Difference between Vintage & Second Hand (or Thrifted)
December 8, 2014

Hi dears!

I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of misunderstanding on the difference between vintage and second hand clothing. A lot of people think that vintage is a fancy word for second hand. Which I can totally relate to, as a lot of shops are using both terms. Also, vintage has become very trendy, such that it’s now also used as a sort of synonym of second hand, which makes second hand sound more trendy. But, there is a difference between the two! And I’m going to explain that difference in this post!

Difference between vintage, second hand, retro & antique

Left is vintage (source) | Right is retro

 

Second hand is, as the word already explains, everything that was owned by someone else before. Everything you buy that previously had another owner, therefore  is second hand. Easy as that! The definition of vintage is a little more precise.When you look up vintage on Merriam Webster, you find the following description:“a usually superior wine all or most of which comes from a single year”. The word vintage originally relates to wines of a superior year. And this actually pretty much describes what vintage means when it comes to clothing too; Qualitative clothing from a good year! More precisely: from the 20s to the 70s or 80s.

Difference between vintage, second hand, retro & antique

Left: second hand. Skirt originally from Boohoo & top originally from Superstar. Right: vintage (hat & gloves)

 

Everything made before the vintage years is called antique. A real antique should be at least 100 years old. This means that, right now, everything from the 1910s and older is antique, but this changes over the years because of the 100 years rule.Next to vintage and antique, there is also the word ‘retro’. Retro literally means “reviving the styles and especially the fashions of the past” and can be used for anything that looks like it’s from a different era. This means that retro is not restricted to a specific time span. For example, a dress from Zara that looks like it might as well have been made in the 50s can be called retro. Also, the word retro can be used for regular second hand items, as long as they look as if they are not from this time.

Difference between vintage, second hand, retro & antique

This look is mostly retro. The top and skirt are even from H&M! From this outfit only the hat is a real vintage piece. The bag and belt are second hand (or thrifted). The rest is all new! Combining modern items in a vintage style, makes the outfit retro!

Of course, most vintage items you buy are also second hand items, as most of them used to belong to someone else. But certainly not all second hand can be called vintage. To be vintage, it has to be from the 20s to 70s or 80s. A second hand skirt from Zara or H&M is not vintage, but a sequin top from the 50s is!
I hope you found this interesting to read and I hope it was of any help! Do you shop in vintage or second hand stores?
Love,
Sonja

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Source 1: http://www.wikihow.com/Shop-for-Vintage-Clothing

Source 2: http://www.merriam-webster.com/

31 comments on “The Difference Between Vintage & Second Hand (+ Retro & Antique)”
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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Interessante post! Ik zat er ook aan te denken hier een keer een bericht aan te wijden. Ik vind zelf vintage altijd wel mooier klinken dan retro, dus zeg als het geen echte vintage is dan altijd ‘vintage look’. Mooie foto’s erbij ook om het uit te leggen. :) Liefs

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Dankjewel Rowan! Ik gebruik de uitdrukking ‘vintage look’ ook wel!

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Handig dat je hierover schrijft! Ik wist het toevallig wel, maar denk dat heel veel mensen het verschil niet kennen!

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    I love both! I love second hand stores! <3

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Heel interessant! En super leuk je foto’s er zo tussen! Leuke post Sonja!

    X

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Wat leuk om te lezen, is weer eens wat anders!
    xoxo

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Leuk dat je hier ook over schrijft. Hoe meer mensen dit delen hoe beter :) Er is zoveel twijfel over :)

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Dankjewel Kim! Dat merk ik inderdaad heel veel! Kennissen vragen het ook vaak aan me, dus vandaar dat ik dacht dat het wel leuk was om er een keer iets over te schrijven! :-)

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    I m glad that someone finally wrote this post. Yes now people for second hand say vintage. But for me funniest things is that people something old call vintage, like I bought skirt in Zara before 3 years and forgot on it, and now I wear it and I call it vintage :D. I have second hand things and vintage things.
    For me is important that I like it, anyway in “normal” shop I can`t find what I like and that suit nice to me. But because of that there is REPRO clothes :)

    Only I can`t agree that vintage is from 20`s till 80`s. It is from 20`s-50`s or 60`s :)

    Again so nice post.
    Regards from Belgium :)

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Thank you so much for the sweet comment! I wear a lot of repro as well! :) And I’m aware that there’s a lot of different opinions on when the vintage era stops. Personally, I like the 20s to 60s best, so I would like to call those the vintage years, just like you! But I did some research on it and I mostly found the 20s to 80s being vintage. But yes, there’s a lot of different opinions about that!

    Great to hear you liked the post!

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Goede post, ik gebruikte het altijd door elkaar:) Ik gebruikte eigenlijk vintage ipv retro, dus als iets er ‘uit een andere’ tijd uitzag, noemde ik het al vintage;)

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Dankjewel Charlotte! Leuk om te lezen dat je er iets van geleerd hebt! :)

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Goed dat je erover post! Ik kende het verschil namelijk al en “ergerde” me er wel eens aan dat mensen alles zo door elkaar gebruiken!

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Dankjewel! Ik snap wat je bedoelt hoor! Maar ik snap ook wel dat het verwarrend kan zijn! :-)

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Wat goed, zo’n artikel! Heel verhelderend. :)
    X Emma

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Oeeh heel erg leuk dat je er over schrijft!

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Heel leuk en interessant artikel! Ik wist het verschil ook niet helemaal maar nu wel :)

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Het blijft heel erg verwarrend. Soms koop je iets tweedehands en ziet het er zooo oud uit dat je het automatisch vintage noemt (terwijl het misschien helemaal niet zo is). Struggles haha… Leuk artikel!

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    This was a really informative post. Thanks very much for this. It era;;y annoys me when people refer to anything old as vintage!

    http://www.fashionandfrappes.com

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    Monday December 8th, 2014

    Super handig artikel! Ik wist voorheen nooit ‘t verschil en zei altijd maar vintage, omdat dit veel beter klinkt dan tweedehands :p xo

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    Tuesday December 9th, 2014

    Wat een geweldige post, Sonja, super duidelijk en verhelderend! Ik heb het artikel met veel plezier gelezen!

    X, Marky
    http://www.mypinkboudoir.eu

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    Tuesday December 9th, 2014

    Wat een interessant artikel! I wist nooit zo goed het verschil, maar nu eindelijk wel dankzij jou :)

    Liefs,
    Lemiza
    http://www.verzali.com

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    Tuesday December 9th, 2014

    All of the vintage pieces I have are inherited…I do shop in second hand shops ocassionaly but there aren’t that any vintage shops in my town so as I said those vintage clothing items I hold dear are either from my mum, grandmothers or some other family members.

    You look adorable in all these pics…such a lovely post!

    http://modaodaradosti.blogspot.com/

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    Tuesday December 9th, 2014

    Very interesting!
    http://www.donovanparker.com

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    Tuesday December 9th, 2014

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    Wednesday December 10th, 2014

    True vintage is rare to find and I think people overuse the word that it’s getting boring now. I prefer retro because that encompasses almost everything around now even now that’s been done to death as well

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    Saturday December 12th, 2015

    I love this post, you explained it better than I could have done! It’s so smart of you to include retro, I would have never thought of that :) I am going to link to your post in a blogpost about secondhand shopping, just what I needed. Thank you!

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    Sunday December 13th, 2015

    Thank you so much Kathy! That’s great to hear! And also thanks for featuring me in your own blog post! I would love to know when it’s online! :-)

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    Tuesday December 29th, 2015

    Hoi Sonja,

    mooie blog, fijne foto’s, creatief in combineren en ik denk dat het daar ook om gaat!
    liefs Els

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    Saturday January 2nd, 2016

    Mooi omschreven Sonja, Vintage is inderdaad verre van tweedehands. Om de Vintage style nog verder te verfijnen hebben wij Vintage lingerie en Fully Fashioned Stockings. Dit is te zien op http://kousenbenen.nl

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    Saturday January 9th, 2016

    Thank you for writting this! :) Was very interesting and educational, plus I love your outfits! :) And I wasn’t sure about what retro means, so, yes, thank you for clearing that out for me! :)
    Have a great day,
    Madara
    http://lookforsmile.com

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