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!
1960s & EARLIER: Before the ’70s, sleeves were tailored to the wearer’s arm.
The spacing between the fabric and arm was equidistant along all points of the sleeve.
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.
NO LINING: Garments prior to the ’70s were often made without lining because a woman’s slip would operate as the lining instead.
Because a woman was expected to wear a slip, her dress didn’t need to be finished with lining to prevent the raw seams and stitching from brushing against her skin.
It’s amazing how history has evolved the most simplest of garment details — and how when you compare pieces of the past, you can begin to see how this “puzzle” of dating vintage clothing isn’t as complicated as you once thought!1970s & EARLIER: Armholes of the ’70s and earlier were small openings, unlike the oversize “muscle man” armholes you might notice in a lot of ’80s garments.1970s ONWARD: Once the ’70s hit, styles shifted to embracing the space between a woman’s skin and her 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.