The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

What do you consider vintage and what do you considered retro (in regards to fashion)? I’m actually not sure and did a search on Wikipedia, here’s what it said:

Vintage clothing which was produced before the 1920s is referred to as antique clothing and clothing from the 1920s to 1980s is considered vintage.

Retro is a culturally outdated or aged style, trend, mode, or fashion, from the overall postmodern past, that has since that time become functionally or superficially the norm once again. The use of "retro" style iconography and imagery interjected into post-modern art, advertising, mass media, etc. It generally implies a vintage of at least 15 or 20 years.

Personally I don’t think 70’s fashion as vintage, it just seemed more retro but I really don’t know what made me come to this conclusion. 50’s fashion definitely feels vintage to me but again I just assume it is.

What do you think?

Views: 326

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

That's what I say too...I can't even speak to fashion from the 90s and early doesn't feel retro, just dated. Maybe there should be a time period that goes on hold to define itself before it becomes retro.

 When I hear vintage, I think from 19-whatever. When I hear retro, I think in the style of 19-whatever. So, to me, a dress from 1950 is vintage and a reproduction 50s dress is retro. There's also a bit of vintage=classy, retro=kitsch connotation for me. Personally, I'm not a fan of anything after the early 1960s so I mostly just get 70s=tacky.


Guess I don't agree with wiki, but it's not like they're the foremost authority on anything. :p

Okay that's a good way of putting it, if the actual garment is from 19 whatever it's vintage (authentic to the era) and if the garment is inspired by a given era it's retro.

I have a really hard time thinking the 70s is vintage, it just doesn't feel like it's all that. That's where wiki fell apart for me, I agree with you on that too.
It sounds like a good definition to me: "vintage" as a piece actually from the era and "Retro" as a copy or something with a vintage feel. Here shops that sell clothes they call vintage are just selling second hand clothes, usually very kitsh ones only people trying very hard to be trendy would wear! I always wondered when celebrity wear 'vintage couture' on the red carpet where it actually comes from and how old the dress is?
Just a quick throw in - I've always thought/heard/believed  that anything over 60 years old is classed as antique...
I'd heard it's 100 years for an antique. I'd settle on seriously old!
Seriously old..sounds like a good title.. Love it.

I like your definition and agree, retro = style like the era, vintage = from the era.... however I have a curveball for you:


for me vintage implies a sort of respect, when is something vintage and when is something just old?



Well, after vintage comes antique, which I've heard pegged around 80+ years old. (In my brain that's anything pre-1920s.) Then there's ancient (like Greek and Roman times). Not sure what's in between there.I think perhaps we need a history buff on that one.


I'd argue that there are definitely vintage pieces out there that make you go "what were they thinking?". I'd say, if it falls into that vintage time frame, it's vintage-even if it is tacky, ugly or just plain weird.

This site is kind of interesting and classifies early, Victorian, Edwardian, 20s-on up:
So if it's good old it vintage and bad old it's well...old. Haha!

How about if it's  "bad old", it is  'JUNK"[as Kenny refers to vintage or retro clothing] ..He loves old antiuqes,but when we are in a thrift store,antique store and we see the vintage clothes..he will say,

"oh Lord, that is a bunch of  junk!" hahaha[Only my sweet Kenny, would see those beautiful old dresses and hats as Junk,ha]


© 2023   Created by Mena Trott.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service