Velvet Evening Coat -- 1930s/40s?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Label Q & A' started by Phaedra, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. Phaedra

    Phaedra Registered Guest

    I found a full-length black velvet evening coat at an estate sale and wonder if anyone might be able to help me to date it. The coat has a high neck, is quite fitted through the bodice, and has large, ornately carved black buttons to the waist. It is so long as to almost feel as if it might have been intended to have a train effect behind. The only label is a National Recovery Board tag. On one side it says National Recovery Board around a circle, in the middle of the circle it says Coat and Suit Industry, and along the edge of the tag the number 109721. On the other side, it says Consumers' Protection Label, Manufactured under Fair Labor Standards, and in a box in the center the letters KJM. All suggestions gratefully received! Coat Label 1.jpg Coat label 2.jpg
     
  2. themerchantsofvintage

    themerchantsofvintage Administrator Staff Member

    A photo of the coat front and back will be helpful in dating.
     
  3. Phaedra

    Phaedra Registered Guest

    Thank you for your kind response. Not very good photos, I'm afraid. A bit of a dull day and the only light background I could think of for the photos was a bathroom . . . . so elegant!
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Linn

    Linn Trade Member

    I'm sure you saw this in our Label Resource but if not here is some information on the National Recovery Board:
    https://vintagefashionguild.org/label-resource/national-recovery-board/

    I believe your coat is from the late 1930s- very early (Pre-WWII) 1940s but it's a little hard to tell much about if from your photos. Maybe you can get a photo of it on a person outside on a nice bright day - and a close-up of the buttons will help, too. Great find!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  5. Phaedra

    Phaedra Registered Guest

    Thank you so much, Linn. Yes I had read about the label, but have been unable to find anything that indicates just what the letters mean -- I've seen other labels illustrated, with different consecutive letters in the box, so figured they must mean something!

    I will indeed try to get better photos, on a person. The velvet is in great condition, with just one horizontal seam at the waist opened a little. Even though the coat can't be any bigger than a size 6 and I'm of medium height, it is way too long for me. Would having it shortened be detrimental to its historical value?
     
  6. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Trade Member

    I agree with Linn that the general dating is late 30s to early 40s, but it would help to have more detailed photos. I'd be interested in seeing the bodice, in particular. The seaming, if any, if it's gathered, etc., and more of the detail on the shoulders. Also the lining if it's lined.

    These coats are always popular! If I were you and wanted to keep this to wear, I'd go ahead and have it shortened. But if it's not too heavy, try to leave the original hem intact. That way if you ever sell it, it can be restored to original length.
     
  7. Phaedra

    Phaedra Registered Guest

    Thank you so much for the replies! I am out of my depth on this, as I usually look for vintage bags at estate sales, but I love black velvet and couldn't resist. I'm trying to decide if I should get it fixed up (the only problems, other than needing cleaning, seem to be a couple of open seams, besides the length) or pass it along to someone with more expertise to give it TLC. A little info, the sale was at the home of a woman who had apparently been fashion director at Lord & Taylor in Manhattan for many years. Here are some photos that I hope will help. The buttons are black, but they don't photograph that way. (And apologies, just realized the dog dropped his rather ugly chewy bone in the corner of the lining pic!)
     

    Attached Files:

    themerchantsofvintage likes this.
  8. Vinclothes

    Vinclothes Alumni +

    Thank you for the additional photos. Yes, I, too, believe it is late 1930's/early 1940's. Pre WWII.
    Marian
     
  9. Linn

    Linn Trade Member

    Definitely late '30's/early '40's - the shoulder "puff" and the fit are definitive. It looks wonderful on you. If you think you will wear it, you should definitely get it fixed and shortened. Thanks for the additional photos!
     
  10. Phaedra

    Phaedra Registered Guest

    Thank you so much for the incredibly helpful replies. I really appreciate your expertise. Yes, I think I should fix it and wear it. Now to find a seamstress . . . !
     
  11. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Trade Member

    Yes; with the added detail showing, that late 30s/very early 40s dating looks good. You should keep it and enjoy wearing it; it does look great on you! And you'll never see anyone wearing the same coat.... :)
     
  12. Phaedra

    Phaedra Registered Guest

    Thank you! My only other vintage coat venture has been going strong for over a decade now, and people actually stop me in the street to say how much they love it, so it seems that I'm onto another winner. (I should post a picture of that one to see if you can date it -- it's a shaggy winter coat covered in strands of fabric, seems like the sixties to me.)
     
  13. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Trade Member

    All of my fall and winter "dress" coats are vintage. I get so many compliments on them, and sometimes people are surprised when I tell them they're vintage.
     

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