A Vintage History Lesson – Dating Vintage Clothing

il_fullxfull.235234178So you’ve found your soulmate in suede, your dreamboat in denim… But before your relationship goes any further, you want to know the age gap. Perfectly understandable. Ladies and Gentlemen, a lesson in vintage history… no falling asleep at the back!

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. They can also reveal ‘recycled vintage’ – 80s-does-50s dresses often have puff shoulders and wide armholes, whereas original 50s designs generally have quite snug-fitting sleeve cuffs. Popular sleeve styles in the 1940’s were puff shoulders and cap sleeves, where sleevless styles are very typical of the 60s. Look also at the length of the skirt – the timeline below briefly illustrates skirt styles and lengths from the 1930s to early 60s.

Zippers & Closures
Metal zippers were first used in garments in the 1930s, but during that era they were rare. Zippers first became available in plastic in 1963, and by 1968 nylon coil zippers were used in practically every mass produced garment. If for example you’re looking at a circle skirt, a metal zip will be a good sign that it’s an original 1950s skirt, while a plastic zip can be an indicator of a later item. Invisible zips were invented in the 1950s but only really became ubiquitous much later, around the late 80s / early 90s. The placement of the zip can also help – 1930s-1940s dressers usually had a zip in the side seam, whereas dresses from the 50s onwards favoured a placement at the centre back.

st-michael-labelLabels
The label can be full of clues as to an item’s age, making it your go-to when dating vintage. 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. 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.

If there is a size label this can also help: vintage sizing was smaller than modern, so if it’s marked a size 14 but is clearly tiny, chances are it’s got some age to it. In British sizing, a size 14 in the 1940s was a 32” bust. 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. The care label tag is required to include one method of care to keep the garment in quality condition, such as “machine wash cold” or “dry clean only.” If the garment was made by a brand but is missing care instructions, you can confidently conclude the piece was produced before 1971.

In the end…
Having run these quick tests, you can now make an informed decision whether to go ahead and part with your cash. So that 1950s dress turns out to be 80s-does-50s? If you like it, don’t let that stop you from buying it – you’ll still look great!. At the affordable vintage fair, we make this easy for you with bargains galore – who knows what rare and elderly items you might discover?

SS15 Worthy Trends To Look Out For At A Kilo Sale

Just like boomerangs, carousels and 2006 Justin Timberlake singles, what comes around in fashion always goes back around. Where the high street looks to exploit our desire for on-trend clothing by recreating looks from decades past – while slapping on a hefty price tag – a keen eye at a kilo sale can see you grab fashionable items as they were originally intended, in great condition.

With that in mind, we’ve scoured the upcoming fashion trends for 2015 and have put together our top five that you can easily recreate from our upcoming kilo sale stock. Not sure which event is closest to you? Just check out our Events page on Facebook – Sheffield, London, Leeds and Bristol are just some of the cities that will be getting the vintage treatment very soon.

1601109_10151973376928737_975490625_nSOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE
According to colour-palette heroes Pantone, blue is going to be a big hue for SS15, particularly the softer shades – aquamarine, scuba blue, and dusk blue. With so many fabrics to choose from, the kilo is the perfect place to snap up this trend – think flowy dresses, cashmere cardigans and pretty blouses.

202661_10151554458188737_119236218_oTHAT 70S SHOW
The weather may be a little glum for Woodstock wardrobes at the moment, but come spring, 70s is the decade that will be under the high fashion radar. Think bell bottom jeans, sweater vests, scarfs worn around the head, embroidered dresses… you name it, and you can find it lurking in our kilo tubs.

10849774_10152649882973737_1477916636550524680_nDOUBLE DENIM
Double denim is showing no signs of disappearing – Burberry and Gucci both went big on indigo washes for their SS15 shows. This is a trend to have fun with – layer a light denim dress under a darker shirt, go for a fur-lined jacket to stave off the cold or rock that full jumpsuit you’ve found on a rail but aren’t sure about. Take the risk – at just £15 a kilo, it could be the biggest bargain of the year!

969328_10151465924653737_1412864589_n

WEAR YOUR WORDS
From the Frosties tiger to your favourite sports team, 2015 is the year to say it loud and proud with logos and lettered statements. Plan off-duty chic in a slubby sweater or layer a tee over a collared shirt from a more fashion-forward yet formalized look – we love a bit of layering!

10882339_10152714459403737_3353622096578070815_nPRINTS CHARMING
The louder the better! In fitting with the 70s trend, ditsy florals are taking a backseat while the bigger loud prints bloom, full of Hawaiian boldness and juicy colours. Not sure where to start? A printed skirt or pair of cute culottes can be paired with more minimal items for a fun yet functional look, or go all out in our wide range of retro tea dresses.

Simply can’t wait to kilo your way into SS15? We got plenty of events happening this very month! Check out our events page here and don’t forget to show us your bargains with the hashtag #kilobargains on Twitter and Instagram.

Cheaper than chips, The Vinage Kilo Sale Returns!

 

Greetings Vintage Fans!

So, as you probably know, that most momentous of events, The Vintage Kilo Sale, calls at London this Saturday, bringing 5 TONNES of vintage stock at a meager £15 per kilo. So affordable that it makes ‘Bargain Hunt’ look like Harrods, we wanted to show off some of our favourite bits…

Appetites whet? We thought so! For all the details of Saturday’s Bethnal Green event, click here.

See you soon vintage fans!

Judy HQ x

 

The Vintage Kilo Sale: Something thrifty this way comes…

Greetings vintage fans!

We can’t stay for long. For why? Because THE VINTAGE KILO SALE is coming to town, that’s why! Bringing 10 TONNES of quality, vintage stock, we are proud to present…

And so what’s in store? Jackets and jeans, shorts and skirts, bags to brogues to bling and accessories, all at £15 a kilo. Wanting to whet your thrift-seeking whistle, hopefully this will get you in the mood…

 

Appetite whet? We thought so! For all the details on the London Kilo Sale, click here for Friday and here for Saturday.

Retro regards,

Judy HQ x

The Vintage Kilo Sale comes to Manchester!

 

Greetings vintage fans!

This weekend, we said tundra be damned, grabbed an extra layer and headed North West way for a rather special new event – The Manchester Vintage Kilo Sale!

A sister venture of Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, the premise is a simple one: pair up with Europe’s largest vintage wholesaler, cart over 10 TONNES of vintage clothing to one location and let you lot have it for a measly £15 per kilo. With queues snaking through the door, we handed the camera over to event manager and all round good egg Emily [pictured above] to take some snaps. Picking her faves, here’s what she found…

‘In spite of the weather, spring prints were in abundance, from sweet floral pastels to the totally tropical. Daring to brave the cold and drop a layer or two, this skirt was a favourite – perfect for picnics, bare legs and a saunter about town!’

‘Despite being the time of year when coats and jackets should be cast to the back of the wardrobe, fair-goer Judith bagged herself a bargain with this belted suede coat. We loved the utilitarian colour [grey – goes with everything!] and how it nipped in at the waist, giving a sense of shape to the silhouette.’

‘Our favourite find of the day, the lovely Michelle finds some maroon pantaloons worth swooning over! Paired with a sixties blouse [and that hair!] we’re a little jealous that we didn’t spot them first!’

And so, there we go -a wonderful day at the Kilo! Thanks to all who came out and, to see when we’ll be coming to you, be sure to take a look here!

Retro Regards,

Judy HQ x

What Emily bought – Kilo sale bargain hunting!

Emily is a some time kilo hostess, vintage fair door dolly and full time graphic design student (she creates our lovely flyers / posters and graphics)

But what Emily is really, really good at, not to say she’s bad at anything else, is a spot of bargain hunting.  And so, when the kilo sale comes to town Emily rolls up her sleeves and gets stuck in, literally we’ve seen her little arms disappear into the rummage boxes faster than you can say ‘sales open!’

So here’s a selection of what Emily bought and why she bloody loves it so.

Forest green cardigan – This green cardigan is the perfect match to most of my wardrobe – I love the embroidered badge too it makes it have a very ‘land girl’ feel!

White, red & navy striped short sleeved top – This is my ‘bike riding in France’ top I feel very Parisian when I wear it and is perfect teamed with a pair of turned up jeans or a high waisted skirt.

Mint green cardigan – The beautiful ice cream colour of this cardigan drew me too it at first – I love the clear buttons and pattern within it too – it’s going to be amazing for spring.

Waffle turquoise short sleeved cardigan – This cardigan is fantastic for colour blocking, I love the waffle effect and short sleeves too, it looks wonderful over a full skirted dress or tucked into a pencil skirt.

Fruit salad dress – This is one of my favourite kilo finds EVER! The modern colouring and bold print makes this dress really stand out – I always get compliments when I wear it.

The Vintage Kilo Sale cometh!

Greetings vintage fans!

Being granted a sneak-peek into the goodies coming along to a weekend-long London Vintage Kilo Sale [our vintage wholesale event, serving up a smorgasbord of vintage fashion/ accessories for £15 a kilo] feels, in a nutshell, terribly naughty! Just like Charlie and his amble around the chocolate factory, we too can’t help but salivate at the prospect of so much retro booty waiting in the wings. And so,why are we telling you this? Because we want to give YOU a peek too! Without further ado, here are a few samples of what we’ll have on offer…

Tantalised? US TOO! Be sure to RSVP here and we’ll see you this weekend!

Retro Regards,

Judy HQ x

Blogger Undercover at The Vintage Kilo Sale

Greetings vintage fans!

Always ones to offer-up a platform for the myriad of bloggers, photographers and out-and-out fashion fans who get in touch, the other week we recruited the lovely Ema from wonder blog ‘Is it vintage?‘ to sleuth through our sister event, The Vintage Kilo Sale Edinburgh! A no-frills, no holds barred paradise for scavenging vintage fans, let’s see what she found…

“Today I went to Judy’s Vintage Kilo Fair! It was a brilliant day, as usual and it was jammed packed with Edinburgh vintage lovers. There was so much to choose from, from knitwear to gorgeous cream blouses. It is £15 per kilogram, so you are going to get about 4/5 items for that amount which is fab. I got up super early as I got entry at 10 o’clock & we were all rumaging through heaps of clothes, minus the movie style arguments!

I got a plaid shirt, a green maxi skirt, a tartan clueless style skirt and a green blouse all for £20. See below for photo! I was buying so much green today. I wonder what that means?

Anyhoo, I decided to mix it up a bit and do a short video so everyone that wasn’t able to make it, not from Edinburgh or just fancies a look at how it was set up can have a gander.”

Video —> Welcome to The Vintage Kilo Sale <— Video

Well there we have it –  a retro sleuth indeed! To see more from Ema, click HERE and to find out when the Kilo is coming to you, click HERE.

Retro Regards,

Judy HQ! x

 

Retro Retail Therapy AHOY!

Morning vintage fans!

Busy as bees this weekend, we wanted to remind YOU that we’ve got two of the best vintage events, like, E-V-E-R coming to London and Edinburgh right now! [sorry – in total Cher mode. Where did I put my fluffy pen..??]

Bringing both Judy’s at Spitalfields AND The Edinburgh Vintage Kilo Sale to your doorstep, click through for details and be sure to say heyy!

Retro Regards,

Judy HQ x

Call the Doctor – it finally has a name…

Somebody call the doctor – it finally has a name! Thanks to fresh research and tireless graft from our pals at The Vintage Festival, that unstoppable urge to charity shop, buy West German pottery and simply wax nostalgic at any given opportunity finally has a name – ‘VINTAGE-ITIS!’

Compulsive, competitive [and sometimes expensive, although not at our fairs – *dusts-off shoulders accordingly*], the condition is yet to be thought of as curable, with many men, women and even children saying NO to mobile phones, donning frocks and quoffing Babycham [from the ACTUAL glasses!!] proving that ‘Vintageitis’ is alive and well.

And so, what remains in the way of prevention for this dreaded disease? Gather your mod cons, shop only Highstreet, throw out the vinyl and buy only MP3. Want to steer clear of this viral time-travel, where you can be whoever you want to be? Nah, neither do we!

Retro Regards,

Judy HQ x