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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sunday Shopping Extravaganza at the San Francisco Vintage Fashion Expo

On Sunday my husband (Ried) and I went to the Vintage Fashion Expo in San Francisco! That's always fun for us because we get to chat with the vendors, a few we've known for years, AND we get to see all the fabulous eye candy! I tried to be good, but obviously not that hard, because I bought a couple of things…

My first stop was at The Bakelite Lady. Ried went off and did his own thing for awhile, since he’s not into hair accessories or Bakelite! Sorry- I was in a shopping trance and didn't take photos of her gorgeous booth! Doh! Not only does she have beautiful Bakelite pieces, but she also has the best vintage hair accessories; hair combs, barrettes, hair sticks, and more. The great thing is that Pam Lee, aka The Bakelite Lady, SHOWS you how to wear the stuff in your hair right there in her booth! She is super nice and helpful! For some reason, her vintage hair combs stay in better than my modern ones. Now that my hair is a little past my shoulders, I bought a couple of things, and I was grateful that Pam was doing a demo on how to use the hair sticks and then showed interesting ways to use hair combs. Below is a photo of my haul from that stop. Click here for her website.

Purchases from The Bakelite Lady!
Vintage hair combs, clips and vintage looking hair sticks. 

Marissa Patrick and the dress that I want!

Next, I visited Marissa of Chick-a-Boom Vintage. Above is a photo of her at her booth standing next to an amazing dress with a bolero jacket that has seashells and tropical fish all over it! It's in MY size, too! Ugggghh!! I wanted to try it on, but I had to be at least a little good and not buy every fabulous piece I saw. I'm seriously still thinking about it though! 

Chick-a-Boom Vintage is located at 7 Western Ave. in Petaluma, California, so if you're ever in that area, go check it out! The store has great stuff. Marissa is a sweetie and always has perfect hair and a great ensemble on, which always makes me happy. 

After that, I worked my way down to Rene and Carl Underwood's booth, Raw Vintage. They don't have a store, but you can find them at vintage clothing shows as well as every month at The Alameda Point Antiques by the Bay flea market. My husband and I have been buying from them for a long time! They are a lovely couple and very helpful. Of course, they always have on great vintage clothing every time I see them!  They have a fabulous selection of vintage items, and a nice volume of Men's clothing. I find that their prices are reasonable for a vintage show. I bought the best (in my opinion) bowling shirt from them! 

My bowling shirt from Raw Vintage.
Check out the embroidered bowling helicopter! 

Carl Underwood of Raw Vintage in his amazing Vulture shirt!!

The last photo I took was at Relic Vintage, owned by Orin Scott. We've known Orin for years as well! He had the most beautiful women's rayon Hawaiian dresses and tops in his booth!! I also saw some amazing dresses and bathing suits!! I wanted all if it, but none of the things I was eyeing were in my size. That's probably for the best. Orin has a shop at 1605 Haight Street in San Francisco. I love shopping there, and I almost always walk out the door with a vintage treasure! 

Amazing Hawaiian rayon set at Relic Vintage. 
Check out the gorgeous pattern and colors!

So, I bought ONE more thing… A fun cotton Hawaiian sundress (pictured below)! I wasn't gonna, but Ried talked me into it. I haven't seen anything in this amazing color combo before, so it didn't take much convincing me before I tried it on and then bought it. I got the dress from Skirt Chaser Vintage's booth.  They also have a great store at 208 Davis Street in Santa Rosa. I love shopping there because they have so much stuff. Go check it out!

Extreme closeup of fabric!
Of course, there were many booths, and, unfortunately my husband had to pull me away from the expo, so I didn't get to see everything (or buy anymore stuff!).  We had to go back home and get busy with some chores before  meeting friends at Trader Vic's for appetizers and drinks later on.  

The Vintage Fashion Expo has a range of ticket prices. For one day of shopping normal hours, it costs $13 (Saturday 10:30 - 6:00 and Sunday 11:00-5:00). Early buying tickets are $25 for one day. You can go to their website to get additional pricing and purchase advance tickets. You can also buy tickets at the door. Many dealers give out discount passes, and if you sign up on the expo's mailing list you'll get a discount card in the mail that knocks off about two or three dollars from admission.   

• It is cheaper to buy tickets at the door, since the online service charges a fee. 
• Bring lots of cash.  Dealers are sometimes willing to give you a  discount if you pay in cash (especially on Sunday).  
• There tends to be way more women's clothing than men's. 
• Make a day of it. Go halfway through the show and take a break for lunch or cocktails then continue shopping the remaining booths.
• To make your life easier in trying on clothing, wear things that are easy to get in and out of, like button-down blouses (to save your hairstyle) and slip on shoes.
• Wear comfortable shoes for walking and standing.
• Some dealers want to let go of merchandise on Sunday and may do better on pricing, so they have less stock to bring back home with them.  Always ask! 

The Vintage Fashion Expo happens in Los Angeles and San Francisco two times per year in each city.  Fall dates are TBD. For more information click here

Don't forget to go to Trader Vic's in Emeryville afterwards (if you still have any energy!).  Cheers!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Saturday Night Dancing on a Floating Museum

On Saturday evening, my husband and I went to The Harry James Orchestra Dance on World War II aircraft carrier The Hornet! The crowd felt festive and a few people were even decked out in 1940's attire and WWII uniforms. The Harry James Orchestra rocked the ship (aircraft carrier) with their big band sound!  I wore very comfortable shoes and my feet still hurt by the end of the evening. That means that I had a great time and did a lot of dancing. Here are a couple of photos that I took:

The USS Hornet 

I had to take a picture of the ship as we approached. "She" is larger than life and, to me, there's something exciting about that! Once aboard we walked around and looked at everything, and I snapped a few more photos. The space is enormous. There were TWO dance floors and many tables both around and away from the bandstand, plus, there were two bars and a food booth. The sound carried well, so no matter where you sat it sounded as if you were near the stage. They even had dance lessons available during some of the band's breaks!

Here's a photo of The Harry James Orchestra.

Here's a photo that a kind gentleman took of us.

It had been 14 years since I'd been on The Hornet, and one thing that I had forgotten is how being in that moist air can cause my hair to melt. The right side curls pretty much fell out!  Oh well. Both my  husband and I had a great time and have agreed to do this more often than once every 14 years! 

I highly recommend attending things like this! To learn more about events and the history of the U.S.S. Hornet click here. Also, you don't have to have the perfect, authentic 1940's attire to fit in. You don't even have to dress in period attire! I always have more fun when my husband and I both dress up though, but everybody's different. There was an amazing range in what people wore, from authentic WWII uniforms and 1940's suits and dresses to clothing that was modern, but looked like it was from that era to completely modern attire.  The important thing is to go out and experience something fun like this and support an awesome piece of history. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

You CAN Wear Cat Eye Glasses - How to Choose the Right Pair

I love wearing vintage cat eye glasses and modern cat eye frames with a vintage look.  Both versions go with my style.  I’m not talking about those modern square-ish frames that are being called cat eye, but frames (vintage or reproduction) with lenses that are in the shape of a cat’s eye! 

Me in one of my pairs of modern cat eye frames.
When I receive compliments from women on the specs I'm wearing that day (I have three different styles), I tell them that they, too, can wear cat eye glasses.  They usually don’t believe me until I let them try my own glasses on!   When I do that, my frames almost always look great on them. If you want to try wearing this fun style of eyewear, here are a few tips:

1.Try them on before you buy them.  Real vintage cat eye glasses are found at flea markets and antique stores.  For modern reproduction frames, go to an optometrist's office that sells hip eyewear. 

2. Bring a friend shopping with you who will be honest about how the frames look.  Then, try on as many as you need to until you find the ones that you love!

3. Select frames that fit your facial features. If you have small, delicate features, select smaller cat eye frames.  If you are like me and have a wide nose bridge, then you will need to select frames with a wider nose bridge. It looks odd if you try on glasses and the nose bridge doesn’t fit across your nose. It also doesn’t look good if the frames are too narrow for your face. I require frames that are wider to fit my face and have taller glass lenses.

4. Take the measurements of glasses that fit your face, so that if you aren’t totally in love with any you've  found in shops, you can search on the Internet. I know that I can’t wear frames smaller than 5” wide, so I kept that in mind when I bought the vintage cat eye sunglasses that are pictured below.

5. If you end up not loving the glasses after you have your prescription lenses put in, you can always have them made into sunglasses! However, vintage lucite or plastic frames can be delicate after so many years and may not be able to handle multiple lens changes.

Here are some modern brands that I like that have fun vintage looking styles:  Francis Klein and Selima Optique.  Select glasses that you like and then you might be able to convince your optometrist to order the frames, so you can try them on before you buy them.  I did that with my new everyday eyeglasses, and it worked out perfectly!

Francis Klein "Chloe" frames.  Image from Francis Klein website

Selima Optique "Jenna" frames.  Image from Selima Optique website.

You probably already know that you can find great vintage frames on eBay and Etsy. You can also do an internet search for them. That's how I found the sunglasses pictured below. There are many places to score the perfect frames!

Here's the photo of the glasses I purchased that Palette London had on their website. Dreamy, huh?  

I LOVE my new vintage faux BAMBOO cat eye sunglasses!!!!


Have fun and good luck in your search!