Vintage and retro clothing are often confused, but vintage refers to items that were made between 20 and 100 years ago, while retro clothing refers to items created to look as though they are from another period. Both are commonly found in many vintage clothing stores or online. There are unique benefits to owning both types, so choosing between the two usually is at the discretion of each consumer.
Both vintage and retro clothing allow people to wear fashions that were popular during various decades of the past. Vintage items are authentic, meaning that they actually come from another period. Retro clothing also allows for the benefits of wearing clothes from another era, but they are made using modern fabrics and they may have a modern "spin" on them which combines elements of vintage and current fashions. When choosing between vintage and retro clothing, there are various factors consumers should consider.
There are several benefits to buying authentic vintage items. They are often made from more durable fabrics, and they have more character than modern items. It is also hard to recreate certain aspects of very old items, so a truly authentic look is often only attainable through finding real vintage clothing. Vintage pieces can also be inexpensive for those who know what they are looking for, since many vintage items wind up in thrift shops.
Downsides to buying true vintage clothing include the fact that many items will be faded, stained, or otherwise damaged. It can also be hard to find specific items when digging through thrift store racks, and buying from a vintage boutique or specialty retailer can be expensive. Sizes are also different in vintage clothing, so shoppers will likely need to know their exact measurements when shopping online. When buying vintage, it is often best to buy from a local retailer so items can be tried on prior to purchase.
There are additional factors to consider when choosing between vintage and retro clothing. Retro items may be more expensive than thrift store prices, but they are often less expensive than vintage items found in pricier boutiques. They can have a unique look to them when modern and vintage elements are combined. Additionally, some retailers provide custom made retro clothing for consumers so the appearance, size, and fabrics can be tailored to each person's needs.
Many retailers sell both vintage and retro clothing in the same location. This allows consumers to have even more options when looking for a unique item. Many times these shops also offer clothing design and creation.