Join us for
discussions about vintage fashion at the
Vintage Fashion Group.
According to Dictionary.com, the word "vintage"
represents the high quality of a past time such as vintage cars and
vintage movies. The term, which was originally used to describe wine, is
defined by Merriam-Webster as a season's yield of grapes or wine from a
vineyard; a usually superior wine all or most of which comes from a
single year; a collection of contemporaneous and similar persons or
things; the act or time of harvesting grapes or making wine; or a period
of origin or manufacture (a piano of 1845 vintage), length of existence:
Although the word vintage was originally used in
reference to wine, it is used widely to describe other items such as
clothing and accessories, cars, and beyond.
According to Fashionera.com, when describing
something as "vintage" it must belong to another era, and most usually
because of limited supply. It's not necessarily haute couture vintage
only that sells as vintage, but often just good brand names or
custom-made garments that are either unusual examples of an era's
fashions or more often very typical items of an era that have a certain
style and design value.
According to About.com, the term vintage is used
to describe clothing, either used or new from dead stock, which was
manufactured in a non-contemporary era. Clothing made before the 1920s
are considered antique, while clothing made in the 80s to mid-90s
are considered retro. To clarify "retro,"
Merriam-Webster defines "retro" as relating to, reviving, or being the
styles and especially the fashions of the past: fashionably nostalgic or
There are plenty of vintage shops scattered
throughout most cities and suburbs, which sell clothing and accessories
from a variety of bygone decades. These vintage shops are a great
resource for unique, quality merchandise that is often offered at very
Some vintage clothing collectors offer
by-appointment only viewings of their private collections to designers,
who use the garments as authentic inspiration for up-and-coming
collections. For example, if a designer wants to create a collection of
handbags inspired by the 20s, he or she may rent several handbags from
the 20s to study the design and draw inspiration from these pieces.