Tag: Vintage

Brimfield Antique Show

audrey

Two and a half hours from Manhattan sits the little New England town of Brimfield; a quaint community surrounded by apple orchards, horse farms and rolling grassy hills. If you were visiting the area on a normal weekend it would appear as a simple charming small town, but three weekends a year this town actually holds one of the largest and best-known antique shows in the country.

Picture over a mile of tents, lining a hilly tree-lined road in Massachusetts. Brimfield Antique Show features more than 5,000 different vendors and sells anything from antique furniture and decor to one of a kind vintage fashion items.

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When the handbag design team invited me to come with on their trip to Brimfield I couldn’t wait. It is the perfect place to find design inspiration and draw new ideas from vintage pieces of the past… Of course, I had to do a little shopping there too!

The show had everything you could imagine. From weird and quirky yard art, to trendy dishware, to spunky vintage clothing and accessories it was a maze of amusement. I loved wandering from tent to tent and exploring all of the old items. Some were weird and hilarious, some were dainty and beautiful and some were just plain historic… but I loved experiencing every angle of the show.

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lawn stuff fruit clothing

When it comes to eating there, they have any type of food vendor you could think of. a mac n’ cheese truck, lobster rolls, tacos, bbq, Italian paninis, wraps.. just about anything you could crave! Not to mention ice cream and treats of course. I had a fabulous lunch there mid-day, and was perfectly fueled to finish my antique hunt in the afternoon.

If you live in the area, or have an apartment in NYC, Brimfield would be the perfect place to shop for home decor and antique furniture. The prices, for the most part, are awesome, and incorporating a vintage piece into any apartment adds instant character. Unfortunately I will have to fly back home to the midwest soon, so I only shopped for things that I could realistically fit in my luggage… I think I did pretty well though!

Check out my little Brimfield haul below.

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How to Shop Vintage

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Throughout my college journey thus far, I have learned to become confident in my own personal style and no longer be afraid to step outside of my comfort zone and buy those ‘weird’ items. One appreciation I have gained as a fashion student is vintage clothing. Having taken various fashion history courses at my university, I have enjoyed learning how silhouettes, materials and construction methods have changed throughout the decades. I have also taken note on how these old, vintage, styles recycle through the years and become a fashion forward option for the current times.

When shopping at a vintage boutique, it is important to analyze certain aspects of the piece you are interested in. You want to look closely at the quality of construction, level of previous wear, brand listed, estimated time period the the item was intended for and price they are asking for the item.

If you plan to wear a vintage item on a regular basis, it is important that you avoid buying something that is already damaged or too fragile.  Too often, vintage shoppers will fall in love with a garment’s silhouette and uniqueness, and avoid to notice the hidden stains, iffy smells, or weakness of the materials. It may be a great piece to buy and collect, but as far as adding it to your everyday wardrobe, it may only end up lasting one or two wears.

Speaking of materials, it is important for vintage shoppers to understand that because these garments are older, the textiles have most likely become less strong than they once were. You should try on items first if at all possible, and make sure they fit comfortably. Buying an item too small could lead to various rips and tears down the road. It is important to know that sizes have changed throughout the years as well, and just because the size listed may be what you wear today, it could end up fitting very differently than expected.

If you’re not much of a fashion history buff, and don’t always know what time period certain items are from, it never hurts to do a little research. You never know what you may come across, and though finding items dating before 1950 is rare, finding a gem like that could be a worth-while investment. Doing research on a vintage item can also add to your appreciation for what you are buying. Think of each vintage item as a historical artifact with a story. Knowing its past could be a great conversation starter if someone compliments you on it later!

Finally… let’s talk money. If you’re looking for a vintage, designer brand, item in perfect condition, expect to pay a pretty penny for it. Just because these items are old, does NOT mean they are all going to be cheap. If you’re willing to wear something less high-end though, and something that has a little wear to it, you can find some awesome deals. I found that dress and jacket pair above at a great vintage boutique and paid $36 total for both items. Had a little bit of wear, but wasn’t anything that I couldn’t work with.

Hope these tips help! Happy shopping to all!

The Vintage Vibe

 

This ensemble was a mix of the old, the new, the borrowed, and everything in between. I started my styling process with the thrifted skirt. Since the skirt has a busy houndstooth print, I needed my other items to be neutral and toned-down. I chose to wear the graphic vintage tee because it was simple, yet urban enough to mesh well with the skirt. Instead of a chunky necklace, which is typically my go-to, I chose to sport my black infinity scarf for more of a fall look. The scarf is a statement piece, so a few gold accessories were all it took to finish off the outfit. I chose a layered chain bracelet and a pair of my mom’s old vintage gold earrings.

In the spirit of the last photo, which captures my best friend making me laugh mid-picture.. Here’s a lovely quote for the day!

Incase any of you don’t have time for the gym, this is a good way to look at things!

“Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors.” – Norman Cousins

What I’m Wearing:

Top: graphic tank – Forever 21

Skirt: button-down houndstooth – Goodwill

Scarf: black infinity – Nordstrom

Bracelet: gold chain – Charming Charlies

Flats: black with gold detail – Target