Generally speaking, clothing which was produced before the 1920s is referred to as antique clothing and clothing from the 1920s to 1980 is considered vintage. Retro, short for retrospective, usually refers to clothing that imitates the style of a previous era. Clothing produced more recently is usually called modern or contemporary fashion. Opinions vary on these definitions.
Vintage clothing is a generic term for new or second hand garments originating from a previous era. The phrase is also used in connection with a retail outlet, e.g. "vintage clothing store." It can also be used as an adjective: "This dress is vintage."The word vintage is copied from its use in wine terminology, as a more elegant-seeming euphemism for "old" clothes.
Most vintage clothing has been previously worn, but a small percentage of pieces have not. These are often old warehouse, or shop stock. These items are usually referred to by dealers as "dead stock", "old stock" or "new-old stock" and can be more sought after and more valuable than those that have been worn, especially if they have their original tags.