It is more than just old clothing.
is a generic term for garments originating from a previous era.
Generally speaking, clothing which was produced before
the 1920s is referred to as antique clothing and clothing from the 1920s to 20
years before the present day is considered vintage. However, as more time
passes, so may the year that qualifies as antique.
What is the difference between retro fashion and vintage
short for retrospective, or "vintage style" usually refers to clothing that
imitates the style of a previous era. Reproduction, or repro, clothing is a newly made copy of an older garment.
In summary, Vintage clothing is clothes, footwear or
accessories that was actually manufactured during a past era. Retro
clothing is more recently manufactured to imitate the appearance of
clothing, footwear, or accessories from a past era.
Retro styles can also be referred to as "vintage style",
"vintage inspired" or "vintage reproductions".
What is the difference between vintage clothes and used
Well, that is a question of
semantics (semantics is the study of meaning). Some people may think that used
clothing is different, but it can also be the same if certain criteria are met.
Basically, some used clothing can be vintage
clothing, but some used clothing is not vintage. It really depends on when
the used clothing was created. If it was from a past era, it is
technically vintage clothes.
Most vintage clothing has been
previously worn. So technically it is “used clothing". However, it
is also possible to find vintage clothing that has never been worn. For
example, clothing could have never been worn yet stored away in a closet or
warehouse for decades. If that is the case it is vintage clothing, but
not used clothing.
Vintage Clothing Sizes:
Evolutions, over eating, steroids
fed to livestock, etc., have led to changes in human growth over the decades.
If you are interested, you can read the Scientific America article about “why
are we getting taller"
In the United States, due to
changes in clothing sizes, vintage sizes often are smaller than the
corresponding contemporary size. For example, a garment from the 1970s labeled
as Medium (M) might be similar in size to a 2010s Extra Small (XS). As obesity
was far less common prior to the 1980s, larger plus sizes of vintage fashion are
typically more rare. Vintage sewing patterns offer an option for those who want
a historically accurate garment but cannot find one in their size. But
producing new clothing from a vintage
would mean the garment would be “retro" not vintage.
Where can we buy vintage
As discussed above, vintage clothing can be never worn or
previously worn fashion from a previous ear. It is very possible to find
this type of clothing in thrift stores, garage sales, or high end fashion
Popular places to buy vintage clothing include
charity-run second hand clothing shops, consignment shops, yard sales, flea
markets, antique stores, estate sales, auctions, and vintage clothing shops.
Vintage fashion & antique textiles can be found at collectible fairs or
specialty shops. Either way, they are usually a great find for
fashionistas that have an interest in historical fashion trends.
Vintage clothing shops are often
found in trendy or artsy neighborhoods of cities. You can search for
vintage clothing stores
in the Apparel Search retail directory. If you happen to own a vintage
boutique, you may want to also visit our
wholesale vintage clothing section to find potential suppliers.
The popularity of the internet and growth in online
shopping for clothes has provided a great boost to the vintage clothing
industry. It has increased the availability of specific and previously hard to
find items. Online market places such as eBay, Etsy, and Craigslist are also
helpful tools for enthusiasts of vintage apparel & accessories. Most brick
& mortar clothing shops with physical locations now also sell their goods
Can wearing vintage clothing save the planet?
It may not save the planet but it
certainly can’t hurt. Wearing vintage clothes is essentially a method of
With all the talk of global
warming, saving the rainforest, and reducing carbon emissions, there is an
ongoing interest in environmental
sustainability. Reusing, recycling and
repairing rather than throwing things away is usually a good thing for the
planet. In addition to wearing previously worn clothing, vintage items in poor
condition can also be salvaged for reuse as part of a new garment.
Sometimes vintage items are upcycled via changing the
hemline or other features for a more contemporary look.
Fashion design, throughout history has turned to previous
eras for inspiration. Based on the condition, vintage clothing possibly retains
and can potentially increases in value due to the fact that it is genuinely from
a past era.
An important segment of the vintage clothes market is the
category of vintage jeans.
You should most definitely take a few moments to learn more about the vintage
Learn more about
clothing in our fashion terms section.
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