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.