Article | Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research | Vintage, the First 40 Years: The Emergence and Persistence of Vintage Style in the United States

Title:
Vintage, the First 40 Years: The Emergence and Persistence of Vintage Style in the United States
Author:
Nancy L. Fischer: Metro-Urban Studies, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.157145
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Year:
2015
Volume:
7
Theme:
Theme: Circulating Stuff through Second-hand, Vintage and Retro Markets Edited by Staffan Appelgren and Anna Bohlin
Pages:
45-66
No. of pages:
22
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2015-03-12


This paper historicizes when wearing vintage clothing first became fashionable in the United States. I trace when the trend emerges in the U.S. and explore various ways the press framed secondhand/vintage clothes and anachronistic dressing. I contend that the emergence of vintage occurs as a form of alternative consumption alongside changes that occurred in the U.S. garment industry such as outsourcing and product licensing. These changes led many consumers to seek more authentic consumption experiences. Consumers with cultural capital found in vintage an alternative market for sourcing fashionable street style. Consumers attribute characteristics to vintage clothing that are typically part of authenticity discourse such as it being of exceptional quality, original, handcrafted, made from natural fibers, and providing continuity with the past. The authenticity of vintage is symbolically deployed in opposition to contemporary mass-produced clothing and standardized retail shopping experiences.

Keywords: Vintage; vintage clothing; retro; secondhand clothing; authenticity; fashion trends; garment industry

Volume 7, Theme: Theme: Circulating Stuff through Second-hand, Vintage and Retro Markets Edited by Staffan Appelgren and Anna Bohlin, Article 5, 2015

Author:
Nancy L. Fischer
Title:
Vintage, the First 40 Years: The Emergence and Persistence of Vintage Style in the United States:
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.157145
References:
  • Agins, Teri (2000): The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever, New York: HarperCollins.
  • Baker, Sarah Elsie (2013): Retro Style: Class, Gender and Design in the Home, New York: Bloomsbury.
  • Bardhi, Fleura (2003): ‘Thrill of the Hunt: Thrift Shopping for Pleasure’, Advances in Consumer Research, 30, 375.
  • Cassidy, Tracy Diane & Hannah Rose Bennett (2012): ‘The Rise of Vintage Fashion and the Vintage Consumer’, Fashion Practice, 4: 2, 239-262.
  • Cervellon, Marie-Cecile, Lindsey Carey & Trine Harms (2011): ‘Something Old, Something Used: Determinants of Women’s Purchase of Vintage Fashion vs. Second-hand Fashion’, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 40: 12, 965-974.
  • Crane, Diana (2000): Fashion and its Social Agendas: Class, Gender and Identity in Clothing, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. doi: 10.7208/chicago/9780226924830.001.0001
  • Davis, Fred (1994): Fashion, Culture and Identity, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • DeLong, Marilyn, Barbara Heineman & Kathryn Reiley (2005): ‘Hooked on Vintage!’, Fashion Theory, 9: 1, 23-42. doi: 10.2752/136270405778051491
  • Franklin, Adrian (2002): ‘Consuming Design: Consuming Retro’, Steven Miles, Alison Anderson, & Kevin Meethan (eds): The Changing Consumer: Markets and Meanings, New York: Routledge, 90-103.
  • Fraser, Kennedy (1981): The Fashionable Mind: Reflections on Fashion, 1970-1981, New York: Knopf.
  • Gilmore, James H. & B. Joseph Pine II (2007): Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
  • Grasseni, Cristina (2005): ’Slow Food, Fast Genes: Timescapes of Authenticity and Innovation in the Anthropology of Food’, Cambridge Anthropology, 25: 2, 79-94.
  • Gregson, Nicky, Kate Brooks & Louise Crewe (2001): ’Bjorn Again? Rethinking 70s Revivalism through the Reappropriation of 70s Clothing’, Fashion Theory, 5: 1, 3-27.
  • Gregson, Nicky & Louise Crewe (2003): Second-Hand Cultures, Oxford, England: Berg Publishers. doi: 10.2752/9781847888853
  • Guffey, Elizabeth (2006): Retro: The Culture of Revival, London: Reaktion Books.
  • Jenss, Heike (2004): ‘Dressed in History: Retro Styles and the Construction of Authenticity in Youth Culture’, Fashion Theory, 8: 4, 387-404. doi: 10.2752/136270404778051591
  • Jenss, Heike (2005): ‘Sixties Dress Only! The Consumption of the Past in a Retro Scene’, Alexandra Palmer & Hazel Clark (eds): Old Clothes, New Looks: Second-Hand Fashion, New York: Berg, 177-195.
  • Klein, Naomi (2000): No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, New York: Picador Press.
  • Love, Harriet (1982): Harriet Love’s Guide to Vintage Chic, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
  • Lyon, Phil & Anne Colquhoun (1999): ‘Selectively Living in the Past: Nostalgia and Lifestyle’, Journal of Consumer Studies & Home Economics, 23: 3, 191-196. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2737.1999.00108.x
  • Macdonald, Sharon (2013): Memorylands: Heritage and Identity in Europe Today, NY: Routledge.
  • McRobbie, Angela (1988): ‘Second-hand Dresses and the Role of Rag Market’, Angela McRobbie (ed), Zoot Suits and Second-Hand Dresses: An Anthology of Fashion and Music, Boston: Unwin-Hymen, 23-49.
  • Milinaire, Caterine & Carol Troy (1975): Cheap Chic, NY: Crown Publishers.
  • Morgado, Marcia A. (2003): ‘From Kitsch to Chic: The Transformation of Hawaiian Shirt Aesthetics’, Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 21: 2, 75-88. doi: 10.1177/0887302X0302100203
  • Peterson, Richard A. (2005): ‘In Search of Authenticity’, Journal of Management Studies, July 42: 5, 1083-1098.
  • Pickering, Michael & Emily Keightley (2006): ‘The Modalities of Nostalgia’, Current Sociology, 54: 6, 919-941. doi: 10.1177/0011392106068458
  • Polhemus, Ted (1994): Street Style, London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Reynolds, Simon (2011): Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past, NY: Faber & Faber.
  • Samuel, Raphael (1994): Theatres of Memory, New York: Verso Press.
  • Terrio, Susan J. (1996): ‘Crafting Grand Cru Chocolates in Contemporary France’, American Anthropologist, 98: 1, 67-79. doi: 10.1525/aa.1996.98.1.02a00070
  • Tiger, Lionel (1987): ‘Progress May Not, After All, Be Our Most Important Product,’ New York Times, Jan. 11, 1987, A1.
  • Vecchio, Walter and Robert Riley (1968): The Fashion Makers: A Photographic Record, New York: Crown Publishers.
  • Woodward, Sophie (2009): ‘The Myth of Street Style’, Fashion Theory, 13: 1, 83-102. doi: 10.2752/175174109X381355
  • Wilson, Elizabeth (1985): Adorned in Dreams: Fashion and Modernity, Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Zukin, Sharon (2005): Point of Purchase: How Shopping Changed American Culture, New York: Routledge.
  • Primary Sources

  • (1963): ‘Resale Shops are a Source of Good Buys’, New York Times, 30 July.
  • (1973): ‘Rags to Riches (Really)’, Time Magazine, 16 July, 102: 52.
  • (1975): ‘Secondhand Chic’, Time Magazine, 13 January, 105: 48.
  • (1979): ‘Retro Dressing’, Essence Magazine, 10November, 88-95.
  • Aldridge, Laura (1978): ‘California Girl: Her Fashion Style: Dressing in Antique Clothes,’ Seventeen Magazine, February, 120-125.
  • Barry, Joseph A. (1951): ’The Eiffel Tower – and Flea Mart Too’, New York Times, 19 August.
  • Colamosca, Anne (1978): ‘Rags to Riches’, New York Times, 21 May.
  • Delatiner, Barbara (1973): ‘Paula Butler Models a Denim Skirt Made from Overalls at Rag Garden Boutique in East Hampton’, New York Times, 23 August 26.
  • Emerson, Gloria (1958): ‘Second-Hand Shop Helps Women In Capital Whirl’, New York Times, 6 October.
  • Haggarty, Sandra (1970): ‘On Being Black: The Turnabout in Junking’, Los Angeles Times, 1 July.
  • Hatfield, Julie (1982): ‘Fashions for the Classes of ’82; What’s Happening in College? A Look That’s Vintage-Chic’, Boston Globe, 22 August, 1981: 1.
  • Hatfield, Julie (1985): ‘Clothes that Get Better With Age’, Boston Globe, 24 Jan: 65.
  • Hollander, Anne (1979): ‘Boom in Vintage Clothes’, Vogue April, 273.
  • Ickeringill, Nan (1966): ’Thrift Shops: A Small Boom in Big Bargains’, New York Times, 16 July.
  • Louie, Elaine (1987): ‘In Schools, Fashion is Whatever is ‘Fresh’, New York Times, 22 September.
  • Luther, Mary Lou (1957): ‘The Auntie Mame Influence!’, The Chicago Tribune, 5 February.
  • McLemore, Henry (1951): ‘The Lighter Side…’, Los Angeles Times, 15 August.
  • Peterson, Patricia (1967): ‘The Style That Was Is’, New York Times Magazine, 21 May.
  • Peterson, Patricia (1968): ’Top Bonanza’, New York Times Magazine, 28 January.
  • Shapiro, Harriet (1977): ‘Antique Clothes in Boutiques and Barns’, New York Times, 16 November.
  • Silver, Marc (1987): ‘The Overcoat, Over Time’, The Washington Post, 13 February.
  • Silver, Marc (1967): ‘Searching the Ragman’s Pack and Finding Fashion’, New York Times, 23 January.
  • Taylor, Angela (1970): ‘There’s Something New at Altman’s: Shop that Has Authentic Old Clothes’, New York Times, 9 July.
  • Taylor, Betty (1980): ‘Vintage Clothing Makes a Comeback’, Christian Science Monitor 3 September.
  • Younger, Cyndi (1987): ‘High Couture: Picking Clothes for a Statement’, Star Tribune 2 December, 1C.
  • Volume 7, Theme:: Theme: Circulating Stuff through Second-hand, Vintage and Retro Markets Edited by Staffan Appelgren and Anna Bohlin, Article 5, 2015

    Author:
    Nancy L. Fischer
    Title:
    Vintage, the First 40 Years: The Emergence and Persistence of Vintage Style in the United States:
    DOI:
    10.3384/cu.2000.1525.157145
    Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
    Citations:
  • Kathleen A. O’Donnell, Judi Strebe & Gary Mortimer (2016). The thrill of victory: Women and sport shopping. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 28: 240. DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2015.10.005
  •  

    Export in BibTex, RIS or text