And so I have imparted all the knowledge I have of vintage clothing labels to you. (If you've missed my previous posts, you may click here to catch up.) When you are shopping vintage or even browsing your local thrift shop, I encourage you to utilize these methods. It's like playing detective. It makes the experience that much more rewarding! Aside from reading clothing lables to determine a garment's age, there are some other tricks...
1. If the label does not have a RN or distinctive mark, Google the name on the garment's label. Etsy is also a great place to search lable names. You can normally get a good idea of how old something is based on what the consensus is. This label is from a dress of mine from the 1950s.
2. Watch old movies or period movies. Familiarizing yourself with the way a certain era looks allows you to eye a garment and quickly get an idea of how old it is.
3. Study old photographs; it works the same way.
4. Familiarize yourself with previous trends in fashion. But you have to be careful with this one since fashion is so cyclical. For instance, in the 1950s, women wore full skirts that usually fell mid-calf. In the 1980s, women wore similar skirts. It's tricky. The pattern above is from the 1980s.
5. Talk to your relatives! I have learned so much by talking with mine. If I'm not sure on a date for a piece of clothing, I can always consult my mom or chat with my grandma. It makes me feel closer to them, talking about what their favorite outfits were when they were younger.
Looking for more advice?
Well, I hope you aren't opposed to good old-fashioned books. I've learned so much from these:
Dressed for the Occasion by Brandon Marie Miller
This book is full of gorgeous photos and fashion trends dating as far back as the 1600s.
Fashions of a Decade series (1920s-1990s)
This one has beautiful color photos as well as written descriptions of fashion trends of each decade.
Happy researching! Be sure to let me know if you make any exciting discoveries :)