Vintage vs. Retro

What is the difference between ‘vintage’ and ‘retro’?

For a long time I secretly didn’t know the difference between vintage and retro. I actually thought they were one and the same thing and I’m pretty sure I used them in a sentence at one point. Oops.

Now I am much much wiser; so wise that I feel I can teach you what the difference is.

What does vintage mean?

You may call ‘vintage’ anything that is older than 20 years (that includes me). So, if in 2014 you’ve found a really nice dress from 1995, it would be wrong to call it ‘vintage’. That dress, unfortunately, only qualifies as ‘old’. But keep it in your wardrobe for a year and you’re suddenly classy and sophisticated. But only if you wash it.

Vintage

Vintage

What does retro mean?

Retro is something that imitates a style from the past. Like the recent flatforms, or the statement/slogan T-shirts imitating 90s and 80s fashion. Some people say vintage can be retro, but retro can never be vintage. But I think there’s an exception.

Imagine looking at an old picture of your grandma in the 40s and she’s wearing a low-hem skirt imitating 20s fashion. If you currently own that skirt, that means the skirt is vintage but it was also once retro. 

Retro

Retro

Use them in a sentence

If you find the above confusing, here are a few examples of sentences you could use to show that you know the difference between vintage and retro:

1. ‘Vintage means older than 20 years old, retro just means something that imitates a style from the past’ – This sentence will really prove that you know the difference.

2. Let’s go to Topshop! I want to get that 70s retro dress.

3. I was really disappointed with that vintage market. Most things were from the Noughties.

Hope this helped you understand all you need to know about vintage and retro. If I missed anything, please let me know in the comment section.

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Fashion in the Eighties

Why I love the 80s

I could talk so much about the ’80s and still not cover how exciting a time that was for fashion. The ’80s are the most daring and experimental fashion era in my opinion, possibly more so than the Sixties.

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Fingerless gloves, miniskirts, leggings, leg warmers, high waist jeans, the headband, acid wash jeans and denim jackets are all part of the daring ’80s fashion decade; The bright, heavy make-up, shoulder pads and neon leg warmers are just a few examples of how bold people used to be with their outfits.

Statement/Slogan T-shirts

One very important item of clothing in the ‘80s was the statement T-shirt. The most popular statement T-shirts revolved around social or political causes but eventually became means of expressing any type of message:

  

Shoulder pads

Another iconic feature of the 80’s (along with the wild haircuts and neon everything) were the shoulder pads. The eighties were definitely not the first decade the shoulder pads were popular. As mentioned in my previous post (Fashion in the Fourties and Fifties) shoulder pads had been around long before the 80s.

When I think of 80s shoulder pads I can’t help but talk about the denim and leather oversized jackets. Here are a few of my favourites:

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The Loud, Slouchy Jumper

Who doesn’t recognise the iconic ‘80s loud (often neon) oversized jumper, worn over a mini skirt or a pair of leggings.

80s

Speaking of leggings, the shiny leggings were another popular piece of clothing, as illustrated below by teenage boys and Madonna:

Needless to add, I absolutely love the 80s – especially fashion, music and movies. What’s your favourite thing about the Eighties?