Quasiperiodic functions (QPFs) are characterized by their full vortex structure in one unit cell. This characterization is much finer and more sensitive than the topological one given by the total vorticity per unit cell (the 'Chern index'). It is shown that QPFs with an arbitrarily prescribed vortex structure exist by constructing explicitly such a 'standard' QPF. Two QPFs with the same vortex structure are equivalent, in the sense that their ratio is a function which is strictly periodic, nonvanishing and at least continuous. A general QPF can then be approximately reconstructed from its vortex structure on the basis of the standard QPF and the equivalence concept. As another application of this concept, a simple method is proposed for calculating the quasiperiodic eigenvectors of periodic matrices. Possible applications to the quantum-chaos problem on a phase-space torus are briefly discussed.