Thrifting Tips 101: Shop The Label

Monday, November 25, 2019

SHOP THE LABEL. Whether shopping for vintage pieces or high end designer you should always shop the label. Do not use the label solely to determine the size. It tells you much more about the item. Labels tell a story! The label on the inside of the garment will answer the following four questions:

1. Is this a vintage item? One of the first ways to determine if an item is vintage is to check the item for a union label. This is a white label that is sewn into the side seam of the item or under the label that indicates the brand of the item. If you locate this label and it has the letters ILGWU (International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union), then it is a clear indicator that the item is vintage.
2. What is the retail price of this item? Use GOOGLE, enter the brand name and a brief description of the item. For example, Cynthia Rowley Tweed Coat Leather Trim. Then click Images. This will produce search results you can browse until you see the item and the retail price. This will allow you to justify paying the price for the item if you are undecided.
3. Is this item a designer brand? Some people may say that I am a label snob, but the joy of thrift shopping is being able to afford designer brands for a fraction of the retail price. That is one of the reasons that I love thrift shopping. I only shop for department store, designer and vintage brands. I shy away from economy fashion brands like Target, Walmart and Old Navy. Just because for the price at the thrift store, I can get that brand new at the retail store. My one exception is the Target brand when they team up with a designer.
4. What are the care instructions for this item? Will you have to spend money to dry clean this item or will you be able to wash it in the machine? This very important question may influence your decision to purchase.
Do you shop the Label? How does the Label influence your decision to purchase?

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