The terms “retro” and “vintage” are often used interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings. While both refer to styles from the past, they represent different time periods and aesthetics.
Retro style typically refers to the styles of the 1970s and 1980s. This period was characterized by bright colors, eye-catching patterns, and a general sense of fun and playfulness. Fashion from this era often included items such as bell-bottom pants, platform shoes, and disco-inspired clothing. In terms of interior design, the 70s and 80s saw the rise of shag carpeting, geometric shapes, and vibrant color schemes.
Vintage, on the other hand, refers to items that are at least 20 years old. It can refer to styles from any time period, including the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and beyond. Vintage fashion is often associated with timeless, classic pieces such as midi skirts, tweed jackets, and leather accessories. Vintage interior design is characterized by items such as antique furniture, vintage artwork, and delicate fabrics.
So, while retro style specifically refers to the styles of the 70s and 80s, vintage can refer to any style from the past, especially if it’s over 20 years old.
What does retro look like? Think of bold contrasting colors, graphic prints, and playful designs. For fashion, this might mean wearing brightly colored t-shirts with slogans or logos, high-waisted jeans, or chunky jewelry. In terms of interior design, retro might mean incorporating bright colors and patterns into your decor, such as a bold wallpaper or a colorful accent rug.
Retro style can also be associated with a sense of nostalgia. For those who grew up during the 70s and 80s, seeing items from that era can evoke feelings of nostalgia and memories of a bygone time. This sense of nostalgia is one reason why the retro style has remained popular over the years.
The difference between retro and vintage is important to keep in mind when shopping for vintage items. While some vintage items may have a retro look, not all vintage items are retro. For example, a vintage item from the 1920s would not be considered retro, as it predates the 70s and 80s style era.
Retro style has made a comeback in recent years, with many young people embracing the bold, playful aesthetic of the 70s and 80s. This can be seen in fashion trends such as high-waisted jeans, oversized sunglasses, and platform shoes. In interior design, the retro style has also made a comeback, with many people incorporating bright colors and bold patterns into their homes.
While the retro style has its fans, it’s important to remember that it’s not for everyone. Some people may find the bright colors and bold patterns overwhelming or too busy. Additionally, retro style can be associated with a certain time period and may not be suitable for all occasions or settings.
In conclusion, while retro and vintage are often mixed together, they actually represent different time periods and aesthetics. Retro style specifically refers to the styles of the 1970s and 1980s and is characterized by bold colors, graphic prints, and a sense of fun and playfulness. Vintage refers to items that are at least 20 years old and can refer to any style from the past.