Vintage Clothing in Urbs Intacta

Megan Phelan Reports
From the silk flapper dresses of the 1920s to the bohemian ruffle enveloped dresses of the 1970s,fashion has come a long way and has proven to be timeless.
Vintage clothing is beautifully littering the streets of Waterford city on many of our young women. It’s pre-worn or pre-loved as some might say.
One of the many wonderful aspects of vintage clothing is its history, its narrative. Style icons have undoubtedly encouraged the consumption of vintage clothing in Waterford city today.
My ultimate style icon is Audrey Hepburn. The ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ star well and truly owned the retro swing dress look of the 1950s.This elegant chic look is becoming more familiar each and every year as we flick through the debs season photographs in ‘The Munster’.

Style icon: Audrey Hepburn.

Style icon: Audrey Hepburn.


The era whose bold unapologetic style I hold dearest is most definitely the 1990s-2000s. Oversized everything was the signature silhouette. Jumpers embellished with messages of empowerment, bomber jackets, overalls, and of course denim.
This genre aesthetic is certainly popular amongst young women in Waterford city at present. “My wardrobe is empty” is my Dad’s favourite line simply because I have claimed the guts of his wardrobe as my own – baggy patterned jumpers galore!
The multitudinous benefits of vintage clothing is certainly reaping its reward here in Waterford city.
Kilo sales in our local store ‘The Vintage Factory’ are always a roaring success. During a kilo sale the customer pays for their chosen vintage items by weight rather than individually. This is highly satisfactory in the interest of the budget of a teenage girl.

Since World War One the idea of vintage garments and reusing clothing was common. This objective of reusing clothing came about as a result of the textile shortage between 1914 and 1918.
This has brought about an increased interest in environmental sustainability. Reusing, recycling and repairing clothing has created a market popular among young women in Waterford City. Vintage clothing is on our doorstep, in local charity shops, local boutiques and of course it is widely available online.
The young women of our city can be found fusing past eras together to create a self expressive eccentric look.

I’ve often found myself walking through town catching a glimpse of floral prints, soft ruffles and lace, it’s like going back in time. Teenage girls are collaborating a pair of 80s ‘mom jeans’ with a 70s-style polo neck, a 50s-vintage dress with reebok runners of the 90s. Our society is recycling fashion trends and giving them an urban kick.
It’s important for young women in our society to have the freedom of expression and individuality and this is achieved by the acceptance of experimentation with vintage clothing. There definitely is something for everyone.

Megan Phelan is a Sixth Year student at St Angela’s School, Waterford

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