Although vintage fashion never really went out of style, it has certainly garnered more attention in the fashion industry in recent years. As early as the 1920’s and 1930’s, men and women of the early 1900’s were setting timeless fashion trends without even knowing it. As flapper style of the 1930’s and 40’s emerged, and Old Hollywood glamour swept the globe, each era left behind classic trends, all of which have made repeat appearances over the years. Similar to the styles we embrace today season after season, fashions of these former decades were seen as stylish and modern at the time. Many of these styles are now fashion staples, regardless of how the modern fashion world has evolved.
Everywhere you turn, classic looks from our former, more glamorous and romantic eras have been preserved, even amongst the 21st century’s modern couture. Today, the general term “vintage” is still alive and well, and it continues to lead the way for future trends, reminding us that classic fashion never dies.
The Characteristics of Vintage Fashion
So what defines vintage fashion and what exactly is it known for? When used to refer to fashion, the term “vintage” represents any type of garment that originates from a previous era. Whether new or handed down, vintage clothing has certain characteristics that make it desirable. Often called “old” clothing, vintage clothing is popular today for a number of reasons.
Romance is a characteristic of vintage clothing that continues to captivate us today. A common feature of women’s vintage clothing is lace-- and lots of it. Dresses, wedding gowns, and slips were all made with delicate, elaborate lacing, often designed around the edges of the garment or used over an entire ensemble. The element of lace exudes the essence of amour with its soft, elegant design.
Another characteristic of women’s vintage clothing that stirs up the same romantic sentiment is netting, which was often used for veils and hats. Fishnet and lace features complemented earlier vintage fashions, and in many ways became the basis for our fascination with vintage trends. The bridal fashion industry is dripping with birdcage-netted veils today, and more and more celebrities are choosing to wear retro hats with classic Russian netting.
Aside from the romantic, luxurious feel a vintage garment provides an ensemble, high quality is another reason the fashion industry is still in love with vintage clothing today. Originally made to be passed on to friends and family members, vintage garments were once made with the finest materials and craftsmanship. It is very hard to find the same quality of clothing today for an affordable price.
When you do find high-quality garments, they are typically much more expensive than they once were. Modern designers work hard to use the same quality materials and craftsmanship to create reproductions of popular vintage styles, but the cost of these styles greatly reflects that.
As generations march on, designers, artists, and fashionistas everywhere will continue to borrow the timeless trends from eras past to create vintage clothing. Surely, pioneers of the fashion industry will continue to design each style with the same commitment, passion, and quality craftsmanship that vintage clothing was once made with.