I love vintage style, you probably won’t find me doing full vintage but there will likely be a vintage nod or element to my look. One of my favourite events of the year is the Vintage Fair at Plymouths Guildhall organised by Miss Ivy Events (I bloody love the Guildhall!) and April’s event was no exception. Sally and I popped along with my sister and we spent a good couple hours falling in love with everything from jewellery and glassware to lamps constructed from teacups and teapots.
I tend to skip the clothes at vintage fairs, unless there’s a small rail on a stand I tend to feel overwhelmed. I do however always feel drawn to scarves (something that has been increased by last weeks Sewing Bee. Lingerie out of old silk scarves?!!). At the last fair I attended I approached Bag End Bags explaining that I wanted to try wearying headscarves, but was unsure what I should be looking for. I have long loved the look of headscarves but find that high street scarves never really hit the mark, so it was incredible to impart some knowledge. She took me through a few of the affordably priced scarves in her collection and recommended trying a chiffon scarf, as this was material that most women would have worn in the 50’s and 60’s, I ended iup leaving with the most gorgeous silky yellow polka dot scarf and a green patterned chiffon scarf. Out of the two I reached for the chiffon number more often than not, the material is not only impactful but has an incredible staying power.
I have a lot of fine hair and chiffon scarves sit really nicely against my head, with the need for an absolute minimum of Bobby pins. Pair with this my tendency towards headaches anything that minimises pressure on my head is much appreciated! I looked through the fair for appropriate scarves and purchased one with minor flaws from Vintage and Retro Plymouth (a lovely store previously a part of the Pannier Market who were my entry to vintage) and two more from Bag Ends Bags.
This is how I tend to wear the scarves, I need ro be careful how I style these as it’s very easily to look like a doll or very childlike with these pieces. I will often offset it by tucking away the tails of the bow with some hair grips, or by double wrapping it so the knot ends under my hairline and I have a sleek alice band style look.
There are a few things to bare In mind when buying vintage: firstly, always examine what you’ve picked up in detail. Check hems, where price tags have been placed and areas of wear. If you do find an imperfection ensure that its something you don’t mind being damaged beyond repair in future.
For example, the peach scarve I have tied the biggest bow ever had holes in it, but I knew that how I wanted to wear it wouldn’t affect the look too much. And this sort of brings me onto my second tip: don’t be afraid to haggle! I got the damaged scarf from £2 to £1, meaning if the tear gets bigger and renders the scarf unwearable I won’t be so irritated. Sally managed to drop the price of a denim jacket she wanted by a couple pounds just by asking, it might feel awkward but most traders expect people to try to haggle.
Finally get to know the stall holders, or in the least make small talk! When I found the navy headscarf I started chatting to the lady on the stall about the other bits I’d bought from her and what I was after, she picked up the beautiful blue polka dot scarf from one of her displays, something I hadn’t even seen, and that made my interpretation of the Alice theme at May’s Blogger Meet so much more me!
I love these fairs as alongside brilliant stalls, they have a lovely pop up cafe with fine bone vintage China and delicious cakes, brilliant cat walk shows and create such an amazing atmosphere.
I can’t wait for the next one, maybe to start saving my pennies for the next scarf bundle or possibly a vintage necklace?
Miss Ivy organises a huge amount of events across the Plymouth area, if you wanted to check out the events calendar it can be found here, including an event on Plymouth’s Piazza this Sunday!