Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to Date Vintage Clothing

Hello There! 

Today I'm going to talk to you about how to date and object (not like GO on a to tell how old something is).  This is not always an easy task. Sometimes a dress can look like it's from the 50s, but is really form the 70s. So, ho can you tell if something is as old as you think it is? 

Here are a few quick tips on what to look for to date your item!  

Metal Zippers -  Metal zippers are a good way to tell if your item is vintage. The position of the zipper is super important. Usually, garments from the 50s have zippers up the side instead of up the back. Also, they didn't start using zippers until the 30s, so if your garment is snaps and buttons only it MAY be from before the 30s. Also, keep in mind that even if the zipper is not metal, you may still have a vintage item. Someone might have had to replace the zipper. 

"Union Made" Tags  “Union Made” ILGWU (International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union) tags will help you date a garment super quick! The ILGWU split into different unions throughout time which resulted in different tag types. I found a timeline on EBay!
1900 – 1936 ILGWU AFL
1936 – 1940 ILGWU CIO
1940 – 1955 ILGWU AFL
1955 – 1995 ILGWU AFL-CIO
1975-1992 – Look for the Union Label campaign
1995 – 2004 UNITE!

You can see a great example of the different types of tags on the Vintage Fashion Guild Website

Labels - Labels are probably the best way to judge how old a piece is. Study the font and style of the label. You can check out the Vintage Fashion Guild Label Resource. You can search by brand to find info on your label.   

Care Labels - If a garment lacks a sewn in care instructions label, we know that the piece was made before 1971. Before 71, if a garment was not hand made it sometimes came with a care manual, but it was not sewn in. 

Polyester - Polyester was invented in 1941, but was not used as clothing material until the 50s. So, if your garment is made from polyester, it's 50s +. 


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