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An Awesome Goodwill Find and a Lesson in Fashion Jargon

By August 26, 2013January 21st, 2014No Comments

I saw the most beautiful dress at Goodwill the other day. It looked like something Audrey Hepburn would wear: Ivory chiffon pleats straight off of the silver screen. Sadly enough, it was too small for me. So I did the only thing I could. I bought it for my little sister.

IMG_1945This absolutely gorgeous dress is kind of Vintagey/retro…

Wait, what does that even mean?

What is vintage? What is retro? What’s the difference between the two?

I had no idea, so I Googled it.

Vintage: In my mind I see floral print or lace dresses, silk gloves, and pearls. Merriam-Webster’s definition was not so visual; “a period of origin or manufacture.” Evidently vintage refers to an era something was made. So if this dress is vintage it means Audrey Hepburn could actually have worn it! (But then I doubt that it would have been a cheap find at Goodwill.)

The dictionary had a much more picturesque definition for retro, “relating to, reviving, or being the styles and especially the fashions of the past: fashionably nostalgic or old-fashioned.”

I did a little more digging and realized that, while Webster’s definition may conjure up some lovely pictures, in today’s fashion industry retro just means fake vintage. Something that was made today to look like something made a long time ago.

Okay, so now I know what the difference is between retro and vintage, but I still have no idea about the dress! Here is the tag on the dress. It says Original Elegance. Is it retro or vintage? Any Ideas?

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