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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!


  1. So happy you bought the dress! It's perfect for you! Thank you for th ekind words about Skirt Chaser, always great to see you! x-Christina

  2. Thanks for checking out my blog AND for the comment! I got the dress hemmed and I cannot wait to wear it!