(Vintage Chanel Tweed Suit)
I've gotten so many inquires and emails about vintage clothing and how to tell if it is indeed vintage. I have also been asked many times what is the difference between vintage and antique? So I figured I would do some research and share with you my findings:)
If an article of clothing is 75 years or older, it's considered antique. Clothing that is categorized as vintage is usually about 25 years or older. Since vintage clothing has been so popular, most designers and modern clothes have since borrowed ideas and trends from the past making it very difficult for a normal person to identify it's history and age. I find it interesting that the word vintage is thrown around so much these days without people truly knowing the age of the item. (I'm guilty of this as well.)
Here are some tips on how to determine a garment's vintage status:
1. Size. According to my research, sizing has changed dramatically over the years. Numerical sizing is much different than modern sizing. For example, a size 12 in the 1950's, a size 8 in the 1970's and a size 4 in 2010 may all have similar proportions. Can we say vanity sizing? No wonder why most 00's or 0's aren't TTS.
2. Care Labels. Look closely and carefully for care labels. Makes sure to turn the garment inside out and look in all areas for labels. If the care label is not present doesn't mean that it's automatically vintage because it could have been removed by the previous owner. If you see care symbols, the garment may date back to 1971 or later.
3. Cut. Throughout the decades, hemlines and sleeves have changed dramatically. It wasn't until about the 1960's that hemlines rised above the knee. Between the 1950s and 1970's, armholes were very small and narrow (I wish this were the case today). Dresses in the 1940's and 1950's, the waist measurements were significantly smaller than the hip and bust area.
4. Zipper. Closely examine the zipper placement on the garment. Zipper locations have changed throughout the decades (as many other things). A zipper starting under the sleeve and ending at the waist or the hem indicates the dress was made anywhere from the 1930's to the 1960's. A zipper in the center of the back of the dress indicates the garment dates to the late 1950's or later. Interesting fact: before the late 1930's, women's dresses were fastened with buttons, ties or clasps. How cool is that?
I am sure there are many other tips but these are the main ones I found while doing my research online. If you received the item as a hand-me down or passed down from generation to generation, be sure to ask when the garment was worn or purchased. Look in family photos to see if you can determine the decade or origin. I hope you found this somewhat useful!
Readers- do you have any vintage or antique garments?