How do you Differentiate between Retro and Vintage Clothing

How do you Differentiate between Retro and Vintage Clothing

Fashion industry is huge, and vast are the range of terms related to it. Two among those, which people usually get confused between, are Vintage and Retro clothing.

A lot of people are unaware of the differences between these two, but if you plan to impress the fashionista you like, why not try to learn what these two terms mean!

Retro and Vintage clothing are similar indeed but have important differences that you should know.

Retro Clothing

Retro Clothing do not refer to any specific time period during which they were made. Instead, “retro” refers to a style or genre in which those particular outfits belong to.

Clothing that have been made recently but are actually designed to imitate the fashion of the past are considered to be retro.

Many clothing stores try to bring back the popular fashion of 1980s, ‘90s or 2000s and designing outfits on the similar lines as was popular during those times.

Retro clothing, actually, give way to the vintage clothing to come back to today’s fashion, and allows people to wear brand new vintage-looking clothes without actually wearing genuine vintage clothes.

The term ‘retro’ is most commonly used when it comes to products that are designed to imitate products that are at least 20 years old.

For a universal use, this term can be given to more or less anything that were made in the recent past.

The term retro not only limits itself to clothing only. Music, films, clothing, books, style, anything can be considered under this.

Vintage Clothing

Vintage, on the other hand, is used to describe things that were made in the 1920s or later, but not any less than 20 years from the present year. For example, in 2021, a clothing to be considered vintage should at least belong to 2001.

Unlike retro, vintage refers to the age of the attire, rather than the style of it.

Often, people make mistakes of calling a 1920s flapper dress from a fancy-dress store “vintage”.

Even though the cut and design of the dress is that from the old days, it won’t be considered vintage unless manufactured at least 20 years ago.

Now, standing in 2021, anything that is made between 1920 and 2001 is technically vintage, but it is not necessary that everything will have a vintage value.

For example, fur coats that were popular in the 1960s are popular today too, and thus are considered vintage. But a regular blouse, manufactured during this time would not have the same vintage appeal similar to that of the fur coats.

Vintage is also not to clothes only.  Clocks, jewelleries, cars and cabinets too can be called vintage.

The word vintage was originated from the French word “vendage” meaning “grapes picked during a season”. The term vintage was first used to describe old wine.

Buying genuine vintage clothing can be a little tricky. Here’s what you should look up to for buying genuine vintage clothing.

Tips to buy genuine vintage clothing

Many retailers offer both wholesale vintage clothing and wholesale retro clothing, which allow the customers to have more options, especially when they are looking for outfits which are different and quirky.

However, stores selling both types of clothing, may leave some buyers a bit confused, especially if they are genuine vintage clothes.

Shopping for vintage clothes would require you some knowledge and research about vintage clothing.

To buy genuine vintage clothing, it would be best to visit thrift stores, vintage shops, charity shops and garage sales.

Use these following tips to assess if the clothes you are buying are genuinely vintage pieces or not.

  1. Take time out and examine the parts and accessories of a particular clothing. The zippers, patterns, fabric, buttons etc. can assess the era that the clothing belonged to.
  2. For example, if you manage to find a clothing with metal zippers then you have got your hands onto an absolutely genuine vintage piece of clothing.
  3. Zippers made of metal were used in garments for the first time in 1930s, but that too, quite rarely.
  4. Most likely, a vintage outfit will have one or more damaged parts, and have faded colours.
  5. Old, vintage clothes will definitely have a musty odour, signifying its age.

If you are looking to buy retro dresses UK or vintage clothing online, the best way is to look for options in online stores that specialize in vintage clothing, or thrift stores selling second-hand products.

Buyers should also know their sizes as the sizes may vary in case of vintage clothing.

Unless you are an expert in the field, we would suggest you to visit a genuine vintage offline store where you will be allowed to try the clothes before you buy.

Also Read: Why Are Most People Wishing to Choose Thermal Wears Online?

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I share technology, business, and personal development insights as a guest author. With a background in computer science and tech industry experience, I offer practical tips and actionable advice to enhance skills and achieve goals. Whether it's optimizing productivity, improving mental health, or navigating the digital world, I'm committed to helping others succeed. When not writing, I explore new technologies, read about industry developments, or enjoy the outdoors.

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