What You Should Know About Buying Vintage

What You Should Know About Buying Vintage

Vintage has become a chic style for a variety of trends. While this may seem strange considering that vintage, by definition, is classified as something of the past, its fashion is still relevant today. Vintage decor, cars, and clothes may all have a slightly different look. To evaluate all things vintage, we must start at the beginning. 


Vintage vs. Antique


Vintage generally refers to an old style. Antique usually describes an item from over 100 years ago. The differences between vintage and antique can be subtle but usually mean very separate styles. While vintage style is from an earlier generation, antique usually means the age. Most vintage items were made between 20-30 years ago. While you wouldn’t call combat boots and suspenders “antique,” the fashion may well be deemed vintage.


Antique and vintage are casually used to describe lots of different characteristics. A house called antique may describe a Victorian house with high ceilings and lots of rooms. Antique may conjure up real silver tea sets, emerald cocktail rings from the early 1900s, and old fashioned typewriters. Antiques can also be costly, depending on the item; for example, antique Gable table lamps can cost over $1000 depending on the shop. 


Vintage style, on the other hand, does not have to be expensive. Many record collectors can spend less than $20 for a record of Elvis Prestley or The Supremes. Vintage fashion from the sixties is also an affordable way to look classically unique. Gogo boots and straight, short mini skirts can be found in the right second-hand shops across the country. 


How Can You Tell If It’s Really Vintage?


Vintage fashion can be deceiving. While a t-shirt from a major brand can be marketed as vintage, these shirts were generally created less than ten years ago. (Try this guide for figuring out if a t-shirt is legit.) Vintage has become popular for home decor, clothing, and technology. While many telephones and t-shirts may sport vintage colors, this does not necessarily mean the item is really vintage.


Vintage clothing is not usually manufactured by brands that are popular today. By simply checking the label or tag on the back of the shirt or skirt, you may be able to parcel out whether it was made more than 20 years ago. If you do not recognize the brand, you may be able to look it up online to see when it was manufactured. 


Second-hand clothing shops or thrift stores carry used clothing from a variety of dates. Many shops will sell handmade clothing. Thin or floral-patterned fabric with buttons instead of zippers is usually good signs of authentic vintage clothing. 


Clothing that has been manufactured in the United States is often older and may be from a vintage time period. The fabric and stitching of clothing from the sixties and seventies are likely different from the newer vintage styles of the 80s and 90s. Starting in the 80s, much clothing was manufactured abroad in countries such as China and India.


Vintage Jewelry


Vintage jewelry is a glamorous way for many people to look sophisticated but fun. Because the materials are void of plastic, they have an authentic appearance but are not necessarily expensive. 


A cocktail ring is generally considered vintage in style. It’s larger than most rings and can be made from orange quartz or other large stones. Cocktail rings frequently hold several smaller stones surrounding the center. The gemstones are made to glitter and attract attention in a formal setting.


Vintage brooches were also a popular form of jewelry that is now making a come-back. A brooch is a fancy, hinged pin that holds an ornamental jewel that can be worn on any clothing. Wearing a brooch is a way to make a classic outfit stand out while wearing whatever you want. To find a proper vintage brooch, the materials matter. Typical vintage jewelry includes quartz, gemstones, and gold-plated metal. 


Vintage style showcases an appreciation for the past. Even the 80s and 90s are now considered to be part of the fashion. To find authentic vintage items from over twenty years ago, understanding current brands is as important as knowing the item itself. Vintage colors, patterns, and styles were popular then and now. For a new twist with an old flare, it works well for both fashion and decor. 

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