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The Softer Side

Nancy Willett [ November 2003 ]

Vintage Dresses Antique Clothing Collectors Criteria

Collecting antique clothing can be lots of fun and rewarding. To avoid costly mistakes here are some guides to use.

Condition: Inspect the fabric carefully, a small tear could mean something larger later. Look for repairs, as sometimes these are not done in the best interest of the fabric. A garment in mint condition could fetch a higher price, but might be a better investment in the long run.

Style: Does the garment have beautiful lines and is it well made?

Design: Vintage clothing should have clear lines, quality of structure, color and texture.

Structure: How a garment, or fabric is made is crucial to determining the age and price.

Material: What is it made of, or from? Is there more than one type of workmanship involved, and is the material and workmanship still used today?

Quality: Thought in designing or the care given in workmanship can never be underestimated.

When shopping for vintage clothing have a tape measure handy to measure clothing size and fabric length. Standardized sizing started in the forties as a result of fabric rationing during the war. Taking measurements is the best way to size a garment. Look carefully for rust stains on whites and perspiration stains on all clothing before you purchase, because they are not easy to remove.

But, most of all have fun looking for that great vintage outfit!

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