What is Considered Vintage Fashion?

What is Considered Vintage Fashion?

You probably came across the 'Vintage' or 'thrifting' trend on social media yet.

Alternatively, you have been to second hand clothing stores or charity shop that raise funds for their missions through selling vintage fashion.

But there is a distinction between vintage style (old-fashion look) or an item that in fact came from a different era in time, therefore considered as vintage.

What is Considered Vintage Fashion?

Unveiling the Vintage Charm: What Does "Vintage" Mean in Fashion?

Vintage clothing or other goods are attractive for various reasons, as found by McRobbie (1988), such may be a low buying price or silmoutaniously portrait an investment opportunity  (cited in Sarial-Abi et al., 2017). 

The same research article cited above also mentions additional motivations to buy vintage (fashion):

  • It enables individuals to show uniqueness & authenticity
  • Ability to express one's self
  • Appreciation of vintage goods

Other research findings arguing similarly are for example noted in the article 'Hooked on Vintage!' published by Marily Delong, Barbara Heinemann and Kathryn Reiley in 2005. This article also mentions the increased interest associated to vintage clothing and the ability to reflect someone's unique looks. 

Definition of Vintage

Vintage generally means an item that is used, and coming from an earlier point in time or defined by a past existing ownership (Sarial-Abi et al., 2017)

Vintage clothing, a generic term for garments from past eras (even as recent as the 1990s), can also refer to secondhand retail outlets specializing in these unique garments. Originating during World War I in response to textile shortages, the concept of vintage dressing has evolved to encompass thoughtfully mixing vintage garments with modern pieces. This can simply mean choosing vintage accessories, and creating ensembles that blend various styles and periods (Thaware and Kumar, 2022).

Vintage also stands as a symbol against overproduction and similar items available to the mass (Fischer, 2015).

Within the fashion world, "vintage" is distinct from terms like "historical," "antique," "second-hand," "consignment," "reused," and "resale" clothing (DeLong, Heinemann and Reiley, 2005).

A good should count as 'vintage' if it's design or production originates to a date going back twenty (20) years of the time assessing it's vintage status (Carey et al., 2018)


what is vintage fashion




Benefits of Vintage Fashion

By now, you should have a better understanding of what Vintage actually means and why it has an appeal to consumers.

Further, we will explore specifically the benefits around vintage fashion.


More Than Old Clothes: Uncovering the Benefits of Vintage Fashion

 A significant allure of vintage fashion is the opportunity to discover high-end name brands at remarkably low prices (Thaware and Kumar, 2022).

Sustainable Style: Embracing the Eco-friendly Choice

The fashion industry grew throughout the past few years. 

From 1.58 trillion USD market value worldwide in year 2018, the sector rose to 1.73 trillion USD in year 2023 (Statista, 2024).

However, the growth of the apparel market, or specifically fast fashion industry has also increased its negative impacts.


The Need for Reuse: A Direct Call for Vintage Fashion?

There are far more textiles in circulation due to the high demand. In regards to climate change, the fast fashion sector accounts for ten percent of greenhouse gas emissions generated around the globe. Although, animal-based farbics like wool may sound 'organic' and harmless, but are the cause of emissions and the pollution of water {...} (Center for Biological Diversity, 2024)

Besides the production of fashion raising environmental concerns, its disposal is another challenge. 

When it comes to waste statistics, the United States gets rid of more than 11,000,000 tonnes of garments every year (Bloomberg, 2022)

An online-commentary published by LSE, summs up additional factors setting out the need for sustainable practices in the fashion industry.

The previously mentioned resource also points to a paper that discusses global textile waste in other regions in the world. African country, Ghana, takes on around 15,000,000 tonnes of clothing waste every week (Tony Blair Institute, 2021).

Wondering where its coming from? We may guess...


Owning a Piece of History: Connecting with the Past

Moreover, vintage items hold appeal for consumers as they allow them to breathe new life into an object from a bygone era, forging a personal connection with its history (Campbell: 1987, cited in Sarial-Abi et al., 2017).

At this stage, we would like to ask our readers: Have you bought vintage fashion before?

Let us know if the comments of this blog page.


Embracing the Vintage Vibe: A Final Look

Dive into Your Vintage Journey: Explore Our Vintage Womenswear Collection Today.

Fashion Aftermath is an online Vintage Concept Store from the UK. 

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