Dating vintage hats

You’ll find dresses, skirts, sweaters, coats, shoes, HATS, and more.

We carry one of the largest vintage hat collections in the valley. One reason we have so many fabulous vintage hats is because of one of our Dealers, Dianna Hanson, also know to us as the “Hat Lady.” Dianna has been collecting for many years and her personal collection has grown to more than 1000 hats.

Dating a Vintage Hat by Its Label By, Dianna Hanson Dating a vintage hat can be a little tricky.

It has been my experience that only about one in three hats has a label of any kind, while others may have up to three. Victorian and Edwardian hats don’t usually have a label.

Part of her collection is featured in the 2013 calendar, “365 Days of Hats.” You can learn more about the “Hat Lady” at

Here is some interesting information gathered from her website.

Lots of garments from the 1950s will have a fiber tag without a percentage--for instance, simply "Cotton." Of course, people sometimes just cut tags out, so lack of a tag doesn't always equal vintage.

--- There's a common misperception that if a garment has a "union label," it's always vintage.

I highly recommend this if you want a short, one-stop reference for vintage shopping.These come in different colors and may also include the letters AFL, AFL/CIO, or CIO.These variations of ILGWU labels were used through 1995--close to the current vintage cutoff year of 1993. UNION LABEL USED FROM 1955-1945 (with AFL-CIO) After 1995, the union adopted a label that says "UNITE" on it. For more details on when each kind of union label was used, see the Vintage Fashion Guild's guide to union labels, here.--- Another excellent resource for labels is the Vintage Fashion Guild's label resource. Metal zippers often indicate an item made before 1960, when plastic zippers for dressmaking became more common.Here, dedicated vintage fashion lovers have collected and compiled histories of the labels of hundreds of vintage clothing manufacturers, often giving you dates when a certain maker's label was used. Metal zippers are still routinely used for heavy-duty uses like jeans and jackets.

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