Vintage Style Inspiration: Thrifted ’70s Pleated Plaid Skirt

January 10th, 2011
vintage fashion outfit

I remember the moment I found this skirt — it was buried in the racks of a Wal-Mart sized Salvation Army in the boonies of southern Pennsylvania last summer. It was an under appreciated, under seen, under worn and until that moment, under Found piece of vintage glory … and for the thrift-savvy price of less than $5!

It was — and still is — in mint condition. Its forest green base with just the perfect geometric mix of bright red, yellow and blue plaid was undeniably bolder than the average color palette of a modern skirt, as if this piece were a couture piece made from the finest dyes. The skirt pleats had hardly been touched, much less sat on or walked in. It was almost as if this skirt had found its way straight from the factory where it was made and into the thrift store I shopped it from.

While undeniably made in the US because of its estimated vintage birth year of the late 60s or early 70s, the skirt was missing a proper union tag. Unions were heavily regulated in the production of US clothing by the 1960s. The Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America had formed in 1915 in Rochester, New  York, and over the next decades would successfully unionize hundreds of factories across the United States, as well as forming a union just for women working in the clothing industry, as well.

So, due to the absence of a union tag in the skirt, a few conclusions can be made.

First, it was not made in a unionized factory, but it’s clear that it was made in a US factory because of another tag: a “Lot” tag that says “Lot [insert number here]”. The number of pieces in a lot varies, as determined by the company directing the production of the piece. The company could therefore order 10 “lots” of 20 pieces, or 200 total pieces, from a factory.

Second, the skirt may have been an inexpensive “brand” because it was not made in a unionized factory, where wages were typically higher and therefore the production cost of the garments more expensive. That price different was then passed onto the consumer, who would pay a bit more for clothing made by union workers.

Third … enough about the back history! It’s time to get a closer look at this magical mint number, scored for about the same price as my favorite drink at Starbucks but worn with a whole lot more love!

I rocked it at a photo shoot for the national consignment store Second Time Around for an upcoming post on tips to shop consignment … but if you scroll down after the jump, you’ll see how this skirt was styled in a Sammy Davis Vintage photo shoot last summer with Ashley There Photography. Model Rebecca wore it with a light pink, sheer top and brown flats. We added a brown belt to draw connection from the shoes to the waist, and to tone down the “brights” of this bold, beautiful print!

Check back to the site later this week for posts on how to recycle vintage fur, a brand-new video on my latest vintage closet clean out … and how 2011 style trend predictions were influenced by the past.

Hope everyone is having a fabulously fashionable Monday — and staying warm if you are in cold weather areas!

xo, SD

vintage fashion outfit

THE LOOK: Pretty in Plaid!

’80s HAIR BOW: Vintage closet clean out in Long Island

NECKLACE: Compliments of friends “cleaning out their closets”

BRACELET: Compliments of friends “cleaning out their closets”

MODERN LACE SHIRT: The Limited, circa 2004

RIBBON BELT: Vintage closet clean out, Maryland

BELT BUCKLE: 1920s, previously owned by 90-year-old Great Aunt

PLAID SKIRT: Salvation Army find!

SHOES [unseen here]: Brown heeled Naturalizers, department store sale

vintage fashion outfit


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  1. Sammy Hope all is well and your having a wounderful start to the new year !
    I love the things you find and stlyle so perfectly together
    So talented we both have that passion for vintage
    Check out my etsy shop I just started I have all kinds of great finds and will be sharing a lot more for others to have .I also currently have a lot disigner vintage from chanel the ultimate classic jacket ,gucci ,Kennth Cole ,Ungaro and many more my seller id is thevintagattic10 Send me a message on faebook are follow me on twitter .I got a message from you but coundn’t reply unless you follow me my email is I hope all is well and look forward to hearing from you !!
    xoxoxo Jennifer

  2. Riechan says:

    You emailed me on youtube, so I’m checking out your blog ^^
    That plaid skirt looks cute! You could even turn it into a dress ^^

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