What makes an authentic vintage dress?

The task of looking for authentic vintage dresses has similar qualities to being a detective. It takes time and patience and is a process of searching for clues using not only your sight, but your sense of touch as well. When choosing what items to stock, our selection process is done with as much care and scrutiny as a detective, but with as much love and passion as an artist. All the authentic vintage dresses we stock will have passed rigorous inspection before we even consider if it’s a beautiful enough item for Seraphine to put its name to.

The first aspect I will look at is the shape of the garment which tells me a great deal about the era it harks from. The length of the gown and its silhouette are a vintage buyer’s first port of call in not only attempting to place the dress in an era, but to make sure it’s a genuine piece. However it is not always as simple as this as there are anomalies and fashions are recycled. For example, 1930s dress shapes were copied in the 1970s, therefore it’s crucial to consider other elements alongside the shape.

The fabric is the next step in assessing the era and authenticity of a vintage dress. If it is made from man-made fibres it will have been made after the late-twenties, as fabrics such as Rayon were introduced into fashion production in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The fabric a dress is made from can be integral to assessing whether it actually comes from the era its shape and style allude to. The stitching and way the garment has been made are also valuable clues I use.

Finally, the print of the item is informative in assessing whether a vintage dress is authentic or not. A knowledge of the design houses’ prints and patterns throughout the century means I can pick out the genuine pieces from the imitations. The eye is always the first tool as I look at the shape of the dress and its pattern initially, then feeling its fabric and scrutinising its stitching to make my final judgement on its authenticity.

While I may come to a conclusion that a dress is authentic vintage, if it is damaged or has not been made well, I won’t stock it. Seraphine is committed to providing gorgeous authentic vintage dresses which have only minimal damage and will make you stand out from any crowd. While many vintage shops will sell clothes in a vintage style, or that are inspired by vintage designs, Seraphine only sell genuine, authentic vintage from the golden fashion eras of the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s.

It’s simple: if it’s not authentic, we won’t stock it.