By Jasmine Kazlauskas
A young woman obsessed with the 1950’s has binned EVERY item in her modern wardrobe to embrace her vintage style – and has even QUIT her job to become a housewife for her husband.
With her collection of 50s dresses, antique brooches, elegant hats and dainty gloves, Jemima Collins, 28, has recreated the forgotten era.
The vintage enthusiast, from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, admits she attracts lots of inquisitive stares from people curious about her fashion sense – but she doesn’t care what others think.
And Jemima, who is married to engineer Jack, 29, is even taking time out from her criminology career to take pride in leading the true lifestyle of a 1950’s housewife.
She said: “I love being a housewife. People might say that I’m going against feminism but it’s entirely my choice.
“My husband and I have traditional roles in the home. My job as a housewife is to look after the home and he goes out and works.
“It might not be for everyone, but it is what works for me. It’s totally my choice and it makes me happier than I’ve ever been.
“I’ve always been really drawn to that period of history, and I adore the fashion from the 1950s.
“I take great pride in what I wear, and it makes me feel amazing, beautiful and confident when I’m dressed in my vintage clothes.
“People will often stare at me when I’m walking down the street or having coffee in a café. They probably haven’t seen anyone dressed like me very often as it’s so different to what other women my age will wear.”
Jemima’s ruthless clothing cull saw her get rid of all her ‘modern’ clothes after losing 30kgs (4st 10lbs) – including all her jeans, crop tops, yoga pants and hoodies – so she could start afresh with a collection of classic vintage pieces from a long-gone era.
And her clothes were not the only thing to get an old-fashioned makeover, with Jemima collecting timeless antique pieces and traditional homewares to beautify her home.
Jemima said: “I didn’t always dress like this. I used to be really overweight as a teenager. I was close to 100kg (15st 10lbs) and didn’t have any sense of style – I just dressed in whatever I could to cover up the parts of my body I didn’t like.
“I’ve now lost over 30kg (4st 10lbs) and feel fantastic. When I lost the weight it was amazing, but then I had to figure out what my fashion sense really was.
“When I walked around the shops, all I could see was this modern fashion and none of it appealed to me.
“I tried lots of different clothing styles, but I kept getting drawn to the 50s fit-and-flare dresses. I love that silhouette.
“Online shopping which really opened this world of vintage fashion up to me. I couldn’t believe the incredible pieces I found.
“They often have deceased estate auctions online where they just sell a lot of the possessions from someone who has passed away. You’ll find loads of amazing vintage clothes and accessories that you just can’t find anymore, like brooches, gloves and hats.
“Second hand stores are always a great place to find old-fashioned pieces too. But I try and keep my shopping at a minimum, and only buy things that I know I will wear.
“My oldest piece I own is a dress from the 1940s. I absolutely adore it, and it’s amazing to be able to breathe life back into it.
“Now I have less than ten outfits I really love, and they’re all vintage or vintage-inspired pieces. I don’t own any jeans, crop tops, yoga pants or hoodies.
“It feels right. I feel like I’ve found myself and like I was made for this era. I’ve never felt better.”
Jemima said she takes pride in being a good housewife – and although it may appear to ‘go against the women’s liberation movement’ it is entirely her decision.
She loves dolling herself up every morning no matter where she is going – and enjoys making each day ‘extra special’ by sipping her tea from a cup and saucer, while setting her dinner table with fancy vintage china every night.
She said: “I love the simple pleasures of using a cup and saucer instead of a mug for my tea or setting the table with the fancy china collection. It’s makes every day a bit more special.
“I also have doilies all over my house, which you don’t really see anymore. But I love them.
“I really believe in the psychological element of fashion. What you wear totally affects how you feel and sets the tone for the entire day.
“I get dressed up every morning in my vintage dresses, and pop on my pearls and lipstick because it makes me feel confident and beautiful. I love wearing my hats and gloves too, it’s fun and it makes me happy.
“People will see me and say ‘where are you going? Who are you all dressed up for?’. But the point is that I do this entirely for myself. I don’t care what others think.
“A lot of older people will come up to me and tell me they had a dress just like mine when they were younger or tell me how much they admire my brooches or hats. It’s incredible to think I’m keeping that era alive for them.
“Even if I’m just staying at home all day or running a few errands at the grocery store, I will always make an effort with my appearance because that is what makes me feel good.
“It’s something that has been lost over time, which is a real shame.”