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Dating vintage shoes

When included, a flap of fabric conceals this “vulgar” detail.A zipper in the ’30s would most likely be found along the side seam and is always metal.Today’s post is different than the rest because it teaches you five easy ways to identify a garment’s most probable era based on construction details like buttons, zippers, seams, sleeves and lining.

UNFINISHED SEAMS: If the piece has unfinished, frayed seams there’s a good chance it was made before the ’50s since both pinking shears and serger machines weren’t available to at-home seamstresses.

LEFT: 1960s Tailored Sleeve / RIGHT: 1970s Bishop Sleeve DATING TIP: Identify whether a garment has tailored sleeves or large, billowy sleeves.

Reason being that a zipper made it too easy to take one’s clothes off, thus only “easy” women would ever want to wear a garment with one!

1930s: The infamous zipper is rarely seen on garments.

LEFT: 1940s Bakelite Plastic Button / RIGHT: 1960s Plastic Button DATING TIP: Identify whether the buttons are bakelite plastic, lucite plastic or modern plastic.

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1930s-1940s: Bakelite buttons are plastic buttons found on 1930s and 1940s garments.French seams are the neatest finish of seams, as the raw edges of the fabric are fully enclosed for clean lines.1950s: Pinked seams — which look like scalloped teeth — are most common on garments from the ’50s because it was the easiest way to cut a seam without leaving fraying behind.Bakelite was invented in 1909 as the first ever synthetic plastic.You know a button is bakelite plastic versus a more modern synthetic plastic because it’s almost always colored.1940s: The zipper is accepted in women’s clothing, horray!Zippers (always metal) are most often found along the side seam.Metal zippers begin to be replaced after 1963 with the invention of nylon, which introduces the plastic zipper.1970s – TODAY: Plastic zippers found along the center back of a garment officially reign supreme — and are what we’re left with today!TOP LEFT: Frenched Seam (1900-1940s)/ TOP RIGHT: 1950s Pinked Seam / BOTTOM: Post ’50s Serged Seam DATING TIP: Identify whether the garment has frenched, pinked or serged seams.PRE-1940s: French seams were used on turn of the century clothing through the 1940s.

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