Vintage clothing, styles, and accessories are among the most coveted items for any fashionista. Often categorised as “retro” and “antique,” vintage clothing and apparel items are one-of-a-kind pieces worn during previous decades and fashion eras. Often, certain designer vintage clothing and accessory pieces get a second chance at life when trends from previous decades come back in style. Those that enjoy wearing vintage clothing and accessories are often very confident and have their own unique sense of style. Some dress head-to-toe in vintage while others prefer the eclectic look by pairing their vintage pieces with more modern accessories. There are many ways to determine whether or not an item can be characterised as vintage.
Age, or era, is one of the most important factors to labelling an item as vintage. Generally speaking, a well-made piece becomes vintage after about 20-30 years. Vintage shops, consignment stores, and thrift stores are all great places to score retro pieces. It can take some digging, searching, and scouring through the racks, but the finds are usually well worth the time and effort spent searching. Some of these stores even categorise or separate their vintage pieces and sort them by decade, so that they are easier for shoppers to find.
Fabrication is another key factor to determining whether or not an item is vintage in origin. Modernisation of fabrication makes it easy to tell if an item is an antique. Today’s fabrics are lighter and more pliable than their predecessors. A vintage garment will usually be made of polyester or a heavier gauge knit and will have little to no spandex. Some vintage pieces from the 80s may have stretch in them, but stretchy clothing did not become mainstream until the 90s.
Vintage clothing is also very unique in its colour combinations and design elements. Heavy duty buttons, snaps, zippers, and hardware are very popular on retro pieces. Bold and bright colour-blocking and unique colour combinations were popular in previous decades. Wild geometric prints and slimmer silhouettes are a common indicator that an item is a vintage piece. Many pieces from past decades seem to tell a story or have a personality. It is easy to imagine the type of person that would have worn a vintage piece.
Whether one is dressing up for a costume party, looking to add a well-made classic to an existing wardrobe, or simply looking to have some wardrobe-related fun, vintage clothing is a great way to update any wardrobe and stand apart from the crowd. Retro pieces are one-of-a-kind and can give the wearer a sense of individuality and pride. Vintage clothing wearers are often polished from head-to-toe and enjoy taking fashion risks from time to time. They have a strong appreciation for fine quality materials and well-made pieces.