The fashion-led purchase of second-hand clothing informs the current "vintage clothing" industry. A multitude of "vintage clothing" retailers provide "pre-filtering" of fashion items. Generally, items thirty years or older qualify to be termed "vintage". This definition is debatable -- in recent years, concurrent with a growing popularity of "green fashion", vintage "reproductions", and "vintage" clothing, a new usage has appeared: that of naming a contemporary designer's previous season's collections (perhaps less than five years old) as "vintage".
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A term frequently interchanged with "vintage" is "retro". But, in essence, retro refers to clothing, of any generation, being made in the style of a previous era -- as in the 50's-inspired clothing of the mid-80's or the 30's-styled clothing produced in the early 1970's. Every decade experiences retro-styled resurgences which flavor the work of its contemporary designers.
Vintage "repro" are reproductions of authentic vintage pieces. These reproductions are copies, line by line, of specific vintage wear -- only the workmanship and textiles are modern, although some repro retailers also insist on using vintage fabrics. The repro industry has grown to meet the need of consumers for iconic vintage looks, such as bias-cut swing dresses from the WWII or the fifties' shelf-bust party dress design.
Why the desire for vintage goods?
One can ask -- why does a consumer choose to wear vintage, or older, used clothing?
One answer might be that the quality of workmanship, tailoring and textile-design which is present in older clothing is frequently much higher than that in mass-produced and affordable lines of contemporary clothing. Vintage fabrics can contain obsolete dyes and distinctive colorations, intricate weaves and novel patterns, as well as high production values. If one searches, one can find attainable, high-end vintage clothing with craftmanship close to that seen in modern couture.
Vintage news & articles
- Lily Allen Stocking New Vintage Clothing Store from Her Own Closet
- ‘Mad Men’ Costume Designer on Vintage Inspirations
- Livia Giuggioli Firth - Why I Wore An 'Upcycled' Dress To The Oscars
Vintage Clothing Retailers
- Rokit - Vintage clothing retailer with three London stores and online secure shopping service.
- Marthas Closet
- Candy Says 
- Blue17 - Blue17 Vintage clothing London based vintage clothing store with vast range of clothes from 1900's to 1990's.
- My Vintage Vintage Clothing
- Beyond Retro
- Deadly Vintage - Vintage Clothing Website Provides an eclectic collection of vintage clothing ranging from the teens to the eighties.
1. VFG - Vintage Fashion Guild association of vintage retailers offer an extensive collection of vintage fashion resources
2. Vin*fashindex - vintage-related link database on-line shop with a large vintage fashion directory & search engine
3. La Couturiere Parisienne - costume-related resource History of fashion from the high Renaissance to the Golden Twenties
4. Fashion-Era - fashion history an image-rich resource on fashion & social history