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Labels on Fashion Clothing

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by rubylane, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. rubylane

    rubylane Registered Guest

    Does the Vintage Fashion guild consider it important to include a photo of the label when listing an item for sale? Or, is it considered acceptable to identify an article as made by a particular designer by identifying the various attributes of the item and arriving at a conclusion based on this method. In my opinion, labels attached to a garment are an important factor for making an accurate identification of the maker or designer but perhaps my thinking is too strict. I would appreciate your input. Carol
  2. cactusandcattails

    cactusandcattails VFG Member VFG Past President

    Yes, we do think it is very important to show a photo of the label, if there is one.
  3. Linn

    Linn Super Moderator Staff Member VFG Past President

  4. joules

    joules VFG Member

    Carol, speaking as an individual VFG member, I consider including a photo of the label or labels to be of the utmost importance, whenever they are present. Should there be none, then identification moves in alternative avenues. Then as well, there are the unfortunate cases in which labels are sewn in, to mislead; that is another issue however, but even then, it's helpful to see that, from a buyer's perspective, as that tells me which sellers to avoid.
  5. rubylane

    rubylane Registered Guest

    Thank you Linn. You have been most helpful. Carol
  6. rubylane

    rubylane Registered Guest

    I will and do appreciate all the input I can get on this particular subject. As a side note, one of my goals for this coming year is to bring Vintage Fashion to the forefront both on Social Networking sites and of course, our own sites, and any where else I can find to get the word out. So, bring it on. :)

    PS and pointing them all back to VFG along with ourselves, of course.
  7. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing VFG Board Member Staff Member VFG Past President

    Labels are definitely important and we here at the VFG do strongly believe they should always be photographed if they are there.

    However, there are instances where the label has simply gone missing from the garment. Whether this is due to it being laundered or having it dry cleaned. There are some people who simply can't abide a label at the back of their neck. To those with very sensitive skin, this becomes a serious issue and they often will simply cut them away. Labels after all are simply sewn on with a little thread and these can detach and most people would not even think back then that it was important to leave it on or to stitch it back. People have really only been buying vintage clothing in the last 40 years or so, before that it was not that common of a practice, I would not say there wasn't anyone collecting vintage before that, but the trend really caught on in the late 1960s.

    The best thing is to be knowledgeable in regards to vintage and to educate oneself. When you handle it constantly and take the time to visit museums and vintage clothing shops and read books and old magazines and sewing books, you will get to know
    what is vintage or not, the label is not the be all and end all in identifying a vintage garment. We would miss out on so many beautifully made and fine quality fabrics if we would simply not purchase those missing a label.
    MyVintageCocktail likes this.
  8. rubylane

    rubylane Registered Guest

    That is the type of information I need, in addition to other info. The Pro's The Con's and the anything in between, labels and all. Carol
  9. cactusandcattails

    cactusandcattails VFG Member VFG Past President

    Also a fair amount of vintage garments only came with a makers hangtag, which of course had to be removed to wear. Sometimes it may have a union label or a size tag. These should be included if there is no designer label.
    I think if it doesnt have a label at all, it is even more important to add other descriptive elements, like closure details and zipper materials, construction details like shoulder pads, pinked seams etc...
    It should be fairly obvious most of the time whether it is custom/home sewn or commercially made. All of this should be noted.
    MyVintageCocktail likes this.
  10. amandainvermont

    amandainvermont VFG Member

    No, your thinking is not too strict. I (and I believe all VFG members) would always include a photo of the label. Even if the label is not from a "known" designer, it often reflects the age of the piece and even its quality. Fuzzylizzie is one of our label experts and she told us that originally, labels were made on small looms, like ribbons. They had a smooth selvage. But today labels are made on larger looms and then are cut and the edges fused. The fused edge is hard, and therefor scratchy. Besides the VFG label resource there is a wonderful collection (somewhere on these boards) of great novelty labels.
  11. I agree with my collegues that a photograph of the label, when present in the dress, is of the upmost importance. It can help to identify, date, and provide information on quality, fabric and style. It can also be a huge selling point in respect to coveted designers and collectible names.

    That being said, there are many, many ways to determine the essential details that should be presented to our potential customers; tags are just one piece of the puzzle. There are a great many beautiful garments that are either missing their tags or are custom sewn. Even though these are untagged, with knowledge and experiece there is usually no issue in pinpointing the correct dating, fabric content and other pertinant information. Some of my favorite garments have been sans tag.

    I also want to point out as others have above that showing a tag is a good way for buyers to determine dating and authenticity of specific garments. If a seller is marking thier garment as 50's and the tag is of an 80's manufacturer it is easy to see that the dating is incorrect before purchasing. Also, we've seen items for sale with designer tags inside that when viewed are, for example, the tags for a hat and not a coat or dress. This is a tell take sign that the item is fraudulent. So tags can be extrememly useful in these ways.
  12. MyVintageCocktail

    MyVintageCocktail VFG Member

    What Brenda said.

    I'd like to specifically reiterate that many garments, dating to the 50s or even into the late 60s, sometimes came only with a hangtag, so that the lack of a label in a commercially made garment does not necessarily mean that there was a label present that has been removed, or that the garment is home-sewn, or that there is any attempt to deceive regarding the age or maker of the garment on the part of the seller. I recently had a very late 60s deadstock outfit with original store price tag and maker's hangtags--with no maker's label, and clearly one had never been present. Yet anyone looking at it who had even a minimal amount of knowledge would know the item was vintage and commercially made--even without the hangtag. Also, if there's a Union label only (and this happens often, but not always), then that's a good guide to age when taken in conjunction with other attributes.

    And, somewhat off topic, but to reinforce what Amber said, a "label" isn't necessarily an indication of either quality or desirability--there are wonderful vintage garments out there, commercially made but bearing no label, that match in quality and styling that of high-end "known" designer.
  13. foofoogal

    foofoogal Registered Guest

    I am one of those people that immediately cut labels off of the back of my neck. ( Princess and the Pea)
    As I sell on both RL and RP it is very disheartening when I know something is vintage and even will have union label and I cannot list on RL.
    I for one would even be willing to run my items thru a team to note something is vintage and this is part of the reason I come here even. I appreciate as a general dealer (glass, dolls etc. ) those more versed in the vintage clothing categories.
    I do like having labels for investment somewhat but quality and if I love it enough it will not deter me from purchasing as I am a collector first and foremost.
    Thank you Carol for asking this ?
  14. MyVintageCocktail

    MyVintageCocktail VFG Member

    I was under the impression, when I had a shop on Ruby Lane, that if there was a Union label, thus demonstrating commercial manufacture and general dating, but no maker's label, that a photo of the Union label was acceptable. At least I was told that by someone at Ruby Lane at one point, after I had several conversations regarding the fact that hangtags were sometimes used in lieu of in-garment labels. I had assumed, after that, that a commercial garment couldn't be listed only if it carried neither a maker's label or a Union label. But that could be wrong--it's been a long time and my conversation with Ruby Lane about the Union label may not have reflected current, actual policy.
  15. foofoogal

    foofoogal Registered Guest


    If it is before 1945 it can be listed but not after.
    As exclusive I have to then put things after the date at RP but then RP is more geared towards newer items.
    I do not want to overstep my bounds in this conversation so if this needs to be removed I will remove it.
  16. MyVintageCocktail

    MyVintageCocktail VFG Member

    Yes, I, too, was talking about that.... But, as I said it's been a long time since then!
  17. rubylane

    rubylane Registered Guest

    Yes, Ruby Lane has specific guidelines for listing Vintage Fashion and Accessories, but that does not mean we are not open to reviewing our guidelines and making changes or concessions, if they are necessary to promote Vintage Fashions, keep up with trends, and allow us the ability to continue to maintain a high level of standards. Change is a given no matter what the topic, etc. I personally believe the Vintage Fashion Guild is a premier site for information, which is why I wanted to start a dialog here. I make no promises, but we will consider the information provided and of course, your opinions. So, let us move forward and see where it takes us. :) Just give me some time to get current and on top of 'things'. Keep your thoughts coming. I like creative thinkers!
  18. MissRita

    MissRita Guest

    Hi Carol :hiya:

    I agree with what everyone has written, labels are a must and an absolute necessity for any designer/couture garments. Jodi from Couture Allure wrote that great article on label switching, it's a serious issue. Also, since you mentioned the potential for changes to guidelines I thought perhaps allowing bathing attire on RL? Please!
  19. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

    Good morning, Carol, it's good to see someone from Ruby Lane here on our forums.

    it's easy to see we all agree the label is an important aspect of dating a garment, that has never been an issue. However, it is NOT the ONLY clue for dating a garment, as many here have mentioned. Perhaps the more pertinent question regarding Ruby Lane's rule directly, that should be posted is:

    if a garment doesn't have a label, should that exclude it from being listed on a website?

    as THIS is Ruby Lane's rule:

    Ruby Lane is wiping out an enormous market of vintage items with that single rule, and in turn, losing sales directly because of it.

  20. MyVintageCocktail

    MyVintageCocktail VFG Member

    I agree with Mary. If a garment has a label, then yes, it should be shown. But more pertinent, what about those post-1945 items without labels?

    As noted here, not all post-1945 commercially made garments came with in-garment labels. And not all had a Union label. And, labels fall off or are removed--for many reasons. So, you have vintage garments whose authenticity as vintage are evidenced by numerous other factors--yet they can't be listed on Ruby Lane. Apparently because the thinking there is (or at least was) that all post-1945 garments carried labels, or that a removed label somehow makes the item's age suspect. (That's how it was explained to me by Ruby Lane some years ago, although it's not accurate.)

    It seems to me that such a rule doesn't make sense and is a great disadvantage to Ruby Lane and its sellers, wiping out, as Mary says, a huge market.

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