Bishop sleeves (shown above) were a popular style of the quintessential ’70s Edwardian style maxi dress.
1980s: Batwing, dolman and puff shoulder sleeves were all the rage in the ’80s. DATING TIP: Identify whether a garment has lining or not.
French seams are the neatest finish of seams, as the raw edges of the fabric are fully enclosed for clean lines.
1950s: Pinked seams — which look like scalloped teeth — are most common on garments from the ’50s because it was the easiest way to cut a seam without leaving fraying behind.
Reason being that a zipper made it too easy to take one’s clothes off, thus only “easy” women would ever want to wear a garment with one!
1930s: The infamous zipper is rarely seen on garments.
1960s: Buttons begin to take on a more “cheap” look, and aren’t the same quality of plastic as bakelite or lucite. That’s why they’re also called “hard plastic.” LEFT: 1940s Dress with Side Seam Zipper / RIGHT: 1950s Dress with Centered Back Zipper DATING TIP: Identify whether the garment has a zipper and if so, where the zipper is placed and if it’s metal or plastic.
1970s ONWARD: Once the ’70s hit, styles shifted to embracing the space between a woman’s skin and her sleeve.Metal zippers begin to be replaced after 1963 with the invention of nylon, which introduces the plastic zipper.1970s – TODAY: Plastic zippers found along the center back of a garment officially reign supreme — and are what we’re left with today!TOP LEFT: Frenched Seam (1900-1940s)/ TOP RIGHT: 1950s Pinked Seam / BOTTOM: Post ’50s Serged Seam DATING TIP: Identify whether the garment has frenched, pinked or serged seams.PRE-1940s: French seams were used on turn of the century clothing through the 1940s.