Monday, March 30, 2009

Vintage vs. Retro

Saturday I was given the opportunity to go shopping by myself - something that rarely happens. I wasn't doing any pleasure shopping, just going to Wal-Mart for dog food and groceries, so I wasn't quite sure how enjoyable this trip would be. Wal-Mart on a Saturday? Usually something I try to avoid. Surprisingly, it only took me an hour to weave in, out, and around all the aisles and people, so I was in a pretty good mood. Even the long lines at the few registers open didn't make me first.

As I'm standing in line behind 2 people with massive purchases, these two college girls get in line behind me and my overflowing cart. I usually dread these situations because they almost always lead to me wanting to shove and entire case of Q-tips in my ears so I can't hear the "valley girl" whining that I usually hear. But, these girls were normal. They were chit-chatting about tests and classes, and seemed to be fully aware that they did not know everything. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Then it happened. This is what I hear:

Girl A: So did you and your mom get her closets all organized?
Girl B: Yeah, and you'll never believe what I found! A great pair of vintage jeans and a sweater! Mom said they were from the 80's. I'm going to wear them when we go out tonight.

Did you catch that? Vintage. From the 80's!

I think it's time someone does a PSA explaining the difference between Vintage and Retro. Although vintage is supposed to be anything over 40 years old, I still consider anything pre-1950's to be vintage, and anything from the 1950's & 1960's to be retro. For the most part, the 1970's through the early 90's were painful mistakes, with very few exceptions, not retro.

What do you think?

Here's my brother and I in 1982 or '83 modeling the sombreros our grandparents brought back from their trip to Mexico. Notice my totally rad overalls with the way cool rainbow stitching.

I truly hope the 80's never make a comeback...


  1. May I remain happily in that place of denial where I never have to admit that what I once wore and thought was cool is now admired for it's historical and nostalgic fashion value? Yikes! :-)

  2. Oh, I loved the 80's. I was an adult with kids about you and your brother's ages - it really wasn't so bad! There'll come a time when you'll look back on it with fondness! Thanks for dropping by my blog! PAM

  3. Yes, there should be some kind of standards written up. I mean, it's well known that an antique is something 100 years or more. I've seen too many items on eBay written up as vintage when they're from the 90's! My goodness!


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