A short little ditty about Sweet Cherry Vintage, owned by Shelley Brice-Boyle. Selling, specializing, collecting, and not to mention wearing vintage lingerie for nearly 11 years, and selling on eBay for approx 13 years. Self proclaimed historian and connoisseur in vintage lingerie. We own and have over 400 vintage lingerie garments, and feature them here on eBay for purchase for your collection. All run from our home based office and boudoir. Yes! The picture you see is of our actual collections, and only part of it! Featured in numerous online interviews and most recently in the book Irresistible: The Art of Lingerie 1920-1980 by Desire Smith.
If you are in the market for classic vintage lingerie then look no further! Buying vintage lingerie on eBay can be quite fun and a learning experience. Vintage lingerie is something that is desired by many people believe it or not!
The newer lingerie of today does not compare to the soft and subtle materials of the eras gone by. Unless you are ready to fork out major money for luxurious lingerie like Agent Provocateur etc. Sadly enough, soft nylon tricot satin, rayon and such are not created in today's lingerie, and most made from China.
When shopping for your vintage piece, make sure it is genuinely vintage by following some of our tips here. eBay makes searching such a breeze and you can search by category, keywords, or era.
Trying to Date your Garment?
Dating vintage lingerie can be a little tough to pinpoint down to the exact date when it was produced. If you familiarize yourself when labels and fabrics were used, styles and cuts, you can estimate when it was made. Vintage magazine adverts and vintage clothing catalogs will tell you the approximate year of production. There are many other ways to "guestimate" the era of your vintage piece, such as garment labeling (Union labels, RN numbers, and garment care instructions).
Couple of bullet points to keep in mind:
- Prior to 1941, most lingerie was created in glorious fabrics of rayon satins and silks.
- Shortly after 1941, you will see a lot more lingerie was being created in various nylon and nylon blends, although rayon was still used too. Nightgowns and peignoir sets created in fluffy chiffon nylon were very popular in the 1950s and 1960s, and moving forward to the 1970s/80s you will see more all nylon sets without chiffon.
- Vintage lingerie can be dated other ways. If there are "care instructions" on the label, your garment is most likely AFTER 1971.
Panties: All nylon gussets are most likely made before 1970, and might have a "pillowtab" in the waist. WARNING! There are panties being recreated and produced now with all nylon gussets/crotch areas that are and being called "vintage style or retro style and even vintage". These panties are even being created in what the seller calls "vintage nylon" and getting away with calling them vintage. Also, you will see a slew of "vintage nightgowns" that are not real vintage. When in doubt ask your seller if they are authentic true vintage or not and not reproduction panties or nightgowns.
- Wool Product Labels (WPL): Used from 1941 to 1959.
- Registered Numbers (RN): Starting in 1959 and still currently in use. If your garment has no RN number, it most likely is made before 1959. Also, there is a wonderful guide on eBay with the RN numbers of lingerie brands.
- Care of Garment Labels: The FTC required in 1971 that textile manufacturers list the garment care instructions on labels (Care Labeling Rule). The labels must have washing, drying, bleaching, ironing, and/or dry cleaning instructions. Rule of thumb, if your garment has care instructions it is most likely created AFTER 1971.
- Union Labels (ACWA & ILGWU)
Lingerie (Brands) labels currently still in production and approximate dates of start up:
Frederick's of Hollywood-1930's or 40's
Hollywood Vassarette (Munsingwear)-1940's to still in production just under the name Vassarette
Lily of France-late 1800's
Lucie Ann II-1980's
Olga-1948 still in production (although her nightgowns went out of production in the late 80's to early 90's). Rule of thumb, gowns with the 5 digit style numbers are 80's gowns. 4 Digit style numbers are earlier, and Olga NEVER created nightgowns before the mid/late 1960's. All her items were foundations/panty-slips prior to that.
Val Mode-Late 1930's
Victoria's Secret -started as a mail order catalog in the 1970's
Warner-1930's (interesting side note, Warner's invented the A,B,C,D Bra Cup sizing)
Wondermaid-1930's or 40'
The following brands of lingerie are all OUT of production and great finds:
Artemis (later Gossard merged with Artemis)
Cattani of California
Charmode (Vintage Sears exclusive brand)
Fischer Heavenly Lingerie
Gaymode (Vintage JCPenney exclusive brand)
Glydons or Glydons of Hollywood
GMc (Ginsburg Mfg. Co)
Henson Kickernick (later Kickernick merged with Henson)
Intime' of California
Jenelle of California
Lucie Ann~Claire Sandra
Rovel / Ro-Vel of California
Vanity Fair, History in the Making.
You may ask, "Why Vanity Fair?” Because Vanity Fair used to make some of the most beautiful lingerie we have ever seen and becoming so highly sought after. Created by skilled artisans of the lingerie business these little jewels are masterpieces and the work of pure geniuses. (In my opinion anyhow!) Dating back to 1899, the company started producing their little beauties in 1919 and is sadly ended in 2007,
Each garment is to be cherished for many years to come. We own and possess some of the most gorgeous pieces ever created and offer them to you here on eBay! (Well the one’s we can only part with of course!).
Rule of Thumb on Vanity Fair Labels:
Key Dates/Timeline on Vanity Fair
- 1899 Reading Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Company was founded by 8 men in Reading, Pennsylvania
- 1911 John Barley, one of the 8 men buys out the other men
- 1913 Name change: Reading Glove and Mitten becomes SCHUYLKILL SILK MILLS
- 1914 Silk lingerie starts being produced by the company, this is the start of the Vanity Fair lingerie!
- 1917 The name "Vanity Fair" is chosen through a name competition within the company for it's lingerie line
- 1919 Name change: Schuylkill Silk Mills becomes VANITY FAIR SILK MILLS, INC.
- 1921/22 Rayon, Acetate were used in addition to Silk, sometimes blended.
- 1929 Vanity Fair opens the Vanity Fair Stocking Company, producing silk stockings
- 1939 Designer NANCY MELCHER (assigner for VF) applies for a patent for the "Corselette", an "all in one" open bottom skirted style girdle, with bra and garters attached
- 1940 Production is stopped on all foundation garments (bras, girdles, etc.)
- 1941 Patent for the Vanity Fair Corselette was approved
- 1942 Name change: Vanity Fair drops the name "Silk" from the title, because of the embargo on silk during WWII
- 1945 Embargo on silk, elastic and nylon are lifted, and company resumes production of their foundations
- 1948 Vanity Fair announces halt on silk production and will convert everything to nylon, and this is when TRICOT was first used in VF lingerie.
- 1948/49 Hues in soft pinks, yellows, minty greens and blues, "Perma-Pleats, and various "prints" were introduced in the line of lingerie
- 1950 Vanity Fair Stocking Company closes
- 1951 Vanity Fair Mills goes "public"
- 1950s (known around 1952/53) Novelty prints (leopard, zebra, butterfly, etc.) were introduced, and higher end "conversation pieces" such as gold lame' items were produced in the mid 1950's
- 1958/59 Lycra (Spandex) is used in foundations along with rubber which was still being used
- 1961 Vanity Fair announces the discontinued use of rubber, and uses Lycra Spandex now.
- Mid 1960s (65 or 66) Themed lingerie was introduced in the entire line of their negligee's, slips, panties, girdles, brassieres, pettiskirts, loungewear etc. Some of these "themes" included: Rhapsody In Bloom, The White Collar Look, Fuji Drama, Luxury Liner, Hush Honey, Moon Flight and more.
- 1969 Name change: Vanity Fair Mills becomes VF CORPORATION. Company starts producing jeans wear after purchasing the H.D. Lee Company. Company acquires BERKSHIRE INTERNATIONAL CORP.
- 1970 Hosiery reintroduced
- 1981 Cotton panties introduced
- 1984 Fleecewear is introduced after Bassett-Walker, Inc is acquired.
- 1998 Bestform (Exquisite Form) and Lily of France are acquired by the VF Corp.
- 2007 Sadly, Vanity Fair sells out.
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Thank you so kindly!
Shelley from Sweet Cherry Vintage.