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A Cleaner World Blog

What are Antique, Retro, and Vintage Garments?

My son has taken to labeling things by group, but he gets the group completely wrong.  For instance, he recently started calling me “Boomer”, which is way off base; I belong to Gen X.  My parents are actually Boomers.  My dad will be giving him a 2004 truck when he gets his driver’s license, and Gray is considering it a “Classic”.  Wrong again, a vehicle must be at least 20 years old to be considered a classic.  But his biggest foul, in my opinion, is when he referred to my vintage black dress as retro.  At this point, I felt the need to correct him.  After all, the shop I purchased the dress at insisted it was vintage, and the price tag certainly reflected such. 

What’s the difference?

  • Vintage Clothing – clothing made between 20 and 100 years ago that contains stylistic elements relevant to the period.  Vintage clothing was crafted in a different era when quality and attention to detail were important; therefore, it retains and sometimes increases in value.
  • Retro Clothing – clothing inspired by older styles, typically 20-30 years prior to the current year.  It doesn’t have to be an exact copy; it only must be made with the intention of mimicking a piece from the past.  Retro pieces are typically more affordable than vintage pieces, and they tend to be more practical, using current fasteners and zippers instead of what was available during the prior period.
  • Antique Clothing – clothing that is at least 100 years old and typically considered collectable because of its significance in history, sentimental value, or other uniqueness.  Antique garments are usually collected, sometimes displayed, because they represent a different time and place.  

Now you know the difference.  More importantly, A Cleaner World knows the difference.  We believe that all garments are special, but we also recognize when a unique piece arrives at one of our locations, and our trained experts put their special talents to use.  

black dress
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