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Distinctions between vintage and retro

August 6, 2014

It’s easy to get carried away in the beautiful styles and looks of a bygone era but sometimes reproduction pieces or modern fashions can sometimes be mistaken for authentic vintage wears. Vintage clothing is generally categorised by knowledgeable industry professionals and this helps customers choose the best fashionable clothing according to their chosen eras and styles. Here is a little guide to what classifies an antique, vintage and retro piece of clothing.

Antique, vintage and retro clothes

Antique clothing

when we think about antique as a whole, images of art and furniture conjure in our mind. Antique clothing is a very special era of fashion as generally to be classified as ‘antique’ an item is at least 100 years old. Clothing of this age can be difficult to source and due to the rare nature of many items over this age, pieces can be expensive and by nature a collectors item.

Antique clothing

Antique clothing

Vintage clothing

vintage is a term we hear time and time again and these iconic styles are starting to inspire modern collections and designers. So what is vintage? Vintage is currently referring to a piece of clothing that is at least 20 years old. There have been arguments on this terminology with some people using ‘new vintage’ for anything between 20-50 years old and ‘true vintage’ for anything at least 50 years old. Either way the majority agree vintage spans many decades of truly inspirational fashion eras including the graceful twenties, roaring fifties and the swinging sixties.

vintage Dress

vintage Dress

Retro clothing

the term retro or retrospective sometimes confuses people, in some ways it has the same connotations as vintage but this style of clothing means an imitation of a style or past fashions. Retro clothing doesn’t necessarily have to be old as it can be a new vintage item that references styles of a past iconic era. Retro styles that have been recreated time and time again include looks from the sixties and seventies.

Vintage and retro Classification

As vintage and retro clothing becomes increasingly popular and sought after, classification of these unique pieces of clothing becomes more important. Consumers want to trust vintage sellers and believe what they are buying is authentic vintage or retro clothing. As the industry develops, expert vintage sellers and boutiques are providing a well sourced beautiful selection of unique vintage pieces that can be treasured for many years to come.


Images: Flickr Creative Commons