Monday, 21 March 2011

Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Vintage Fairs

So I had a great time at the vintage fair on Saturday. I didn't think I was going to buy anything but ended up going home with 3 dresses,an apron and a top.I would normally consider this extravagant but as I haven't managed to find anything I wanted to buy for a very long time it's absolutely great!
Here's a picture of my new buys I admit they do look a do look a whole lot better on.Things can look a tad shapeless on the line, but you still get the general idea.One dress you can't see but that's because I'm wearing it as I write.

I had not been to a fair for a while and in my rush to get out I forgot my all important tape measure. this got me thinking: I should write a post about how to get the most out of going to vintage fairs. you might not know this but I used to run my own antique and vintage textile stall so I know a thing or two about buying and selling at fairs.

  1. Wear a full slip or petticoat and cami under your clothes:Preferably one that doesn't look too much like underwear.Changing booths at fairs are hit and miss and you may have to change in a communal room or quickly slip a dress on somewhere discreet.Vintage clothes have also not always been washed so you may not want them against your skin if they smell a bit weird and lastly the right underpinnings really do make a difference to how a dress looks so if you really like full skirts make sure you take a full petticoat so you can accurately judge how it really will look.
  2. Take cash and change:A lot of stall holders are not professionals so may not have chip and pin machines or even the correct change. I wouldn't advocate walking around with lots of cash but you do need some if you are not to have to constantly nip out to find a cashpoint which can be a real pain particularly if you don't know the area.This can also help you stick to a budget and stop you overspending.
  3. Take a tape measure:Useful for measuring whether clothes are likely to fit. Although I admit you do get an eye for this in time, there are places where you really will not be able to try something on and you may have to make a decision based on the measurements.
  4. Take a handbag with a long strap so you can  wear it accross your body: Useful for hands free browsing.
  5. Take a large bag with comfortable straps preferably one that stands up by itself:As you may be buying lots of items you may well accumulate lots of smaller bags.these can get lost easily as you are browsing so take one large bag instead. If it can stand up by itself so much the better as it won't keep falling over and spilling your new purchases.
  6. Wear comfortable shoes but take some heels with you: You might well be doing a fair bit of walking so you don't want to be crippled half way through but take some heels in case you spot something a bit more more dressy to try on.It's hard to appreciate a beautiful taffeta evening dress with flats/sandals/plimsols/trainers.Or have the best of both worlds and wear some wedges.Comfy and some extra height at the same time.
So those are my tips for getting the most out of vintage fairs. Please let me know if you find them useful.I'd love to hear your comments!


  1. Great tips Wendel, thanks very much! Unfortunately I was away this weekend so I didn't get to go along to the vintage fair, but from your finds it looks like it was a good one!

  2. Thanks Marie.Glad you like them.
    Yes the fair was really good better then expected actually.Shame you couldn't make it but there will be more.Am looking forward to them allready!
    Did you have a good weekend anyway?

  3. Very useful tips :) Sadly, although i had originally planned to go to the vintage fair, i wasn't able to make it in the end...seeing your lovely purchases i think i missed out! I have only ever been to the one held at DMU in the past, so was looking forward to trying something different. Oh well, i'm sure it will be back!

  4. Thank you for your comment kat I'm glad you found them you found them useful.Shame you couldn't make it but yes it's on regularly I think. I liked the one at DMU actually (different organisers I think unless they changed their name)although the only comment I have about that one was that I couldn't really see what I was doing as the lighting was awful and I didn't really buy much as a result.
    I really like the labels you have.soo cute! I'm going order some as soon I get paid.

  5. Next time you're going,im tagging along, sounds like loads of fun!! x Amanda