Sunday, 1 July 2012

Vintage Vs. Vintage style - what's the difference?

''Vintage clothing is a generic term for new or second hand garments originating from a previous era.''

"Vintage style usually refers to clothing that imitates the style of a previous era.'' 

We all know there is a big difference between something being vintage and vintage styled. These days, you can walk into any shop on the high-street and find dozens of 'vintage inspired' pieces! Vintage clothing was once for a niche of fashion lovers, people wishing to recreate certain eras (the 20's always having been a big favourite!). However, in the last 5-10 years, sourcing vintage clothing has become undeniably mainstream and therefore everybody wants to be part of it. Buying a vintage flapper dress will set you back a much larger amount of money than an imitation from a place like Topshop. The good thing is, you know it will be in excellent condition because it is new but also to the untrained eye, will appear like a vintage one of a kind. My issue though, is with everyone buying into it, after a while you start to see everyone wearing that dress. I guess though, some could say it is the same as buying certain products from the high-street that are inspired by the latest designer catwalks. That same untrained eye will be unlikely to tell the difference between a Chanel quilted bag and your average high-street quilted bag. 

What really inspired me to discuss vintage fashion on my blog was my introduction to eBay yesterday. Yes, you heard right. A 19 year old fashion lover only just familiarising myself with the world of eBay seems crazy but the truth is, I was worried about having another place to over spend. After a few serious inner monologue discussions, I talked myself round. Whilst browsing I noticed that as I searched for vintage pieces, many of the items listed were actually vintage styled. They were from current shops and maybe only bought a few months back but came up with the real vintage pieces. 

For me, it isn't an issue. I buy into both. The shoes, sunnies and necklace in my photos are vintage style whereas the dress and scarf are real retro pieces (I was also wearing two vintage rings but stupidly didn't think to take a picture of them, partly because my tripod has broken!). I do think that certain things on the high-street don't work as vintage though. Creating something that looks new and old at the same time is admittedly tricky, but when done right is very effective. Therefore it is important to do it right, Topshop for example pull this off effortlessly. Others however end up with cheap looking products that don't quite fit into either category, therefore who is going to buy them? I am a big advocate of fashion being available to  everyone and I think the beauty of vintage is that you can pick up some amazing finds in charity shops because they probably weren't too expensive the first time around. Buying original couture dresses etc are unlikely to ever be within my reach because like a good wine, the older it gets, the more expensive it becomes. Even if I end up earning a nice wage, I cannot see it being something I could afford, or justify, splashing out on.

How do you feel about vintage inspired fashion? 
Which do you prefer to buy into and why? 
Which stores do you feel do it best?


ellie said...

When I read your post it made me think of the French Canadian film Heartbeats..and how one of the main character's style was genuine vintage.

Love your writing. Great photos too.

Jessica said...

Great topic! I actually love both, and I do try really hard to find something that is actually vintage because it will be more of a one of a kind piece! I will not buy marked up vintage pieces, though. There is a reason why I am buying "used"! -Jessica


Maiken said...

an interesting topic indeed!
when it comes to me, I always prefer thrifted vintage because the clothes in regular shops are mostly way too overpriced and I don't feel like spending my money on those (sales do help when I REALLY want something from a regular store ;) though usually I'm not a fan of vintage style goodies because I love the original ones the most :)

Maikeni blogi - part of me

RocknOla said...

i agree with you! i also read a lot of discussions when it comes to vintage photography. the hipstamatic app for iphone or instagram help us create pics which look like if they were taken with an analog cam. tehy look great of course but an analog cam has its own charm. but i prefer carrying a phone with me than an analog cam. plus: i can't put the pics from the cam on my computer. that's why i take them with my phone & edit them on my pc. same thing with the clothes: we have no vintage shops/second hand shops in our town (at least none which has my size!) and buying real vintage clothing through the internet always costs a lot. that's why i prefer buying imitations.

xo Ola

TheUrbanUmbrella said...

I like vintage style, I think it can be quite cute and sometimes it really suits the person sporting the look. My friend is very into that sort of retro look and she mixes real vintages with imitations and it looks really adorable on her.

The Urban Umbrella


Emmett Katherine said...

Interesting thoughts. I think the vintage style can look reall great, modcloth ans their bloggers is a company that does new vintage really well, because as you pointed out if it's not done rightthe clothes look off. I love finding genuine vintage, it's such a shame that with demand it's getting harder to find pieces at a decent price.