Vintage Clothing 101: Why We Love It & How To Care For It

More and more we see the resurgence of vintage clothing pieces making statements in our everyday dressing. Charity/donation & vintage stores are popping up in every neighborhood and designers are inspired by the past. But what exactly does vintage mean? Taken from Wikipedia – “Generally speaking, clothing which was produced before the 1920s is referred to as antique clothing and clothing from the 1920s to 20 years before the present day is considered vintage.” However, these days, we use the term loosely.
So why do we love vintage clothing?
  1. Charity shops are especially appealing to the younger generation of shoppers, with vintage clothing being in high demand. You look at vintage piece, and wonder where it’s from, who wore it, and where it was worn. Each piece has a story.
  2. Another reason why vintage apparel has become so popular is because consumers buying vintage believe that mainstream fashion is less unique and high street fashion is too generic. Buying & wearing vintage is a statement piece.
  3. There will always be people who like individual and interesting pieces such as ‘one offs’ and ‘investment buys’, consumers are discovering that vintage is not only adaptable to current trends but are often timeless classics that can become a wardrobe stable and thus able to pass down through generations.


A few things to keep in mind when handling vintage clothing:
– Cleaning
  • Vintage pieces for collection and not to be worn are best stored flat to remove the strain from hanging.
  • Many vintage pieces may need replacement of deteriorated closures such as zippers and snaps.
  • Watch for rubberized padding such as shoulder pads. These have often deteriorated and need replacement.
  • Many old stains on vintage items can not be removed due to oxidation or caramelization that has occurred over time.
  • There are sterilization and deodorization techniques to remove musty smell on fragile items that don’t involve dry cleaning. Consult an expert such as Margaret’s for options.
– Storage
  • Especially if you would like to keep these pieces for generations down the line, proper storage will come into play. Due the fragility of these fabrics, it is vital to store these garments in a place other than regular closets. Garde Robe’s temperature-controlled, air-purified storage lofts provide ideal storage conditions for long-term textile preservation and feature material-damaging insect prevention (no clothes moths).

If you are interested in viewing/purchasing vintage clothing pieces we recommend checking out our favorite vintage resale shops: Lily Et Cie in (Beverly Hills), New York Vintage (NY), charity consignment shops Memorial Sloan Kettering Boutique (NY) and The Colleagues in (LA).


{photo credit: The Great Gatsby Movie, 2013}