Thursday, June 7, 2012

You Know It's NOT Vintage If...

I read a lot of fashion blogs... you know, the ones where there is a photo every day of an outfit and the breakdown of each thing and where it came from and how much and so on.
I've done some posts like that myself; but it's really not my "thing" - too stressful, putting together an outfit a day and dolling myself up to be presentable in front of a camera.
Plus, I feel like an idiot, taking photos of myself. And most of the time I look like a (fat) idiot.

But there are some people out there with a knack for this kind of thing and I am amused by those blogs so I read a lot of them. I especially like the ones where all the items in the outfit were thrifted and cost hardly anything! Love it.

But sometimes I get really annoyed with how the definition of "vintage" is tossed about kind of carelessly to describe items of vague origin.

Items of vague origin does not equal vintage, lovely people.

For one thing, the term "vintage" was something that just filled the void in the fashion universe for a term to describe items that are old but not necessarily antique, if you know what I mean. (In my opinion.)

"Vintage" is a word that basically describes an item crafted in a certain era - any era. For instance, if I make a ceramic object today, it's "vintage" would be 2012, therefore making it "vintage" 2012.

But in the fashion/collecting world the term "vintage" means anything older than 20 years old, but not old enough to be "antique".

So back to fashion blogs...... (And, unfortunately, some Etsy shops I have seen, and reported, for peddling items of mysterious origin - and often, very obvious, modern origins -  as "vintage", as well).....

Often I see a great outfit with the breakdown reading something like: Pants: Target. (check) Top: H&M (check) Necklace, Forever 21 (check) Shoes, Marshalls (check) Purse, vintage. Ummm, not check.  That purse is totally modern, sorry. In fact I saw it at Ross or someplace last year.

- If you bought it at Goodwill and it has no tags in it, that does not equal vintage.

- If a friend gave it to you and you have no idea what brand it is, that does not make it vintage.

- If the tags in it are a known line from a department store, but from a few years ago, and you bought it at Goodwill, that does not make it vintage.

-Just because you bought it at Goodwill, does not automatically make it vintage.

- If it is currently being sold at a department store, discount store, or any store, it is not vintage.

- If your friend made it it is not vintage.

- If your mom pulled it out of her closet and gave it to you, it might be vintage, but check to make sure.

- If you bought it at American Eagle and it looks vintage, that does not equal vintage.

- If you bought it at Goodwill and it has no tags and you can't think of how to break it down in your outfit breakdown, say it's "unknown" or something;  not vintage (unless it really is vintage).

- If it's new but has been altered, dyed, or re arranged in any kind of way, it is not vintage, it's re-fashion. Which rocks, btw.

-If you bought it at Goodwill and it's Target's clothing line from two years ago, and it's frumpy and worn out, and the patina is awesome, that does not make it vintage. That makes it frumpy and worn out, with vintage patina. 

-If it's from the mid 90s it's not vintage. Some vintage sellers (myself included) would say that nothing from the 90s is vintage, but according to Etsy's definitions, at least, some 90s items are Etsy legal for being sold as "vintage". Some people I know (myself included) would question whether some things from the 80s are "vintage", too. Some sellers tag items as vintage 80s without giving reasons why they know it's from the 80s... and try to get away with tagging an item made in, say, 2000 as "1980s" like the "1980s" is just a virtual bin for all somewhat cool looking items of mysterious date. Back to the "Items of mysterious origin" thing again...

Today's trends leaning so much in the direction of yesterday's fashions tends to blur the lines between vintage and "vintage inspired". I was in H&M in Virginia Beach with my sisters when I heard with my own ears someone pick up a dress and exclaim "I love this! It's so vintage!" Backing up my sad observation that people are not identifying and appreciating true vintage items. And the depressing fact that, with vintage looks increasing in popularity, modern clothiers are cranking out the vintage inspired fashions and stores are stocking racks with what looks just like real vintage pieces; and naturally they're priced so that they're pretty "cheap" in comparison to real vintage.While I love the trend towards vintage these days, it kind of stinks for vintage sellers like myself - people would much rather buy a vintage inspired dress for $50 than shell out $250 for the real McCoy.

So I guess you could say this is "rant" or that I am "venting" here.... yes and yes. Not that any fashion bloggers read my blog. Not that anyone reads my blog - because I blog for me. It's like scrap booking and journaling all in one, for  me. And if others look at it, so be it.

If you are a fashion blogger and you're reading this, or if you know a fashion blogger who needs to read this, please take a bit of advice from a vintage lover, collector, self proclaimed amateur fashion historian and vintage seller who tries to make a bit of a living identifying and selling "the real deal" vintage - learn what makes vintage fashion vintage. respect it. Identify it correctly.

There are tons of resources out there, on the net and also in books and such.

Thank you.

*climbs down from soapbox*


Herb of Grace said...

This post was Vintage Hosanna

:) :cheeky grin:

Loved reading this! Good info and I had a laugh :)

Past Pieces Vintage said...

Excellent! Every Etsy vintage seller should be required to read this.