Building a vintage wardrobe part 2: Vintage keywords

To find what you are looking for you need to know what it is or what its called. So I decided to make this easy keyword post. This will help you know what words you can use when you search for clothes.

This is not all fabrics, necklines, and words there is. But this is a good start for anyone starting a search.


Antique – items that are at least 75 years old.

Vintage – items aged between 25-74 years old

Retro – New but vintage inspired


Rockabilly – Clothing that stems from the early 50s rock and roll music scene – sherries, skulls, nautical, reds, black, whites and more!


Different names on necklines:

Queen Anne – This is almost like a sweetheart neckline but it has straps. In wedding dresses, the straps are usually made in lace.


Sweetheart – This is as shown above and below a neckline that represents a heart. This is common in swing dresses and corsets.


Off the shoulder – This is basically what it sounds like. It’s a neckline that is off the shoulder, as seen below.


Halter neck – This is a neckline that kinda resembles a tank top.


Boat neck – This can be seen as the sea horizon. From one shoulder to the other.

download (2).jpg

One shoulder – This is what it sounds like, a neckline on only one shoulder.




Tartan – plaidΒ download (3).jpg

Polka – SpottyOILPDBL_1.jpg

Floral – ChintzWaverly-677020-Spring-Bling-Spring-54-Fabric_1.jpg

Geometric – Graphicscrepemulti-m.jpg

Fair isleΒ – Icelandicil_340x270.1620915852_f08a.jpg


Differences in skirts:

Circle skirt -This is what usually is in swing dresses, it’s very big, poffy, fun and flirt. You can dance and the skirt dances with you.



Pencil skirt – This is a skirt that is very snug to your body and shows off those curves πŸ˜‰


A-line skirt – This is not very snug but not as big as the circle skirt. It’s more straight and simple.



Pinup girl or Pinup model, they have mass-produced pictures that see wide appeal as popular culture.

Cameo – this is a medallion depicting a 3D profile over a background of a contrasting color. Commonly used as charms or pendant pieces in Jewelry.


Years and their key looks

1920s – feathers, sequins, dropped waist, rolled down stockings

1930s – bias cut, velvet, and satin, gowns, flutter sleeves, thin belts

1940s – tailoring, austerity, hats, tea dresses, ditsy floral prints

1950s – circle skirts, Capri jeans, petticoats, wiggle dresses, mules

1960s – mini skirts, capes, beehive, go-go boots, tunics, crimplene

1970s – hotpants, boob tube, bell bottoms, maxi dresses, platforms

1980s – power dressing, shoulder pads, androgynous lace, denim.


8 thoughts on “Building a vintage wardrobe part 2: Vintage keywords

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