What is Vintage Clothing and Fashion?

Vintage clothing and fashion has become so popular now, that even regular high-street stores have started classing their clothes as ‘vintage’. In reality, if you’re looking to become a true vintage aficionado you should know there are two kinds of vintage; authentic and reproduction (otherwise known as ‘modern’ vintage fashion).


Authentic vintage is original vintage clothing from a past era, and generally, you can call anything over 20 years old officially vintage. Generally speaking, currently any fashion from between the 1920s and 1990s is now vintage, prior to that it is ‘antique’ clothing – likely because before the 1920s there was next to no mass produced designs – pretty much everything was handmade (and therefore a lot more expensive)!


 Reproduction vintage fashion is modern clothing, jewellery and accessories designed to mimic the designs, cuts and styles of real vintage. It can be just as good, if not better in some cases, as the quality is built to last. With real vintage clothing you might have difficulty finding the correct modern size in a garment, and the fabrics might be too fragile to wash; but that’s not the case with modern vintage fashion. With jewellery it can be hard to spot real vintage, unless you have a good knowledge of jewellery marks and classic jewellery making techniques! However, if you’re looking for vintage jewellery so you can add a little something special to a retro outfit, all you really need to know is what gives jewellery a distinctively vintage look; keep an eye out for pearls, stranded necklaces with glass beads, crystal brooches and bracelets, and oversized cocktail rings for starters – these epitomise the 20s and 30s. In the 40s and 50s jewellery was a little more petite and demure, so if you’re looking to match a retro dress from that era then you might prefer a dainty bracelet or a pearl choker. The 20s to the 50s were more romantic eras in vintage fashion, whereas the 60s to the 90s tended to be more modern, and a little rougher around the edges! You could say the 20s to the 50s were more about being ladylike and glamorous, whereas the 60s to the 90s were a little more about rebellion and experimenting with more extreme and unusual fashions. So if you’re looking to buy some vintage fashion, research which era inspires you the most first, and build your wardrobe from there!

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