Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Retro and Vintage

Retro vsVintage

“Retro” and “vintage” are two descriptive labels for styles and clothing. In addition, these two words can be applied to other designed objects. In terms of clothing and fashion, a “vintage” item is a piece of clothing that is made during the period of the 1920’s to 1980’s.

Vintage clothing echoes the style that was popular during that extensive period. The word can refer to the pattern, style, and age of the said object or clothing. Vintage clothing or objects use old patterns and old materials. Clothing is considered vintage if the style and material used are 20 – 75 years old compared to the current fashion trends. However, even some people continue to wear vintage clothing as an expression of fashion as a way to recycle clothes and save money.

Vintage is closely related to antiques where an object has to be 100 years or older to be considered as such. Vintage clothing is usually formal or classy clothing. Some of the vintage styles or designs have evolved through time and the clothing necessities of the people.

Most vintage clothing includes dresses and have some key features that make them stand out from other trends. Vintage clothing styles are full of details like lapels, appliques, or designs. They also have very modest or full cuts and lengths compared to modern clothing. Vintage clothes also have smaller proportions. The construction of vintage clothes is also different from other clothes.

Vintage clothing is regarded as original and authentic in terms of inspiration and design.
“Vintage” is a word that was first used in reference to a wine’s age. In addition, the word is also used to refer to secondhand clothing. The word is Middle English which is probably derived from Anglo-French “vendage” or “vendenge,” from Latin “vindemia.” It was first used in the 15th century. “Vintage,” as a term can function as a noun and an adjective.

One common term associated with vintage is retro. Retro is a type of style or design that refers to previous fashion trends, particularly the vintage style. It is also known as “vintage inspired” or “vintage look.” “Retro” is different from “vintage” with respect to appearances and material. Retro clothing has an updated and more polished look. It means that retro clothes are made with an old style or design but with new or contemporary materials.
Retro is mostly borrowed, reproduced or imitated designs.

This embodies the spirit of retro, a shortened word of “retrospective” or “retrospection.” The word’s origin is from the Latin word “retrospectus” which means “backwards.” In terms of age, retro clothing is newer. The word is also used as a term to describe 1960-1970 street clothing.

Summary:

  1. Both “vintage” and “retro” are terms to describe a particular style of clothing or designed items. In terms of definitions, both terms usually overlap each other in terms of practical usage or personal opinion.
  2. Vintage clothing is clothing produced and designed in the style or during the 1920-80’s. Materials and producers in making vintage clothing are old. Retro clothing mimics the style of vintage clothing with new materials. Also, a retro style has a more polished and contemporary look.
  3. “Vintage” usually refers to the age, construction, pattern, or style. Meanwhile, “retro” only deals with the appearance of the clothing in mostly the style or pattern.
  4. Vintage clothing is authentic clothing while retro clothes are reproduced material or imitated. Since the style is almost similar, vintage and retro designs are almost the same.
  5. “Vintage” is a word commonly associated with wine and secondhand clothing. On the other hand, “retro” can also be an application to any revival or comeback trend.
  6. Both “vintage” and “retro” function as nouns and adjectives. Both also have Latin origins.

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