A Throwback to the History of Vintage Clothing

by Komail Noori on December 27, 2023

Each garment present in a vintage store carries a story. They let you feel you are in a time machine carrying you back to the past decades. Imagine a shimmery flapper dress, whispering the tales of the Charleston era or a tailored 1940s suit hanging with dignity, once worn over the gracing shoulders of a wartime hero. Hence, vintage clothing is more than just fashion, it is a tangible untold story.

In recent years, Vintage Clothing has made a comeback as people are tired of the ongoing trends of fast fashion leaving huge environmental impact. They are more inclined towards the past’s unique and sustainable pieces that beyond just being charming also opens a window into history.

When Did Vintage Clothing Starts?

Vintage Clothing isn’t something ordinary, but a cumulation of stories and whispers about the gone years. Each piece carries the marks of life. But have you ever wondered, when did this love for the old begun? The answer is just like a well worn sweater, tangled in layers!

It all started with individuals being more practical. Years before mass produced clothing (also called mass fashion) came in, each clothing piece was carefully and preciously made. These antique pieces with their faded fabrics and wools holds family history. The whisper of the wearer still lingers in each stitch. This bridges the gap between generations and gives the cherished pieces a new life.

Then eras came by, each leaving it’s own mark. From the Victorian to the era of world war I, clothes became scarce with style being more simplified and the flourishing of thrifting. A new purpose was found by the worn clothes with their imperfections being a symbol of resilience and resourcefulness.

And so, the story of vintage clothing continues. The magic of vintage isn’t just about how it looks but how it connects to the whispers of the past reminding us of that style never fades.

What era is Vintage?

Defining what vintage clothing isn’t  simple as dusting off a faded garment. To truly understand what constitute vintage clothing, let’s travel through some of the iconic decades:

  • The Roaring 20s

Flappers were seen dancing with the dropped waistlines and jazz infused freedom. This was ruled by Coco Chanel – the queen of 20’s fashion.

The Roaring 20s

  • The Fabulous 50s

The fifties were the era of poodle skirts with a pop of vibrant prints. It was seen in the Elvis leather jacket and Marlon Brando’s t shirt hinting at the cultural revolution rightly.

The Fabulous 50s

  • The Swinging 60s

The explosion of color and change was seen. Mod silhouettes with miniskirts and geometric patterns were the talk of town. It was seen with Andy Warhol’s pop art splash.

The Swinging 60s

Is 70s Vintage or Retro?

Have you ever wondered while looking at ripped jeans “Are they vintage or just a passing trend?”. To answer this question, we need to understand that Vintage isn’t a fixed thing. They were the clothes older than 20 years but today they are more like a  flowing scarf draping itself over the bolder fierier outfits like those from the 70s. It has a lot to do with the crazy styles originated during that decade.

The 70s weren’t just about anything ordinary but was a free for all fashion party where anyone can dress up to rock their own world. For instance, the punk rockers in ripped leather jackets or the grunge kids in the pacific northwest. But with all these styles, the 70s era holds a unique vintage charm. The hippie spirit lies in the flowing maxi dresses and the earthy corduroy jackets. The symbol of women liberation was being titled to the Jumpsuits.

So, is 70s vintage or retro? The answer depends on who you ask. If you have been through it, they are probably linked to your memories making them vintage. However, for the younger folks, they are some cool antique finds that are worn as a retro trend.

Why is Vintage Clothing Unique?

Vintage clothing is unique not just in this sense that they are some cool second hand finds but also excellent craftsmanship and a canvas for expressing individuality. But the journey doesn’t end here, here’s how you can keep the vintage vibe keep rolling:

  • Discover some hidden pieces amongst the pile at your nearest vintage store and give them a second chance to shine.
  • Research about the designers, and the different vintage era’s that you can rock on.
  • Share your experience with others, inspiring them to embrace their individuality.

Far above with just being trend, vintage clothing gives secondhand clothing a new life. This helps in the reduction of environmental footprint and represent a conscious choice against the water waste, toxic dyes and tons of textile waste. Every vintage cloth purchased is counted as a vote towards sustainability and ethics in fashion.

Long Story Short…

Phew! With all that being said, we have reached the end on our time machine ride of vintage fashion and what a trip it was. Each vintage era is like a different chapter speaking of a gripping story. This love for the vintage clothing can be your start towards an adventure filled with excitement and thrill.

Confidently rock your vibes and inspire others to embrace the sustainable pieces as Coco Chanel once said – Fashion fades but style remains true” and the good thing about vintage style is that it never truly fades.