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Posted In T-Shirt Ideas

Defining Vintage T Shirt Designs


We have all heard the word “vintage.” There are vintage shops of various types all across America. In fact, vintage stores are found throughout the world. Yet, the term is thrown around casually, without much attention paid to what exactly the term means. While it may not be true when it comes to vinyl, it is certainly valid when you hear the term “vintage T shirt designs.”

What Does Vintage Mean?

If you are like me, you want to have terms explained as simply and accurately as possible. You want to be able to understand in plain language what a word means. While the word vintage is used to describe many items of the past eras, this is not exactly what it means. In fact, the word is often confused with and misapplied to the term “retro.”

The term vintage refers to items that were produced after the 1920s. Before this period, the term applied is “antique.” The clothing, furniture and often other items are vintage up to any date that precedes the current one by at least 20 years. The products do not need to be worn or used to be called vintage. The word “retro” applies to a new item that resembles, copies, or mimics a style of an era in the past. It can refer to any item that mimics any period from the beginning of time. For example, you could wear a retro T shirt with a design from the late 1800’s or one featuring an ad from the 1960’s.

What Are Vintage T Shirt Designs?

To an extent, vintage T shirts designs are a combination of the retro and vintage definitions. Vintage T shirts are not a vintage T’s. They are not made in the appropriate eras. Vintage design T shirts are ones you have made or are made today. They are not retro, but feature a design that is considered vintage.

Vintage T shirts frequently are graphic T shirts featuring a vintage design. The picture or photo would be old as would any form of graphics, motto, or adages. Old slogans, old comic book covers, or characters –or even a retro advertisement. As you can see, this is where the lines between vintage and retro T shirts blur.

Why You May Opt for Vintage T Shirts Designs

There are many reasons why you may prefer to wear vintage T shirt designs. Overall, vintage style clothing continues to attract fashion designers over the ages. Vintage style, vintage inspired, or vintage reproductions on your T shirts remind us of the past. We may choose the designs based upon a love of color, a preference for specific graphics – e.g. the psychedelic abstracts of the 1960’s, or a favorite motto or design. Unlike many of the original vintage memorabilia, clothing or furniture, we can afford vintage T shirt designs.