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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.
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.
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.
1940s: The zipper is accepted in women’s clothing, horray!
The spacing between the fabric and arm was equidistant along all points of the sleeve.
LEFT: 1940s Bakelite Plastic Button / RIGHT: 1960s Plastic Button DATING TIP: Identify whether the buttons are bakelite plastic, lucite plastic or modern plastic.
1930s-1940s: Bakelite buttons are plastic buttons found on 1930s and 1940s garments.
I wrote about eight easy ways to identify your garment as vintage, which helped you to recognize whether that great maxi dress you thrifted was actually from the ’70s or was just a 2012 lookalike.
Speaking of thrifting, I’ve also shared clues on how to identify vintage clothing labels in a thrift store and I’ve explained 11 ways to know a piece is vintage by its labels and tags and how the ILGWU union label can help you to date a garment’s era, too.