Vintage Era

By Jessica Spoto

Ever go into those vintage clothing stores in downtown Portland, but you just never seem to know what era the clothes you are buying are from? Well, there are specific details you need to look for when identifying a piece of  vintage clothing from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

First, start by looking at the tag. The tag says everything about the piece. Clothing tags from the 1960s are usually small, slim and rectangular. Usually the print on the tag is in cursive, and it will also commonly say “Made in Korea.” Tags from the 1970s are slightly bigger than tags from the 1960s. The tag’s writing may still be in cursive, but have a more bubble-style font. 1980s tags are much, much bigger than 1970s tags. They are way more colorful and use a lot more geometric shapes than previous tags.

After you can identify the tag, feel the fabric and look at its pattern. 1960s fabric is stiff, but has a slight give to it. The pattern usually consists of trippy floral print, weird animals such as frogs, tigers and snakes, and also, bright and vibrant colors. 1970s fabric is of course made of itchy polyester. Pantsuits were a trend in the 1970s. Pantsuit patterns often used plaid and solid colors, with white as an accent.

1980s fashion is far removed from any of the other eras. The 1980s look consisted of very colorful clothing and geometric shapes, and also used color blocking. Color blocking is when each piece of clothing and accessory is a different color, with no pattern, and they all seamlessly go together in a funky, dysfunctional way.

So, that’s basically all you need to know to identify women’s clothing, era by era! If you want to look for vintage clothing, the best places to go are thrift stores. There are so many thrift stores in Portland!


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