There are many clear and concise ways to determine if an item is vintage, but also many blurred lines and rules. It may be easy for a teenager now to consider early 90s clothing vintage, and absurd to even call it “retro” to others. Many of us remember the first time we came across our childhood toys in a vintage or antique shop, and how strange it felt.
Here is a definition from http://vintageclothing.about.com/
“Definition: The term vintage is used to describe clothing, either used or new from dead stock, which was manufactured in a non-contemporary era. Clothing made before the 1920s are considered antique, while clothing made in the 80s to mid-90s are considered retro.
Vintage may also be used as an adjective to describe an item which is from another era (i.e.: “My shirt is vintage”).”
While what is considered antique, vintage, or retro can be argued, there *are* clear ways to date styles, and specific things to look for to tell what era an item is from. To collect and sell vintage accurately, you have to be a bit of a scientist, historian, and psychic (haha :P).
A great way to know the age of a dress is to look at the zipper– dresses near the 1950s almost always have metal zippers. From the 70s on, it was more common to find nylon zippers.
What draws your eye when you are dating vintage pieces? Please share your knowlage! 🙂