Vintage clothing is one of the highest sought after types of clothing these days. In a world where there is so much fast fashion and everyone is wearing practically the same thing, it is hard to stand out from the crowd. Today, clothing is mass produced in factories, often by machines, to fulfill the needs of a rising population. Clothing today has lost a lot of character and uniqueness that came out of an era where things were more handmade, limited run, and carefully thought through.
Why is vintage clothing popular?
The only way to have something that is truly unique is to either make it yourself or buy an item that’s old and rare enough that no one else has it. If you really want to express yourself in a way that sets you apart, vintage clothing is a great option. Apart from its uniqueness, vintage clothing is also environmentally friendly. In a path towards a more sustainable planet, buying vintage clothing saves materials and energy required to make new items.
Why should you buy vintage clothes?
Buying vintage clothing promotes your sense of creativity, adds some flair to your life, and can let you mix up the cultures that you wish to embody.
You might be wondering how to buy vintage clothing and where you can get your hands on some old t-shirts, dresses, jeans, or anything else that fits your style. I mean you can’t just walk into your local mall and expect to find vintage clothing in Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, or H&M. Many of today’s brands may make vintage style clothing that has the appearance of some vintage silhouettes, but the truth is there’s nothing like true vintage clothing.
Now we understand that not everyone has time or wants to travel and dig through piles of used clothing. Yes, you can hit up 10 thrift stores, 2 flea markets, and 5 estate sales. You might find a hoard of awesome vintage items, but chances are you won’t find anything too great for yourself and you’ll be digging through a lot of dirt and dust. Good thing though, these days it’s a lot easier to buy vintage clothing.
Where to buy vintage clothing online?
With the rise in platforms like Depop, Poshmark, Mercari and independent websites there are many options for you to find vintage clothes that inspire you. Yes, you will pay a premium, but nothing beats the convenience of having something shipped to your door.
Before you get started on your treasure hunting journey, let’s clarify some of the definitions that you’ll need to prepare yourself.
Vintage Clothing FAQS and Definitions
Vintage is not the same thing as antique. Since antiques are generally considered to be over 100 years old, the time period for vintage is generally considered to be 30-100 years old. However, in recent years vintage clothing has been used to describe items that are roughly 10+ years old. The paradigm shift reflects the new generations getting into vintage clothing at a younger and younger age.
Vintage is a more sustainable source of items. You are recycling, so fundamentally you are reducing waste.
While some more loosely categorize clothing as vintage. It is generally accepted by vintage clothing connoisseurs that anything older than 20 years is vintage. For sake of simplicity, let’s call vintage anything produced before the turn of the millennium, the year 2000.
Clothing made during the 2000s can be considered vintage if we are going by how Etsy defines vintage clothing. Since anything older than 20 years can be called vintage, we can say that anything made during 2000 and 2001 is now considered vintage.
Second hand clothing quite simply is an item that was previously owned by someone else. You may never know if the item was owned by 3, 4, or maybe even 10 people at this point. But second hand is a term that generally refers to recycled clothing that is being resold after it has been worn.
Retro is really just short to Retrospective. In terms of clothing, it is a revival / new perspective on an older style of fashion. Generally retro is also referred to as “new vintage” or “vintage style” because it is clothing that was manufactured relatively recently, but gives off the essence of a previously popular garment. Retro is an imitation of vintage or antique clothing.
By definition, an antique is something that is at least 100 years old and it must also be collectible. In clothing, it is a piece of garment that represents another era and time period from our society. For sake of flexibility, we can call antique clothing anything that was made prior to 1940. This comes to about 80 years as being the absolute soonest that an antique clothing item could have been made.
Yes, clothes can be considered an antique. As long as it’s clear and obvious how to date the item, and it was made before 1940, then you may describe your possession as an antique piece of clothing.
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