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July 2, 2014

The Great Debate:  Vintage  vs  Retro

The terms vintage and retro have been interchanged, used and abused for several years.  In order to make a distinction between the two we first have to clarify another important decorating word - antique.

It is accepted that antique refers to anything at least 100 years old.

That being said, vintage is generally used to refer to anything less
than 100 years old but more than 20 to 25 years old.  

Soooo, looks as if retro dates back to anything since around 1990.  With me so far?

Good 'cause we're about to have a pop(culture) quiz!

1.  Vintage   or   Retro?

2.  Vintage  or  Retro?

3.  Vintage  or  Retro?

4.  Vintage  or  Retro?

5.  Vintage  or  Retro?

6.  Vintage  or  Retro?

7.  Vintage  or  Retro?

8.  Vintage  or  Retro?

9.  Vintage  or  Retro?

10.  Vintage  or  Retro?

Let's see how you did:

1.  Vintage:  late 1950s, early 1960s;  The Beetle Game was a new type of family fun game, replacing older board games in popularity

2.  Retro:  early 1990s;  Today we have a different image when we think Magic Mike but the early Magic Mic was a big hit at birthday parties.

3.  Retro:  1990;  Airstep AW Grunge Boot was the bad boy's footwear of choice in the 90s

4.  Vintage:  1978;  Milton Bradley's Simon Says was one of the first battery powered games

5.  Vintage:  1980s;  Guess Jeans was instrumental in the Denim Invasion with acid wash, double bleached jeans

6.  Vintage:  1980s;  Windmere introduced the hair crimper as an alternative to perms

7.  Vintage:  1980's;  Banana clips became wildly popular and are still manufactured today.

8.  Retro: 2001;  every little girl wanted a Groovy Girls Pet and a Calypso Callie horse was at the top of the list.

9.  Vintage:  1975;  Sophie Griotto was a French fashion illustrator in the 1970s

10.  Vintage:  1978;  Estee Lauder introduced a new concept in perfume - a Lovenote Gold Purse necklace that was a solid perfume compact

How did you do?  If I had included items from the 40s and 50s it would have been too easy but a few were still stumpers, weren't they?

Today's featured items are becoming collectible and can still be found at reasonable prices at flea markets, yard sales, and thrift shops.  Which is your favorite memory?


  1. hahahahahahahaha... I remember all of these so I am a retro, vintage antique !

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Me, too! I'm an equal opportunity collector and don't discriminate against any age groups! haha

  2. I missed most of these in my guessing if they were vintage or retro.
    I guess it's because I'm "vintage" but at least not "antique" yet.

    1. I'm with you - sometimes I get a little hazy between 1990 - 2000. Most of my wardrobe definitely qualifies as retro but I find myself still hanging onto a few "vintage" sweaters.

  3. My guess from one to six Thanks. was right. the rest I had no idea. Now I know.

    1. It's such a blurred line between vintage and retro. Many collectors refer to anything from the 60s as retro - who makes these "rules"?!

  4. Great fun.. 2 or 3 I had no idea but of the rest I only got one wrong. But then I too am definitely vintage, and some of the retro stuff has passed me by.

    1. I should pay more attention to the potential collectibles between 1995 and 2005 as thrift shops are full of it but you only have room for so much stuff. And the older, the better!

  5. OMG Ioved Simon! And the Beetle game too. .Then there's the banana clips.

    1. Simon is the best. And the small 'travel' version - I felt my life was complete when it came out!