Just back from another trip out to the Brimfield, Mass. Flea Market, which is a week long event held in May, July and September . Without a doubt, this is the ultimate vintage and antique lovers dream shopping adventure. Though I’ve been going there for almost 20 years, I’ve never shared many photos or commentary on what it is like to shop this massive market of collectibles, curiosities and kitsch.
First off let me just say, the fun of this latest shopping trip was somewhat dampened by the fact that Hurricane Irma was heading straight for Florida, where I live most of the year. So I spent lots of time navigating the booths while simultaneously dragging a cart behind me and texting with my friends and family down there. All the storm talk hindered my fine tuned vintage spotting abilities. So I’m sure I missed some good stuff. But, despite the distraction, I still managed to pick up some really fabulous pieces, several of which are pictured below.
60s burgundy crushed velvet mini dress, couple of 70s boho beauties, a Gunne Sax and a fabulous Paganne print.
Three 1920s silk dresses, a gorgeous royal blue lace gown from the 30s and a 1940s red gabardine
with black velvet trim.
Brimfield opens on a Tuesday and those really dedicated to getting first crack at the goods start shopping before daybreak. This means dealers are out in full force. They come from all over the world and the competition is fierce.
Different fields open on different days and at different times. Buyers start lining up an hour before the gates open, whether rain or shine. Then a controlled stampede ensues. I’ve yet to see anyone get injured like in Black Friday sales. It’s a bit more civilized than that, just a bit!
The show runs along Route 20 for about a mile on each side. There are literally thousands of dealer booths selling anything you can imagine, from the wacky and weird to the whimsical and wonderful. Booths abound with architectural salvage, vintage fashion and jewelry, kitschy kitchenware, fine art, primitives, shabby chic, Asian, Gothic, Victorian, Art Deco and Mid Century furniture and decor. You name it, it’s there. It’s impossible to shop this show without dragging something home!
This is a photo of the biggest vintage fashion tent at the show. There are several spots throughout the show that are dedicated to vintage clothing sellers, but this is the largest. You’ll also find random booths selling vintage clothes, often mixed in with other items.
If you’re seriously shopping this show, you can’t do it all in one day. I usually stay at least two or three nights in a hotel and drag my cranky butt out at O dark thirty to get first chance at any good vintage that might be out there.
After about 9 hours of trudging through
tick and mosquito ridden grassy fields in search of vintage clothing that I hope my customers will love as much as I do, I head back to my hotel with my goodies. After checking emails, showering and changing, I head out for a delicious pitcher of martinis meal to reward myself for that day’s effort. Rinse, repeat until I reach my buying budget or my feet beg me to stop, whichever comes first!
This year I took photos of random stuff I spotted to give you some idea of how eclectic the mix of merchandise is. Who knows, maybe it will entice you to plan a trip!
After all the shopping stress, Irma ended up passing over our town as only a tropical storm. In Florida you consider yourself lucky when you end up with only 70 mph winds! We lost power for several days, downed tree branches in yard and still have no internet. Postal service stopped, which affected sales because I couldn’t ship anything. But overall we are extremely fortunate compared to many others places in Florida and the Caribbean. Things are looking bleak for so many. I do hope these folks get help very soon.
Till next time…..
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