Generally speaking, vintage clothing is anything made more than 20 years ago. That said, most people consider pieces from the late 1980s or older to be true vintage. Oshkosh is a children’s apparel company that was founded in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1895. It was originally the Grove Manufacturing Company and they produced the famous hickory stripe overalls for railroad workers and agriculture workers.
They became famous for children’s clothing, especially their bibbed overalls. The idea was to let the children dress similarly to their fathers. The overalls were featured in a national catalog in 1960. Later, they began to sell their clothing in department stores and expanded their children’s clothing line.
The clothing plant in Wisconsin closed in 1997 and their products are no longer made in Oshkosh. Carter’s bought the company in 2005. It still operates under the Oshkosh label but people often look for vintage items. Continue reading to learn how to tell if Oshkosh is vintage.
Examine the Label
The label can tell you if the Oshkosh clothing is vintage. Oshkosh clothing was made in Oshkosh, Wisconsin at the factory plant from 1895 until 1997. The Oshkosh label on the front will say “OshKosh.” Underneath, you will see “B’Gosh,” and then it says “Union Made Sanforized” in all capital letters under that. The patch is in a rectangular shape on the front chest pocket in the center of the overalls. The B’Gosh was added based on a Hollywood Vaudeville act. Someone heard the phrase “Oshkosh, b’gosh” and they added it to the clothing line.
You will also find a patch on the back of the overalls in the center near the top. This patch is in the shape of an upside-down triangle. It also says “OshKosh” on top, then “B’Gosh” underneath. The next word is “Vestbak,” and then “Union” and “Made.” These overalls were all made by the clothing union workers in the Oshkosh plant until 1997.
Check Out the Buttons and Clasps
Vintage Oshkosh buttons and fastenings were made with brass. The buttons will say “OshKosh” in the center and underneath, you will see “B’Gosh.” Some of the buttons have only the wording and others have designs stamped in, but they are all made with quality metal. If the buttons and clasps are lighter and more shiny, they are likely a newer production.
Have Them Authenticated
Another way to know if your Oshkosh clothing is vintage is to have it authenticated and analyzed by a professional. EBay, Etsy, and other third-party sales companies have many experts who are ready to appraise clothing. You can also join vintage forums and find an expert there. Vintage clothing is always popular and Oshkosh is no exception. You will find some pieces selling for as much as $350. If you have looked at the label and the buttons and are still unsure, you should check out these professionals online.
Normally, you will be able to submit photos of the item. You should pay attention to the details and make sure that you present the photos of the item from every angle. Most of these people are able to identify your clothing very quickly based on a few signs. They are very helpful and you can learn how to identify vintage items yourself by paying attention to their forums and hearing what they have to say.
Vintage items are always popular and Oshkosh is trending today. If you want to know if your Oshkosh clothing is vintage, you can run it through a few different tests. First, check the label to see if it says that the item is Union Made. The clothing was all made by the union up until 1997. Then look at the buttons and fastenings. The vintage clothing had fixtures made of brass or another substantial metal. If you are still unsure, you can find a professional who is an expert on vintage clothing and ask them.