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Is it Vintage or an Antique? How Old is Old?

Is it Vintage or an Antique? How Old is Old?

What is the difference between vintage and antique, anyway?

Have you ever walked through an antique store grumpily mumbling to yourself because you found your favorite childhood toy for sale on the shelf?

These Legos are definitely vintage. We still have - and play with - most of them.

“How is this allowed?” you exclaim to no one in particular, with teeth clenched and ego deflated.

Technically speaking, the Batman lunchbox or Cabbage Patch Doll you saw at the shop isn’t an antique. Whew, thank goodness. Take a deep breath and relax, will ya? But it is probably old enough to be considered vintage. In fact, items are considered vintage at the age of twenty.

Which is kinda soon in my opinion. I mean, really. Stuff made in 2001 is now considered vintage? Really?


My college diploma is now vintage. <sarcastic fist bump>

Am I right to be touchy about this or am I just getting old. Please weigh in; enquiring minds want to know what you think (well at least I’m curious about it).

Antiques, on the other hand, must be at least 100 years old (according to the US government). So while many antique shops feature a variety of vintage wares, for legal purposes, an antique is a century in the making. Granted, even 100 years doesn’t seem as long as it used to. When I was a kid, antiques were from the 19th century, before cars and phones and electricity and such. But nowadays antiques are from the roaring twenties and it just don’t seem right no more.

Sorry, when I get worked up I lose my eloquence.

So now we know the technical specs that define the vintage vs. antique debate, but honestly, knowing this doesn’t necessarily make me feel better. In fact, it makes me feel a little older and not that much wiser. Hmm.

How do you feel about this? Does 2001 feel vintage to you, or are you just as confused as me about this passing of time? And now that clothing stores are embracing 1990s fashion (there’s a big “yikes” that I might tackle in a future blog post, if I’m mentally up to the challenge) does that make you feel differently?

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