Why Go for Vintage Fashion: 6 Reasons

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In fashion, looking back can be the way forward. A GQ article says vintage is often the inspiration of modern designers. Specifically, fashion designers rent items from vintage luxury fashion shops or scour designer brands’ archives for old designs to revive or modify for contemporary tastes and times.

This is excellent news for lovers of vintage styles. You can collect pre-loved designer bags, jewellery, clothing, and accessories and wait for them to make their come-back – or not, because olden and golden is a unique style that will always have a market.


What Is Vintage?

Vintage refers to pieces made at least 20 years ago. Vintage designer clothing and accessories typically refer to items that fashion houses have stopped producing. The rectangular, smooth-leather Hermès Palonnier handbag from the 1960s is an excellent example of a vintage luxury designer bag.

This doesn’t mean vintage has been discontinued, of course. Hermès continues to make the Birkin and the Kelly. However, there are vintage Birkins and Kellys (i.e., those made at least 20 years ago).

Is retro the same thing as vintage? No, they’re not.

Vintage, as already mentioned, refers to items produced at least 20 years ago. A dangling Dior necklace made in the 1990s is vintage. A black Yves Saint Laurent tulle and taffeta dress made in 1987 is also vintage.

Retro, meanwhile, refers to items that evoke a particular era or period. Therefore, Fendi’s spring 2020 collection that referenced the psychedelic patterns of the 1970s is retro. A designer embracing the oversized shoulder pads, exaggerated silhouettes, cut-off denim, and leather aesthetic of the 1980s is a retro designer. Following this logic, a dress made in the year 2000 but inspired by the ’50s is both vintage and retro.

Are you considering starting your vintage fashion journey? Now that you know what vintage is (and how it differs from retro), here are some reasons to try it:


1 – Accessible but Top-Tier

Designer clothes, bags and accessories have eye-watering price tags. Meanwhile, vintage luxury designer items are typically pre-owned or second-hand and, thus, more affordable than new releases.

This makes vintage more accessible to anyone who wants luxury goods but is hesitant to make the purchase because of their steep price. Vintage luxury also offers excellent value for money because of its lower price.

Note that a lower cost does not always go hand-in-hand with vintage. Vintage mini handbags can cost more than their original retail price. Examples include the Fendi Micro Baguette, which can be 49% more expensive at resale. The Louis Vuitton Mini Speedy also goes for twice its retail price upon resale.

Other exceptions include limited editions. A 1995 Crocodile Bamboo bag from Gucci is selling for more than GBP 10,000 in the secondary market. There’s also the 1983 Chanel Classic Flap, retailing for over GBP 4,700.

Exceptions notwithstanding, buying vintage is an excellent strategy for starting a designer goods collection. It will let you get your hands on flawless luxury pieces from top-tier fashion houses for much less than you’d pay for them brand-new.


2 – Unique and Refined

Opting for vintage fashion guarantees a distinct look. Dressing in and accessorising with vintage items is a surefire way to stand out.

Vintage high fashion is unlike mass-produced contemporary pieces. Adding just one vintage item to a modern ensemble can bring a palpable element of luxury and exclusivity that instantly elevates an outfit. Additionally, it allows you to express your taste and style even as it provides a richer and more refined aesthetic.


3 – Timeless

You’ve probably heard this remark often: “They don’t make it like them anymore.” Fast fashion has made this statement an oft-repeated theme in the industry.

Vintage designer pieces were made with an emphasis on durability and quality. They stood for hours of work by a single artisan or an elite group of master craftsmen. Designers of the past prioritised the quality of raw materials and stuck to construction techniques that stood the test of time.

By purchasing vintage pieces, you are buying timeless pieces that have been built to last. With proper care, they can even be handed down to your offspring and beyond.

Aside: This is not to say that only vintage pieces are high-quality. Top designer brands remain committed to quality and durability. As already mentioned, however, brand-new pieces from these fashion houses will cost you a considerable amount of money.


4 – Ethical and Sustainable

Purchasing vintage is a sustainable fashion choice that aligns with sustainability initiatives like recycling and waste reduction. You’re buying what’s already in the market instead of purchasing something newly manufactured.

This saves old pieces from landfills and deflates the demand for brand-new items. Choosing vintage also supports ethical fashion practices and makes a stand against modern fast fashion.


5 – A Good Investment

Vintage collectables can appreciate in value. Rare finds and iconic pieces from renowned designers can become valuable assets over time. As modern fashion trends recycle and draw inspiration from past decades, well-preserved vintage items can become even more highly in demand.


 6 – Meaningful

Vintage items carry stories and are rich in history. Wearing them connects you to the era, designer and cultural context in which they were made, as well as with the persons who used to own them. This historical significance adds a certain depth to your wardrobe.


Goes Around, Comes Around

Modern fashion designers are looking at old designs for inspiration and instruction. Choosing vintage fashion lets you take advantage of this cyclical fashion trend. Aside from that, vintage pieces are an excellent investment because of their potential for value appreciation. They’re also cost-efficient, unique, timeless, sustainable, ethical, and meaningful.

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Written by Lola McQuenzie

Lola is one of our busiest writer. She has worked for Catwalk Yourself since 2007. Lola started working with us after she graduating from Central St Martins

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