How To: Tell if a teeshirt is vintage
It always breaks my heart when I'm perusing a site like Etsy and I see something like "vintage tee" in the title, only to click on it and realize it's not ACTUALLY vintage. Not only is this false advertising, but I know some poor soul is going to think it's the real deal and waste their money. So I'm here to pass on some knowledge, so this doesn't happen to you!
I would say the number one thing I look for when deciphering if a teeshirt is vintage is the stitching in the sleeves and hem. In decades past, teeshirts were typically created using sewing machines that only had single surging. This would create what we now know as the "single stitch" (you'll see this term used in a lot of our vintage tee descriptions), as opposed to the double surge of today's teeshirts. This is the telltale sign of a vintage teeshirt.
Did you know that there is such a thing as tag trends? It's true! Five years ago we almost saw the disappearance of tags altogether, with brands simply screening the size or variant into the back of the teeshirt itself. Now, the tags that are seen as "trendy" are the small rectangular tags stitched into the back of the tee. A vintage teeshirt tag will usually be square. It will say something along the lines of "Made in the USA", "50/50 Cotton Poly Blend" or something of the sort. The older the shirt, the more worn the tag may be; sometimes it may be faded off altogether!
Another thing to keep an eye out for, especially when looking at band teeshirts, is the copyright "C" with a circle around it, next to a year. This, along with the other factors listed, is usually a good way to determine if you've got the real deal on your hands.
IF IT LOOKS LIKE A DUCK...
This brings us to our last point. If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck...you know the rest. If it FEELS vintage (aka worn in, super thin) and LOOKS like a vintage tee (stained in some areas, possibly ripped or distressed), then it's probably legit. You just need to know what you're looking for first!