The Toronto Vintage Society got a booth at last Sunday’s Toronto Vintage Clothing Show – a ONE day only event at the Metro Convention Center – North Building. The show is a fantastic opportunity to discover hand-picked vintage and retro clothing, accessories and jewellery from top independent vintage fashion vendors. Vendors from Owen Sound, Montreal, East Garafraxa, Collingwood, Freelton, Kakabeka Falls, Ottawa, Hamilton, Straffordville and many others – all under one roof!
The #TVS booth was our way to reach vintage lovers in the GTA. We were selling our “Make do and Mend” sewing kits (THE cutest things ever!), buttons and other fun like an iPad showcasing a photo side-show of all the fun-filled events TVS attended the previous year. All TVS booth visitors were informed and encouraged to sign-up for our new website/blog, pay their TVS Meetup fees, to oooh-and-ahhhh at each other’s purchases from other vendor booths…and of course singing the praises of all things Vintage!
These cutie-pie kits were handmade by the fabulous TVS members who braved the sudden non-stop snow of yet another blizzard, the day after Toronto got a teaser +10 degree weather day. With scissors, glue sticks, mason jars and other crafty necessities were toted and assembled, over gossiping, storytelling and beer.
The TVS booth also had a raffle giving away this fab prize: an amazing train case of vintage goodies in TVS approved colour scheme …even a lil’ something for those dapper dudes: suspenders+cufflinks+tie combo!
Since I live closest to MTCC and have an elevator, I was tasked with carting all our supplies for our booth home and would be there bright and early, with Liz + her hubs + her car to set up. Then we – TVS admin team – would simply rotate on manning our booth whist the others could peruse all the goodies up for sale at the show and Facebook our finds through the Toronto Vintage Society page!
A few snaps of the TVS booth all set up and read to go:
Truth be told, I don’t actually own too many genuine vintage outfits (or pieces of my own for that matter). However, since hanging with the chicks of TVS I have been exposed to the world of “vintage inspired reproduction” dresses. So my Outfit of the Day to represent and man the TVS booth was this dress from Doll Factory by Damzels, a rock ‘n’ roll retail shop on Roncesvalles. (It may look familiar to you as I’ve previously posted about this dress.) This easy-peasy-curvy-body-flattering dress has pockets which makes it that much easier to cart around an iPhone, money and other necessities like that without needing a purse. Knowing the day was going to be busy with setting-up and running around, I went with flats instead heels for footwear. Plus, I wanted to be able to quickly try on any fabulous-finds from booth to booth … heels do not help in making one nimble.
I’m not as dedicated to vintage hair as some of my TVS sistas are, those who patiently created pin-curls and wrapped their hair overnight to create the glamorous hairstyles of the beloved eras. My baby fine hair just never wants to cooperate. But I did manage to get a lil’ vintage-flare in my do for the clothing show. Check out how HIGH I got the bump in my hair! And it lasted all day….Hooray!
Since there was a solid possy of four of us to man the TVS booth (me, Lisa, Larissa and Liz….ooooh L to the power of 3), there was lots of opportunities to check out some of the other vendor booths and do a little shopping myself.
One of my immediate purchases was from Treasure Chicks Vintage from Pickering – these amazing ‘new vintage’ shoes. This shop got 500 pairs of never-before-worn Celebrity shoes for sale friends, complete with their vintage shoeboxes – FYI. I fell in love with these two-toned leather taupe nail-hammered heels the moment I set eyes on them (they fit small, I’m usually an 8.5 buuuut had to buy these in a size 10 for a comfortable fit) and this spectacular red scarf….which I immediately had them tie into my hair to add some MEOW to my #ootd!
Now, this may come as a surprise to some of you reading….but I’m a bit of a diva! I like NEW – so the idea of buying and wearing clothes someone else has worn half a CENTURY ago really needs to be special before I’m willing to spend my cold hard cash on it. This being my first real vintage shopping experience, and being the nerd that I am, I did a bit of research before hand. I found WikiHow’s tips helpful in this Top 10 list for How To Shop For Vintage.
Shopping for vintage plus size clothing is a challenge and a half – no doubt! With all the many vendor booths to peruse, it was an overwhelming task – also, I learnt that I’m easily distracted by shiny/sparkly things – talk about sensory overload all day! Some things I personally kept in mind when looking for clothing/items to buy were:
- Odors and Stains … these are very iffy because they’ll probably have been on there for ages. Scarves seemed to have this issue the most from what I saw. I had to ask myself: Would it matter if you scrubbed at it but it didn’t come off? Is it so glaring as to render the piece unwearable?
- Try on EVERYTHING! I was surprised at the number of pieces I passed over because it “looked” too small, but upon trying on fit quite well. If it doesn’t feel right or look good when you tried it on, then it probably isn’t the piece for you is the basic rule of thumb when shopping vintage clothing. Sadly, the change room situation at MTCC wasn’t all that private – so I ended up trying on dresses OVERTOP of my dress. Figured if it fit and looked good on me like that, it was def gonna look great when I wore it properly! Silly? Maybe. But that was my try-on technique for the day…and it worked out well. (Ps: the pics of all the below were taken during a post-vintage-clothing-show Irene-fashion-shows as soon as I got home with all my haul).
Check out this long pink & brown floral 1940s day dress I scooped up from www.retrouver.biz Notice the silver rhinestone ornament on the collar! I really loved all the buttons down the front too, plus the thin shiny belt can totally be worn with other things in my closet. It’s a bit long…so it will need a hem…so I managed to talk the price down to $25!
Upon round two of vendor shopping, I found Barbra – an independent vintage dealer who doesn’t have a storefront proper, but has created a name for herself among many of the TVS members. (Her Facebook page is Booth 311 Roadshow Antiques Pickering.) She put me into this lovely light green number. Brand new! The fabric still felt stiff and unworn. The only real giveaway to this dress being pre-loved was the belt holes – one was used more than all the others. Although this dress is pretty simple, I really loved the pleated neckline with the large buttons down the front – and the length was perfect!
The rest of my shopping consisted of accessories. I picked up a delightful wicker purse (also from www.retrouver.biz) and this fantastic black petit point 1960s purse and a giant cream brimmed hat (both from The Vintage Domain).
Check out how I combined a few of my pieces together with each dress.
Here are a few shots of the rest of my purchases from Primetime Antiques & Collectables:
When I finally returned to the TVS booth – I found a swing dance party had broken out! Oooooo! I can’t wait ’til it’s MY skirt that be a-twril with mad Lindy Hop skillz! Yup! With a Z!
The rest of the afternoon was spent chatting up visitors who stopped by our booth and meeting some of the newer TVS members:
Vintage clothing shopping is exciting and enjoyable so long as you come with a good attitude and patience. Finding items that nobody else has is the biggest appeal for me, plus you’re being eco-friendly with the added thrill of bargaining for a deal.
Here’s a summary shot of just the accessories that came home with me from the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show. Can’t wait to do it all again this Fall! Weeeeeeeeeeee!