October 18, 2009
Today I will be showing you how to date vintage clothing in a quick and simple manner (this will help both vintage buyers and sellers to make sure you have an authentic vintage garment or at least have the proper era stated). I hope this simple lesson helps you bunches!

The Garment: A blue and white vintage pencil skirt.

What we know
+ There is a label that reads "Bobbie Brooks"
+ There is no care label
+ There is a metal zipper
+ There is no fabric content
+ The skirt is partially lined

Because the garment lacks a care label we know this skirt was made prior to 1972. Read more about care labels here. But now let's narrow down the years even more.

If you visit the website Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) you can search for when trademarks were filed and used.

1.] Click on " New User Form Search (Basic)"
2.] In the "Search Term" field, enter the tag label (Bobbie Brooks)
3.] Press ENTER and wait for the search results

You should get 4 listings for Bobbie Brooks. The last one is exactly the one we are looking for, the logo matches the one on the tag!

The information on the page lets us know that the trademark was first used in 1941 and the trademark was filed in 1952.

So now we know the skirt is before 1972 but after 1941. Still a pretty big window. But because of the style, the metal zipper, and the lack of a fabric content label, we can narrow it down to 50s-60s.

In early 60s is when this style of skirt was quite popular. And on the label it reads "Color-Coordinate" meaning at one point it probably came with a matching jacket or blouse. Which in the early 60s was quite popular to have matching skirt and suit jackets.

So the verdict... when this darling skirt gets added to the shop, it will be described as an early 60s vintage skirt.

I hope this information was helpful to you and have fun dating more of your vintage!


  1. thanks for dropping by my blog, R. this entry is brilliant, thanks!

  2. Wow, thanks so much for sharing that with us! I always wondered if there was a site that could tell you about clothing labels. Now I'm going to look up all my opshopped clothes. Fun fun fun!

  3. Ahhh, just realised it was for trademarks listed only in the US! Bummer.

  4. Very informative! Thank you!

  5. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  6. This is great! Thanks for sharing such a helpful website! :)

  7. good tips! I usually have no clue.

  8. Great info! I've only been in the business about a year and there is so much to learn, I'm learning more every day. However, I think its important to note that not everything without a content tag is from before 1972 (though its a good rule of thumb). Sometimes the labels have been removed or the garment was imported from outside the US.

  9. Adorevintage, can you comment on what it means when there is a paper label? I come across these a lot, and I don't know where to go to find info on that, particularly because there is usually no "maker". The tag I'm trying to research now says "WPL" and then a percentage for cotton and a percentage for "artenel". Thanks if you are able to address this, and thanks for the info you did share. Best!

  10. Wow! A year later, this article is still so relevant. thank you so much for this helpful and concise post!

  11. Nice dress shirts even though its 70's style but still fashionable.

  12. This was very helpful to me, I just opened up an Etsy shop to sell vintage and represent my blog as well. Come by and see me.


  13. your blog is amazing! i'm glad i found it :)

  14. Thank-you! Excellent information and concise. WOW!


Thank you for taking the time to leave me a little comment, I do try to respond back as often as I can. Have a lovely day! xoxo - Rodellee