When it comes to unique vintage clothing, the options are seemingly endless. Everything from underground thrift stores to high-end boutiques sell vintage clothing, and there are several brands that stand out from the rest.
Growing popularity of the “vintage” look has also increased demand for secondhand items and upcycled garments. Those searching for an authentic vintage find rare pieces from these brands that will never go out of style.
It’s no secret that the popularity of “throwback” or “retro” looks have been on the rise in recent years. What was once considered a passing fad has become a staple in most fashion-forward individuals’ wardrobes.
One need only take a quick browse through our blog archives to see that we have covered everything from 90s inspired outfits, to various examples of Edievous -inspired attire – along with plenty of other articles related.
What To Look For When Purchasing Vintage Clothing
We must start out this list by going over what to look for when purchasing vintage clothing. First and foremost, make sure that you are purchasing authentic vintage pieces.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who are trying to pass off newer items as vintage. There are many telltale signs that can help you identify authentic vintage clothing, such as:
If the item has a tag on it, then it is most likely vintage. It is important to note that vintage clothing usually had no care instructions, as it was expected to be hand washed and air dried. Many vintage items also feature labels that have not been used in years. This is because the company wanted to ensure customers knew that the item was vintage. If you see one of these labels, you can be sure that the piece is authentic.
Many vintage clothing items feature patches from different military organizations, schools, or even rock bands. This is because, at the time, many people used clothing as a way to express themselves. While you may not wear a vintage military jacket, the patches can add to the value of the item.
Vintage clothing items were often made with higher-quality material than what is used today. This is especially true of items that were made before the use of synthetic fabrics became popular. If you find a vintage item made with a luxurious fabric, such as silk or cashmere, you can be sure it is authentic.
You can also look for fading, stains, and wear on the garment – all of which are signs that the item is vintage.
Decade-by-Decade Guide to Iconic Brands
Again, there are tonnes of vintage clothing brands out there, and many of them are quite iconic. So to keep this list manageable, we have decided to break it down decade-by-decade. Let’s get started!
1940s: Holloway Shocks and Rockabilly
Holloway Shocks is known for being one of the first brands to produce printed t-shirts. The brand is also known for its use of bright colors, as well as its retro pinup girl logo. Rockabilly culture is often associated with the 1940s. Rockabilly clothing often features bold patterns and retro silhouettes.
1950s: Mary Quant and Baguettes
Mary Quant is one of the most well-known fashion designers of the 20th century. Quant was responsible for many popular fashions of the 50s, including the mini skirt and the baggy style of men’s trousers. Baguettes are large, wide belts that were popular in the 1950s. They are usually made from leather and are decorated with large, shiny studs.
1960s: Mod Culture and Kensington Club
The mod subculture emerged in the 1960s. Mods typically wore a style of dress that included tailored clothing and skinny ties. Kensington Club was a London boutique that became popular in the 1960s. The boutique sold items that were highly influenced by psychedelic culture.
1970s: Disco Era and Chelsea Fashionista
The 1970s is often associated with disco culture. Retro disco clothing is full of vibrant colors, bold patterns, and large lapels. The Chelsea fashionista subculture emerged in the 1970s. The group of counterculture fashionistas were known for their wild hairstyles and bold clothing.
1980s: The Big Hair and Platform Shoe Era
The 1980s are known for their excess and outlandish fashions. It’s the decade that brought us the big hair trend and platform shoes. It is also the decade when many retro-themed clothing brands were first founded.
1990s: Grunge Movement and Streetwear Influencers
The grunge subculture emerged in the 1990s. Grunge fashion often features loose-fitting garments in neutral colors, such as black, grey, and brown. It’s also common to see thrift store finds among grunge fashionistas. The streetwear movement also emerged in the 1990s. Streetwear is a style of clothing that is heavily influenced by sports brands, as well as hip-hop music.
2000-Present Day: Neo-Vintage Culture Continues to Grow
Neo-vintage culture continues to grow in popularity, as people are becoming more conscious of the fashion items they wear. Along with this newfound appreciation for vintage clothing has come an increase in the number of retro clothing brands. Neo-vintage brands often offer updated versions of vintage clothing, such as oversized blazers, wide-legged pants, and more.
There are so many different ways to style vintage clothing. One can use them to create a piece of art with their favorite garments. Vintage pieces can be styled in a multitude of different ways, making them truly unique and versatile.
They are also a great way to make a style statement, as vintage pieces tend to be more eye-catching than modern apparel. They can be combined with modern pieces like a bomber jacket, denim jeans, or a casual T-shirt to create a casual look.