collage of vintage clothing from the 1980s

Vintage or Modern?

Online shopping has opened a venue for many people to buy and sell clothing, from professional businesses to closet-clear-out private-sellers and whether buying or selling it is important to know common re-selling terms being used to describe the condition of new, vintage or modern clothes. This list points to 8 most commonly used terms that are good to know by both buyers and clothing re-sellers.

  • For Buyers new to purchasing from clothing re-sellers the information provided below will assist in gaining some clarification in clothing terminology
  • For Re-Sellers new to clothes re-selling that need guidance in categorizing the condition of their for-sale-clothing this mini-guide will also offer help.
  1. New Current Style
  2. New with Tags
  3. New Old Stock/Dead-stock
  4. Vintage
  5. Antique
  6. Custom Made
  7. Hand-Made
  8. Upcycled/Re-Designed 

1. What is "New Current Style?

New Current Style applies to trending current clothes, there is a short window for clothing to be in New Current Style, clothing in this category have been are purchased directly from a retailer for personal use or sourced specifically to re-sale in what is called arbitrage in the clothing re-seller community, if the clothing item was never worn and all original accessories and tags are intact and the item was purchased within a couple of months prior to re-selling then the condition category is “New Current Style”, but only if the garment’s model is still trending and available at retail shops

2. What is "New with Tags"?

A clothing item that has been purchased for personal use and stored in a personal closet or sourced to re-sell and stored in a re-seller’s inventory for over a year but no longer than two years is considered “New with Tags” the garment must have all original accessories and tags, also there must not be odor issues, or storage damage such as creased fabrics or deformed by hangers issues.

3. What is "New Old Stock/Dead Stock"?

Clothing items that have never been worn and have been in a personal closet or sourced from a closed-down clothing store or in a re-sellers inventory from five to twenty years are considered New Old Stock/Dead Stock many new old stock garments only have the original tags, occasionally the original accessories and wrapping are included, however, the older the item is more condition issues are found one common issue is “vintage-odor” particularly noticeable on items over ten years old, also in many occasions accessories such as belts on dresses are missing, if the item is beaded there are beads missing, there may be fabric snags, and prominent in light colored fabrics is discoloration, additionally there are creased fabrics, and hanger marks, there should not be any signs of wear or the item being washed “New Old Stock” means the garment is new but no longer available at retailers and the model is of past seasons.

4. What is "Vintage"?

According to Wikipedia item made between 20 and 100 years ago are considered vintage and this is currently the most agreed upon metric by vintage gurus. When selling an item that is older than 20 years it is important to do some research or use personal experience to evaluate what Era the garment belongs to, today there are many vintage-like styles and fabrics, one sure way to know is the quality of the materials and the construction of the garment, if you are re-selling vintage clothing take a look at the tags most American vintage clothing was made in the USA, and the inevitable “vintage odor” is always present, vintage garments may or may not have original accessories and discoloration issues are not un-common, also there may be fabric snags and creased fabrics, and hanger marks, vintage clothing may be worn, or unworn.

5. What is "Antique"?

Any item made over 100 years ago is considered an antique per Wikipedia, If you are not sure if the garment you intent to sell was made over 100 years it is advisable to do some research and find resources online or in print, if you are considering selling antique clothing contact experts on this field may offer valuation services for a fee, and well worth it to ensure your are correctly describing your antique clothing as there are many nuances that determine in what period the garment was made as with vintage telltale signs include the typical “vintage odor” along fine fabrics and excellent sewing techniques, no longer seen in modern fast fashion clothing.

6. What is "Custom Made"?

If you ever had a tailor or seamstress make a garment to fit your figure, then you have a garment that was custom made for you and if you wish to sell this garment the correct category would be Custom Made, if you sourced a garment that has no label or has a hand-made label, is well cut, regardless if lined or unlined and made of quality materials and showing elaborate hand-finished details, it is likely you have a Custom Made garment.

7. What is "Hand-Made"?

There are many pieces of home-made clothing available in the re-seller market, some made by homemakers, sewing enthusiasts or people learning to sew professionally. There are some visual signs that can help determine if a garment is home-made, one of the most obvious is that the garment has no label, other telltale visuals are the quality of the fabric and the finishing touches, there could be stitching imperfections or fitting issues, currently in our online shop we have in our inventory a few of tops like this one that fit this description the fabric is cotton, the cut is simple the buttons are plain and inexpensive the tops were made in the 1920s and used for house chores, but these same tops can be replicated today utilizing inexpensive fabrics and using a simple blouse pattern, again to know if the garment was recently made or is vintage become familiar with authentic vintage fabrics and patterns this will help immensely in accurately assigning a condition category, an easy test would be to compare a branded garment against a potentially hand-made garment, it is easy to see the finishes on the branded product are consistent and the fit is much better.

8. What is "Upcycled/Re-Designed"?

Any garment whether vintage, antique or brand new can be upcycled/re-designed depending on the skill and design some pieces increase in value case in point take a look at this blouse it is a vintage 1980 polyester plain piece that was used painted in a striking Kachina Doll motif the paint job is flawless and professionally done, this blouse is now valued including the artwork

9. What is re-purposed?

A Garment that has been altered to be worn in a different way than was originally designed for example, a maxi skirt cut short to become a mini skirt, or a coat that has been converted into a vest, or pants that are re-purposed to become shorts. How do you know if a garment has been repurposed, take a close look at stitching and thread color if there is any difference in finishes it is likely that the garment was re-purposed, the is no loss in value in a repurposed piece, however if the finished product looks odd and fits poorly the value is diminished, carefully inspecting each garment for odd or unusual stitching and finishes help to provide an accurate condition of the garment.

Please contact me with comments and suggestions to make this content more useful.

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