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What is Vintage Clothing?

Many people are currently wondering what the word ‘vintage clothing’ means. This is because many collectors are now scouting the market for such items. Vintage cars are those old-modeled vehicles that are aged 50 years and more. What about vintage clothing?

The term ‘vintage’ was originally associated with the year oil or wine was bottled. In reality, wine and oil get better and finer as they age; hence when they get ‘vintage’ their quality is magnified. The word got into general usage when old cars were marketed to novelty collectors, who indicate interest to pay how much it would take to own such collectibles.

Years passed by and dealers of old or second-hand clothing used the word to relate to their own merchandise. Initially, the term vintage clothing was used to refer to old clothes. Currently, numerous buyers and sellers use the word vintage to describe previously owned or second-hand clothing aged 25 years and more. With the advent of Internet, vintage clothing has further become more popular.

Many online clothing sellers are now selling 1980s-styled clothing and accessories. They call such items vintage clothing. While the market for such items gained profile, more people has become further confused. People who have lived through the 1970s could hardly find 1980s styled clothes as vintage.

Technically, some people assert that vintage clothing should refer to clothes that belong to a previous era. They should be scarce not just because of limited supply, but because they are not produced by any garment maker anymore. Thus, clothing that belonged to the 18th, 19th, and even 20th centuries that are still intact and are still in good condition are technically called vintage clothing.

Today, the word is now widely used to refer to more recent designer garments. It could also refer to items that are not new fashion items or accessories and are still of good quality. Most vintage clothing items are still exhibiting excellent flair and are still capable to create an original statement of style. Purists are logically unhappy about this. They are warning the public against being misled to buy fashion apparel and accessories sold as vintage clothing.

In general, even non-haute couture items could be currently sold as vintage. More often, good and reliable custom made garments and brand names are either taken as unusual examples of different eras’ fashion. They could also be taken as typical items identified with eras for specific design value and style. Thus, such items are considered the staple vintage trades of today.

Vintage clothing are said to contain elusive quality, which makes them very desirable especially during their heyday. You could be surprised to learn that most collectors today are buying and using vintage clothing that could be categorized as vintage 70s or even vintage 80s. Again, purists are disagreeing with this custom. They assert any item that are designed and made just within the last 15 years should be identified, described, or described as ‘contemporary.’

Quality, uniqueness, novelty, and desirability truly make vintage clothing worth buying and owning. However, be reminded that not all old items could be desirable and could be described as vintage items. Take note and be watchful of quality. Real vintage clothing should be of high quality and should always shine through. Any damage in the item should not be overlooked as well.


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