Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Is it Real or Fake? How to Identify Authentic Vintage Clothes or Reproduction Vintage Clothes

Picture this scenario: You walk through an antique shop or thrift store among racks of vintage attire – or what appears to be vintage attire. You spot a dress or blouse that catches your eye and you can’t help but gaze over its color, pattern and uniqueness. You immediately fall in love with it. After trying it on you start to question if it’s truly, authentically vintage or is it some reproduction garment someone donated. You start to examine its quality and even ask the sales associate questions – but he or she doesn’t quite know. Feeling oh-so attracted to it, you go ahead and purchase the item and hope for the best that it’s authentically vintage along with some other vintage treasures you picked up along the way. You hope maybe another vintage enthusiast on Facebook or Instagram will point out if it’s authentic or reproduction in the comments.


Does this sound familiar? Surprisingly, many people get confused when it comes to identifying rather a vintage garment is authentic or reproduction, especially individuals who are new to wearing vintage fashion.

In this blog post, I’m going to explain ten easy ways to identify whether a vintage garment is authentic vintage or reproduction. I want to first explain the difference between the meaning of “authentic” and “reproduction”. . .

Authentic means the vintage garment was actually made during a vintage time period. It’s truly vintage and may be between 50-100 years old before being considered antique. It’s basically history! Reproduction refers to the garment being recreated to appear and feel vintage. In other words it’s inspired by a particular vintage time period. Another word for reproduction is “vintage inspired”. Reproduction attire is manufactured during this current time period.

I’ve been wearing and shopping authentic vintage and vintage inspired clothes – especially dresses – for many years and have picked up on the ways of identifying a garment. I use this method whenever I shop for vintage. Continue reading to learn how to use these methodstoo!

1. Observe the Zipper & Buttons

This may be an observation that many people may miss. With authentic vintage clothing, there may be a heavy-duty metal zipper in the center of the back of the dress, as the same with buttons. This is due to the fact that the vintage times embraced the value of helping one another and a majority of women received help from their husbands or relatives of zipping and buttoning their dresses from the back. Of course, it’s only in human nature to help one another. Asking to help zip up an outfit or fasten a button in the back was seen as a norm, whereas today someone may perceive it as “do it yourself” as the value of helping one another is declining. 

Observe closely how there may be a well-hidden metal zipper in the back, or a button that’s placed in the upper back as well. Look for the coloring of the buttons - they may appear yellowish, dull and "older". 

A strong, durable metal back zipper on an
authentic vintage dress I own

The buttons in the left photo are on a reproduction dress 
and the buttons in the right photo are from a 1950's authentic vintage dress. 
Notice the dull, fading look on the buttons on the vintage dress.

A majority of reproduction dresses may have a side zipper made of plastic. With modern society shifting away from the “helping” value and embracing independent culture, the idea of putting a zipper on the side makes it easier for a person to zip themselves up easily. With a reproduction garment, there will most likely be a plastic side zipper and less buttons in the back.

A back button on an authentic 1940's wrap dress that I own

2. Observe the Overall Appearance

This is may be an easy tip to acknowledge while browsing authentic vintage or reproduction vintage clothes. Real vintage clothes tend to have a more “vintage” or “older” look to them of course. If it appears outdated, it’s most likely real vintage. Reproduction clothes tend to have a more charming and modernized look of the original vintage style. It tends to have a more refreshing look and doesn’t appear to be completely outdated.

This is the 1940's inspired "Charlotte" dress from Lindy Bop with courtesy. 
It definitely has a vintage appearance but doesn't appear overly outdated.

3. Check out the Craftsmanship

With real vintage clothing, you will notice the strong “heavy” material, metal zippers and elaborate detailing such as lace, buttons, belts and loops and embroidery. Reproduction clothes may have craftsmanship, but appears to be more modernized and not as intricate. It may possibly tear or fall apart. This is because modern clothes are not built to last long like their vintage counterparts. During the vintage times, the value of “building to last” and keeping an item for a long time was practiced.

4. Size

A significant difference between authentic vintage and reproduction is the sizing. True vintage tends to be smaller as women were smaller during the vintage times from dresses, skirts, shoes and even gloves. True vintage can run very small especially around the bodice and waist area. Reproduction vintage clothes tend to run all sizes from XS to XXL to favor a diverse audience of sizes. Of course there were larger sizes during the vintage times, so you may come across a “larger” vintage dress, skirt or blouse. The sizing number may be a little “off” though.

5. Length

During the vintage times modesty and femininity was encouraged, and wearing a skirt or dress past the knees was very common especially adult women’s fashion. If you pick up a vintage dress or skirt that happens to fall far below the knee, don’t get alarmed. As the 1960’s approached, dresses and skirts became shorter. We can always identify a 1960’s dress anyway!

Reproduction dresses and skirts typically fall above the knee, but you may come across some reproduction dresses and skirts that may fall right at the knee or slightly below. Still, check out the other identifications as well.

6. Antique / Vintage Smell

This is a funny but helpful one! Of course if you’re shopping around an antique or thrift store there’s always that “antique smell” that lingers in the environment. A vintage garment may have a stronger “vintage” smell to it. If it makes me sneeze, I definitely know it’s vintage (insert laughing emoticon). Reproduction of course tends to have a newer, almost “plastic” like smell. 

7. Hand-Stitched V.S. Machine-Stitched

This is an obvious one that may be overlooked by some. Authentic vintage clothes may tend to have original hand-stitched sewing and reproduction definitely has machine-stitched development. As you’re examining your garment, take a close look at the stitching. If it appears hand-made, the stitching will not be so perfect. If it’s machine-made the stitching will be faultless. This is because a majority of women during the vintage times sewed their own dresses to save money. Of course, lots of vintage garments were manufactured as well. Check out other identifications to be sure. 

The stitching in the above picture is of an authentic 1940's dress.
Notice how it's handmade style. 
Pictured here is stitching on a reproduction 1950's style dress.
Notice how it's machine-made with "perfect" stitching.

8. Pricing
Authentic vintage tends to be pricier due to its historical, unique nature. Designer authentic vintage tends to be even more expensive than non-designer. Reproduction clothes tend to be more affordable. Vintage inspired fashion can be a bit pricey when it comes to well-known online boutiques – but this is only due to sustaining profits for the business. An authentic vintage garment is unique and is sold as the only “one” available for sale.

9. Research the Label
The label "International Ladies
Garment Workers Union" 
Be sure to check the label on a vintage garment. This may seem like a no-brainer but many new folks in vintage fashion tend to pass up this action. You may come across a popular label titled “International Ladies Garment Workers Union”. I have a 1960’s authentic vintage dress that has this label that I blogged about in a previous post….you can read more about it here.

10. Check out the Material
This may be obvious to the well-experienced vintage shoppers…authentic vintage is always made of a strong-quality material such as cotton. It will most likely have "Made in America" tagline on it too. New-age vintage inspired fashion tends to be made of polyester, rayon, and more polyester with a possible blend of cotton.

Well that's all! I hope this blog post will help you on your next adventure of haunting down your next authentic vintage garment. I'm sure there are lots of other unique ways of discovering a true vintage item. Feel free to leave a comment below on one of your tricks!

Monday, August 19, 2019

World War 1 Reenactment Show and Photoshoot - Midway Village Museum

Welcome back fabulous readers! Today’s blog post is about my adventure of attending the annual World War 1 reenactment show at Midway Village Museum in Rockford, Illinois. Midway Village Museum is an outdoor Victorian-era style village where you can walk about and visit many facilities designed with Victorian-era features and observe the traditional way of living during this time period. The battlefield is located outside the village section.

It was a day filled with action, networking, capturing beautiful photos and witnessing a part of true history. I brought my parents along in honor of my my grandfather (my mother’s father) serving WWI in France from 1916 until 1918. We asked plenty of questions about his service and found out interesting information such as he was assigned within the pioneer infantry department, in which many African-American soldiers were assigned this department. They worked on building bridges and trenches – which explains why she still has his original trench blanket from the war!

Throughout this blog you will find photos from an impromptu photo shoot I did during my adventure at the museum. Below is also a video I created of shots I captured during the WW1 reenactment. At first, I didn’t think about filming the reenactment, but then something inside told me I should. Although I wasn’t prepared and didn’t know what to expect next on the battlefield, I tried my best to capture as much action as I could!

Visiting historical museums – especially in this style – can be beneficial with living a vintage and traditional lifestyle. It helps create a better understanding of true history through reliving and witnessing actual historical moments, sites, facilities and information. It’s not only fun, but educational, to immerse yourself into history and observe how much life was so much more different from the overly-convenient, emotional and technology-driven society we live in currently. 


Something surprisingly happens while I was capturing the reenactment show. Watch now and find out what happens! Click the video below to begin watching.

Check out more photos via my Instagram!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Here's Why I Left the Pro Black, Conscious and Black Lives Matter Community (I Used to be a Social Justice Warrior!)

Welcome back to another fabulous blog post! This post will be nothing like the others! This post features a letter to the “Pro Black” “Conscious” and “Black Lives Matter” community of America. Yes, I was once a social justice warrior. What?! Crazy I know right! After I released my anger and shifted my life back to Christ, I became awakened and let go of my old modernized self.

Below is a letter which describes why I’ve separated from the Conscious Community. It was exciting and informative while it lasted, but like most movements in modern society, it ends up being a short-lived, temporary false feel of action and empowerment disguised as enlightment and a call for accomplishment for a supposed marginalized group of people. I was blindly indoctrinated to feel the need to jump into politics and social warriorship when I was involved in the modern world years ago. You will also find a video below of me explaining why I left the movement.

Read on folks. . .

Dear Conscious Community,

I’m discontinuing my dedication and servitude of this movement. I can no longer participate in a modern movement based on anger, victimhood and blaming. We have a plethora of issues at hand in the Black Community and working with keyboard activists and actionless activists is not going to help. A majority of the issues within the Black community stem from the current modern trends of today. 

Thank you in advance for reading this letter. Thank you for attempting to educate Black America (and White America) on the history, injustice, oppression and lack of economics in the Black community. I just want to thank you spreading knowledge from past race-hustlers Black leaders who have been trying to eradicate systemic White supremacy overtime and uplift Black people to recognize the oppression and mistreatment of Blacks by White people (not all, but some). 

I remember posting statuses, memes, videos and photos of emotional content representing the “consciousnesses” of Black history, our ancestors and racial injustice activities constantly on my social media pages. I remember volunteering for numerous events for movements such as Black Lives Matter and Black History Month. I began to base my whole life around Black consciousness. I started to believe this new lifestyle was my call of duty from the Universe. I sought out Pro Black groups, celebrated Black love and made new "conscious" friends. As I look around the current state of the Black community I see nothing. I still see heartache, depression, anger, rejection, lack of money and lack of resources in most Black communities. But yet, I continue to see lots of statuses, memes, YouTube videos, blogs and live videos about how Blacks are still being treated unfairly by a system that doesn’t really appear to exist in the way that we believe it exists. If the Universe is a Black woman, why did it want me to join a movement based on anger?

I just want to thank you on educating America on how slaves were treated and how the pyramids were built to align with galaxies and how our Black history is ignored in modern schools. I think we’ve heard enough on how Jesus ain't White; he’s Black and how the Christian Church spews European lies.

I think many people grow tired of hearing you guys scream “that’s racist!” when something trivial happens – such as bandages not having darker shades or beauty commercials featuring a light-skinned model. It’s kind of upsetting when other Pro Black folks delete you from social media when you post photos with non-Black people and suspect you may be dating a non-Black person. Anger. But from what?

Boyce Watkins and I at his documentary premiere of
"Black Wall Street: The Blueprint" Chicago 2016

It may be a shocker to say that perhaps “racism” doesn’t exist and that it’s only another –ism modern society manufactures to keep our feathers ruffled and our blood pressure on high. We cannot re-label history. The left want us to keep seeing those police brutality videos to keep us in an angry mood and then to vote for the leader that we think will fix our problems, but only takes our money and dignity instead.

If you look closely at the vintage times (1920’s – 1960’s) most Black folks were doing pretty well. They dressed nicely, married often, owned businesses and didn’t let the Jim Crow laws affect their life. We no longer have Jim Crow laws or slavery laws holding us back today – but yet we (not all of us) idolize fake rappers, hood culture and untraditional values. Most of our problems stem from within the home and upbringing, not by a system built by modern worldly views.

Let’s start preaching traditional values of responsibility, family, love, kindness, femininity and masculinity (and much more) rather than the gospel of what happened ages ago in slavery and ancient Africa and the Diaspora. We need to build order on strong family structure. We need to rebuild our communities with economics ranging from farming, agriculture, banking, schooling and churches. Let’s stop spending our money on Black Friday sales, Jordan’s, new rap albums, the movies and put our money to work in our own communities – like they did during the vintage times.

Don’t let the liberal education system fool you into becoming a social justice warrior in a movement based on anger towards another group of people based on history. We’re angry at a history that we’re taught in schools and Universities that didn’t involve us directly.

Thank you for letting me be a part of this keyboard activist group – I learned a lot but I think we ought to build more than to complain. If we keep complaining, we will keep being taken advantage of by so-called "Black leaders" who will keep taking our money and truth. 

There's only one divine truth.

I still have faith and hope for Black America. Best of luck, and best wishes!

- B-Anne

Watch the video below on more details on why I left the Black Consciousness Community. . .

Thursday, August 08, 2019

1940's Handmade Dark Blue Authentic Vintage Dress (So Classy!)

Hello fabulous readers! In this blog post I will be reviewing a beautiful 1940’s handmade dress I received from a local vintage vendor, Real Vintage Swag located in Volo, Illinois in my area. It was a thrill to find this authentic stunning dress and it was definitely worth the hunt. What’s so wonderful about this dress is that it’s authentically handmade as the stitching appears hand-stitched rather than manufactured by a corporate machine. Seeing original handmade stitching makes me feel better with buying an authentic vintage dress!

I believe this dress may have been made in the late 1940’s – possibly after World War II – due to its charming style that also resembles an early 1950’s style, in which the style may have carried over into the early 1950’s.

The dress appears and feels formal to an extent. It would be great to wear for an event such as a formal party, exquisite dinner, church or even a wedding. It’s definitely the “dress up” type of dress!

Like most authentic vintage dresses, this beauty fits closely to an extra small to size small. I’m size medium and I had to squeeze in it carefully to avoid tearing the seams! It does fit perfectly for my petite stature. This is one of the best reasons why I love authentic vintage dresses – they fit so perfectly for petite women!

I can’t quite tell what the fabric is made of, but it has a bit of a heavy feel to it, but I didn’t feel too hot wearing it during the summer. I love how it has faux rhinestone buttons placed gracefully between well-crafted pintucks in the bodice of the dress which adds lots of feminine charm. The dress features a flowy, full A-line skirt to top it off. I can tell this dress was designed with plentiful craftsmanship.

Overall, this 1940’s original dress is so charming, feminine, very well-crafted and fun to wear!

To view and purchase authentic vintage clothes, accessories and items visit Real Vintage Swag on EtsyInstagram and Facebook.

Be sure to follow for more authentic vintage via Instagram!

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

The Truth about Waiting for True Love and Getting Married (Dating in Your 30’s and Over)

Hello! Welcome back to my blog! In this post I’m going to discuss the truth about “waiting” until you're older to find true love. As a single girl approaching age thirty soon, I’ve heard this overly-repetitive, weary advice so many times. Unfortunately, I did believe it somewhat when I was younger. Many women (and men) do not realize there’s a price to pay of waiting around for Mr. Right or Ms. Right in the long run. 

We all hear the old modern saying. We hear it after we state that we’re single and looking. The saying goes something like this: “what’s the rush…you have time”. This may be among the biggest lies in modern dating. Little do many people realize that this mentality about dating actually causes a delay in finding a good quality man or woman for a relationship. I like to say the best saying is “the early bird gets the worm!” It doesn’t mean you need to rush commitment, but instead don’t waste your precious time thinking love will be easier later in life.

As we grow older dating gets tougher and becomes more of a challenge. The dating pool shrinks down to players, casual daters, nit-pickers and newly divorced folks who have a little bitterness to them. Good quality people are hard to come by. You start to question your sanity. 

We spend our twenties having fun, building careers, finding the perfect job and traveling. Modern society does not encourage the traditional value of finding a life partner at an early age anymore. Liberal progressiveness encourages neglecting the creation of family for the pursuit of casual sex. We are taught that it’s okay to delay relationships until we’re much older and get shamed for wanting a relationship and marriage. It can be true that marriage lasts longer as we marry late in life due to maturity – however; it becomes a challenge finding the perfect life partner. Perfect? Forget about it!

Little do people realize that the longer we hold out, the more time is wasted on finding a quality person.  Below are a few truths about “waiting” for love and marriage later in life. As a woman, I can only give the perspective of a female in the dating world.

Truth #1: Ages 28 – 33 is an awkward stage of dating, especially for women. This is because we’re caught in between either dating an older guy or younger guy. Most women around this age are looking to settle down. Dating a younger guy may come with the challenge of not being ready to provide just yet or lack of maturity. An older man may want a younger girl or a woman around his age.

Truth #2: Beauty does fade. Luckily, I’m blessed with wonderful genes of looking youthful. Trust me, I used to hate it when I was younger but now I embrace it. A woman in her forties or fifties may not feel as attractive as a younger girl in her twenties and thirties. In reality, a majority of older men prefer a younger woman who has an attractive appeal and body. An older woman must keep up her looks and body in competition of younger women.

Truth #3: You will run into a lot of players and casual daters, especially in your thirties. Because a majority of people get married in their twenties, divorce and break ups happen in their thirties. Because a man feels he’s already had a long term relationship or marriage, he considers himself “free” again to play the field and feel single again without being attached to another relationship. Because of this, they feel they have time to play the field and delay commitment in order to enjoy their singlehood again. Here you are dating them, looking for commitment – but they only play you and waste your time. In actuality, they don’t have much time in the casual department. Casual dating is a huge time waster and is not encouraged in scripture.

Truth #4: You will deal with a lot of nit-pickers. Yes these guys will literally pick you out ‘til there’s nothing left. You now understand why they are single! It’s understandable at the same time because as we grow we absorb into our habits and ways of thinking and we wish to find someone who can complement ourselves. But you may literally come across someone who will reject you for not liking their favorite food. Be prepared. 

Truth #5: Prepare to become a stepmother or stepfather. As mentioned previously, many people divorce in their thirties. You will meet a lot of folks who are single parents. This is ultimately your choice to date someone who already has kids, but I'm writing this as a heads-up.

There are lots of other truths to be aware of in the older dating scene. It’s best to raise our daughters and encourage younger ladies to find commitment at an earlier age and to also learn the responsibilities and values of a relationship. 

That's all for this blog post. Thanks for reading and be sure to follow the blog for more. Until next time, bye!