhouette. Then when I got sick & started using a wheelchair I kind of went back to that silhouette because it worked better for me in my wheelchair & I kind of fell into vintage inspired fashion. To an extent it all happened because main stream fashion just wasn’t built for my curves whereas most historical fashion loves curves.”
WHEN DID YOU START INCORPORATING VINTAGE STYLE ITEMS INTO YOUR WARDROBE?
“I had to check on my Instagram but it was around about summer 2015 I bought my first retro pieces but I know I was buying high street fashion in a vintage-y shape from before that.”
CAN YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST PIECES AND WHAT THEY WERE?
“I could have sworn they were this stunning deep teal skirt with a maple leaf print (that I still have) & an aubergine peasant blouse from pinup girl clothing but it was actually a pink polka dot wrap dress from Lindy Bop clothing (RIP). I have no idea why I picked it because it was so not me.”
WHAT ARE A FEW GOOD ITEMS TO GET TO START A VINTAGE INSPIRED WARDROBE?
“A white blouse, for sure. I have so many white blouses & they go with everything. A circle or 3/4 circle skirt is a good piece, in something quite neutral like a tweed or linen, & I would recommend a cropped cardigan, British weather being what it is. Honestly it depends on the period you like the most but I feel like those are good items for 40s & 50s inspired looks. Oh & I personally love a high quality petticoat, it really helps give movement to a skirt when you’re in a wheelchair & can’t give it that by…you know…moving.”
DID YOU HAVE ANY NEGATIVITY WHEN YOU STARTED DRESSING DIFFERENTLY?
“I was actually really lucky, my mum has always been really supportive of me experimenting with my fashion choices & the rest of my family didn’t really notice. People online were also super nice & in person people tend to ignore wheelchair users (at least they do where I live).”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT DRESSING IN A VINTAGE STYLE?
“The confidence. It’s easy to feel less than as a wheelchair user, especially as a plus size one. In my vintage-y clothing I feel like I’m in armour. I know I look amazing, I know I have value because I am proving that I am anything but than less than, you know? It’s like my own little coping mechanism for dealing with an ableist & fatphobic society & it’s one I am okay with (even if my bank balance is not so psyched lol).”
A FEW FAVOURITE ITEMS IN YOUR WARDROBE AT THE MOMENT?
“The tweed 3/4 circle skirt I had made by Rose’s wardrobe that I call the heather skirt, I wear it every chance I get & it is so versatile going from vintage 40s style to cottagecore in a snap. I also love the double sided stays I got from CottagecoreWear, they make all my 40s style clothes instantly cottagecore. And I am always in love with my collection of EmmyDesignSweden ice skater cardigans. They go with literally everything & they are super warm & comfortable.”
Sally’s skirt is a custom design, request your own bespoke garment here!
DO YOU FEEL YOUR STYLE HAS EVOLVED EVEN MORE WHILST WEARING VINTAGE CLOTHING? IF SO HOW?
“Oh absolutely. I started off in a very loosely inspired 50s silhouette in like big prints & lots of bright colours & then I got more 40s & muted & kinda autumnal & now I tend to bounce between like soft, desaturated late 40s inspired looks & cottagecore looks & it’s just so much fun.”
AND FINALLY A FEW TOP TIPS FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO DRESS IN A MORE VINTAGE STYLE…
“Honestly, clothes are for you & you alone. Wear what brings you joy & makes you feel like the most authentic you.
Clothes are supposed to fit you, not the other way around.
Don’t let gatekeepers on Instagram & Facebook etc keep you from enjoying what you are wearing.
Invest in a few, high quality, sustainable separates & mix & match (that’s what I do).
No-one is too big or too disabled or too non-binary or too anything else to wear vintage-y clothing.
There are no rules.
Thank you so much for speaking with us Robyn! See more of Robyn’s vintage style on Instagram at: @wheelingalong24