The most wonderful time of the year.

It's the most wonderful time of the year, folks. The Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show is this Sunday! It's by far one of my favourite events and places to shop. Being a vintage lover and thrift queen, this show is absolute heaven for me. I mentally check out at the door and waft into my own vintage la-la-land for the day. While I love the show, there are some key things to remember when  shopping. It's a mecca of vintage. The big dipper. The big apple. The creme de la creme. There's a lot to look at, a lot of people in your way, and beautiful vintage things waiting for a home. That's where you come in. I've made a list of survival tips for shopping at the vintage show (or any other huge store/show/warehouse). Hope to see you at the show!

1. Give yourself time. At LEAST 2-3 hours. If I can stress anything, it's to give yourself proper amount of time to avoid stress, panic, wrong choices, not seeing details, not fitting, not considering the price and you'll need time to take out cash, wait in line, and see EVERYTHING! ps. show runs 10-5 pm and is $10 admission. 

2. Look closely. Vintage is allll about the details so you won't want to miss them! Bring your best spectacles and look closely. Another, and less glamorous reason to look closely is for stains/holes/damage. Vintage clothes tend to be very old and some will inevitably have a bit of damage, which is a part of their charm, however there's a fine line between charm and trash. Some damage is fixable with washing or sewing so this is your chance to get a discount. Downside is you'll have to fix it but if you love the piece enough, it won't matter. 

3) Try it on. TRY IT ON! I am shouting this. There's nothing sillier than buying something and learning later that it doesn't fit or you don't like how it fits. Especially at the Vintage Show where you can't return it (in town for one day). Also, you never know how something will look on. If you even slightly like the print or something about it, grab it, and try it on. You may just love how it looks. 

4. Ask yourself: will I wear it? We're all guilty of getting too giddy and excited over something in the store (la la land, rather) and never wearing it. Try and imagine your current wardrobe. Does the piece you want to buy fit in with some of the things you have at home? Try to picture HOW you'll wear it rather than why you like the piece. 

5. Haggle. Haggling is one of the perks of shows like this one. If you really love something but feel it's too expensive for what it is, or it has damage, or if you simply can't afford it, many vendors are willing to work out a reasonable price with you. Why not at least ask? Most vendors would rather have a happy customer and make a sale rather than make an extra $5-10. Give it a try!

6. Have a good-ol-time! The Show isn't all about shopping, trying things on, and haggling. It's a really magical time when vintage lovers rejoice, shop together, and celebrate the beautiful, rare pieces. Have FUN. Socialize, talk to people! Ask them about their purchases. Compliment them. LAUGH. BE SILLY. And please, please, TREAT YO-SELF.

Photos taken by Rosie Waugh, Michael Tundo, and myself. 

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