It might seem really obvious, but labels are a great way of dating vintage and finding out a little more about your garment. Personally I think there has been a real influx over the past year of sellers – both online and in shops – passing off retro-looking Primark or other high street brands as vintage. Whether that’s being done out of ignorance or greed, it’s extremely annoying and really confusing for anyone new to vintage.

To avoid being disappointed, always look at the label (it might be hiding at the hem line or the side seam). If an online listing doesn’t include a picture of the label, but you’re unsure about the item, ask for one. If the label has been cut out, I’d be extra cautious.

Sammy Davis Vintage has an excellent guide to dating vintage by looking at the label, which includes looking at woolmarks, material names and post codes, while The Vintage Fashion Guild has a fantastic a-z list of vintage labels. Both are a great resource for dating vintage.

Also, look at obvious things like the typeface or font used on the label. Does it look vintage? Is it colourful? Modern day labels tend to be black and white and very minimal, while Fifties and Sixties labels often have a decorative font typical of the era.

 

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