Navigating Vintage Fairs


Lovers, we know I love Vintage clothes (and my growing collection is one of the things I am most proud of!)! So if there’s a chance to shop a ton of Vintage Shops at one time–I’m in. Here’s the but–it can be completely overwhelming, and if nothing else a long day.

PickWick and A Current Affair are the biggest vintage fairsI know of–but I know that there are others (and would love to hear about them!);every fair is different, every vendor is different so I don’t think that there are hard and fast rules as how to best navigate one.  I recently was able to attend the PickWick Show in LA, it was my first and I loved it! But there are things that I wish I had known before I went–see below for some of my tips to navigating vintage fairs!

  • Plan your time accordingly. There are tons of vendors and booths at these fairs–so it’s not reasonable to get in and out super quickly. Part of the fun is taking your time looking around and seeing what everyone has to offer! My advise: take a friend and make a day of it!
  • Try to see as many booths as possible. This is part of the “make a day of it” advice. Now doing a lap before you buy anything may be completely unrealistic-but may be worth a shot (just to see what’s there before you dig in). And if there are vendors you want to make sure you stop at I’d recommend going to them first–but the experience is about seeing various vendors–so take advantage!
  • Take a Friend–see above, firstly you can make a day of it. Also, I don’t know about you but being around beautiful clothes makes me want them all. Take someone who can be honest about what looks good on you, what you should pass on, and what you must have. Then, be that kind of friend to them!
  • Have some things in mind. I think part of the fun of vintage shopping is that you never know what you’ll find–that leaves the potential for treasures to be found! However, keeping in mind some key pieces you’re looking for (be it a Chanel Jacket or a kimono) will help you navigate the fair. Also, keeping in mind what your wardrobe needs (like a trench coat) or what it doesn’t (maybe the last thing you need is another black dress) helps in the “What do I buy?” dilemma.
  • Have a budget. Stick to it. This coming from the girl who doesn’t say no to good Vintage–but honestly, if you don’t you can end up spending way more than you planned. And there’s always more shopping to do down the road!
  • Be open! Again, there is no promise of what will be available–so get your hands dirty and shop. Try different vendors, be open to different things, and really have fun!

I hope these help! I was able to score some amazing pieces (including a Versace Skirt and couture Valentino–watch for them coming up on the blog!) so I wish you happy shopping! And would love to hear about your experiences with Vintage Fairs!

Happy Vintage! XO RA

Check below for the next LA events–NYC events can be found on the organizers websites and Instagrams!

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Actress, avid shopper, and a lover of fashion. Hoping to make the world a better place one pair of shoes at a time.