• What Are Popular Vintage Clothing Brands?

What Are Popular Vintage Clothing Brands?

Last update: 2023-12-03

Vintage clothing refers to secondhand or used clothing usually from an earlier era or decade. As trends tend to repeat themselves, vintage clothing allows people to experience iconic styles from the past while reducing waste and costs. Many vintage clothing brands have withstood the test of time and remain popular today due to their timeless designs, high-quality materials, and craftsmanship.


History and Background

Founded in 1910 in Paris by fashion icon Coco Chanel, the House of Chanel pioneered modern women's fashion with its emphasis on relaxed silhouettes, menswear-inspired details, and versatile wardrobe staples. The interlocking double-C logo and signature tweed jackets epitomize the brand's elegant yet approachable aesthetic.

Over the decades, Chanel has attracted famous clients like Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, and Brigitte Bardot while outfitting women with must-have handbags and little black dresses. Today, vintage Chanel ranges from whimsical novelty earrings to investment-worthy suits and gowns.

Woman with black Chanel leather bag with silver chain

Tweed Jackets: Synonymous with Chanel, the boxy tweed jacket with gold buttons lined in grosgrain ribbon remains a coveted vintage find today. These jackets represent the essence of Chanel with their neutral palette and meticulous tailoring.

Quilted Bags: Chanel's 2.55 quilted shoulder bag debuted in February 1955 to instant success. Made with burgundy or black quilted lambskin and a signature woven-chain strap, the 2.55 bag and its many variations continue to be coveted vintage accessories.

Little Black Dress: Though not the original creator of the LBD, Coco Chanel helped popularize the versatile wardrobe staple. Simple, elegant vintage Chanel LBDs perfectly encapsulate the designer's refined aesthetic.

Oscar de la Renta

History and Background

Trained by iconic designers Cristóbal Balenciaga and Antonio del Castillo, Oscar de la Renta launched his eponymous fashion house in 1965 after dressing Jacqueline Kennedy for her husband's inauguration. De la Renta brought ladylike glamour to American fashion with his couture-inspired eveningwear and ready-to-wear collections.

Loved by socialites and celebrities alike for his impeccable attention to detail, beautiful fabrics, and flattering silhouettes, vintage Oscar de la Renta represents the pinnacle of feminine elegance and refinement.

32nd Annual Colleagues Spring Luncheon

Evening Gowns: With beads, sequins, embroidery, and floral appliques, Oscar de la Renta's ornate evening gowns make show-stopping vintage finds. Many feature his signature vibrant hues, dramatic necklines, and whimsical details.

Cocktail Dresses: Chic, minimalist vintage cocktail dresses exemplify de la Renta's knack for flattering the female form. Look for signature details like off-the-shoulder necklines, wrap silhouettes, ruching, and delicate lace accents.

Ball Skirts: Voluminous taffeta or tulle ball skirts and gowns billowing out from fitted bodices capture the fairy tale essence of vintage Oscar de la Renta. Popular iterations come in pastel hues or feature bold floral jacquard patterns.


History and Background

When Christian Dior presented his radical "New Look" collection in 1947 featuring nipped-in waists, full skirts, and soft shoulders, he changed the landscape of postwar fashion. Dior's ultra-feminine silhouettes contrasted with prevalent masculine styles and signaled a return to indulgent glamour.

After Dior's sudden death in 1957, Yves Saint Laurent took the creative lead before a string of designers continued building the brand into the global luxury powerhouse it is today. Vintage Dior encapsulates both the house's iconic beginnings and its enduring sophistication.

Christian Dior's logo is seen on the main store in Prague dior, or CD, is a French luxury goods company specializing in perfumes and fashion

Bar Suit: Dior's iconic 1947 bar suit with its tiny wasp waist and hip-accentuating jacket helped define the New Look era. Sought-after vintage versions represent the pinnacle of mid-century style and construction.

Cocktail Dresses: Delicate white crochet, dazzling sequins, and whimsical details give vintage Dior cocktail dresses dream-like appeal. Many fall at the knee or just below with nipped-in waists and full, swingy skirts.

Evening Gowns: Vintage Dior evening gowns run the gamut from minimalistcolumn silhouettes with lace illusion details to dramatic A-line ball gowns covered in intricate beading and embroidery.


History and Background

Guccio Gucci founded his eponymous fashion house in Florence, Italy in 1921. Initially focused on luxury leather goods, Gucci expanded into apparel and accessories over subsequent decades. Creative Director Tom Ford's overly sexy '90s campaigns and red carpet domination brought heat to the heritage brand. Today, vintage Gucci runs the gamut from humble canvas bags to dazzling disco-era showstoppers.

Milan, Italy - Detailed street style outfits during Milan Fashion Week - MFWSS19

Canvas Accessories: Durable, earth-toned canvas accessories covered in Gucci's interlocking double-G monogram or bold red and green stripes qualify as vintage grails today. Originally dismissed as cheap knockoffs, these bags and luggage are now collectibles.

Loafers: Gucci's Italian-made leather loafers with signature horsebit hardware have been in continuous production since the 1950s. Well-worn vintage pairs carry an authentic patina impossible to replicate. Coveted styles feature Gucci's metal nameplate on back heels.

Denim Pieces: Before premium denim dominated fashion, a pair of lean, straight vintage Gucci jeans or an embroidered jean jacket indicated status. Today such pieces signify quintessential '70s and '80s style in retro cuts. Embroidered florals and prominent logos drive desirability.

Ralph Lauren

History and Background

After debuting a wide, colorful necktie collection for men in 1967, Ralph Lauren steadily built an aspirational lifestyle empire known for All-American classics rooted in East Coast society style. Clean lines, natural fibers, rugged workwear details, and equestrian motifs encapsulate the brand's aesthetic across every product category.

Today vintage Ralph Lauren promises the kind of effortless polish and casual luxury the designer has been cultivating for over fifty years through staples like oxford cloth button-downs, canvas boat totes, and custom suiting.

Ralph Lauren store

Polo Shirts: Ralph Lauren's short sleeve cotton pique polo remains the ultimate preppy wardrobe essential. Your best bet is to scour thrift shops for made-in-USA vintage Polo shirts featuring vibrant colors and minimal wear.

Sweaters: Hearty cotton cable knits, cricket and tennis vests, shawl cardigans, v-necks, crewnecks...vintage Ralph Lauren offers endless variations on coveted sweater styles and prints in luxe natural fibers.

Blazers: Understated yet sophisticated navy and camel hair single and double-breasted blazers instantly convey Ivy League polish. For peak vintage appeal, look for metallic embroidered logos, football buttons, and striped ribbon lining.

Levi Strauss & Co.

History and Background

German immigrant entrepreneur Levi Strauss relocated to San Francisco in 1853 to open a dry goods business. Twenty years later, Strauss paired up with Reno, Nevada tailor Jacob Davis to patent and bring to market durable men's work pants called "waist overalls" made from a sturdy brown cotton duck canvas fabric imported from France known as "de Nimes" or denim for short. And thus the first pair of Levi's 501 jeans was born.

With over 145 years of history behind it, vintage versions of Levi's original 501 and other classic zipper-fly jeans, trucker jackets, and accessories relay rugged Americana and counterculture cool.

Levi Strauss & Co. Headquarters, San Francisco, CA

501s: Levi's flagship button-fly 501 XX jeans have long been workwear staples and status symbols associated with cowboys, bikers, rockstars, and everyday renegades thanks to their quality construction and role as seminal wardrobe essentials.

Trucker Jackets: Cut short and boxy for utility, Levi's denim jackets epitomize classic American casual wear thanks to details like contrast topstitching, copper rivets, and the iconic Two Horse leather patch. Vintage truckers break in beautifully over time.

Vintage Tees: Humble knit cotton t-shirts were some of Levi Strauss & Co.'s first branded merchandise. Usually white or black, these uniform undershirts featured discrete chest or back pocket logos and are now coveted band merch.


Whether digging through dusty thrift shops or scrolling online vintage racks, shoppers can unearth exciting special pieces with the allure of other eras from fashion's most storied brands. Vintage allows modern consumers to access the quality craftsmanship and materials of past luxury fashion items while giving treasured designs new life and homes.

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