The Affordable Vintage Fair
We get excited about the Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair, hitting Cambridge this Saturday, all over again. Huzzah.
Ladies, gentleman, and passionate vintage-lovers from all over, it’s time to get excited as the Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair is returning to Cambridge this Saturday 6th March. It was a veritable hoot last year, as the Guildhall’s main floor gets stuffed to the gunnels with all manner of lovely vintage loot, from furs to shoes, skirts to accessories to film-star worthy frocks, and delightful bargain racks to rummage through. With over 25 stalls, and at prices guaranteed to be 40% less than vintage on the high street, for a lowly £2, you are guaranteed at least an hour of delightful vintage hunting in what is essentially a magpie’s, and style hunter’s, paradise. This year’s fair is at the Guildhall from 10.30 to 4.30, so be sure to get there early so as to nab the best stuff, and have the rest of the day to decide what you’re going to wear it with!
Top tips for vintage:
A friend of mine picked up a pair of Miu Miu knee high suede boots (retailed ~ £600) for £10 last year. No joke. The lucky girl is a very petite size four however: the small of foot can make an absolute killing with vintage shoes, so be sure to run a glad eye over the footwear offerings on Saturday. For those taller girls (myself included, I’m a size 8), be sure to check out the men’s boots– my favourite pair are a vintage men’s, are pure cowboy and a perfect fit. (The vintage stall on the market also has some wonderful boots for larger sizes- talk to the charming stallholder and she can source you a pair for a very reasonable price too).
Hit the fur coats. They are a beautiful addition to any wardrobe, chic, classic, warm and therefore incredibly practical, and in terms of cost per wear a total bargain. You’ll wear it to lectures, with your evening wear, and with everything in between (they are also very useful as a dressing gown substitute when your heating breaks, I’m told). It’s also much friendlier to our furry friends: buy fake, or vintage, team and you’ll look fabulous with a clear conscience. Other fur favourites are those amazing Russian-style hats: channel Lara from Doctor Zhivago and you’ll look sultry and stay toasty.
Be on the look out for something special. Chat to the stallholders, ask them about their favourite pieces, and if something catches your eye, be sure to try it on: it might look shapeless on the hanger but it might look great on you. Or your friend. Or the girl next to you in the changing room (swapping happened a lot last year)! Vintage evening wear is a guaranteed style statement and although it’s overused, there is a certain charm in looking amazing in something that no one else will have. And for the broke, or less bold, invest in accessories: some eye-catching jewellery, a great bag or scarf, is an excellent way to dip into vintage and will guarantee you some purchase envy (and you can namedrop that it's vintage. All the time).
If you’re serious about finding some classic pieces, go prepared. Wear nice but block underwear: the changing rooms aren’t individual, and you don’t want to flash anybody. Similarly, wear clothes that are easy to get on and off: layers are vital for a quick changing room turnaround. If you’re after a dress, wear tights; shoes, wear ones that are easy to get on and off. Be sure to take cash, and don’t take a bulky bag: it’s quite a small space, and it is so irritating to have to jostle for space with someone’s bag when you’re diving into the rails. Don’t buy anything yellowed, with permanent-looking stains, or that you think is too expensive ‘just because’. However, don’t be put off by faulty zips or tears along seams: they can be a quick (and cheap!) fix, so be sure to haggle for some money off too.
And finally, keep your eyes peeled: your perfect vintage piece is waiting for you.
For more info be sure to check out their website: www.vintagefair.co.uk