APPROXIMATE AGE: Without a size listed, earlier than 1958.
Noting whether a garment has a union or Made in USA tag, as well as recognizing popular silhouettes, patterns and colors of an era’s most popular clothing styles will also help to authenticate the age of a piece.Visit my article for 13 tips on dating vintage clothing labels!Beginning in the ’70s middle back zippers were always used on a garment. By 1974, numbers dipped to 44 million women sewing at home.[Back to the top.] LOOK FOR: Handmade garments without labels or tags. VINTAGE HISTORY: The American sewing industry boomed beginning in the ’50s, despite ready-made clothing available from mail order catalogs and department stores. But by the 1980s, women were purchasing mass produced fashion that was less expensive than ever thanks to outsourcing of production to Asian countries.Pulitzer herself began designing colorful floral dresses that wouldn’t show stands from her work at a Florida juice stand!
The dresses were so popular amongst the stand’s customers that she began producing a professional line.The sizing system changed again in 1984, to roughly 4 sizes bigger than modern size. [Back to the top.] LOOK FOR: The tag of a prominent designer or in-house line, such as Emilio Pucci (above) or Lilly Pultizer (below). VINTAGE HISTORY: Like the styles of clothing they created, the look of a designer tag changed throughout the history of the brand.Use the Vintage Fashion Guild’s label resource guide to compare your label’s design next to the tag pictures available.Emilio Pucci began designing in the late ’40s when commissioned him to design ski outfits for their winter 1947 issue, so a Pucci label can be from a 1940s piece or later.Lilly Pulitzer the brand was born in 1959, when Mrs.Beginning in the 1980s, the California flavor lost its luster and new brands were born emphasizing this new “me” generation.