What Is Vintage Clothing?

Vintage is a word that has been around since the 1920s. But what exactly does it mean?

And how do you know whether something qualifies as vintage? A look into the history of the term reveals some interesting tidbits about the evolution of style.

What Is Vintage Clothing

The first known use of the term “vintage” dates back to 1922, according to Merriam-Webster.com. At that time, the word meant “of or relating to a particular age group,” and was frequently applied to automobiles, furniture, and other objects.

In the 1940s, the term began to refer specifically to clothes, particularly women’s dresses. This trend continued throughout the 1950s, when the term became popular among consumers looking for unique pieces.

By the 1960s, the term had evolved again, referring to clothing styles rather than just age groups. By the 1970s, the term was associated almost exclusively with men’s suits.

In recent decades, the meaning of the term has changed once again. Today, the term refers to anything over 40 years old.

While there are still plenty of people who wear items that fit this description, the term is most commonly attached to clothing and accessories. 


The term “vintage” describes clothes made prior to World War II. They tend to look old-fashioned and worn out. However, vintage pieces are usually well-loved and sought after.

“Retro” refers to clothing made during the 1940s and 1950s. These garments are typically stylish, colorful, and fun.

“Antique” refers to clothing made before the 1900s. These styles are usually  very rare and expensive.

Why Is It Popular?

Vintage clothing is now considered trendy among millennials and Gen Zers. In fact, the number of people wearing vintage clothing has increased over the past few years.

The appeal of vintage clothing lies in its uniqueness and elegance. Vintage clothing is usually well preserved because it was never mass produced. As a result, you are guaranteed to find something special in a vintage store.

Vintage clothing is often associated with the hippest trends, especially in the realm of music and art. However, there are also some practical reasons why vintage clothing is so fashionable.

For example, vintage clothing tends to fit well and look good on anyone. Unlike certain  modern trends you don’t have to worry about whether or not your body type matches the style as it suits all shapes and sizes. 

In addition, vintage clothing is easy to wear. Unlike modern clothing, vintage items tend to be timeless. They are classic, comfortable, and affordable.

Plus, vintage clothing looks great on everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, size, and shape.

Although most people associate vintage clothing with the 1960s and 1970s, as we have seen it has been around for much longer.  Some believe that the popularity of vintage clothing began during World War II.

During that period, women wore dresses and men wore suits. Afterward, both sexes adopted casual outfits.


As mentioned earlier, vintage clothing can be expensive. But, if you buy second hand, you can save money while getting exactly what you want. If you buy vintage clothing online, you’ll have more choices. 

Where To Buy In Store 

Second hand vintage clothing is a great way to spice up your looks without spending tons of money.

There are many ways to buy vintage clothing online, including eBay, Etsy, Amazon, and others. However, there are some things to keep in mind before buying anything.

First, it’s important to know where to look for vintage clothing. Most vintage clothing stores are located in urban areas like New York City, San Francisco etc. 

Next, make sure you understand how to properly care for vintage clothing.Some clothing will need to be dry cleaned so bear this in mind when purchasing. 

Finally, determine whether you prefer purchasing used or brand new.

As mentioned earlier second hand  clothing is often less expensive, but it can also come with unknown issues. Brand new clothing is always preferable because you’re guaranteed quality.

What Is Vintage Clothing (1)

Where To Buy Online 

If you decide you love wearing trendy vintage clothing, it might be worth checking out some of the best places to buy vintage clothing online.

Here are 10 great online stores that offer a huge variety of vintage clothing. You’ll find a lot of different styles here to suit any style choice. 

1. Poshmark

Poshmark is a modern fashion marketplace that allows people to buy and sell used designer items. They’ve got tons of vintage stylish pieces for sale, and most of the sellers are women.

There are lots of options for men too, but mostly there are lots of dresses, skirts, and blouses.

2. Thredup

Thredup is a site that specializes in selling second hand designer clothing. They’re especially good for finding really nice pieces that aren’t expensive. Their selection changes every day, so check back often.

3. Rue La La

Rue La La is similar to Poshmark in that it offers a large selection of pre owned designer clothing. It has a more curated selection than Poshmark though, which makes it easier to find certain types of clothing.

4. Vestiaire Collective

Vestiaire Collective is a popular online store for vintage clothing. They carry both men’s and women’s clothing, and all of the items are first-quality. They even have a few unique items like vintage jewelry and handbags.

5. Fashion Nova

Fashion Nova is another great place to buy vintage clothing if you’re looking for fashionable yet affordable finds. They carry a wide range of clothing, from casual to formal. All of the items are well made and very reasonably priced.

Buying Tips

So how do you know what is authentic and what isn’t?  Think about the following things before purchasing a vintage item. 

  • Look for the label
  • Check out the stitching
  • Examine the fabric
  • Consider the cut
  • Think about where the piece came from
  • Ask questions


Vintage clothing is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to add a little bit of style to their wardrobe. Whether you’re looking for something special for yourself or someone else, these sites will help you find exactly what you need.

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