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What Makes Something Vintage?

Sets if Vintage Clothings and a Vintage Arrow
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What does vintage mean to you? Is it old or new? Old fashioned or modern? Vintage items are often associated with nostalgia, but they also have a certain charm that appeals to today’s consumers.

The term “vintage” has become synonymous with quality, style, and timelessness. In recent years, the popularity of vintage clothing has grown exponentially.

People love dressing up in their favorite vintage outfits because they want to look good without breaking the bank.

Vintage items are becoming more accessible thanks to the rise of eCommerce sites such as eBay and Etsy. These platforms allow customers to sell their goods directly to each other, bypassing the middleman.

If you’re looking to stock up on some high-quality vintage clothes but don’t know where to start, keep reading this article to find out everything you need to know about what makes something vintage and where to buy the best vintage items.

What Is Vintage?

Vintage clothing and accessories from a vintage store

A piece of clothing can be considered vintage if it was made before a certain time. Many people think of the 1940s as being the golden era for vintage fashion.

However, some popular styles like bell bottoms and poodle skirts weren’t introduced until the 1950s.

While there are no official guidelines regarding what constitutes vintage, most experts agree that an item must have been manufactured at least 20-30 years ago to be considered vintage.

This includes clothing, accessories, furniture, home decor, instruments, and even cars.

The item also needs to be from the period instead of a brand new piece of clothing that was simply designed to have a ‘vintage look’.

A vintage item should therefore speak of the era in which it was produced. To be vintage, the item needs to exhibit the best of a certain quality and be associated with a specific era.

Ultimately, for the term vintage to be applied to an item, it should represent and be recognizable from the era in which it was produced.

Vintage clothing is also usually made of high-quality materials but even so, you can often find some vintage goods for half the price of what you would pay if the item or garment was new.

What Is The Difference Between Retro And Vintage?

Light bulbs can either be vintage or can be use to create a retro design

Retro is a word used to describe any item that looks fashionable from a previous era. It’s not necessarily limited to just clothing, although that’s typically how the term is used.

For example, a pair of sneakers designed to look like they were from the 1980s could be described as retro.

Vintage refers specifically to clothing from a previous era. While retro clothing may include elements from another era, vintage clothing is always from a specific period.

Retro items, unlike vintage items, can be brand new but would have to be made in the style of the era they are trying to imitate.

This means the main difference between the two is that vintage refers to the actual construction of the item or piece of clothing at the time, whereas retro refers simply to the appearance.

What Is The Difference Between Antique And Vintage?

The lines between antique and vintage are often blurred, especially when it comes to household goods and furniture. However, there are some key differences.

Antiques are generally older than a hundred years, whilst a lot of people argue vintage can only go back as far as 1920.

What Makes Something Vintages

Vintage pieces of furniture have also been made for a practical function in the home, yet in an aesthetically pleasing way that can tell a story at the same time. 

They can be mass-produced and this is what makes them so different. Before 1870, almost all furniture was handcrafted, making antique furniture a lot more delicate, valuable, of higher quality, and rarer.

How To Find Vintage Clothes

1. Online Stores

A lady who is using her card to buy items online

The internet has revolutionized the way people shop. There are now countless websites dedicated to selling only vintage items.

These sites allow shoppers to browse through hundreds of items at once. In addition, these sites sometimes offer free shipping and easy returns.

2. Thrift Shops

Thrift Shop Selling Vintage Items

Thrift stores are great places to go when searching for vintage items. They’re located all over the world and many of them specialize in one particular type of clothing.

You’ll likely need to do some research on where your local thrift store is located. Once you’ve found out where it is, take a trip down there and see what you can find.

3. Donation Centers

Donation box with donation clothing

Another good place to search for vintage clothes is donation centers. Often, these centers will collect old clothes from individuals who want to get rid of them.

If you don’t mind doing some work, this is a great option because you can pick up some cool pieces without having to spend much money.

4. Garage Sales

Garage sale  selling vintage items

If you live near a big city, then chances are there will be a garage sale nearby every weekend. Go early in the morning before anyone else gets there and you’ll have a better chance of finding something unique.

5. Flea Markets

Flea markets are similar to garage sales except they happen more frequently and are open longer hours. Many flea markets also sell antiques.

Check with the local newspaper to see if there is an upcoming market in your area.

Best Sites For Vintage Finds

Online Shopping deliveries

1. eBay

eBay is one of the most popular online shopping destinations. It offers a wide variety of products from all over the world at affordable prices. You can find everything from fashion accessories to home decor.

The site also features a marketplace section where sellers list their used items. This makes it easy for buyers to browse through different categories and find exactly what they need.

2. HSN

HSN is another great place to buy vintage clothing. They offer an extensive selection of men’s and women’s apparel, including designer labels like Gucci, Prada, Versace, and Chanel.

Their website allows users to search by brand, size, color, and price range.

3. Popsugar Fashion

Popsugar Fashion is a great resource if you’re looking for trendy yet classic clothes at affordable prices. The site offers a large collection of vintage dresses, skirts, tops, and jackets.

Many of them come from brands like Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta, and Carolina Herrera.

Final Thoughts

We hope after reading this article you have learned all you need to know about vintage items and clothing, how it differs from retro and antique, and have made a note of some of the best places for finding those unique vintage goods.

Shopping vintage is a sustainable way of shopping that is increasing in popularity, and can provide a unique twist on your home decor or outfit, so why not give it a go today!