Thursday, March 11, 2010

1940s Gown - Oh really?

This dress is being called a 'Vintage 1940s Garden Tea Party APRICOT FLORAL GOWN'
1940s? Really?
The color? The print? The polyester/nylon looking fabric? The nylon zipper down the back?

And it's not being called '1940s style' because in the description it says - 'A truly exquisite handmade dress from the 1940s'

I'm sorry if this sounds like a snarky post, but as a buyer, it's very frustrating when things like this come up when you're trying to find real 1940s clothing. Please sellers, don't guess. Educate yourself on fabrics and styles.


BaronessVonVintage said...

As a lover of 30s and 40s fashion I couldn't agree with you more. I ranted about 1930s night and hostess gowns being sold as "jean harlow" evening gowns earlier this year

This is another really annoying thing I'm seeing: 1970s dresses being sold as authentic 30s and 40s gowns. If it's got that long nylon zipper, is made of polyester, it is not a 30s gown! Something else I noticed twice this week: sellers on ebay and etsy selling what they claim to be "a 1930s suit" and a "1930s" dress, when the suit has a "dry clean only" tag in it and the dress has "Made in India, 100% cotton). According to the Vintage Fashion Guild content and care labels like this were not put into clothing until much later than the 30s (care labels started the 1970s, right?) so I imagine these are mislabelled items as well. My question is: what should other vintage buyers and sellers who see these glaring errors do? Should we send a polite message to the sellers saying they have made an error and explain why or how we know they have mislabelled the item(s)? Great post. These are issues and questions I think about daily!

Olea said...

Thats my pet peeve!! I know how you feel!

Tart Deco said...

My favorite was when I went to an antiques store and found a lined velvet cape "from the 30s" that had modern serging throughout. Sure, I had to look for it, but it wasn't that hard to find... puh-leeze!

Laura said...

If sellers can't take the time to do research about what they are selling, then they shouldn't be selling, whether it's vintage clothing or whatever they choose to sell.

There is a report button on both ebay and etsy, but neither venue employs people to actually check the validity of reported items. So unless the seller is violating a copyright or doing something that could get the venue in trouble, they are not likely to do anything about dating misinformation.

We can try contacting the sellers directly with a polite inquiry of how they dated or identified their item - and then just hope that they respond sensibly without flying off the handle or ignoring the question all together.

Part of the problem is that new sellers are using ebay or etsy to do their research for dating items, rather than doing actual research in books, website like the VFG, movies or longstanding website from sellers with real knowledge of vintage. So they are just repeating bad information posted by other sellers who are too lazy or really uninterested in doing research.
What they don't realize is that they are chasing away customers with bad information. ebay has become very laborous to search beyond the misinformation and overused keywords, and etsy is going downhill even faster than ebay did.

propriatress said...

thanks for the reminder anon, to only shop with reliable sellers who know with an honest appreciation...what they are selling!
Just because someone went to Value Village on 99cent Day, doesn't make them a Good Seller. Beware... is right!

Anonymous said...

Etsy recently had a front page treasury that featured a pair of 'vintage shoes' - the shoes were only a few years old! Etsy doesn't even monitor what ends up on their first page and apparently doesn't care. Not only is vintage being misrepresented but mass produced clothing from China is being listed in the vintage and handmade, and crafts people are blatantly copying from each other, which is whole other issue.

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

I would love to hear everyone's best recommendations for reference books on vintage clothing, purses and shoes. Thanks:D

Ms. B @ Millie Deel said...

This is something that bothers me as well. I'm almost looking forward to the time when vintage will become unpopular again so that the only people selling it will be the ones who truly love it and have educated themselves about it. Etsy lets you sell whatever you want on there now. They don't monitor anything. Not related to dating items, but I reported a listing to them of a sheer blouse in which the model's breasts were completely exposed through the shirt, which I happened to think was offensive and inappropriate for the type of listing it was, Etsy did nothing about the listing and it's still there.

Temperamental Broad said...

I totally agree! Sometimes I want to write these people and say "Are you serious????" One time I did write a seller who was advertising a repro lucite purse as vintage. I told her that I have the same purse and know for a fact its not vintage, so maybe she would want to describe it properly to avoid a dispute. She just argued with me so I left it alone. I guess as buyers its up to us to educate ourselves because some of these sellers just dont care.