Vintage fashion is technically defined as consisting of clothing that are new or second hand garments that come from a previous time. The word “vintage” originally came from its use in the wine terminology and now is used in fashion as a more classy or elegant way to say “old” clothes.
Speaking of vintage, another word that is used to describe clothing that imitates or is inspired by the style of a previous time is “retro”, which is short for retrospective.
In broad fashion definition – clothing that was created before the 1920s are called “antique” clothing while those produced from the 1920s to 1980s fall under the “vintage” category.
While opinions may vary on the definition of these terms, we can all safely agree that vintage fashion has a nostalgic tone to it, regardless of whether it is a true vintage or an inspired one – it just brings the soft style of yesteryears back.
Let’s look at how vintage clothing came to become a trend and why they are slowly making a return into the fashion scene.
A demand for old/second hand clothing
It started with a humble demand for old or second hand garments back in the early 90s where there was an increased awareness and interest in the idea of recycling/reusing and repairing old clothes rather than chucking them away. An interest in the concept of sustaining the environment triggered a sense of fashion that goes in hand with being friendly with Mother Nature.
As corny as that sounds, you’ve got to thank the early crowd who made it fashionable to be reasonable. Nowadays, I believe this awareness has been buried underneath the layers of vanity and greed.
Swing dancing/Rockabilly sub-cultural influences
Another keen factor that drives the vintage trend upward is of course music. Music icons of the old times have always had the power to push a brand of fashion, lifestyle, or a way of thinking into a serious trend that is embraced by the younger generations.
Value for money and substance that comes with history
Vintage clothing (that are not represented by big designers of those era) are often sold below the cost of similar current modern clothing. Aside from being affordable, there is a substance in the style of the old era that comes from an undying appreciation of the past, the key players and role models of the time and the unique skills of the designers.
As so often it is with increased demand, vintage clothing can be much harder to find and more expensive to purchase these days, but with the boom of the internet that makes way for ease of online shopping, you can always count on a good deal for a vintage splurge if you find hard enough. How difficult can it be sitting and tapping the keyboard while using the power of the lump of flesh sitting in your skull eh?
Delicate detailing that you can’t ever find on contemporary modern equivalent of a blouse/dress
The blouses/dresses that are true vintage or vintage inspired often show the incredible creativity of their designers. Always, there will be exquisite hand-finishing, hand-embroidery, crochet, interesting buttons, hand-made lace, beading and so much more that give the vintage pieces of garments a dash of drama.
The styles are often loved by creative personalities who are daring enough to mix and match while bringing their own character to the look.
Are you into all things vintage in your style? What do you think makes vintage clothing/accessories stand out among other trends? Tell us your opinions as we would love to hear all about your vintage fashion crave.
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Here on Fashionista NOW, our one and very own Miss Reverie showcases the latest in fashion trends and its various social implications in our everyday lives. You may read more of her at REVERIE SANCTUARY.