Learning to distinguish between vintage and retro

Fashion is a cyclical phenomenon, therefore, more and more often on the streets of the city there are girls and guys in clothes of styles that were in trend decades ago. In the fashionable vocabulary, the words “retro”, “vintage” and their derivatives are firmly established. I wonder if they are identical or not? Today we will deal with these concepts in the context of style and fashion.

What came before?

To the question of what appeared earlier - vintage or retro, it is rather difficult to give a definite answer . It is believed that vintage items are those that were created in the 20-80s of the last century. Everything that appeared sooner or later is retro. However , the age difference between these categories is more than arbitrary : they differ by other criteria, which we will discuss later.

What is vintage?

The word "vintage" was born in France and takes its origins from the wine industry. Vintage here means nothing more than a good grape harvest and wine from it . Winemakers called the particularly successful harvest years vintage. In the fashion industry, the main meaning of this concept has been preserved: the vintage thing is called high-quality clothing, characteristic of a particular historical era. It should be unique, reflect the spirit and worldview of the people of that time.

Interesting! Not only clothing is vintage: this term is also common in other industries, for example, in furniture and interior. With the concept of "vintage" there are jewelry and bijouterie, various accessories.

How to distinguish vintage from old?

Not every antique in terms of fashion can be called vintage. In order for her to be able to carry such a proud title, several important requirements must be observed:

  • history is needed, and not just history as a period of time, but the specific origin of the thing, accurate high-quality handmade work, a brand with a rich past, famous people, and the like;
  • product uniqueness is the defining requirement for vintage characterization. It should be a kind of calling card of the era in which it was created and used, reflect its style, mentality, etc.

The famous jacket or handbag from Chanel, even if they are slightly “tattered” by time, are representatives of vintage, and a simple “grandmother's” dress is a favorite once, but just old clothes . If an old thing is important to one person, it still does not make it vintage.

Do not confuse vintage with antiques . Antique values ​​have a slightly different meaning: they are a subject of trade and collecting. In Russian practice, they should be “older” than 50 years, and abroad this age reaches 100 (in England) and almost 200 years (in America, antiques should be produced no later than 1830). Clothing with a touch of vintage in certain cases can become antique, but these are not identical concepts.

We consider the concept of "retro"

This term covers the entire totality of antiques or modern clothes, stylized in the fashion of past years . Definitely, this concept is wider than vintage, if only because the old wardrobe item could never be fashionable and iconic.

Retro refers more to style than to the uniqueness of a particular product . The image in the style of the 60s is called retro, because it shows how people dressed at one time or another. Not always retrospective is really old: it can be created recently, but it looks like you took it out of a chest. Designers are often inspired by the fashion of past years, and elements of previously popular accessories, shapes, silhouettes are added to modern outfits.

What is their difference?

We come to the unequivocal conclusion that the term “retro” has also incorporated vintage things, that is, they can be considered as general and particular. Retro clothes always reflect the general style of certain years, inherent in an indefinite circle of persons. In turn, the vintage product is unique in its own way . It is one: unique, once owned by a particular person or brand.

How to distinguish retro from vintage

Imagine that you were in a second-hand, where you can find many original wardrobe items. How to understand, for example, is it an absolutely unique hat or a simple thing in retro style? Pay attention to the following parameters:

  • label: its color is important, where it is sewn and whether it is at all. At a minimum, the modern one will be white and the old one yellowed over the years;
  • the font in which the brand name is written;
  • what kind of brand, how it is positioned, what is unique;
  • the presence of zippers and other accessories (plastic buttons, for example, a modern trend);
  • whether the composition of the fabric is indicated on the label, what is it.

Attention! Remember one simple formula and you will never again mix up vintage and retro-look: the first category includes, for example, a Dior dress from old-old collections, and an unknown sundress without a label can easily be attributed to the second . Any blouse or style skirt of past years, but released in the latest collections of designers, we can safely include in the category of "retro".