Vintage Fashion: Fashion Term by Apparel Search
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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: age.
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 old-fashioned.
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 affordable prices.
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.
Written for Apparel Search by Regina Cooper
Check out some of the vintage shops to learn more about vintage fashion.
You may also want to visit the Vintage Footwear terminology page.
Join in the discussions about vintage clothing at the Vintage Fashion Group.