Clothes are not just objects to be worn, but are social. People’s labor went into originally producing them, shipping them, selling them. When we wear our clothes, they contribute to how others see us and what kind of person they think we are. And when we’re done with our garments, “our” clothes hopefully go on to someone else – sometimes locally, sometimes across the globe and sometimes to people searching for a “retro look,” generations later.
My name is Nancy Fischer and I am a sociologist and urban studies researcher in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am interested in secondhand clothing – especially “vintage” – and the people (myself included) who wear secondhand and vintage. I am interested in the places and urban spaces that sell secondhand clothes, and the many reasons that people buy them – necessity, the fun of bargain hunting, to sport a unique retro look, and/or to be eco-conscious, or to display a piece of the past. I am also interested in what wearing vintage clothing or furnishing our houses with retro looks says about our culture. My interest in clothing staying around long enough to have a second (or third or fourth “life”) has also led to my interest in ethical fashion and consumption; the better that clothing is made, the more it means to us and is treasured, the more likely it is to be around for future generations. This blog is where I explore these themes.


17 responses to “About

  1. Thank you so much for following my blog! Your blog is awesome and has so many resources! Can’t wait to share with you 🙂

  2. I love vintage clothing! I got married in a vintage jacket on the snowy mountains of Colorado and everyone kept commenting on how much they loved it because it was so well made.

  3. I’m really glad to have found your blog! So interesting and a different take on this topic than I’ve seen before. I’m looking forward to reading more!

  4. gayle

    Hello! I have just “found” your blog and am intrigued. I collect (ok hoard) vintage and sell (some). I am interested in your feelings and views of how social media is creating a new interest and growth in “vintage”, “up cycle”, and “recycle” of vintage. Phone apps where you can buy & sell (Poshmark, Vinted, etc) as well as Instagram are creating a much larger market and a whole new young market.

    • Hi Gayle – Thanks for your question. I haven’t recently checked out Instagram or Pinterest on what folks are posting vintage-wise. The last time I looked, I saw a good deal of blurring between retro-looking clothing and authentic vintage, but I need to look again. Glad you found the blog!

  5. Becky

    It was so lovely to read such a well written blog about consumer/clothing topics, which are very close to my heart and soapbox! Your blog posts are very thought provoking in so many directions and cover topics, some of which I’ve only pondered about or wondered where my thoughts about them would end up logically- so I love your detail explorations. Thank you and I look forward to reading your future posts. Myself, I’m a scientist, sewer and vintage convert since I learned to sew as a young teen in the late 1980’s when I wanted to dress differently than my peers and save money; as I enter my 40’s I still retain my love of vintage items and sew regularly. This year, in light of my heightened desire to lessen my impact via this form of consumerism, I have committed myself to purchasing no additional clothes for myself or my daughter (only 2 years, so excluding well fitting shoes for her!), to using the (many) fabrics in the fabric-stash and also repurposing other items. A dear friend commented that I can do this commitment with my hands tied behind my back; aaaaah such faith in me is encouraging. However, I wonder how I will feel and what thoughts I have in 6 months time!

  6. In a world of fast fashion, where clothing has become so devalued that it is often treated as a disposable commodity, it is so refreshing to find people like you. There is so much more to clothing than the utilitarian covering of our bodies. Thank you for reminding us of that. Keep up the good work!

  7. I agree with all of the above. Great blog, great topic, great issues. Many of us feel that there is little any one person can do to help re-balance some of the catastrophes we have created with our over-consumption, with the ways we grow food and other plant products, with the cocoon of advertising which distracts and blinds us to larger issues of MUCH more importance. Your blog reminds us that every day we make choices which actually have far-reaching consequences which may echo for generations to come. Please keep thinking and writing and sewing and re-purposing and blogging!

  8. Thank you for running this blog. I work in used clothing industry and you show the whole clothing world from a different perspective I didn’t care until now. Bookmarked!

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