Vintage labels will sometimes have the names of countries or colonies that no longer exist.For example, you can deduce that a clothing item was produced prior to 1999 if they have the British Colony of Hong Kong on the label, considering this colony gained independence before the dawn of the new millennium.RN Numbers were first used in 1952 and are a fairly reliable way to determine the era.Numbers listed 00101 to 04086 indicate clothing 1959 and earlier and post 1959, numbers listed as 13670 and larger.The best rule of thumb is that if an RN number is 6 digits can be aged from the 80's, while numbers of 5 digits can be dated around the 60's and 70's.
This was in conjunction with their efforts to urge Americans to not buy imported goods: The ILGWU remained active up until 1995, when they merged with another union, Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, to form UNITE.
As stated before, odd numbers were used to indicate junior sizing for petite women pre-1980s. It is important that you combine this indicator with another sign that the item is vintage to avoid confusing it with a modern article of clothing made in Mexico.
So, if your item is sized 3, 5, 7, 9 etc you can be certain the garment was produced before 1980 (when odd number sizing ceased to be used as separate petite clothing lines began to be created). Prior to 1971, garment labels did no come with care instructions, so check your labels and tags and if there is absolutely no care instructions this will indicate the item is older than 1971.
ILGWU or the International Ladies Garment Worker Union, was formed in 1900. Tags are notable for their “AFL-CIO” attribution or lack thereof.
The AFL and the CIO merged in 1955, therefore any ILGWU labels with AFL-CIO (look closely, as it is often very small) on them are post-55.