Wednesday, 12 February 2014

It's Vintage, Darling

Saturday saw the return of  Lou Lou's Vintage Fair to Southampton's O2 Guildhall. After my last visit, I knew I just had to go along, and so I gathered my pennies, donned my floral tea dress, red lipstick and eyeliner (one must dress appropriately for these events!) and met my friend Amy in the very windy square to queue up for the midday opening.

We were grateful to be out of the weather by the time we made it inside. I like to get to these things early, giving me a chance to browse without the peak-time scrum, whilst allowing me to have the pick of the crop - if you go too late in the day, no doubt all the good products will have been snapped up. I didn't want to be rushed either. I had all afternoon to wander around the spacious room, eyeing up quirky accessories and vibrant clothing items and sipping on tea in gilded teacups.

Just like last time, the stalls were filled with something for everyone's taste. From garish nineties bomber jackets, reminiscent of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, to beautiful 1940s navy dresses; military jackets to floral fifties gowns. We wandered around the little sections of individual shops, lusting over garments, giggling at some of the more...unusual... items and reminiscing when we saw something we recognised from our childhoods. The range of items available meant that whatever you were looking for, you were bound to find it.

This, believe it or not, is a top. Do you think I should have bought it?

Around ten minutes into our visit, I spotted a beautiful grey jacked nestled in one of the clothes rails. I'm not quite sure why it caught my eye, but I immediately grabbed it, admired it, and tried it on. It was a perfect fit: not too long in the arms and roomy around the waist (I like my jackets slightly androgynous, especially when worn undone). It went extremely well with the dress I was wearing at the time, and so after a couple of minutes dilly-dallying and asking my friend Amy if I should or shouldn't get it, I handed over a mere £15 for what turned out to be a vintage Jaeger jacket (which was, the seller claimed, worth hundreds originally). I'll be dedicating a whole post to this beauty once it's back from the dry cleaners!

I promise to get a better picture of it soon, but here it is for now, a la Instagram.

At the same time, Amy had treated herself to a very cute apron for just £5. As we browsed around for a little longer, I couldn't help but spot a very cute trilby, some beautiful and delicate jewellery items (I wish I'd bought some!) and a comfy-looking flannel shirt but, alas, my sensible side won and I pocketed my cash for another time.

It became apparent that, an hour in, we were starting to wilt; the queues were getting longer, the noise levels louder, and the clothes more ruffled on their hangers. So, after briefly watching a performance by the dancers on stage, and observing the retro hair and make-up demonstrations, we queued up for a well-deserved tea and cake break.

And OH, what cake!

I couldn't resist ordering a cup of tea in the cutest cup and saucer sets, and was faced with a very tough decision; which cake to choose. There were so, so many; cute fruit cupcakes, with large dollops of cream and juicy strawberries; indulgent chocolate flapjacks; great big coffee and walnut sandwich cakes...I could go on. In the end, I plumped for the first cake I saw and (no exaggeration) fell in love with; a mountainous fresh fruit cake. It was around the size of two ordinary cakes sandwiched together with a slathering of buttercream, topped with more buttercream and fresh blueberries and strawberries. It even had blueberries inside. It just looked so fresh and tasty, I couldn't resist.

In a bid to be sensible, I asked for a cake box rather than a pretty plate for my large slice of cake - I didn't want to feel I had to finish it all there and then, and though I had no doubt that I'd be able to give Bruce Bogtrotter (of Matilda fame) a run for his money, I wanted to savour the taste, and not feel forced to eat every last bite. This was a fantastic idea, and the lovely serving lady was very helpful, handing it to me in a cute pink box.

Even looking at a photo of  it squished into a little box, I could eat it all up right now!

The cake, let me tell you, was incredible - moist, sweet and fruity, and I finished half before hiding the rest away for the next day (which I appreciated when the time came!). Amy enjoyed a chocolate flapjack, which also looked very tasty, and we discussed life, ambitions and  business ideas before we felt that it was time to go home.

I had a wonderful afternoon at Lou Lou's Vintage Fair once again and was so happy I was able to share it with someone (and I even made time for cake this time!). I've already put the next date in my diary, and can't wait to see what beautiful items will be on offer. I am so pleased that I was able to find such a bargain this time.

If you're near a vintage fair at all, I really recommend going. I wouldn't say I'm a vintage fanatic - I think this jacket it my first ever vintage purchase! - but you are likely to find something really unique and special for a decent price, and normally they're great fun too!

Fellow blogger Hannah over at  Dimples Diaries went along to the same fair and has written a post with her tips for surviving a vintage shopping trip. I really recommend you check it out, especially if you're going to one in the near future! Her photos are just beautiful too (I need to pick up some tips!)



  1. Great pics, love that jacket grey :)

    1. Thank you - I can't wait to wear it!

      Jo xxx

  2. Aw it looks so cute! Loooove vintage fairs < 3
    Great post :)

    1. I'm definitely going to go regularly now!

      Thanks for sharing your link :)

      Jo xxx

  3. Everything look amazing! I went to one in Plymouth and they're so much fun :) xx

    1. They are aren't they? You can just spend hours browsing :)

      Jo xxx