The Art of Vintage Correspondence

Paperchase letter set | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

Vintage is ‘in’, this much we all know. Second-hand clothing is a thrifty option, charity shops are turning into boutique destinations and retro homewares are a must for descerning tastemakers. But one element of pop culture that isn’t experiencing a throwback to the 50s is the way we communicate.

Facebook, What’sApp, Twitter, texting, BBM, Skype and even the humble email – which looks positively caveman-like compared to the rest of this list – are all moving forwards with increasing velocity. The way we talk to each other and share information has changed beyond belief in my lifetime and I can only imagine what the next 20 something years will hold.

I could start getting all Charlie Brooker/Black Mirror on you, but instead I wanted to talk about vintage communication; letter writing.

Despite all the tools we have at our disposal, it isn’t always easy to catch up with friends and loved ones and, personally, I frequently find myself forgetting to text friends back or never quite arranging to meet up with someone I really should. Life gets in the way and a tweet can hardly convey everything you want to say to someone you haven’t seen in months.

Paperchase letter sets with stamps | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

That’s why I’ve started writing letters and sending notes to some of my nearest and dearest. It started when a friend moved to Berlin for work and after a few missed Skype dates, she wrote me a letter. In return I headed to Paperchase on Clifton Triangle and treated myself to a letter set, complete with address labels, colourful envelopes and stickers and illustrated paper. I’m something of a stationary geek and Paperchase is on my list of fantasy Supermarket Sweep shops (damn you, Dale Winton) – I could happily spend a fortune on their quirky cards, wall art-worthy wrapping paper, colourful notepads and photo frames.

Writing has become a relaxing way to stay in touch with those people in my life that I don’t get to see every day. Taking the time to sit down and write is therapeutic in itself, as it allows one to take stock of life, think about what it is you want to say and, often, what to doodle.

I get so excited when I see a letter or package on the doorstep that isn’t a bill/bank statement/polling card, and I love knowing that my friends will feel the same rush of excitement when they look down and see a brightly coloured envelope waiting for them to open. I hope it’s something I continue to keep up, no matter where technology and social media takes us next.

Do you like to send cards and letters to your loved ones? Or are you strictly an electronic kind of girl?

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  1. April 9, 2013 / 6:57 pm

    It’s so nice to have a letter through the door that isn’t just a bill!

  2. April 10, 2013 / 5:13 am

    I love writing letters to people, I hate that it’s becoming a forgotten thing…it never will for me! x

  3. April 10, 2013 / 9:02 am

    I love receiving post that, as Hayley notes, isn’t a bill! It’s nice because the person sending it has clearly put some time and thought into it rather than just a cursory tweet or Facebook post.

    • April 17, 2013 / 8:43 pm

      Definitely – I hope it’s something I can keep up as it much more fun, plus I’ll get to buy more stationary!

  4. April 10, 2013 / 12:13 pm

    I love getting letters, I need to get back into writing them!

    Maria xxx

    • April 17, 2013 / 8:44 pm

      Do it! It’s nice just to take a bit of time out and not stare at a screen or get distracted on Facebook… x

  5. April 10, 2013 / 2:31 pm

    Since I have been to uni I have found myself writing more letters, cards and notes! I love receiving things in the post and I definitely agree that we should write more and use technology in moderation!!

    P.S Black Mirror was amazing!

    • April 17, 2013 / 8:44 pm

      It’s so lovely isn’t it!? I love getting exciting post – it’s always a nice surprise on the doormat :) x

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