What Is Vintage Clothing - Definition, History, Origin, Popular Era’s, and Where To Buy?

by Komail Noori on June 07, 2024

As there is continuous evolution in the world of fashion, vintage clothing has emerged as a trendy choice, offering people a delightful way to reconnect with the past and express individuality. The nostalgia they bring is proudly embraced by many since everyone feels honored wearing them.

However, many of us are unfamiliar with the true historical background of vintage clothing. For instance, where the word came from, popular examples by era, where to find authentic vintage pieces, and remaining unaware that all this is not a thing to joke about.

To address this issue and provide a detailed historical context on this topic, this article is written!

Vintage Clothing Definition – Meaning                 

Defining vintage clothing involves more than simply categorizing it by age. The term “Vintage Clothing” is informal, which translates to” any kind of old-fashioned clothing”. However, from one point of view, it means “clothes made between 20–100 years” ago, reflecting the styles and trends of their corresponding eras. It encompasses the idea of garments that possess the quality of timelessness and do not conform to any particular era or trend but rather bring back memories when worn.

One thing to note is that the term “vintage” is often used interchangeably with “antique” and “retro”. However, understanding that the three terms have different meanings and should always be used in their correct context is important. You can visit our blog “Retro vs Vintage vs Antique” to know more about it.

Define Vintage Fashion

Vintage fashion can be explained in terms of slow fashion or sustainable fashion - the exact opposite of fast fashion (in which clothing pieces are produced in bulk but do not comply with the environmental standards of ethical textile production.)

As a part of the environmental sustainability and sustainable fashion movement, vintage fashion is of particular importance among people interested in ethical clothing purchases, which have been the talk of the town owing to the increased media coverage on environmental issues. In 2020, the term vintage fashion alone was researched almost 35k times, showing the demand and interest people have for ethical fashion.

How Old Is Vintage Clothing - History And Origin

It is important to know about the history and origin of vintage clothing as it helps understand why it is in so much demand today. 

Vintage fashion or vintage clothing originated in the early 20th century. However, it gained a lot of popularity in the 1960s and 1970s when certain styles were embraced by popular celebrities and media influencers of that time. Mathew Adams was the first man to use the term “vintage” in 1997, but he used it along with vintage fashion and vintage clothing. 

It was in the early 2000s that celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Renée Zellweger made vintage clothing more prominent by wearing these classical and timeless pieces on the red carpet. To this day, vintage fashion and vintage clothing have been the part of leading fashion and lifestyle magazines, with their popularity continuously increasing due to media and pop culture influences.

Examples Of Vintage Clothing - Era By Era

Fashion designers often look in the past to find some style inspirations and for that reason, vintage inspired style always remain in the limelight. Vintage inspired style is not limited to one particular era or style. Instead, it encompasses a broad range of influences, enabling designers to create collections that represent  the best of various periods.

1. Roaring 20s – The 1920 Vintage Fashion

The Most popular pieces were Vintage flapper dresses, vintage beaded gowns, and vintage headpieces.

2. Dirty 30s – The 1930 Vintage Fashion

The Most popular pieces were vintage wide leg trousers, vintage double breasted coats, and vintage cut gowns.

3. Fighting 40s – The 1940 Vintage Fashion

The Most popular pieces were vintage trench coats, Vintage plaid skirts, and vintage coveralls.

4. Fabolous 50s – The 1950 Vintage Fashion

The Most popular pieces were vintage high waist pants, vintage poodle skirts, and vintage shirtwaist dresses.

5. Swinging 60s - The 1960 Vintage Fashion

The Most popular pieces were vintage mini skirts, vintage shift dresses, and vintage flowing tops.

6. Groovy 70s - The 1970 Vintage Fashion

The Most popular pieces were vintage bell bottoms, vintage psychedelic print t-shirts, and vintage sequin dresses.

7. Blod 80s - The 1980 Vintage Fashion

The Most popular pieces were vintage sweaters, vintage blazers, and vintage acid wash denim.

Where To Buy Authentic Vintage Clothing

You can trust Creed Vintage, a wholesale supplier of vintage clothing, reworked clothing, and Y2K clothing based in the USA. As a sustainable business, providing high-quality and environmentally friendly vintage clothing pieces to our customers is our goal. We understand the importance of sustainability and work on its principles to minimize the carbon footprint. Every year, millions of pounds of high-quality vintage clothing pieces are sold by us to retailers, designers, and startups who are new to the vintage clothing market.

We have a wide selection to choose from which includes vintage clothing, vintage accessories, and bags, all of them available at a discounted wholesale price. You can take a look at our Vintage Collection to shop for your favorite pieces or can also book a Handpicked Appointment for some personalized piece of advice.