The phrase “end of the pandemic” is being tossed around a little too freely in the U.S. these days. Precautions are still necessary, and it’s still possible that we’ll see spikes in cases over the summer. With that said though, the new guidance from the CDC — that fully vaccinated Americans no longer have to wear masks — has been viewed by some as the beginning of the end of all of this. Or, to put it simply, normality is within sight!
This doesn’t mean we should drop all precautions, again. But it does mean that many of us can begin to “get back out there,” so to speak. This will be an incredible relief for so many reasons to so many people. And to those who enjoy dressing up and participating in fashion, it also means that it’s time once again to get out and strut your stuff! There aren’t exactly a lot of opportunities to put on your favorite vintage outfit and socialize when isolating amidst a viral pandemic. But with the U.S. opening up again, you have the chance to show off those classic outfits — be they things you simply missed wearing in public, or even new clothes you picked up thrift shopping during quarantine (we promise, you weren’t alone!).
To celebrate all of this, and to give you some fun ideas, we thought we’d suggest a few good places to flaunt your vintage fashion (aside from weddings, of course, which are always fun to inject some vintage flavor into).
1. Liquor or Wine Bars
Out to the bar might be the first thing you think of when considering where you’d like to dress up a little bit once you’re back out in the world. For that matter it might be the first thing you think about period when you consider getting back out there, whether or not you’re looking for an excuse to dress up a little. At any rate, the bar makes for an excellent choice, though we’d make the minor stipulation that vintage attire tends to work best at a liquor or wine bar, as opposed to a beer hall or brewery. Any of these options are fine, but the beer bars tend to be a little more casual, whereas you can get away with some high-end, slightly unorthodox attire at a good cocktail, liquor, or wine bar. Plus, sipping on a nice full lass of red or holding the stem of a martini glass while you’re in your best vintage outfit just feels right.
For decades, casinos were synonymous with high fashion. This was partly based in reality, and partly due to the influence of pop culture, wherever everything from the classic style of Frank Sinatra to the stars’ wardrobes in Casino made Las Vegas (and by extension casinos in general) out to be a place for fashion.
And yet over the last decade or so, the comprehensive digitization of casinos has altered how we think of them completely. More people play casino games through apps and online platforms now than in actual Vegas-style venues, and even some of the games we think of as being most “old school” have been completely transformed into what are essentially video games. Numerous online platforms now boast huge collections of “video slots,” which combine slot machine gameplay with engaging graphics and atmospheres. More surprisingly, even bingo has gone the same route! Representative of the most up-to-date options in the category, the games on Gala Bingo now include virtual multiplayer rooms with themes like the musical “Bingo Beats” or the treasure-inspired “Rainbow Riches.”
In short, from slots to bingo and everything in between casino gaming has warped into a flashy experience full of modern graphics and virtual atmosphere. But casinos — the actual venues, that is — have not changed quite as much. Sure, some are looking for ways to infuse more entertainment reminiscent of video games, and some have electronic slots that are in-person versions of the online games we just discussed. But these are still extravagant, ornate, and often old venues where you can grab a cocktail and sit down to have cards dealt to you by a professional dealer wearing a uniform vest. Accordingly, they’re still excellent places for a bit of vintage fashion! In fact, we’d argue that showing up to enjoy an evening out in your best vintage fit even enhances the casino experience. Bottom line: Don’t discount these venues simply because digital casinos have stolen the spotlight!
3. Live Theaters
It has actually been somewhat heartening to see that over the course of the pandemic, some of the venues people have openly missed the most are theaters — both for cinema and stage performance. Aside from restaurants, these were some of the first businesses people looked out for — even if “looking out” more or less meant panicking that they’d be shut down. We should note that in some cases, unfortunately, they were shut down. We saw cinema chains go bankrupt, and there are undoubtedly some stage theaters that will struggle to reopen. But overall, there is a surprising amount of optimism in this category as we near the beginning of the end.
It appears that more cinemas survived than expected, and a recent piece at Deadline hailed the return of Broadway in New York City — undoubtedly a signal of stage performances resuming around the country in short time. As for your opportunity to flaunt your vintage fashion, either option will do. Though you may be a bit more out of place in a cinema, and really there’s something particularly special about dressing up for a live show. No matter what performance is being given, there is something almost inherently vintage about theater itself, and dressing to match that general vibe always makes for a fun evening out.
4. City Parks
Last but not least, consider simply getting outside in your vintage clothes! Yes, we’ve all been waiting to go into places together, and that makes bars, casinos, and theaters some of the most interesting possibilities. But if you happen to have a city park nearby — a place where you can congregate, sip a beverage, or maybe sit down at an outdoor venue or park bench of some kind — it can be a very charming place to hang out in vintage attire. You’ll feel like a character from some iconic, early-20th-century novel, which for those drawn to vintage aesthetics is never a bad thing!