Retro? Vintage? What's the difference?

Often times I feel, vintage and retro tend to get lumped together and people get confused on their meanings.

When I hear the word vintage, I tend to think of a beautiful, shimmery 1920's dress. When I hear the word retro, I think of some sort old school technology, like a palm pilot. 

Though they seem similar, and I myself have gotten them confused, they are actually very different from each other. 

Here's how:


Harper's Bazaar April 1965 Cover

Harper's Bazaar April 1965 Cover

In order for an item to be considered vintage it has to be at least 20 years old. Vintage items can be 20-100 years old. Antiques are 100 years old and older  btw..

Vintage items are original and manufactured within they're respected time. For example; vintage 90's DKNY jeans or vintage 1960's cardigan. These items are from brands of that time and were created in that time. 



Unif Frances Dress

Unif Frances Dress

Retro derives from the Latin prefix retro, meaning backward or in past times. The term retro came about in the 1960's when new products were designed to look like something past. 

To put simply, retro means new products that are designed to look old. For example, iconic board games like Candy Land or Monopoly, Vinyl Record Players that you find a Urban Outfitter or Brandy Melville's "90's inspired tops".


Who knew! To break it down again: vintage is an item at least 20 years old that was made in that time period. Retro is a new item created that looks like something old.


The more you know :)