Let’s Talk Vintage

Posted on: December 7, 2010

Everyone’s talking about ‘Vintage’. It’s a fashion which is really IN right now. I found vintage style is really cool and sweet. People say ‘you can’t go wrong if you wear vintage’ .I,  however have to disagree with this statement. I see a lot of people wearing vintage look like a bunch of weirdos. It can go wrong. So let’s discuss vintage today.


Definition: The term vintage is used to describe clothing between 20 and 100* years old which is clearly representitive of the era in which it was produced. Vintage clothing can be used, new (from dead stock), manufactured, and handmade.

It is important to understand that the definition of vintage is fluid, so every decade brings forth new items as “vintage”. It is also important to understand that all vintage will eventually become antique.


A One of a Kind Pieces

It’s is a fact of life that history repeats itself; fashion and clothing trends are no exception. Since fashion is cyclical, there is always some style from the past that has been made new again, and there is a good chance you can find the original version of that style in a vintage item from that era. However, when you purchase a vintage piece, you are getting something that cannot be found at every chain store by the thousands. It is a limited, if not one of a kind, item just for you.

Be Above the Trends

Just as you can find vintage pieces to compliment the current fashion trends, you can also use vintage to go against them. With vintage you find classics that have never gone out of style, or you can find off the wall pieces to set yourself apart from the mainstream.

Frugal Fashions

Let’s be realistic, vintage clothes are usually not new. Unless they are one of those rare gems from dead stock, you are buying hand me downs. The flip side of that is that you are not paying the price of a newly manufactured garment. So buying vintage clothing is a great way to save money.

Quality is Key

So yes, the clothes are used, but the important thing is that they don’t look worn out or old. The main reason for this is that better materials and techniques were used in the past than are used today. There is a lot more emphasis on clothing being well made because clothes had to last longer since people did not buy new clothing as often as we do today. There is a lot more done by hand in the manufacturing of vintage clothing, where as the same procedures like adding buttons and detailing are done by machines today.

Recycling Looks Good

Vintage clothes have already been used once, and by wearing them again, you are recycling them. On a larger scale, you are not using your money to pay for the natural resources used in the production of a new item (fuel for shipping, energy to produce, etc.), you are not contributing to pollution (emissions from factories, dumping of dyes and chemicals, etc.), and you are saving those items from going into a landfill.

Double Duty

Thrift stores are almost always run by a charity. So whether it’s at the Salvation Army, or a local church or school, you’re shopping is actually a donation to a good cause. Vintage is basically the best deal going. Where else can you find superiorly made, one of a kind, fashionable clothes and at the same time save money, help the planet, and donate to charity all in one purchase? Knowing all of that, how is it possible to not want to go to your local vintage retailer right away?


Start small

If you’ve never worn vintage clothes before, it’s not advisable to start off wearing a head to toe vintage outfit. It is best to ease yourself into this new world by wearing vintage accessories like scarves, hats, jewelry, handbags, or belts. But only chose one accessory at a time, as with all things, less is more. Your unique vintage accessory will stand out even more if it isn’t competing with a bunch of other baubles.

Vintage is not a costume

Don’t dress entirely in vintage from one trend or decade. If you don’t end up looking like you’re going to a Halloween party, you will look rather dated. The point of vintage is to take the best of what each decade has to offer and make it work today. Mixing one focal vintage item with core pieces of your wardrobe like jeans, a simple blazer, or with a tee shirt will make your look modern instead of looking like you stepped out of a time machine.

Be open minded and try new things

Vintage items may look strange on the hanger, and you may think “I could never wear that!” or “That’s not for me,” but try it on anyways. Vintage clothes are often made a lot differently than our clothes today, but for a lot of people they fit better and are more flattering. Don’t forget that vintage is an adventure! You’re looking to add excitement to your wardrobe, and you’ll never get that effect if you play it safe or rule things out with one glance.

Stay true to your style

As is true with any trend or style, it is best to stay true to what you are most comfortable in and what looks best on you. Realistically, a kaleidoscope print silk Pucci jumpsuit is not going to look good on most people no matter how fantastic it would be to find. This is another example of how mixing vintage with your standby wardrobe is essential to a successful ensemble.

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