Every year, I start to feel myself turning more and more towards darker tones as the weather begins to cloud over and the days get shorter. On my most recent vintage-hunting trip, I found this dress mashed into the rack of Forever21 and H&M flimsy frocks at my local Goodwill, and I snagged it immediately. Upon my quick once-over, it appeared to be vintage. It has a metal zipper, the fabric feels like 1970’s polyester, and the style is very retro. I intended to list it on my Etsy shop when I got home.
But then I started to notice small things that make me think perhaps it’s a modern homemade garment.
The pattern along the seams up the front doesn’t match or flow. It’s not always, but usually vintage garments tend to pattern-match at the seams, or at the very least be sewn together in a way that minimizes the visibility of the seam. As well, the finishing on the inside of the garment — which can be a very telling thing on what era it’s from as well as whether it’s vintage or not — is not as meticulous as the finish on a vintage dress should be. And, a small thing, the band of fabric around the neckline would, on a vintage garment, probably be seam binding rather than the fold-over-and-sew finish that it has.
I am still learning as a vintage hunter.
These accidental grabs happen far and few between these days, but sometimes my love for dark fall florals and 1970’s-esque polyester trips up my vintage-sense. It’s a good thing that secretly, I had hoped to keep this dress all along! If you have been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that floral on a black background is my ultimate favorite floral. And the colors of this dress are so perfect for the season! If I could live in fall florals, I would.
This dress just goes to prove how much I have learned over the last few years. Before I had my Etsy shop — which is where I began to learn the tells of a vintage garment — I would have thought this was a vintage dress. I wouldn’t have known to check the finish, that overlocking can date a garment, that the placement of the zipper can help determine the era of the dress. I wouldn’t have known to check for seam binding, types of lining, certain stitches, fabric types. I would have assumed the metal zipper, general good quality, and feel of fabric dated it well enough, and left it at that.
And, while the dress isn’t vintage, the purse and brooch are!
I think part of the essence of my blog is showcasing outfits that have a good mix of modern and vintage to create something timeless. While I adore bloggers who wear entirely vintage, and also bloggers who create that very popular pinup-housewife look with modern reproductions, I have never felt like I fit into either category. Labels aren’t really necessary, but I love to have a category. Mine, I hope, falls into the “Classic Style” category.
What do you feel is the essence of your blog?
Dress, belt, vintage purse, and vintage brooch, thrifted | hat and tights, Target | boots, Amazon