Vintage clothing dating zipper
The vintage tag shown above is from a size 12 dress purchased in 1963. This dress fits me perfectly, because a size 12 vintage is a modern size 6!
The rule of thumb is that you are “six numbers bigger” than your modern size, which is why a size 6 like me is a size 12 in vintage sizing.
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.
LOOK FOR: A metal zipper placed either in the side seam or back middle of the garment. VINTAGE HISTORY: Metal zippers were first used in garments in the 1930s, but during that era they were rare.
[Back to the top.] LOOK FOR: The garment care tag stitched onto the interior of the garment. VINTAGE HISTORY: In 1971 the Federal Trade Commission released the “Care Labeling Rule” which required all manufacturers (including importers) of apparel to include garment care instructions on an interior tag.
The care label tag is required to include one method of care to keep the garment in quality condition, such as “machine wash cold” or “dry clean only.” If the garment was made by a brand but is missing care instructions, you can confidently conclude the piece was produced before 1971.
VINTAGE HISTORY: It wasn’t until 1958 that there were any regulations on a standardized sizing system for women.
If you find a piece produced by a brand and without a listed size, you can confidently conclude that garment was produced in 1958 or earlier.
Pulitzer herself began designing colorful floral dresses that wouldn’t show stands from her work at a Florida juice stand!