Differentiating Between Vintage And Retro Fashion

Differentiating Between Vintage And Retro Fashion

Fashion can be confusing sometimes, even for the pros. One common dilemma faced by most enthusiasts is that of recognising the difference between retro and vintage. So what is the big reveal? No really, who came first? The chicken or the egg? (err.. Confusing isn’t it?)

“Retro” and “Vintage” are two categorical descriptions of fashion and design. Differentiating between them can be tricky, but fret not, we are here to save the day.

Differentiating Between Vintage And Retro Fashion

This polka dot dress that Princess Diana wore to the Ascot in 1980s has also inspired her daughter-in-law, Kate to recreate the look in the recent past. Although the dresses are similar to each other, Diana’s is considered as vintage fashion and Kate’s as retro.


Retro – Replicating Your Grandma’s Wardrobe

Retro (from “retrospection”) is any piece of clothing, furniture, accessory or designer item that is recreating an aesthetic from an era bygone or a vintage era. So if you get inspired by your grandmother’s old photo from her youth in the 60s and recreate a polka dotted dress for yourself to spice up your look, you are doing it the retro way.

Differentiating Between Vintage And Retro Fashion

Closer to home, our very own Bebo was a retro bride who wore her mother-in-law, Sharmila Tagore’s wedding trosseau, a sharara.


Vintage – Anything That Is At Least Twice Your Age

Vintage is essentially old. Clothing is considered vintage when it was produced 20-75 years ago. “Vintage” is a term that was originally coined to indicate wine’s age. Buyers of vintage fashion evaluate an item’s age as one of the key purchase decision making factors, followed by condition, style, relative rarity, and quality (not necessarily in the same order).


Style Slay

Vintage: Audrey Hepburn in 1955, wearing a pink gown by Givenchy. She is the epitome of vintage charm. Pearls, a top bun, and those eye flutters enhance the look to unparallel perfection.

Differentiating Between Vintage And Retro Fashion

Retro: Remember Deepika Padukone in Om Shanti Om? Yep, no guessing, that was her doing a stint with retro. How could we forget the backcombed hair? In that movie, she played one of her most graceful characters.



The lines between vintage and retro have blurred now. Most items do not come with a date of origin and so sellers can easily make up fictitious dates to generate revenue. We hope this article helps you make a more informed purchase.

Differentiating Between Vintage And Retro Fashion

Understand the styles even more in detail with a Diploma in Fashion Styling or a Diploma in Fashion Design with one of the Bangalore’s top fashion schools, JD Institute of Fashion Technology and explore the differences between Vintage and Retro.

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