Vintage Style FAQs

Feel free to scroll through the post to read all vintage style FAQs, or click any of the questions below to be taken immediately to the answer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is vintage?

What is the difference between “vintage” and “thrift”?

Is vintage clothing used?

What is antique?

Ebay vs. Etsy?

How do I know my vintage size?

How can I tell its vintage?

How can I style vintage clothing?

What were the fashion trends of the eras?

How can I dress like a vintage fashion icon?

Is it OK to wear vintage to my wedding?

 

What is vintage?

Vintage fashion is an article of clothing or accessory that’s 20 years of age or older. Technically anything made in 1992 or prior is considered vintage.

[Go back to the top.]

What is the difference between “vintage” and “thrift”?

There are many ways to acquire vintage, and “thrifting” is just one of those ways. Thrifting is the act of shopping at a thrift store, flea market or some other secondhand outlet. You can also “thrift” for modern pieces too.

Vintage relates to thrifting because you can find vintage at thrift stores but vintage can also be found in a multitude of other ways including vintage boutiques, online vintage stores, estate sales and collectors.

[Go back to the top.]

Is vintage clothing used?

Yes, for the most part but not always. While most vintage clothing was possessed from previous owners and therefore technically used/secondhand, there is a small market of what’s called “deadstock vintage,” which are pieces that have never been worn. Deadstock vintage is best identified with its original tags still attached to the garment itself.

[Go back to the top.]

What is antique?

Antique clothing and accessories are at least 100 years older, dating from approximately 1912 or earlier.

[Go back to the top.]

Ebay vs. Etsy?

Ebay is an online shopping marketplace for a variety of new and secondhand goods, including vintage clothing and accessories. Ebay sellers list vintage for either auction with a starting bid or as a “buy it now” price for immediate purchase.

Etsy is an online shopping marketplace with a focus on vintage and handmade goods. All listings are “buy it now” prices with no opportunity to purchase via auction.

Although these are the two largest, there are other sites that sell vintage. Read my post on Where to Buy Vintage for more information on shopping vintage online.

[Go back to the top.]

How do I know my vintage size?

Actually — you don’t. The reason you can’t have a concrete vintage size is that the sizing system has changed numerous times, so there is no one “set” size to use as reference when shopping vintage.

The best rule of thumb is to know your body’s measurements. For example, knowing your waist and bust size help determine whether a vintage dress will fit, especially when shopping for them online.

There are certain vintage clothing silhouettes best suited for modern body types. Read my post on wearing vintage for your size to learn more.

[Go back to the top.]

How can I tell its vintage?

There are many ways to tell whether an article of clothing is vintage; from material, shape and design to construction, care and labels.

For vintage newbies, I suggest learning about the key style differences between the eras to identify how trends evolved over time.

For more advanced vintage lovers, use the information in my favorite posts to help date your vintage clothing:

How to Know Your Clothing is Vintage; How to Date Vintage Clothing by Construction; 13 Tips for Identifying Vintage Clothing Labels & Tags.

Also, sites like the Vintage Fashion Guild and books on vintage fashion are also great resources to study the historical art of vintage style.

[Go back to the top.]

How can I style vintage clothing?

Wearing vintage clothing is just like wearing anything else in your wardrobe. It’s about infusing vintage into your lifestyle in a way that’s appealing and attractive for you.

To avoid looking like you’re wearing a costume or a piece of vintage that’s not on trend to modern styles, follow these inspiring and easy rules to matching vintage outfits.

Every modern girl can rock vintage style in her own unique way. Here are some ways to style key pieces of the decade in modern, flattering ways!

Ways to Wear 1920s: ’20s paisley turban

Ways to Wear 1950s’50s shirtwaist dress and 5 modern ways to wear 1950s style

Ways to Wear 1960s: ’60s polka dot dress

Ways to Wear 1980s: ’80s dresses’80s fishtail skirt’80s Greek Key blazer, ’80s bed jacket, ’80s bustier’80s Edwardian top

[Go back to the top.]

What were the fashion trends of the eras?

Understanding the key trends per era will help you to understand the history of fashion, which will help you to make stylish and smart choices for your modern wardrobe.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the decades in one place! It’s like a mini history lesson with modern vintage style inspiration.

1920s clothing was liberated and free with rising hemlines, dropped waists and relaxed styles for women.

1930s fashion is feminine, romantic and influenced by the Hollywood age.

1940s clothing were conservatively designed and inspired by men’s suiting, with less decoration and material to support the war

1950s clothing that a woman felt like a lady again thanks to Christian Dior’s “New Look” influences.

Then 1960s fashion declared mod fashion and the mini skirt officially in!

70s clothing established a plethora of trends wearable enough for today, especially ’70s dresses in an array of modern cuts, colors and fits. 1970s fashion trends changed how women dressed day-by-day and was arguably the most influential era for casual style.

’80s styles were a blend of  ’40s fashion influences and futuristic fun, like these ’80s dresses I loved modeling from Olive’s Very Vintage.

’90s fashion styles made a comeback on the runway recently and thanks to the 20-year rule, are quickly becoming vintage pieces! Here are 15 ways to wear ’90s fashion trends that you’ll never want to forget.

[Go back to the top.]

How can I dress like a vintage fashion icon?

When I need some fresh vintage style inspiration, I turn to the wardrobe choices of vintage celebrities like classic ‘n curvy Marilyn Monroe, ’70s fashion icons like Bianca Jagger and Diana Ross, vintage swimsuit models like Cheryl Tiegs and the colorful ’80s style as inspired by Madonna!

Checking out the editorial spreads of vintage magazines like these ’60s fashion pictures from McCall’s Magazine and photographs of vintage supermodels are other easy ways to draw style inspiration from the past.

[Go back to the top.]

Is it OK to wear vintage to a wedding?

Ab-so-lute-ly YES!

Many women incorporate vintage into the outfits worn on milestone events, like wearing vintage wedding dresses while reciting those vows! For just a touch of vintage, try wearing a vintage wedding veil on your Big Day.

If just attending a ceremony, wear a vintage dress appropriate for the event’s theme so that you can be a vintage stylin’ guest!

[Go back to the top.]

TEST TEST TEST