Shopping for Vintage at Vintage Fairs.Sharron Barton
By Sharron Barton, Losana B
I love shopping pre-loved. Charity shops are a fabulous source of beautiful, high quality clothing but you need to have the time to really go through the racks and find the gems. A vintage fair takes away that effort offering a range of pre-loved clothing, and other items, all already checked and inspected by the dealers.
I took my daughter to her first vintage fair this weekend. The fair is run by Lou Lou’s Vintage who run fairs up and down the country so if there is one near you check them out. At first she was skeptical. it’s not the second hand aspect that puts her off as she shops in charity shops herself but the word vintage to her said old, fuddy duddy, ‘from the time of the war’. All things of no interest to the average 16 year old I’m told!
She came along though and it has opened her eyes. She discovered a world of clothing that was different, unique and better quality than the high street at a price she, as a teenager on a meager allowance she has to earn by helping around the house (if she helped more . . .), could afford!
Her first find was a wool felt trilby but sadly it didn’t fit her head. Moving on she found this beautiful purple velvet dress that fitted her perfectly! It’s versatile and be worn as either dress or lightweight coat. Taking a look at the inside it is clear that it is not mass produced but hand made, and expertly made it is too! At £15 it was also an absolute bargain, I couldn’t buy the fabrics brand new for that and why would I want to when there is already one ready made and in excellent condition waiting for her?
The last vintage fair I went to I found some lengths of British woven pure wool that had been used for uniforms that I have since transformed into bags although I still have a short length. I didn’t find anything like that this time but there was a huge selection of clothing including military uniforms, theater costumes and a small selection of newly made reproduction vintage styles.
For myself we found a wonderful wool and cashmere blazer for £12 that was a perfect fit. This one will need some alteration because I’m not sure about the buttons and the narrow collar back isn’t my style but the alterations are simple – just change the buttons and add another collar on top. When I get to doing it I’ll write it up!
The jewel in the crown for me was an absolutely wonderful pure wool, Scottish made skirt with a woven in paisley pattern that I paid only £8 for. It’s not very vintage as the company that made it was formed in 1993 but it is beautiful quality and they still make similar skirts that retail at £129.
And there was stall after stall of wonderful china, pottery, jewellery, ornaments, the list goes on! And the cakes were magnificent!