What is vintage?

First of all I should introduce myself, Hi I’m Rachael a vintage enthusiast and in 2013 I turned my dream into a reality and opened The Yesterday Society a vintage boutique in Newcastle’s historic Grainger Market https://www.graingermarket.org/ . If you want to know more about me check out https://theyesterdaysociety.co.uk/new-year-new-me/  

So, this is something that gets asked a lot when I tell people what I do, I will do my best to clear up what vintage means to me . Vintage was first used to describe wine referring to the time of harvest, but before you crack open the Rioja let’s move onto another of my passion’s clothes.

When are vintage clothes from?

In short vintage clothing is described as clothing from a previous era,  the consensus, and a rule we follow is anything from the 1920’s to a 20-year age gap from current day (1999) is classed as vintage. It is important to note that this is very fluid and, as I found out when writing my dissertation on vintage clothing, everyone has their own opinion.  Clothing produced before the 1920’s while being incredibly rare and hard to find due to its age, tends to be considered as antique clothing.

What about retro?

Some people also use the term retro to describe vintage clothing from the more recent end of the vintage time frame, usually from the 1960s onwards. This can get confusing a retro can also be used to describe reproduction items (retro repro)  that are made in current times but to styles from the past.

Are vintage clothes the same as second hand clothes?

To be vintage the item should reflect the iconic fashions of its time period and be desired in the vintage world. Due to its age most, vintage clothing is second hand and has been worn previously but some new/old stock can exist. However, it is important to note a distinction most vintage clothes are second hand but not all second-hand clothes are vintage.  As mentioned earlier to be vintage the item must be from the past and should reflect the iconic fashions of its time period, the item should also be desired in the vintage market .

What are the styles of each era?

I now intend to look at each decade in turn 1920s- 1990s and look at the prominent styles and fashions of each.

I hope you enjoyed reading this I would love to hear what vintage means to you and what are your favourite eras and styles.


Rach xxx

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