How To Recognize Vintage Dresses

Vintage Clothing Tips

People love to find unique ways of dressing that set them apart from the crowd. This is the main reason why Vintage fashion is thriving today. Vintage market is filled with so many Vintage dresses and at the same time there are many replicas, which easily get misunderstood as Vintage clothing. This duplicate clothing is reproduced and copy exactly the design and material of vintage clothing that refers to clothing produced between the 1920s and the 1980s. If you are planning to buy Vintage clothing, then here are some tips to recognize a vintage dress:

Strapless Vintage Dress
Strapless Vintage Dress

How To Recognize Vintage Dresses

  • The first step to recognize a vintage dress is to check the tag. Inspecting the designer tag is a very straight forward way to identify an authentic vintage dress. If you find China on the tag as the origin country of the product, then it is likely not a Vintage dress. Try to check where the dresses was made, if the tag says Europe then you have found one of the best vintage dress as this is the place where the craze for trend and style were at its full potential in the twentieth century. There is also a possibility that you will not discover a care tag on a garment because these tags were not required legally until 1970.
  • Vintage clothing was more often hand sewed to meet the requirements of a specific person. So, do check the stitching because there would be a difference in uniformity of stitching in hand sewn and machine sewn items. Vintage dresses are sewn better than modern day clothing.
  • Get acquainted with vintage fashion by researching the history. You will discover that different era can be acknowledged through specific style and attributes. Keep an eye on every single aspect such as armholes were used to be very narrow during the 1950s and 1970s and bracelet-length sleeves were in grand trend in the late 50's.




  • Most of the Vintage clothing was prepared from natural materials like wool, cotton, leather and silk. Nylon which is a synthetic fabric was also used in the making of clothing from 1950. Authentic vintage dresses can be recognized by their brilliant colors. Try to feel the fabric of the garment, if it is weekly sewn and fragile, you have come across a fake one.


  • Pay attention to zippers and buttons. They both would be made of metal rather than plastic as plastic was not popular in that period. Moreover, examine the zipper location. Its position varied throughout the decades. If you find the zipper in the center of the back of the vintage dress it means the garment dates to the late 1950s or even later.

How to Shop for Vintage Clothing

Though there are number of ways to spot a fake vintage dress, the most important to avoid any kind of imitation is to be patient while hunting an authentic vintage dress. Recognizing a Vintage dress could be a challenge with so many copies and replicas available in the market. However, exploring vintage clothing could be great fun, if you follow these simple steps.

Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show

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4 comments

bridgessarah profile image

bridgessarah 5 years ago

It is really like you said - vintage market is filled with so many vintage dresses, there are many replicas, so it is really important to know how to recognize vintage dresses. The selection of original vintage dresses is impressive, I am thinking of buying one for me!


ClaraN9 profile image

ClaraN9 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Unfortunately there are no vintage shops where I live but I will be going on holiday to Ireland In the summer. I will definteley be going to a Vintage shop, so thanks for your tips :)


Kevin Peter profile image

Kevin Peter 3 years ago from Global Citizen Author

Hi bridgessarah,

I hope that the hub helped you in recognizing good vintage dresses. Did you buy an original one?


Kevin Peter profile image

Kevin Peter 3 years ago from Global Citizen Author

Hi Clara,

Did the tips included in the hub help you with your shopping?

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