Vintage or NOT. A fairly short explanation of how to date vintage clothing. Where to look and what to look for.
Vintage or NOT, How to date vintage clothing
I've had to make considerable changes as new information has been brought to my attention. I hope the integrity of the information is still intact and learning how to date your vintage clothing is still attainable.
Fashion tends to come full circle given time, and what was in, years ago goes out of style and if you wait long enough it will come back in style. As with today's return to vintage clothing especially that of the 50's, 60's, and 70's. Now I know, strictly speaking, this barely is in the vintage category. Many critics will tell you that vintage is over 50 years old and Antique over 100. But I take another view point and that is, if it is no longer easily attainable, it is Vintage. Most clothing items that are over 25 years of age are no longer easily attainable and so to me are vintage. Clothing, unlike other collectables, wears out with use or is thrown out when it goes out of style or no longer fits, or is simply delegated to the rear of the drawer never to be seen again except in an estate sale
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Vintage slips 4U, Intimate Apparel and so much more!
Before you get into reading about Vintage or Not I'd like to direct you to a pet peeve of mine and that is when people use terms for clothing too loosely ie: Gothic or Goth, Emo, Couture, and others. Each of these terms has a place in fashion, I just think too many are using the terms to attract buyers and/or hits without any relationship of the term to the garment. I could give you a lesson on these terms and others but I'd rather not. I'll just give one example. Emo? what does it mean and when should it be used? On EBay type Emo and see the thousands of hits it generates then look at what is listed and compare that to what Emo means.
Emo is a slang term first used to denote highly emotional charged punk rock music of the mid to late eighties. It is used to include fashion of that genre as well. Emo fashion is clothing that elicits emotion of a hardcore or hysterical nature that goes way beyond Goth. Gothic is dark, foreboding and sad and in some ways demonic. Goth can be drab or highly fashionable and fancy so long as the overall feel is dark. Whereas Emo is short for EMOTIONAL and it's origins lie in hysterical hardcore punk rock music of the mid to late eighties and Emo fashion likewise reflects this hardcore punked ideology or at the very least should elicit an emotional response akin to this manic raging hardcore hysteria. A t-shirt with a scene depicting the beheading of some rock star with all the blood and gore or a torn and tattered shirt as though ripped in a rage or a costume that is designed to elicit an emotional (not sexual) response (good or bad) is Emo. A black halter top or a deep plunging neckline on an otherwise normal dress is not. Although it may arouse the male it is not EMO. Likewise Couture is from Haute Couture meaning High Fashion and specifically denotes custom made or handmade gowns that can be hand beaded or sequined but are at the least fashionable and very fitted.******OK, I am getting off my soapbox for now, I just get a bit peeved when people use a term without even knowing what it means.
Just be aware that not all descriptive words are accurate, especially on EBay where the descriptive words in the Title are designed to get hits and bidders and yes I am guilty of using a term a bit loosely just to get more hits but at least I reign myself in and don't apply the term to everything I list, and, though this is not an excuse, I at least know what the term means and when it applies.
Vintage or NOT
(You may want to check our links page as well)
Now I know next to nothing about antique or vintage knick-knacks, furniture, glassware, paintings etc. but when it comes to clothing and fabrics I have a more than adequate knowledge and with my mother as a guide I can do passably well in this area of expertise. I have a close friend who has a vast knowledge of other items and between the three of us we have accumulated many items mostly from friends and a few relatives. We have let it be known we are searching for vintage clothing and have told them "if in doubt don't throw it out" we will take whatever you plan to throw away, as we have a dumpster if it is of no value. Some items come from estate sales, but many toss the clothing before ever advertising the sale. They, like others, see no value there. Those that include the clothing sell it in a lot and we get a lot of stuff that we have to throw away or give to charity, just to find the few pearls in the collection. Some not vintage but still worthy of listing, some Vintage, some Antique. Clothing is an area where knowledge reigns supreme as there is practically no dating of clothing. You need to know style, designers, materials, weaves, and other tell tale signs. I see many sites advertise something as vintage but I can see by a cursory glance that the item is not Vintage; not even more than a decade old. Many clothiers are making reproductions so one has to be wary. Look to material, tags, sewing, cut, and even then you can't be 100% sure unless you can carbon date the item. Well maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration but not too far off, as you will see.
How many garments do you have that date back 25 years? Unless you have kept your figure and have a packrat mentality, most likely nothing. If you are like most then you will be able to count them on one hand, if you have any at all. We simply get rid of out of style or worn out clothes. Whereas we may keep Grandmas mixing bowls we will throw out her musty smelling dress from the 40's without so much as a second thought.
There should be links on the links page to sites that go into more detail on how to decide what is vintage and what is new. I have been to several sites that 'claim' an article of clothing to be from say the 40's or 50's, and carry a hefty price because of it too. But even a cursory glance of the article on the web site is a dead giveaway that the seller knows little of what they are talking about, as the item could have been made yesterday. They say little in their descriptions as to how they came to date the item. Was it the tag, the material, the style? What leads you to believe it is from a certain era? Many clothiers are making clothing that replicates that of vintage as that style in now IN again. We try to place our identifying items in the listing, like tags and weaves and cuts but many times it boils down to knowledge. I have listed many items I know are from the 50's as just vintage possibly 50's because I could find no specific identifier to point to other than my knowledge and to say it is from a particular era... even I need more than that. I may think it to be true but if I can't prove it I will not say absolutely that it is. I may indicate I believe it to be from the era but you have to take my word for it or do your own research.
Speaking of which I've had a couple people ask about the age of the garment as it relates to the tag, so I've placed a link to :
RULES AND REGULATIONS UNDER
This was enacted in 1960 and has been amended over the years: Keep in mind this is only one of many ways to get a handle on the date of manufacture and this only lets us know if an item is pre 1960 or after. There are other things we must ascertain to narrow our date of a particular item.
You can continue and come back to this later.
16 CFR Part 303
Table of Contents
We can continue here and come back if you wish to wade through all that the ACT entails.
When dating clothing there is no exact science. There is no date on the tag as to the date of manufacture of the article. Sometimes you will find lot #'s (RN#'s) on the tag and thanks to a reader who sent me this info, I now have a couple locations you can try to find some information on these 'RN' tags.
If you have an item with an RN or WPL number but don't know the manufacturer, you can look that information up here:
If you'd like to look up a company's trademarks and logos, or see whether a company is still in business, you can check here:
Both sites take some getting used to, but they can provide useful information to help date your items.
If you want to credit me for this info (not
necessary, of course), just say,
Thank you Liza for your invaluable contribution to this page.
I've had people say "If it has a metal zipper it is old" Possibly, but Plastic zippers came out in the late 1920's. They were not as reliable as today's zippers but they were available, though seldom used. They gained in popularity in the 50's and 60's as nylon zippers caught on and they were more reliable to hold fast. The majority of manufactures used metal zippers which were popular from the early 30's to the late 60's. Some would have you believe that metal zippers went out of style then and are no longer used. WRONG. They are still used though not as often and mostly by high end manufacturers or for heavier uses such as jeans and coats. Also metal zippers can be bought at any department store and the plastic replaced and if the person doing the replacing is a good seamstress then seeing the replacement can be difficult. So much for those half truths. I've had people say a cloth tag denotes age. True, but many manufacturers held onto cloth tags for much longer than others and some were ahead of the curve placing nylon tags in their clothing in the late 50's. Dupont Corp. invented nylon in 1934 and commercially produced it in 1938 and it fast became a staple of the garment industry. But then WWll came along and the military used so much nylon that manufacture of clothing had to fall back on rayon or silk and the latter was in short supply as well. So how do you tell?
Well a sure sign is if you get an article of clothing from a manufacturer that went out of business in the 20's, 30's, 40's, or 50's. Now I could list some but there were quite literally thousands and I do not know them all. Many were small mom and pop operations, some small partnerships, but also some larger names as well. The great depression of the early and mid 30's drove many companies that did not have deep pockets out of business. Then WW II and the governments need for natural and synthetic fibers caused many more to go out of business as it inflated prices, or they had to find a way to produce synthetic clothing of Rayon that was fashionable. (Actually Rayon is not really a synthetic as it is made from cellulose fiber of wood pulp, so is a natural fiber like cotton but has the look and feel of a synthetic.) The government also took most all production of nylon for making parachutes and strong cords and airplane tire reinforcement. The 50's became a time when many fledgling companies tried to make a go of it as prosperous times were upon us and many failed due to more than adequate competition and fashion was changing at a pace that only the companies with the resources could keep up with. The sixties were no easier and many more companies went out of business while the fat cats were just getting more market share. There were a few new companies that were able to eek out an existence selling to the newfound 'hippie' movement in the sixties. It was in the fifties and sixties that fashion runways and other shows had their heyday and it continues today with showing of current designers that are in vogue. (not the magazine)
Some ebay wisdom (That many take as gospel which you should never do) says Some manufacturers changed their labels at certain points in time like Vanity Fair who used dark blue woven script labels in the 30's and 40's light blue woven script labels late 40's and 50's and into the early 60's, Block letters in the 60's and early 70's and the current script lettering from early/mid 70's to date. ( Just a note here: This was the common wisdom quoted by many on ebay who date vintage clothing but as you read on you will find evidence that places light blue woven labels much later. Yea that's right. The proof is in the pudding read on and see. Perhaps an overlap of woven and printed labels before that.) Large purple script in the back of some clothing mostly Lingerie and housecoats denotes the 70's. But some take as gospel that a block letter tag means late 50's and sixties. Look at the material if it is Antron, Antron was developed in 1960 by Dupont as a carpet fiber but rather quickly it was being used in the manufacture of clothes. Dupont then came out with Antron II and Antron III, I do not know the exact years (wish I did) but because of a rare find documented later on, I found a light blue woven script with Antron III so I know that Woven Vanity Fair Light Blue labels were used into the 70's and that block letter tags say mid to late 60's over lapping woven script ( one of my readers has found an article that claims to be from a 1970 magazine that seems to state that Antron III was introduced around 1970.) Till I find the exact dates that Antron II and III came out this is as close as we can place the light blue woven label of Vanity Fair.. Whereas block lettering and plain Antron, I would let it go as early/ mid sixties. But block letters and Antron could not be before 1960 as Antron wasn't yet developed even as a carpet fiber. AND this only if Vanity Fair Woven labels overlapped Block letter labels because I have proof that woven labels were used into the late 60's ( now I know it was at least until 1970 with perhaps some overlap!). Or a Vanity Fair Block letter tag with Antron III would be no later than the early/mid 70's as the Block letter tag was replaced with the current script by the mid seventies.
As happens most often we come across something that has great significance in how we can date garments. recently I acquired a half slip that had a light blue woven script Vanity Fair label and it was made of 100% nylon Antron III. This was like finding a gold mine in that it gave me an ability to narrow down the date of manufacture of this slip and any others I may find. Here is how:
Vintage Vanity Fair
We can date this half slip fairly accurately by the label, which is an embroidered label in light blue, which according to many sources Vanity Fair used from the late 40’s through the 50’s. In the mid 60’s they switched to printed block letters and in the 70’s they went to script printed tags (This turns out not to be accurate and There is some overlap as you will see). We know Antron was first introduced in 1960. . Also Antron III came out around 1970. So having an embroidered tag that was phased out in the 60’s and Antron III which came on the market in the late 60's most likely 1970 we know this slip was made very close to 1970 and because we know that the Block letter tag was used by the mid sixties overlapping woven script we can date this to about 1970. Because of this transition we can place the date of mfg to within a few years (1969 - 1971) Most likely closer to the mid range of 1970 and in dating clothing this is remarkable to be able to narrow a mfg date to so close a point in time. So much for theory. Block letter tags may have been introduced in the 60's but they didn't completely replace woven script till at least 1970.
Now to be fair I've had another reader interject that they found at the USPTO site evidence that Antron III was not commercially produced till 1979 BUT read on as I will show you a common mistake.
An excerpt of the readers comments.
(You can look that up at the USPTO. Dupont owns the
trademark as they developed it and they say:
Antron III was first used and first used in commerce on 12/31/79.)
IF this is true it would place blue woven script into 1980 and that would debunk most everyone's opinion of dating by that tag including my own. Until I receive corroborating information I will have to go by what I know to be true. But just keep this tidbit in mind. We must always be open to new information and that is what makes dating so difficult. Nothing is ever clear-cut. We must rely on our sense of fashion as much if not more than prevailing wisdom.
OK. I've done some research on this subject and I post it here along with my opinion's. I do not say that I am correct in my assumptions I only post this so that you may see that dating vintage more often than not is a matter of knowledge of style and fashion than anything else.
Now the reply to the email I got stating Antron III was first used on 12/31/1979
Thanks for the info. It took some time to get to the core issue and that is when Antron III hit the market. It would appear that was in 1979 according to the information you provided. BUT: but one must look closer at the documentation.
First of all a trademark is not necessary to be filed with the USPTO in order for it to be used and for it to be valid. There are common law statutes that protect a trademark even without filing for registry. State and local laws may also apply.
If you look at the ad on my web page you will notice that Antron is followed by the ® (registered trademark) but after the III there is nothing. This is quite simple in that it denotes that Antron is a registered trademark whereas Antron III or the III was not as yet registered.
From the USPTO site.
When can I use the trademark symbols TM, SM and ®?
Any time you claim rights in a mark, you may use the "TM" (trademark) or "SM" (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the USPTO. However, you may use the federal registration symbol "®" only after the USPTO actually registers a mark, and not while an application is pending. Also, you may use the registration symbol with the mark only on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the federal trademark registration.
If Antron was a register trademark and Antron III was not, then it makes perfect sense by the governing rules of the USPTO that they would place the ®after Antron and not the III, as Antron would be listed in the trademark registration but not Antron III or the III.
In the information you provided I find that indeed they have stated a first use of 12/31/1979. I find this date somewhat arbitrary as who is working on New Years Eve? I would think this date was plucked from wherever just to establish a first use date for filing. If no one had yet infringed on them and they had no reason to prove a first use then any date would have been acceptable.
To see if this might be the case I researched further. I highlight the relevant date in red. Skip down to the section on the US Patent.
Here you will see that a patent was approved on April 9 1974 for what we now know as Antron III. Looking into this further we see that the application was done on June 19, 1973 and that an original patent was applied for on July 21, 1972 which was abandoned. The relevant date is in red. More than likely they needed to tweak their language so as to incorporate a broader spectrum of uses so that they would not be infringed upon. One must understand that in submitting a patent you have to be very careful to be all inclusive. If you leave anything out anyone can lay claim to that which is not included in the application. See below:
SYNTHETIC FILAMENT HAVING ANTISTATIC PROPERTIES
Novel synthetic filament having antistatic properties comprising a continuous nonconducting sheath of synthetic polymer surrounding a conductive polymeric core containing carbon black.
References Cited [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
Miller; J. D.
Parent Case Text
********* I hope you are able to receive html, as the tables will be disorganized if you can’t. I plan on posting this to my web just to show how convoluted it can become to date vintage clothing. You may be able to read it better there.
Now there is the matter of when did Antron III actually hit the market? Well it is quite possible that it did so even before an application of patent was applied for. I say this because of several things that I believe to be true.
In conclusion I thank you for bringing this to my attention but from what I have been able to find out I do not think it a persuasive argument that Antron III was not in use in 1970. Though it may not have been till the first patent application in 1972. I think that if anything we have created some ambiguity in Antron III’s release of either 1970 or 1972 but I do not think that Dupont would have waited till 1979 before putting it into production. The advertisement is 'supposed' to have come from a 1970 magazine and I see no need to doubt that assertion based on the information I have. I see no reason to believe Dupont was not in production of Antron III by 1970. The tag I have clearly indicates that Antron was patented but III was not.
Their (Dupont's) application of patent would have been of more interest to Dupont than their application of Trademark as it clearly states that a trademark need not be registered to be recognized.
Again I thank you for bringing this to my attention.
Ok. That is the letter I sent and now back to what I had posted before getting this news.
Just remember you have to dig deep and even then cannot be 100% sure.
Of course we are assuming that Antron III did not hit the market till at least 1970 (according to the advertisement submitted by a reader) and that Block letter tags replaced the woven script by 1970 (common thought mid 60's not documented by fact ) Still our margin for error has been reduced significantly. We can now place woven tags into the 70's, which defies most soothsayers of the Vanity Fair dating world. Many will say woven script denotes pre sixties but I have proof that a light blue woven script had Antron III, and an advertisement that shows Antron III as a new fabric in 1970. This together means that woven script was used at least till 1970 So for all those that say with impunity that woven script denotes 1950's... Your wrong! Sorry but the facts do not bear witness to your beliefs. And we can say with 'some' certainty that Antron III was in production by 1970. Together this allows us to narrow the date of an item considerably. This item in particular but there is a ripple effect as now we know woven tags were used into the early seventies and Antron III was in production before they were phased out to be replaced by Block letter printed tags. Obviously there was some overlap. A company is not going to throw out perfectly good labels and if they have a truckload of them it could conceivably take years to switch over. Also not all garments are manufactured by the same plant and some would have switched much earlier than others, hence the overlap.
This is the tag that blurred the lines and yet narrowed the margin of error. I know it is a bit difficult to read but it clearly states Vanity Fair in woven script and shows the contents as Antron ® III. I looked at it under a magnifying glass to be sure it wasn't Antron II. This picture does not show it well. You need to pull the fabric tight and look closely. I have since sold this item to a buyer in the UK. This one tag ( along with the advertisement for Antron III) allows us to take woven tags into the 70's and shows Antron III was in production after and/or during the time of Block letter tags that we have always assumed were early sixties and now must reevaluate as being perhaps an overlap with woven tags through the mid sixties into the 70's. We still have not narrowed our date to a Date Certain but we have narrowed it to somewhere around 1970 and we have helped to narrow when Antron III came on the market and when Block letter tags replaced woven script.
With this knowledge we can no longer say woven script was 1950's or earlier unless the fabric does not contain Antron. But even then who is to say that an all nylon (no Antron) was not used in a garment produced in the early 60's as we have just proven that Vanity Fair embroidered script tags were indeed used into the early 70's. And we can still purchase all nylon today. We have closed some doors and opened others and still it is knowledge of style together with materials and tags that combine to give us a range. Granted in some cases we can narrow the range but unless we bought it new ourselves or have the buyer swear to it's authenticity we still have only a range not a Date Certain.
The fact this half slip also has a pillow tab in the waistband is also a testament to its age.
I've had to amend my statements regarding the date of this slip because of new information. I think we need to always be open to information that helps us even though it may fly in the face of what we once thought was a certainty. It is now several years since I placed this on the site and new information has come to light thanks to a reader (Shari T. -last name withheld) That sheds new light on the woven tag issue and Antron III. As it turns out Shari found an advertisement for Antron III That dates to 1970 which seems to indicate it is a new material at that time. This would place the date of the woven tag to at least 1970, totally debunking what most previously thought including myself. We can no longer say that light blue woven tags denote early sixties and surely the evidence is overwhelming that indeed they were used at least throughout the sixties and probably into the seventies. Dating Vanity Fair just got more difficult and you need your sense of styles even more pronounced given this new information.
I was just about positive that the Vanity Fair light woven tag was replaced by the mid sixties and now it would appear that they were in use till 1970 -1972. This means the slip with the woven light blue tag could have been made as recently as the early seventies.
I post here the ad submitted to me by Shari that has so turned my world upside down!
The ad was listed for sale and dated 1970. If you take the time to magnify the print it clearly indicates Antron III is a new (anti-cling) fiber. If the ad was indeed 1970 (and I have no proof of this as there is not a readable date just a proclamation of the person who submitted this.) then we have to readjust our previous thinking.
This is why dating vintage is so difficult. We have to put all the pieces together and still it comes down to a best guess scenario based on our "knowledge".
Note again that Antron is followed by the registered trademark symbol ® and that the III is not.
Thank you Shari for sending me this information!!!!
I have placed Shari's website on my links page in appreciation for her contribution.
Another point that I'd like to make is many tags will say " ALL NYLON" or "100% NYLON". The All Nylon Tag is most often the older. If a tag states ALL NYLON I have a tendency to place it in the sixties or earlier if the garment looks vintage. If it states 100% Nylon I have a tendency to place it late 60's -70's or later. Why? Well partly because of the fabric mandate of the government in 1960 that required for companies to list the percentage of each fiber. Hence the % being used. But an article of clothing that is made all of one fiber may still be referred to as "All" even today, but most Mfg's went to % signs as blended fabrics became more common. (I can buy products today that state All Nylon exclusive of Decoration.)
One must look to the
RULES AND REGULATIONS UNDER
to see that "All" is still allowed.
§ 303.27 Use of the term "All" or "100%."
Where a textile fiber product or part thereof is comprised wholly of one fiber, other than any fiber ornamentation, decoration, elastic, or trimming as to which fiber content disclosure is not required, either the word All or the term 100% may be used in labeling, together with the correct generic name of the fiber and any qualifying phrase, when required; as for example: "100% Cotton," "All Rayon, Exclusive of Ornamentation," "100% Acetate, Exclusive of Decoration," "All Nylon, Exclusive of Elastic," etc.
Also through years of experience this is what I have found to be more the norm than the exception. But a caution, One must always consider other influences like materials, style, other tags, type of tag, etc. If a tag does not include the word "All" or 100% then it most likely predates the implementation of the1960 mandate. ( Provided the item was made for the American market as there were no such restrictions on foreign sold clothing)
So what styles were 'IN' in the sixties? Free flowing dresses of multicolor and leather vests with tassels and sandals but what changed in the lingerie department? Well not much except for those producing sexy nightwear such as Frederick's of Hollywood and Victoria's Secret and Henson Kickernick and Van Raalte and some Kayser and a few others who saw lingerie as a sex object and made some changes to style that was imaginative and decadent. Many stores would not carry these risqué intimates as in that era they thought it would be offensive and the male dominated hierarchy was not about to put in jeopardy the bottom line. So many manufacturers stayed with a more conservative line. The tried and true Vanity Fair, Bestform, Wondermaid, Maidenform and Olga and others may have put a bit more lace on and got a bit more sheer in the fabric department but their overall styles did not change so much that you could say "this is 60's" unless you know something of fabrics and tags to go along with styles. Or Sears Roebuck who used both names pre 1974 and only Sears post 1974. But some will see a garment made by another company for Sears and see Sears Roebuck on the fabric details tag and think they found a gold mine. NOT. Sears label will be on the main tag, if it is on the laundering or fabric tag it means nothing. Many manufacturers will make a line of clothing for a certain store and include the store name on the fabric and laundering tag.
For instance Jones Apparel Group sells under these brands:
A | Line, Bandolino, Bandolinoblu, Erika
, Evan-Picone, Gloria Vanderbilt, Jeanstar, Jones Wear
, AK Anne Klein, Circa, Joan & David, Easy Spirit, Enzo
Angiolini, Jones New York, Judith Jack, Mootsie Tootsies, Napier, Nine West,
Pappagallo, Sam & Libby, Westies, GLO Jeans, Energie, Nine & Company, Norton McNaughton, Rena Rowan, Anne Klein New York, Albert Nipon, Jones New York Collection
Recognize any names?
This is just "ONE" apparel mfg, and there are hundreds out there, and they have dozens of brand names they manufacture under and hundreds of stores they sell to exclusively. Sometimes A certain brand for a certain store, hence the laundering tag showing the stores name. Some are considered high end designer and others normal everyday wear, but all made for, or by the same Mfg.
I've researched dozens and believe me, you would be surprised to see who makes the designer clothes you pay hundreds for. The same who make the clothes you buy at Kmart or Wal-Mart. So what makes them special? The Name? The design ? My advise buy what you like and forget the name it's all hype. But for those who buy into the hype we carry designer clothes as well. (tongue in cheek) But sometimes we can date these clothes by when they came to market or rather when the brand came to market.
The government also placed certain restrictions on clothing labels that help to date clothing. 1964 the Woolmark label was introduced as an International identity label for wool. In 1960 an act mandated that all garments have a label stating the percentage of each fiber. ( Use of the word 'ALL' acceptable if the garment exclusive of decoration is 100% of a certain material)
My mother and my husbands mother lived in the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, etc. and can tell by the fashion of a dress whether it was from that era. But to narrow the date to something like a certain year is impossible. The best you can hope for on most clothing is within a decade. Some clothing was only made for a short time and so is easily dated but most was made so long as it sold.
There are many companies that will run a line of clothing for several years if not decades if the style is popular. Take Levi and Wrangler jeans. Subtle differences such as Big E verses little e in the tag or tie back verses buckle back verses cinch back. All point to date or at least a range of dating. Many clothes spanned decades and to say this particular item is from the 1950's you would have had to purchase it yourself to be 100% sure. Then again some styles came and went in a year or two and dating these can be easy like the Zoot Suit of the early 40's was only popular for a couple years. Or a Haute Couture (French for High Fashion) beaded dress of the 1920's is easily identified. They were made for a limited time, most everything was hand sewn and the beading can be dated as well. This type of fashion was only in style for a short period so we can narrow it down to the 20's most likely mid to late 20's but to give an exact year you would have to know when the dress was commissioned as most were made for individuals rather than storefronts. Couture fashion today still denotes custom made often handmade fitted dresses that are still most often beaded and/or sequined. And for the most part are made in France.
But now we try to date under garments and we find an even more difficult time. Style of undergarments did not change as rapidly as outer wear. With the advent of nylon and polyester, slips made of this material were worn under the scratchy wool or linen material clothing was then being made of, to comfort the wearer. A bit of lace was thrown in just to add a bit of appeal but many earlier undergarments were of cloth and had no lace. Fairly plain. Those that did were bought by the more risqué among the population or the more affluent as most really fine lingerie was made of silk and this was too expensive for the general public. During WWII the pinup became popular and so panties and bras that were sheer and had some embellishments appeared on the scene but It really wasn't till after World War ll that under garments started to get more embellishments. Our service guys were coming home and they wanted to see their little ladies done up nice and that included what was under the outerwear. Many had, had there first exposure to very feminine underwear during their time in Europe and they saw no reason their ladies at home couldn't wear the same. Manufacturers had already switched to Rayon and Nylon was on a comeback as the military was no longer its biggest consumer. And the advent of stockings made of nylon or nylons as Dupont did not register the nylon name became very popular. The late 40's and early 50's saw a great rise in popularity of lacey and frilly undergarments in all sorts of colors. The austerity of WWII was gone and Fashion was 'IN' and many women of the time thought nothing of spending hours and quite a few dollars to look their finest and out do the competition, This included their under garments. My mother remembers it as a time of glamour and high fashion as everyone wanted to look like a movie star.
The era of Marilyn Monroe was in!!! Not only did she change the way people viewed sexy but she had a large impact on lingerie. Also lets not forget that Playboy magazine first hit the news stands in December of 1953 when Hugh Hefner's first issue carried a nude photograph of Marilyn Monroe. Yes many of the older generation were offended but most of the younger wanted to be just like her and the see through nighties and panties and gowns became much more prevalent. Sexy flamboyant frills were IN and here to stay.
This only became more exaggerated in the free love era of the sixties and early seventies. Though many younger women burned their bras and took to wearing pants their were even more who dolled themselves up in the new fabrics and styles that were coming out due to some fantastic leaps in synthetic materials and the fact that cocktail parties and a more risqué influence by movies of the time were all the rage. The middle class was having its heyday with lavish parties and everyone especially the women were wearing all the latest fashions trying to outdo one another.
Think about it. By the mid fifties most everyone had a TV and what they saw they wanted. Audrey Hepburn in her very fitted dresses, even Lucy wore very fitted dresses. Many shows would give a glimpse of underwear but most kept it concealed so as not to offend the public. But much was shown in magazines especially Playboy and others that came after. By the free love era many smaller stores filled the nitch and supplied the 'naughty' under garments everyone wanted.
Fashion played a large role in undergarments from the 50's onward but synthetic fibers had an even larger role. So dating undergarments from the 50's onward becomes much easier than clothing from before this era. But still what is there to look for as Nylon, Polyester, Rayon were all fashionable as they gave the wearer comfort and a barrier from the rough tweed or woolen skirt or rough linen dress of the time. Again we have to turn to our knowledge and fit it against things we see. A mfg that's gone under is the best but nearly impossible to find. A cloth tag but this is not enough evidence. The type of material can tell us something. Nylon invented in 1934 commercialized in 1938 and used widely after WWll. Antron another Dupont trade name invented in 1960 as a carpet fiber but quickly was used in the garment industry and as the thickness was reduced and processes for anti-cling and stretch, Antron ll mid 60's and Antron lll 1970 it was well incorporated into undergarments almost the day it came out.
Tricot is a type of weave that has been around forever but with the new synthetics it took on more meaning. Tricot weave allows for a certain amount of give or elasticity and this is something 100% nylon did not have. Later they would blend nylon with an elastic material such as Spandex another Dupont brand name and stretch in fabric was no longer merely due to the weave of the cloth. But the addition of Spandex, or any other elastic material made the fabric less smooth, and less slippery. So most garments that contain Spandex the Spandex is in the waistband more often than not and the weave of the fabric allows for stretch. Though panties use spandex in the material as well mostly to allow for different body forms or to use as a control and shaper.
Also the spin of the fabric threads can account for elastic properties. Antron ll and Antron lll are examples of a synthetic fiber that has been reduced in thickness but also has been twisted to give it an elastic quality similar to a spring. Antron III is also hollow allowing for compression. When combined with a tricot weave and Spandex you get a VERY stretchy material that stretches in all directions. Most fabrics are woven to only stretch one way, generally side to side. Satin was another fashion trend. It is merely a nylon that has been glazed on one or both sides to give it a luster and slippery sheen that few can out do. It is a bit stiffer fabric (do to the glazing process) and was not used much in intimates but was used a lot for outerwear and wedding dresses. In time glazing was perfected so that it was not so stiff and it then began to be seen on underwear but for the most part it was still used as decoration.
Polyester was under scientific scrutiny as early as 1929. When DuPont finally entered the fray ICI had already patented Terylene polyester. DuPont saw the promise of polyester and purchased the rights in 1945. In 1950 DuPont opened its first plant to produce Dacron®. A polyester. Though polyester has wonderful characteristics for under garments it never received the publics welcome as much as the more popular nylon. Though as with nylon eventually they were able to refine polyester to make it every bit as shiny and slippery as nylon. Personally I've found some polyesters to be even more desirable than nylons of the same weight as it is much more malleable and still retains a nice hand or feel.
Some manufacturers placed what is commonly referred to as "pillow tabs" in the waistband of their garments to cover the edges of the elastic to prevent chaffing. To my knowledge this is no longer the case so an approximate date can be derived if we find a pillow tab in the waistband. But it is not conclusive as pillow tabs were evident through the 70's. Prior to the 40's most garments did not have elastic waist bands but were sized by moveable eyehooks and buttons. But even this is not a tell all as some elastic was used well before this. Latex or rubber was known for hundreds if not thousands of years. Mark Twain, an unlikely clothier patented his elastic suspenders in 1881. So we know elastic material was available for clothing for a long time. As I write this I have listed a slip that is 100% silk, no elastic, 2 black metal eyehooks for adjustment, and a metal zipper, and very elaborate lace, running stitch sewn on conforming to the many ups and downs of the lace as it is not straight at the hem. The slip is also totally sewn with a running stitch and the seam sewn and cut with pinking shears. Now what date would you place on this? Ok we have to break it down. Sewn not surged. Surging was used in the late 20's but wasn't dominant till the late forties and fifties. No elastic in the waist but we know elastic has been around forever. Metal zipper but plastic was used late 20's though not dominant till the 60's. 100% silk used before synthetics but still used today. Eyehooks for holding fast the waist and for adjustment. Hasn't been used for adjustment since elastic became popular, say late 40's. Also black metal vs. chromed used late 40's onward. Elaborate lace with intricate sewing pattern, meaning much more time to fasten this lace rather than straight line hem sewn on lace we see in most mass produced 50's garments onward. Silk was in short supply during WWII. So given what we know can we narrow it down. One more thing a cloth embroidered tag In Script: Fischer Heavenly Silk Lingerie In block Letters: PURE SILK REG US PAT OFF. Now what do you say? I listed it 1930's It may be older ( in fact my instincts tell me this is late 20's and I have seen others that state without any doubt they are 1920's ) but this is as new as I put it based on what we know. If I could date the tag that would be better as I said I think this is late 20's but what I think has to be weighed against what I know and what I know says 1930's. Labor was cheap, silk was plentiful, (before WWII) metal zippers were in, elaborate lace and silk was for the well to do, black metal eyehooks instead of chromed and instead of some form of elastic, all this meant for a limited market but then only the well to do could afford silk, elaborate lace, and time consuming sewing, speaking of which the sewn and pinked seam rather than surged speaks of the 20's to me as well. Although surging was used it didn't really become popular till the 40's and later. Most everything was surged by the 50's. Dating clothing is more knowledge than anything else and yes there is some guesswork involved unless you know the date of Mfg by some other means. It really is a guessing game but the more knowledge the more often you are right. This could be a 1920's find or a 1950's throwback. But you take the info you have and you try to narrow it down. So though I think earlier and it could be later; 1930's is what I listed it as and until someone shows me where I messed up that is where it will stay. Could I be wrong? Sure I could. But my knowledge, my mothers knowledge , my mother-in-laws knowledge and some research say I'm not. At least it is no newer than that date, it very well could be older. I saw a full slip a while back that could have been the grown up twin of this, made by Fischer with the same tag and made of silk, and it was listed as a 1920's full slip. They never explained how they came to date the item. They also wanted over a thousand dollars for it. I doubt it will sell at that price but they will most likely get it sold if they haven't already at somewhere close to that figure. I could just as easily charge 300 to 600 dollars for this half slip and say it is late 20's. But 1. I am not 100% positive I am right in that it could be older than I have it listed at and 2. I am not that greedy. I see sites that list most everything as being 1950's and price them at $150.00 or higher. If they can sell at that price, more power to them but I prefer an honest and fair price for what I offer and perhaps I will make up in volume what I lose in price but even if I do not I can sleep well in knowing I gave a fair if not undervalued price for the garment. I am happy with the price I placed on the garment and considering my slip is about 20 years older that those maybe 50's ones at $150.00, I would hope the buyer is happy in what they will pay too.
Dating vintage boils down to this...Knowledge. Simple as that. You need to know as much as you can of fashion, date of tags, material/ fabrics, and when they came out, sewing, style and most important do the research.
Whenever possible we will try to ascertain a date range on a garment using the knowledge we have of materials, fashion, accoutrements such as zippers, buttons, clasps, etc., labels, sewing, and the like but if in doubt we just say nothing or if we feel it is over 25 years in age we will say vintage but cannot say as to date. We will not say something is from the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, or any decade unless we are pretty dog gone sure. We will always date to the closest to us in time not the oldest we think as if we are wrong you overpaid and we come out looking the fool. If we take what we know and can give a reasonable timeframe we will. But so many throw it out there as 20's, 30's or 40's or 50's but they give you no reason as to why they think so. Now we do not put our reasoning on every listing either, mostly because it is obvious but sometimes because it is a matter of conviction of knowledge of design, materials, and style and there is just no other way to say it. But we have more than research to back us up, My mother-in-law was born in 1931 my mother in 1942 they each grew up during different eras of fashion, 11 years separated them. Most all women especially the young are attuned to fashion, so from the mid 40's onward I think we can rely on their fashion sense. Prior to that is of what they remember their mothers wore and prior to that is research and research and research.
There are many good sites that go into more detail and if you are going to collect vintage clothing you need to seek them out and educate yourself because many will sell you a bill of goods you did not order unless you are as well or better educated than they.
As for designer clothing I can say little as I never had the money to afford it nor has anyone I know. Whenever I get a piece that has a name I recognize I start digging. I try to find all I can about the item and price it accordingly. As I write this I have a Pucci nightgown listed and it is a beauty. But Pucci was known for his art in colors and this gown other than a beautiful lace that wraps around the bodice and a glowing cranberry red has nothing to do with Pucci's art. But in that I find value as it is not the norm. It is something quite extraordinary. Pucci gowns of the type he is famous for, sell for $600.00 to thousands. If I were to place a value on this nightgown, I'd have to say more than the lesser of his gowns, as it is different. How much more? I do not know. As much as a person is willing to pay. I have it listed at $150.00 but it could be worth thousands or half what I'm asking . All I know is that the gowns I've seen go from $600.00 and up and though this is not the wild colorful style we attribute to Pucci it is nonetheless a Pucci and being different than the norm of a Pucci gown it most likely is worth more rather than less. Am I too high? Too low? Time will tell. The one thing about true art, and I consider fashion as art, is that time will only increase its value. Sooner or later someone will see this gown as something they must have at any cost and if they can afford it they will buy it.
We will not list any clothing that is not in very good shape for its age unless it is of significant importance as a collectable. And yes many of the items we list are newer if not "new /old stock" by that I mean new with tags but purchased some years ago. We can't afford to just list the Vintage, as we need the income. So you will find much on our site that is not vintage, but is worth what we ask just the same. If it is Vintage or designer you are looking for we place those in their own categories so you do not have to wade through a lot that is of no interest to you. But I would venture to guess that some listed elsewhere on the site would not be easily passed by, so take a moment and open a couple pages and see what there is. Besides a 60's 0r 70's items will qualify as vintage to the fanatics in another 5 to 15 years so buy now and save a bit.
I believe we have fairly priced all that we list. We have 4 people working on this site, myself, my hubby, my mother, and a very close friend who is quite knowledgeable in vintage clothing and antiques. We do a blind poll for price in that we each write down what we think is a fair price and one 'we' would pay as a buyer for each item, then we take those 4 independent numbers (usually 3 as hubby is not that interested or knowledgeable) and average them to get the price we list at. Having bought and sold on eBay and having been to literally hundreds of web sites as well as Estate auctions, I believe we have among the best quality items at the best prices around. Granted I am biased as I am part owner of this site, but even so I believe this to be true, and if you will give us an opportunity to prove it, I think you will agree.
I truly hope that some of what you read has given you some knowledge as to dating vintage clothing. There are some sites out there that for a fee will date an article of clothing for you if you send them pics or the item. There are local antique dealers where you live that will do the same but be wary not all are being honest especially if they offer to purchase the item from you at a price that seems to good to be true. There are free chat rooms and forums you can subscribe to where you can discuss vintage clothing and get help in dating. I would be happy to place reciprocating links to these sites in my links pages but most I have contacted have ignored me. I guess they do not want the competition. As of this day Feb., 3, 2006 I have sent a total of 73 letters requesting links, I currently have 3 listed. You see, as of this writing I have listed a 1950's, mint, full slip that on most sites would be $247.00 and I have it listed at $47.00. Now why would they want to link to me? They would lose business you say? Untrue. They would gain business as I do not carry an unlimited supply of these type items, meanwhile they enjoy increased traffic and perhaps more sales or at least offers as a result, because I plan on this site being one of the best women's lingerie and clothing sites out there and when I am, those who have linked to me will benefit. When our numbers go up they may be contacting me for a link though they will find a long list of sites precede them.
As I see it most do not buy based on price when it comes to vintage, they buy based on the item and whether it is $47.00 or $247.00, if it doesn't appeal to you, you will not buy, and if it does the price may carry some weight but the appeal and desire are more important factors. Now when purchasing clothing that is not vintage, price is a more influencing factor, but even then quality, style, name recognition, and desire have there roles to play as well.
We may in time raise our prices when the turn over becomes to great and we cannot keep items listed but we have spent literally thousands to get our local embroidery business Tamicraft off the ground and www.vintageslips4u.com is but a fraction of that cost. This was not all spent just yesterday, it is an accumulation of years but still it is an investment and we would like to see a return on it. Maybe when we are the Picasso of internet sites we will reevaluate our pricing strategy. But till then, you the customer, will reap the benefits of having found perhaps the most fairly priced site on the net. And, as I doubt we will ever be the Picasso of the internet, you most likely will find our site to be the most fairly priced site on the net for a long time to come. So be sure to bookmark our site and come back often to see what we have that is new.
Just as an example we had listed a pair of 1940's pinup panties at $55.00 which we knew to be a fair price. As I said we need the money so we decided to list them on EBay. They sold for $32.00 + shipping of $5.00. So $37.00. Not what we expected. As we have seen similar go for $80.00 to $100.00. But hey we needed the money. The Buyer was an Antique Boutique in Texas and I am sure they are on display in the Boutique, at over $200.00. Since having sold these panties our friend at Cobblecreeklodge sold a pair that was not nearly as old or ornate for $86.00 + shipping through EBay. She says it is all about how you word your ad but I say it is all about who is online and looking when your item goes on the block.
I have had quite a few write me about dating vintage clothing and have done my best to help. But I cannot continue to spend time researching what you can find for yourselves if you look deep enough. I have a Business to run and a family to care for.. We have this site we sell off of as well as 2 ebay names we sell under and 1 site on Cerebral Palsy and another on crafts. I have a family of 4, a hubby who is unable to work, and 2 kids I need to run around and a mom who is in need of care and I run her around as well and a mother in law who will be there shortly, though she is 11 years older than my mom she is in better health; but at 80 she is starting to show signs of slowing down.
Simply put I do not have the time. I am going from sunup to sundown and then some, 7 days a week. I just don't have the time. I wish I did as I love all things clothing and fashion and love to find out new things about it. But I just do not have the time. Hubby has the time but he is not into the clothes and has other interests like the websites.
I'm very Sorry. I'm doing the best I can to keep this family afloat and I just can't spare the time. Hubby does what he can in keeping the websites going and trying to get advertising and helping where he can. but still we are low income and need to devote as much time as we can to providing for our family and our parents. We do not have the time to research your vintage clothing. Please understand I would if I could.
I'm just so sorry I can't.
Some day I may write a book with all I know, someday, but as of now this little blip on the radar of this website is all I can manage.
I hope it is enough to get you started in the right direction. I'm sure you can find what you need with a bit of digging. Perhaps you can use the Forums to find answers or talk to others who may be of help. I will try to post when I can but don't count on me as i really do have a full plate.
As stated on the homepage Robert and I both refer to ourselves as "I" You need to take in context who said what.
My daughter has Cerebral Palsy Check out the site I made for families with children who have CP Click HERE
Within the pages of this site you will find: Vintage lingerie affordable peignoirs, sets, slips, half slips, nightgowns, nighties, teddies, pettipants, panties, robes and other gently used intimates and clothing from plus size to small. Including designer and children’s clothing, women’s and men’s accessories and facts on how to date vintage clothing. Also embroidered clothing, embroidered gift cards and custom embroidery. We specialize in women's intimates but also vintage and designer clothing like suits, dresses, shirts, pajamas, women's casual and formal wear.
Be sure to check back often as we still have hundreds of items yet to list and are looking for more all the time. We hope to have one of the largest selections of gently used, vintage and new intimates and clothing to choose from on the net. It will take us a long time to list just what we have and we get more as often as we can. Right now we are accumulating more than we can list and the backlog is growing.
We all hope you enjoyed your visit and even if you did not find what you were looking for remember to add us to your favorites as we add to our listings as items become available. This site is an ever changing landscape of antique, vintage, and newer Intimates and you just never know what you will find on the Other Fashionable Clothing, Vintage clothing, Designer clothing, Plus Size, Embroidery, and Everything Else page.
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preface it with tami1 and don't forget the at thingy.
Sorry about being cryptic but spam-bots are a problem
What others have said about us.
" Very Fast Delivery. Item in perfect condition. Great seller! "
" Wonderfully fast and courteous service. Thank you "
" Great Transaction. Quick Delivery. Exactly as advertised. "
" Product as promised. VERY good folks to do business with. Thank you!!!! "
" Wish All Sellers Were Like This One! Perfect Transaction From Start To Finish! "
" Tami is a star! Generous and helpful. A completely trusted seller! Recommended! "
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I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Vintageslips4U.com and have found something that has satisfied your desires. Be sure to bookmark this site so you may easily find it and return to see what is new. We try to update as new items become available.
Thank you again!
We will never voluntarily sell or give out your name, address, email address or any other information we may collect unless required to do so by Court Order. Though we will not be responsible if the information is stolen. But to reassure you we do not keep the information on a server we keep it on our hard drive and we have antivirus as well as Windows XP firewall and McAffe firewall and we are also connected through a router and hub which makes getting to the information quite a challenge.
Thank you again!
LINK to us!! You are welcome to point a link to any page that you wish, even if it is just the information pages.
We will also do reciprocal links to like minded sites.
Any link should be easily accessible from your homepage i.e.: you need to have a clearly visible "Links" or "Link Partners" or "Sites of Interest" or some such on your homepage navigation. If we cannot easily navigate to your links page we will not reciprocate. Also we will not do a link to a site that is not the actual site we have agreed to reciprocate with. All of us with websites know that links are important for page rank in search and like minded sites are preferred links. Note that if you search for "dating vintage clothing" My vintage dating page comes up #5 on the 1st page in Google. We are a well ranked site and would appreciate those who have like minded sites to link to us.
We will accept Logos and Banners provided you send us the proper link info. We will also allow links to sites that are unrelated to Women's clothing and accessories or dating vintage clothing on a separate non- clothing related links page.
Banner only link
Code for banner: Copy and paste this code to a simple text editor like Notepad and then to your html. Notepad or other simple text editor will ensure you get the code as written and without the longhand html like this: <P align="center"><FONT
Both will work but the one below is so much easier to edit.
<P align="center"><A href="http://www.vintageslips4u.com/"><IMG border="0"
src="http://www.vintageslips4u.com/images/buttonsbglogosetc/vintageslips4ubannerad.gif" width="522" height="72" alt="banner link to http://www.vintageslips4u.com Vintage Slips 4 U We specialize in Vintage and gently used Women's intimate apparel - lingerie, clothing, accessories, peignoirs, slips, half slips, panties, pettipants, teddies, corsets, body shapers, children's clothing, designer clothes, and so much more."></A>
Text only link with code below:
Vintage Slips 4 U http://vintageslips4u.com We specialize in Vintage and gently used Women's intimate apparel - lingerie, clothing, accessories, peignoirs, slips, half slips, panties, pettipants, teddies, corsets, body shapers, children's clothing, designer clothes, and so much more.
Code for the above Text Link
Slips 4 U</STRONG></A></font> <font
size="2"><a href="http://vintageslips4u.com">http://vintageslips4u.com</a></font><FONT size="3"><STRONG> We specialize in Vintage and gently used Women's intimate apparel - lingerie, clothing, accessories, peignoirs, slips, half slips, panties, pettipants, teddies, corsets, body shapers, children's clothing, designer clothes, and so much more.</strong></font></P>
Or you can use both the banner with the text link as I do on my links pages.
However if you want a banner link with text, I will need you to use mine as a banner link with text.
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Shipping is on the buyer so contact me first for a quote to include;
Price of item, shipping, and tax if applicable and Insurance if you want it and it is available.
What others have said about us.
" Very Fast Delivery. Item in perfect condition. Great seller! "
" Wonderfully fast and courteous service. Thank you "
" Great Transaction. Quick Delivery. Exactly as advertised. "
" Product as promised. VERY good folks to do business with. Thank you!!!! "
" Wish All Sellers Were Like This One! Perfect Transaction From Start To Finish! "
" Tami is a star! Generous and helpful. A completely trusted seller! Recommended! "
Other sites we have that may hold some interest for you?
Cerebral Palsy Family Support Network
If you have CP or know of someone who does have them go to the www.cpfsn.org site and have them send their stories to post or links to places where others can find useful information. You'd be helping them, me and other people with disabilities.
We will never voluntarily sell or give out your name, address, email address or any other information we may collect unless required to do so by Court Order. Though we will not be responsible if the information is stolen. But to reassure you we only file your name the item you purchased and the amount of the purchase. We have to do this for tax purposes. Nothing else is kept on record after the sale.
I apologize if the information was repeated but Google looks at tables first come, and uses that information in their page listing. This means I must place a snippet of information in the first table, it will be repeated in the 2nd.
Please understand that the use of " I " can refer to hubby or myself taken in context. Most all about clothing, vintage dating, embroidery and crafts is me the rest is hubby. But we both contribute to all our sites and use " I " when referring to ourselves. Hubby has little interest in clothing, embroidery and the like but is really into the Cerebral Palsy sites. Likewise I know little about websites and he does all the HTML and such. We both contribute and we both refer to ourselves as I.
Done! I bet you feel as if you just read a novel? Sorry.
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