Couple in 20s shun modern life to dress in 1930s and 1940s attire

Couple in 20s shun modern life to dress in 1930s and 1940s attire

Vintage-loving couple in their 20s who dress in 1930s and 1940s clothing, don’t own a TV and listen to the gramophone in their spare time say it makes their relationship better because they’re ‘always present’

  • Ruth Shelley, 28, and Robert Oestmann, 27, both embrace old-fashioned lifestyle 
  • The couple, from Bilston, West Midlands, share a passion for living in the past
  • They wear vintage clothing, listen to wartime music and even own a vintage car

This young couple appears to have stepped back in time as they parade in their 1930s attire.

Ruth Shelley, 28, and her partner Robert Oestmann, 27, from Bilston, West Midlands, are a match made in heaven as they both share a passion for living in the past.

Not only do they wear old-fashioned clothing, listen to wartime music on their gramophone, and refuse to own a TV, but they have also decorated their home to match the 1930’s era and even own a vintage car.

Robert, who sells whiskey for a living, is a keen cook who will often experiment with recipes from the 1700s onwards, meanwhile, Ruth, a research historian, praised their vintage lifestyle for having a beneficial impact on their relationship.

She explained that they’re ‘always present’ thanks to avoiding the majority of modern technology. 

This young couple appears to have stepped back in time as they parade in their 1930s attire


Ruth Shelley, 28, and her partner Robert Oestmann (pictured together), 27, from Bilston, West Midlands, are a match made in heaven as they both share a passion for living in the past

She said: ‘Robert and I dress like this all of the time as we are in love with the style. Robert mainly wears a suit and flat cap whereas I may wear clothing from 1930s to 1940s.

‘I don’t wear 1950s fashion as it involves a lot of trousers which I didn’t like on myself.’

The couple is fascinated with history and often turn heads in the street, with Ruth explaining: ‘This style isn’t something you could wear if you are shy as we do get stared at a lot. We don’t mind at all and it’s often positive feedback.

Not only do they wear old-fashioned clothing, listen to wartime music, but they have also decorated their home to match the 1930’s era and even own a vintage car. Pictured, Ruth

Robert (pictured left), who sells whiskey for a living, is a keen cook who will often experiment with recipes from the 1700s onwards, meanwhile, Ruth (pictured right), a research historian praises their vintage lifestyle for having a beneficial impact on their relationship


The couple (pictured right) is fascinated with history and often turn heads in the street

‘The elderly love it as it’s like a flashback for them. Sometimes people stop us and ask for photos which is totally fine.’

It’s not just their wardrobe that is a blast from the past, but lifestyle choices too. The couple has vintage bikes and Robert is currently restoring a Morris Minor which is a British economy car.

He said: ‘As a kid, my grandparents used to watch a lot of old films. They were inspirational – as I grew older I began reading a lot of books and my style stems from stuff like that.

It’s not just their wardrobe that is a blast from the past, but the couple’s (pictured) lifestyle choices too


The couple (pictured right) has vintage bikes and Robert is currently restoring a Morris Minor which is a British economy car

Robert (pictured left) said: ‘As a kid, my grandparents used to watch a lot of old films. They were inspirational – as I grew older I began reading a lot of books and my style stems from stuff like that’

‘I also didn’t like the sound modern synthetic clothes make when I was walking. Our wardrobe is unique and different to today’s extremely casual. There is nothing wrong with casual but it’s not for me.

‘I might lounge around in chinos and a flannel shirt or when working on my car. But most of the time, I wear a tie and jacket. I like to make sure I’m looking somewhat presentable.’

One of Robert’s favourite dishes is a ‘Depression Era Meat Loaf’ from 1938.

Robert is currently restoring a Morris Minor which is a British economy car (pictured)


One of Robert’s (pictured with her partner) favourite dishes to cook is a ‘Depression Era Meat Loaf’ from 1938

Robert (pictured right) added: ‘I love playing around with new recipes to me but they are actually very old. I am originally from British Columbia, Canada, so this recipe gives an insight into the lives of a rural Ontario Canada community’

He added: ‘I love playing around with new recipes to me but they are actually very old. I am originally from British Columbia, Canada, so this recipe gives an insight into the lives of a rural Ontario Canada community. It is a simple basic meatloaf recipe that uses tomato soup.’

Neither of them owns a TV and merely listen to music on the gramophone.

Ruth added: ‘In our spare time, we read, talk or Robert cooks and I help. We have a few original cookbooks which are interesting from a historical point of view.


Neither of them owns a TV and merely listen to music on the gramophone. Pictured, the couple’s living room (left) and kitchen space (right)

Ruth added: ‘In our spare time, we read, talk or Robert cooks and I help. We have a few original cookbooks which are interesting from a historical point of view.’ Pictured, the couple’s chinaware cabinet


The couple’s outside laundry area, pictured left, and their vintage armchair, pictured right

‘I prefer baking so make my own bread or welsh cakes on a griddle. We listen to music and dance, go on walks or cycle on our original vintage bicycles. Sometimes we ballroom dance to 1940s music.

‘Our music taste may be old fashioned but we like it. We both have smartphones as they are useful when you’re alone to contact people. But Robert would ditch his phone within a heartbeat.

‘For us, this lifestyle works best and is beneficial for our relationships. It works for us as we are present in the moment as opposed to glued to Netflix or on our phones.’ 

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