Nowadays, thrifting for your everyday clothing is something a lot of people find pleasure in. A vintage item is usually defined as something that is at least 20 years old. It's like a treasure hunt, and you're searching for gold. What most people seem to be missing is a map. When you're hunting for vintage finds, there are a few simple yet key details on an item that can point you to its age.
As a rule, metal zippers pre-date plastic ones. Before the 1930's women's garments didn't even use zippers because their easy on & off use (it was considered a vulgarity for women to easily undo clothing!) Despite the rising cost of metal in the 1950s, plastic zippers did not become common until 1968, and even then metal zippers were still used. The placement of a zipper on a garment can also show its age. Side seams are usually in place on older pieces, whereas modern clothing sports a back seam. Vintage zippers oftentimes have an engraving of a few letters on them. Look closely!
- "YKK" is a metal zipper company originally based in Japan in 1934.
- "TALON" is a zipper company from the USA that started in 1894
Oftentimes, the first place we look when buying vintage is at the label. There is so much to be said about the style of label, and whether or not other labels are present as well. An International Ladies' Garment Workers Union tag shows that the item dates from 1900-1995. The style of this tag changed a lot over the decades, and there are many photographic guides to clearly show which tag represents which era. If your item has a tag for instructions on care and laundering, you're most likely looking at something that was produces after 1971, when the U.S mandated that all clothing direct consumers on how to care for their garments. As for the style of the tag, the typography used is often dramatic and decorative. It's also common for a tag to state the place where it was produced (i.e "California" or "London"). Today, most tags have a separate label for the place of origin and don't proudly announce that an item was made in an Asian country.
Vintage sizes tend to vary a lot from the modern sizes we've come to known. Generally, vintage sizes are six numbers bigger than today's sizes. For example, if a tag states that it is size 12 but definitely looks a lot smaller than what you'd expect of that size, it's probably a size 6. Keep in mind, before 1958 women's clothing didn't even list sizes!
Now that you have just a few simple and easy to remember tips on buying vintage, go out there and dig! You never know what you'll find in the bottomless bins in the musty basement of Goodwill or Salvation army, but it could just be gold!
Written by Cora
Cynthia Rowley Deep Green Genuine Leather Purse Handbag Medium Satchel Bag 76D