The Art Of Retro Styling


As items, including clothing, age and are no longer produced, they become collectable. Fine quality old clothing becomes very collectable, especially if they are designer. There are generally three recognised categories: classic (over 25 years), vintage (over 50 years) and antique (over 100 years). The generic term 'vintage' often also include the classic period, covering the last 75 years. Antique clothing in good condition are museum quality and rarely available. Vintage clothing are usable items and have important practical value beyond vanity.

Women have a very strong sense of individual identity. One of our nightmares is making much effort to dress suitably for an important occasion and every time having to endure the anxiety of possibly seeing another woman in exactly the same dress. The very wealthy ensure themselves against such a catastrophe by paying enormously for a single-item couture dress with no chance of another similar dress appearing anywhere else. In an age of mass-production when affordable clothing is made in very large numbers, the rest of us just accept this bane as a way of life. Unless we sell the family home, possessing a wardrobe of designer clothes can only be a fantasy. There is however, one elegant solution.

Authentic vintage clothes have three main important features: high-quality materials, fine craftsmanship, and stylish designs. They are desirable for a more important reason beyond what they are. Retro Styling is the skillful combination of select vintage items with contemporary clothes to create a distinctive individual look. The retro style is easily confused with period style, but the differences between them are very significant.

Period style is vintage clothing specifically put together to resemble a particular past setting; it can only be used for a theatrical purpose or as fancy dress, but not for any contemporary occasions. Similarly, imitation retro is modern clothes intentionally made to resemble a past design, and not actually from that time; it therefore is neither authentic nor possess the quality of material and craftsmanship. Retro styling must never appear imitative. The very idea of retro styling is simply to look distinctly individual without appearing dated. Vintage clothing cannot be worn on their own, and have to be combined with contemporary clothing. To achieve success in this endeavour requires a capsule wardrobe of basic items of clothing and careful planning in the aquisition of vintage items that will work well together in various combinations.