Finally I got to a yoga class. So I had time to think. After mentally organizing my closet, yet as the teacher talked about focusing on our breathing, my thoughts moved on to a more philosophical question:
When does tired and old become cool and vintage?
The word vintage originated with wine making. As in “vin.” Vintage wine is of incredible quality, from a certain year, usually rare along with other remarkable benefits that lead to us paying more.
When do old cars and trucks become cute, “vintage” cars with character…and become comfortable and kind of cool to drive or to use for a food truck?
The old car we first drove in high school was embarrassing. Partly because it would break down in the middle of busy roads.
Then some boys re-framed started calling it a “cool surfer” car. Kind of like calling broken down old bikes “beach cruisers.” Suddenly we were so proud to have that old car that a few months earlier brought us shame.
When does our clothing become vintage and not just out of date?
When do older people stop being middle aged and become cute, old and wise?
Then there’s music. We older kids probably remember the first time we heard someone call the music of our youth retro or vintage.
And the cheese. We see aged cheese and vintage cheddars.
The Recipe for Vintage
Definitions of the word vintage are all over the map, including the most negative obsolete. Your wine is obsolete, dude!
Rather than use the prescribed definitions, a more qualitative look at what people call vintage seems to add up like this:
Time + scarcity + quality + good design* = vintage
*Do people call hideous old clothes or cars “vintage,” or more if they are cute? Seems bad design dumps products into “old.” Old is different from vintage, not necessarily meet the quality or scarcity tests. Perspective is everything.
“Antiques” seem to include a quality of rarity that vintage does not necessarily require, to be “vintage.”
What else becomes vintage, or not? Can anything be vintage? Is vintage the same as “aged?”