Beginning in the ’70s middle back zippers were always used on a garment. By 1974, numbers dipped to 44 million women sewing at home.
[Back to the top.] LOOK FOR: Handmade garments without labels or tags. VINTAGE HISTORY: The American sewing industry boomed beginning in the ’50s, despite ready-made clothing available from mail order catalogs and department stores. But by the 1980s, women were purchasing mass produced fashion that was less expensive than ever thanks to outsourcing of production to Asian countries.
When Hollywood celebrities like Ginger Rogers began wearing Hawiaan dresses and Betty Grable wore a Hawiaan pin-up bathing suit in the ’40s, the American public was swayed to adopt the trend as a must-have in their own closets.
When Jackie Kennedy wore a Lilly in in the early ’60s, demand grew exponentially and she was forced to close her juice stand and work on the clothing brand full time.
Still a popular preppy and funky floral line today, Lilly’s tags are tell-tale signs of the era a piece was approximately produced.
The sizing system changed again in 1984, to roughly 4 sizes bigger than modern size. [Back to the top.] LOOK FOR: The tag of a prominent designer or in-house line, such as Emilio Pucci (above) or Lilly Pultizer (below). VINTAGE HISTORY: Like the styles of clothing they created, the look of a designer tag changed throughout the history of the brand.
Use the Vintage Fashion Guild’s label resource guide to compare your label’s design next to the tag pictures available.
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