You might assume the young woman in this photo is old-fashioned.
But despite living like she is in the 1940s, Emily Spangler’s views are very modern.
The politics student is proud to be part of the gay community and hopes one day to run for Congress.
Emily, from Chicago, Illinois, U.S., laughed: ‘Because of the way I dress, some people assume I have vintage morals to match.
‘They think I’m going to be sexist, racist and old fashioned but, of course, I’m the opposite.
‘The 30s and 40s are decades I’m fascinated by, as I think there was a real sense of community during World War II and I love the fashion, but my views are rather more progressive than those commonly held back then – although there were liberal people in every decade.’
Often mistaken for an actress because of her ‘time warp’ outfits, it was Instagram rather than history books that inspired Emily’s style.
‘It’s not unusual for people to think I must be an actress in a 1940s play, because my outfits are so authentic,’ said Emily.
‘I got into this look about three years ago, after seeing people dressed up in 1940s gear on Instagram.
‘Then I started listening to old music, like the 1940s jazz singer Anita O’Day and big band sounds, like Glenn Miller – finding their records on the digital music service Spotify.
‘I’m not much of a movie goer, but I have big crushes on some of the iconic Hollywood actresses of the era like Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth and Joan Crawford
‘I’ve even been to World War II weekends and went to a great one in Pennsylvania last year with my friend Kevin Jackson, who’s 21 and is also a vintage fan.’
Finding clothes everywhere from charity shops to specialist vintage stores, flea markets and the internet, Emily normally spends between $10 (£7.72) on a blouse and $90 (£69.50)on a special dress.
Her vintage hobby is funded with money from her part-time job in an upmarket clothing store, and she said: ‘I’ve even managed to get some vintage items from my mum.
‘Nearly all of my clothes, including my pyjamas and my slips, are vintage. My slippers aren’t, but I want a pair of authentic ones to be my next purchase.
‘I have about 70 vintage clothing items – from the late 1930s and 1940s, which is my favourite era – right through until the 1960s, which have set me back in total about $1,000 (£772).
‘I do own some leggings and one pair of sweatpants, for when it’s really cold, but I’m trying to gravitate towards everything being vintage.
‘It can be difficult to find warm vintage clothes, though, as a lot of the blouses are super thin. I own a lot of layers, so I layer up like crazy in the colder months.’
While Emily has received some flattering compliments for the way she dresses and does her hair – which she also tries to style according to the era of her clothes – the way she looks has also prompted insults.
She continued: ‘Some people have told me I look feminine and glamorous, but I’ve had people ask me, “Why do you dress like my gran?”
‘I just ignore them and, anyway, it’s not true, as I always look at pictures of people from my age group in each era and try and copy their style.’
And Emily, who is in her last year at Roosevelt University, Chicago, does not restrict her vintage trendsetting to her clothes. She now has furniture, crockery and bric-a-brac to match and has even found herself a community of pals who share her passion.
She said: ‘In my apartment, I have vintage mirrors, tables, curtains and some kitchenware. It’s all great for the environment, as nearly all my things are recycled.
‘And I’ve connected through FaceTime with a load of people who also love vintage style, as does my roommate Mia, who I met on Instagram.
‘She introduced me to all the vintage community in Chicago. I didn’t know they existed and it was so cool to walk in somewhere and see people all dressed from a different era and we’re now friends.’
But, while she now feels like an expert on the past decades she dresses from, Emily admits to knowing very little about the style icons most people of her generation look to for inspiration.
She laughed: ‘I used to listen to a lot of indie music, so occasionally I’ll know a song that other people my age are into, but most of the time, I’m just wondering what the hell they are talking about – same with actresses and clothing lines.
‘I keep up with modern politics and that’s about it!
‘Sometimes I feel like an older person in my 50s, or 60s, but I’m fine with it.
‘Now it’s my ambition to hold a 1940s dinner party and, when I turn 21 in March – the age when you can legally drink in America – I’m dying to have a dessert wine or a gin and tonic in a swing bar.’
by – metro.co.uk