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It is safe to say that fashion runs in circles and that every few decades granny´s clothes become gold for the youth of that age. Indeed, in the second half of the 20th century, more and more interest has gone into preserving and re-discovering old clothes. But how old is vintage? Apparently anything before the 20s is too old, and anything newer than the 80s is too new. So, ladies and gentlemen, don´t postpone that visit to your grandparents´ house much longer!
The term ´vintage´ is derived from the terminology of wine, where it refers to all the bottles made in a specific year (at least 95% of them must belong to that same harvest). It must be, however, rather the sonority of the word than its original meaning that caused it to be associated with clothing older than the wearer. Although it has always been the habit of young girls to browse their mothers´ wardrobe if the times so required, vintage clothing has become a world-wide phenomenon due to the ever increasing attention given it by celebrities (actresses, singers, models or fashion designers).
In an age where more and more products are line-produced, uniforms encouraged and the speed at which we live leaves us with little to rest our eyes on, the uniqueness of a vintage piece of clothing is refreshing. In those years one could easily find one-of-a-kind items on a regular basis, made of delicate fabrics that have since become ´impractical´, and with unexpected applications, buttons or beads. The price of such a vintage item is often a big pro, as their age and lack of flexibility in terms of size or color are enough of a downside to keep them affordable.
As the interest in vintage clothing and apparel has increased, new sides of the matter have surfaced. One is the popular eco trend that supports reusing and repairing old items, deeming it more environmentally friendly to wear vintage than to buy new, especially in the case of rare fabrics. Keep an eye out for garage sales, car boot sales or yearly fairs as sources of often under-evaluated vintage pieces; alternately, the internet hosts a large number of online shops that gather such items for you.
Be sure not to confuse actual vintage clothes, manufactured more than 30 years ago and almost surely worn by at least one person already (this can prove to be a huge plus if that someone was even marginally famous), with ´vintage inspired´ items, where only the model or/and the fabric are in the spirit of a particular long gone age.