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So… to kick off this little blog, I thought it would be interesting to define these two concepts, vintage and retro, which are often mistaken and whilst being close companions are certainly not the same thing.
I might add I am particularly drawn to all things vintage and not so much all things retro.
So the definition of retro is “looking like or relating to styles or fashions from the past”. Essentially taking something from the past and using it as inspiration (sometimes downwright copying) to create something new. So a retro dress for instance would be new made but styled on 50s, 60s, 70s…. dresses.
Vintage on the other hand is an adjective used to describe something “of high quality and lasting value or showing the best and most typical chracteristics of a particular type of thing, especially from the past” It is also used to describe the wine made in a particular year or a particular year in which wine has been made.
When on the subject of clothing, items are generally considered vintage when they are over 20 years of age. This is not so much a written rule as a general consensus. When on the subject of cars, a vintage car is one built before 1930. So the exact age of a vintage item can vary considerably but one thing is clear and that is that it can never be of contemporary fabrication.
The fact that something can be vintage and “new” as in never used can lead to confusion. We can find vintage jeans which have never been worn and which still have their original labels, deadstock jeans and they are correctly labeled “vintage” as the term refers to when an item was made and not it’s condition.
And although at Mima & Boo we like retro, we are passionate about vintage. We specifically like to mix and match vintage items of clothing to create current trend outfits with an original twist.
Do you prefer your vintage to look contemporary or retro?