What are the characteristics of something called vintage?

In decoration, in fashion and accessories, in makeup or hairdressing styles … vintage can be applied to almost anything but it must be clarified that it is a term that does not mean exactly the same thing as antique, old-fashioned, or retro.

It must be recognized that for the vast majority, vintage have a special charm. It can be a garment, an object, an appliance or furniture with well-defined characteristics, things that you could find, perhaps, in any market or small store and that they are current again, perhaps, after years cornered.

  What is vintage (bigstock)

What defines and identifies something «vintage»?

Regardless of the context in which the term is applied, for something to be qualified as vintage it has to be of a certain age. This is a key point. A refrigerator, a dress, a mirror, a bag … it can be said to be vintage if you have a history of at least a few decades. Objects from the 40s, 50s, 60s or 70s could bear this label in all their right.

They should not be confused either with an antique, which would have more years behind them, nor with something retro. Retro imitates the style of bygone eras although in reality it can be anything newly manufactured. That’s the main difference. On the other hand, it would be a real nonsense to call vintage to a Rococo piece of furniture, from the 18th century, or a work of art, for example, a painting painted centuries ago and exhibited in the Prado Museum.

Other characteristics of something vintage the thing is must maintain the aesthetics with which it was designed unalterable at the time, and also be kept in good condition. It is not worth calling vintage to something that is simply old and deteriorated or to consider as such an object that has undergone multiple transformations and has little to do with the original.

Not everything old is «vintage» or worth much

Curious is also the economic value that a piece can have vintage, because it can go from zero, that is to say nothing, to have an incalculable value. Vintage It can be a jacket from the 70s, with its magnificent shoulder pads, and also a diamond ring designed in the 40s. They are vintage but … there are differences.

Art deco furniture, models of old cars or motorcycles that are impeccable because they were hardly used at the time, «ye yés» dresses from the sixties, a gramophone that has been preserved intact or a Tiffany lamp with its metal structure and colored glass … vintage It can be almost anything but beware, not everything that has the label vintage it is.