The style of the label itself can be an indicator: early-mid 20th century labels were usually woven, until around the 1960s printed satin labels started to become more common.The writing on the label is another clue: earlier labels often feature script fonts, while in the 60s and 70s modern, hippie-influenced fonts were frequently used.Now, if you are looking for something specific and lack the time to search awhile, Etsy is your best bet to find the vintage garment you seek.

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Dizzy Dreamer started out with my exploding closet of vintage threads.

However, to run a vintage clothing shop, I had to learn a thing or two about vintage clothes.

My best luck is when I ditch the store and thrift the outlet.

Thrift outlets are chaos but I do seem to find one-of-a-kind vintage garments that are usually grabbed off the rack within seconds at the busiest Goodwill. Thrift outlets offer a variety of items but lack any kind of order. You must go where no other vintage lover has gone before, Goodwill Outlet.

American and Canadian-made clothing often has a union label, which can help determine a date range.

Clothing with the distinctive CC41 Utility label was produced during the period of fabric rationing, which ran from 1941 to 1951.

Style When dating vintage, the style of the sleeve can often be a telltale sign based on principles of what was fashionable in each decade.

Look also at the length of the skirt – the timeline below briefly illustrates skirt styles and lengths from the 1930s to early 60s.

By the late 1960s it was a 36” bust and remained so into the early 80s; it’s now a 38” bust.

In 1971 the Federal Trade Commission released the “Care Labelling Rule” which required all manufacturers (including importers) of apparel to include garment care instructions on an interior tag.

You must keep in mind that older finds are harder to come by, especially from your run-of-the-mill thrift store.