(Update: Defunkd has already written about this. He even started the post out with the definition of “vintage” like I did! Boy do I feel like an idiot.)
The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes “vintage” as such: “(The word is) Used to describe something that is not new but that is valued because of its good condition, attractive design”.
I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Why write an entire post about what is considered vintage when the dictionary explains it so well?
Quite frankly, because I don’t think Merriam Webster explains what makes a T-shirt vintage. It just says, “something”. That something could be anything! It could be lunch boxes. It could be pressed coins. Could it not also be for T-shirts?
There has to be some sort of cutoff date before each respective collectible is considered “vintage”, right?
So, for me, when it comes to T-shirts, my cutoff point is the year 2000. Any tee after that year (2001 to the present) can no longer qualify as “vintage” in my book. Perhaps in another ten years or so, I may reexamine what can be defined as a “vintage T-shirt” but for right now, as a collector who sells tees with regularity, my standard is to keep vintage at the year 2000 and before.
Lastly and for the record, I happen to be 35 years old. I DO NOT consider myself vintage. The “vintage rules” that apply to tees do not have the same applications with humans. There are billions of people on the planet with the average lifespan being about 67 years old. Using the same formula with humans, I would classify myself as just “kinda old”. I’m not going to be vintage for about another 20 years.