Good Vintage

An opportunity to shop a vintage clothing faire cannot be missed, and it is even more fun with vintage-loving friends. The Alameda Vintage Clothing Faire was on a beautiful sunny day on the small island, in a community hall in the old naval base area. It wasn’t nearly as large as the Alameda Flea Market, but it was the perfect size to be able to look at everything in about two hours. Everyone there was very friendly and familiar in our shared love for vintage.

I enjoy shopping for vintage clothing, the hunt for a hidden treasure is exhilarating. While in design school I worked as a vintage buyer for Buffalo Exchange, and it taught me everything I needed to know about choosing good vintage.  Generally when vintage shopping I personally try to look for classic pieces, that will work with my current wardrobe. Mostly neutral in color, I like to mix these pieces with statement jewelry that I also look for. Rhiannon, my friend with whom I attended, likes to find dresses in rich colors and timeless prints. The fabric of the clothing should be in good condition, no holes, ripped seams, or anything else I cannot repair myself. The fabric quality is what I especially look for. When shopping, I always scan the racks to see if anything catches my eye before I go over and start going through the racks. I run my hands over pieces I like to feel the quality of fabric. A good wool will feel soft whereas a bad polyester will feel like fluffed plastic. I check zippers, buttonholes, and hems to observe the technique used.

One of the pieces I found was a classic navy blazer by Pendleton. It fits me perfectly and has 3/4 length sleeves which are my favorite on a jacket. It is in impeccable condition and cost $40. This is a quality jacket that will last me many years and will polish off many an outfit.

The quality is in the details of this blazer. Handfinished buttonholes, perfect welt pockets, and beautiful buttons. Buttons are a big thing for me, as they can add a lot of personality to a garment. I especially love dapper crest buttons.

This was one the first things I saw when I arrived at the Faire, and I was immediately drawn to its shape and classic nautical motif. The fit of vintage clothing is paramount to finding a good value. The sizing is extremely inconsistent, so I always try them on before buying. The fit of this sweater is Katharine Hepburn, sitting just at the hips with a slightly slim cut. It is also 100% cotton, which means I can machine wash it.

At only $15, the subtle anchor and laurel have me completely charmed. Also, I love white tops- white tees, white oxfords, and now white sweaters. I know it is after Labor Day, but I have no qualms about wearing white when it is done like this.

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