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Vintage vs Retro

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The Difference Between Vintage and Retro

A vintage item is made with a completely outmoded design. A retro item is made during the modern year with a mixture of modern and traditional styles. Vintage is completely old and classical, while retro is a combination of classical and modern style. Vintage is extremely sought after and the demand for it constantly is increasing all the time.

I will share my opinion on these two fashion statements below and then you be the judge!

Here's an example

A vintage product is a product made with a complete outmoded design. A retro product is a product that is manufactured during the modern year with a combination of modern and old fashion style. I would say that vintage is something that is totally old and classical, while retro is a mixture of latest and classical style.

I prefer something that is vintage rather than retro because it seems more original

— Just My Opinion

Side By Side - Can you tell the difference between the two styles

In today's modern world, it's hard to find a town that does not have a vintage clothes shop. Years ago, people thought that vintage was only for the poor. Wearing second hand clothes was something that meant a person was poor and couldn't afford anything new, clothes were passed down from family to family.

Nobody wanted to wear hand me down's, but they didn't have the money to say no.

Compare The Two - Vintage design or Retro design

Vintage clothing has taken a few tumbles on the way to gaining respect. However, many famous people are eager to buy something vintage and beautiful. As soon as Kate Moss wore her Twenties flapper dress, Topshop followed suit and started selling these dresses. Vintage megastore Beyond Retro in East London quickly became a place where hippies would hangout. Everything from T-shirts and tea sets, it soon spiraled into a label that sold anything that was second-hand. However, the pendulum has once again swung back and vintage is in again. In fact, there is so much demand for it, that shops are finding it difficult to source this demand.

Take a look at two different style dress's below. You can see the the vintage dress is designed fully with 1980s style. The color, shape and the design of the retro dress gives you a mixture taste of old fashioned and modern style.

Vintage Style Dresses

Vintage dresses are chic and elegant with their own flare

I like the look and style of the vintage dress, it has an elegant but classy look about it. This style was back in my mother's era and she has said that the pencil wiggle dress was the most popular back then.

Vintage Auctions - See what's being auctioned off today on eBay

Most charity shops price vintage clothes much higher than non-clothing cast-offs. It is even difficult to find genuine vintage clothes on Ebay. There is an increasing demand for vintage clothing and this has surmounted in higher prices for raw goods. Many buyers visit Britain to buy vintage in bulk. Everyone is after vintage fashions nowadays and it is becoming much more difficult to find vintage designs in charity shops.

When trying to find anything regardless if it's clothing or not I find that eBay sometimes has the selection. People from around the world have either hung onto their things or maybe even inherited them from their parents.

Retro Style Dresses

A retro dress comes in many styles

When taken literally, retro is defined as a style of the past. The fashion world has taken a look at the clothing of the past to produce the latest styles. Furthermore, retro has become a crucial part of a woman's wardrobe; not just for fashion conscious individuals, but also for everyone. Designs come from the 1960s to the 1980s.

There was one time when superhero t-shirts would have only been seen on students; today, retro t-shirts are the latest fashion. People of all ages are proud to show off their favorite superhero t-shirt.

I remember wearing the maxi dress as a teenager, these were the most comfortable dresses and they always kept us cool on those long hot summer days.

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Designs An Increasing Demand

There are ways to get what you want

When buying a vintage dress, customers want to have the same comfort as they would expect on the high street. Most people pay more for a vintage dress than they would on the high street.

Nobody wants to get their hands dirty searching for second hand bargains. Spending a whole day searching for vintage bargains is not something that most people enjoy. It is difficult to find a second hand gem that has been forgotten about. That's why there are shops that search on the customers behalf. However, there are some people who just won't wear cast-offs, no matter how good their condition is.

Not to worry, there is vintage inspiration for people who don't want to wear second hand clothing. Designer labels base their fashion on vintage designs. Chloé's, Miu Miu's and Louis Vuitton have all designed their own vintage designs. These clothes are not entirely vintage, they are modeled on the vintage design. Otherwise known as retro.

The majority of high street fashion shops are taking advantage of this great demand. Online retailers are also making the most of this fashion. Popular 80's retro trend is taking the world by storm. Many people wear this fashion for trend purposes and not because there is any nostalgia attached.

The great thing with retro fashion is that manufacturers can keep the costs low. The main requirement for retro t-shirts are a printed design. Finding the right design if the key to success. For customers, the main cost of a retro t-shirt compared to a designer t-shirt, can be very minimal.

Many vintage stores buy directly from charity shops or organizations. They recycle old clothing and give it a new design that is both exciting and enchanting. Many women are getting married in vintage wedding dresses, in fact vintage fashions are comprised of garments, accessories and footwear.

Retro And Vintage - Visit these sites to see more retro vs vintage

  • Retro To Go: Women's Fashion
    From fashion, technology and design to film, TV, architecture and exhibitions - what's hip and cool in the retro world.

"What Exactly Is Vintage and Retro?" Do You Have A Clear Definition?

marie-churchman on April 12, 2014:

Interesting and such pretty dresses!

CraftyJewels on April 27, 2013:

retro for me. nice lens

Shelly Sellers from Midwest U.S.A. on April 22, 2013:

Got the difference between vintage and retro! I love both in fashion accessories!

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on April 21, 2013:

Okay you hauled me way back in time and I am almost ashamed to admit that I remember these vintage retro article lol. Fantastic article as is always your style.

worldflashpacker on March 08, 2013:

Vintage 4 me. Great lens.

rawwwwwws lm on October 08, 2012:

By the way, awesome lens. BLESSED!

rawwwwwws lm on October 08, 2012:

Retro is going back to fashion. Vintage is old lol.

AlleyCatLane on September 28, 2012:

No, I still don't get it. Vintage is something at least 20 years old, not new made to look old. Retro to me is something from the 50s -90s.

BestRatedStuff on September 12, 2012:

You made the distinction clear. Got it at last!

mistersquidoo_here on August 10, 2012:

now i know what is the different between vintage and retro

JoshK47 on August 10, 2012:

Popping back in to bless this lens! :)

Ashly Rain on August 01, 2012:

Well defined. Nice job.

aquarian_insight on July 10, 2012:

Thanks to you, now we know!

susieque2 on July 07, 2012:

Vintage actually has some age to it. Retro is a look modern look alike.

mumsgather on June 18, 2012:

I now have a clear definition, all thanks to you. :)

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 17, 2012:

Thanks for making this clear.

sherioz on June 17, 2012:

Interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing.

Joan Haines on June 17, 2012:

I think of retro as being close to the old style, but with a modern twist. Vintage is actually the old product or design.

Chazz from New York on June 03, 2012:

What about us guys? My brother-in-law collects vintage Hawaiin shirts. One friend collects Victorian tophats and another collects risque vintage ties. Why not include some retro/vintage men's items?

BarbaraCasey on June 01, 2012:

1980s sounds quite new to be called "vintage." Ack! That would make me an antique.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on May 26, 2012:

In my mind, I think of retro as a new product that is made to look like something from an earlier era, usually the 1940s, 50s, or more recent.

With vintage, I think of very old, original items like an old oaken bucket or vintage-style to mean a replica of something older than the 1940s.

SianaL on May 26, 2012:

Great lens!

JohnMichael2 on May 26, 2012:

thanks for the info

inspirationz on May 25, 2012:

I always wondered what the difference between vintage and retro were! Thank you for explaining :)

JackieSonia on May 23, 2012:

Both are gorgeous. I love the 1950's retro dress the best. Good lens.

Shivani09 LM on May 23, 2012:

I love vintage :) I made a vintage inspired footwear collection

aishu19 on May 13, 2012:

Vintage or Retro.. I think these are gorgeous

Frischy from Kentucky, USA on May 13, 2012:

I think you are saying that vintage is classic and original, and retro is a reproduction with a twist. I am still confused though. lol

getmoreinfo on May 13, 2012:

I have always had a fondness for vintage things from the clothes to the hairstyles.

productsandreviews on May 09, 2012:

I vote for vintage!

aurora7 on May 06, 2012:

Nice explanation of vintage and retro.

poppy mercer from London on April 30, 2012:

Love the vintage spotty dresses.

Todosobremoda on April 12, 2012:

Vintage, of course!! :) And good job. It's very nice your content. We enjoy so much with your lens, thanks!!

Karnel (author) from Lower Mainland of BC on April 06, 2012:

@Titia: Titia I just checked and it's not set as closed, not sure why you couldn't leave a comment...

Titia Geertman from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands on April 06, 2012:

Lovely lens. Is your debate closed? I couldn't comment on that.

gypsyman27 lm on March 20, 2012:

I enjoyed this page, I like to look at fashion articles and pieces. I am something of a clothes horse so, I guess it goes along with that. See you around the galaxy...

Celticep from North Wales, UK on March 19, 2012:

Enjoyed weighing up the pros and cons of vintage v retro! Fun lens, thank you!

anonymous on March 07, 2012:

What fun article, and I love all of the fashions. :)

mirrorball lm on March 06, 2012:

I had look through your lens, saw the polka dresses and thought I've got to get one of those ... perfect for the summer!!!

I like retro dresses and clothes in general but when it comes to lingerie then it's vintage all the way for me!! I particularly like how I feel when I wear it under my normal office clothes. If you're interested, I'd love to know your views on my vintage lingerie lens.

AJ from Australia on March 05, 2012:

I loved your lens and clear distinction between vintage and retro.

Teri Villars from Phoenix, Arizona on March 04, 2012:

Interesting and didn't realize...other overused words are "rare" and "scarce". Blessed.

Pam Irie from Land of Aloha on March 04, 2012:

I LOVE all the polka dot dresses on this page. :)

allenwebstarme on February 23, 2012:

Fantastic lens I didn't notice this different between Vintage and Retro, I always thought both are same.

SecondHandJoe LM on February 21, 2012:

I sell vintage stuff and prefer it to 'retro'. Nice lens, I enjoyed it.

cbessa on July 29, 2011:

Good to have this info in here. I've been telling people about the difference between one and the other (beucase it's not just different words, they are different concepts) but there are to much misunderstanding yet

JoshK47 on July 09, 2011:

I love both - old school design is fantastic, in my opinion! So is your lens! :)

Vicki from USA on July 04, 2011:

Great explanation of vintage versus retro! After shedding a few more pounds, I WILL be wearing that red and white polka-dotted dress!! I am going to put a link to this lens on my Retro Loco lens if that is alright. I am also looking at your Wizzley and Amplify accounts, and I will sign up using your links. ;-)

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