On Mark, Get Set, Go Shopping for Vintage!

Futurist Faith Popcorn said it first: when the economy tanks big-time, vintage fashion will return with a roar. You’re already seeing it in the sewing pattern catalogues: Vogue, Butterick, McCalls have all resurrected classic patterns from the 1940s and 1950s and repackaged them in new envelopes for today’s sewers. For those who can’t stitch a button to save their lives, there are the vintage shows, which bring all the goodies under one roof. Show organizers have typically enticed shoppers with dress-up contests, but this year, the need for escapism to simpler, dressier times is more appealing than ever. The show season begins tomorrow in Santa Monica, California. Residents on the West Coast have always been game for dead people’s clothes, we’ll see how it is now that Americans have less money for shopping. This writer is certain there will be good crowds, if only for the prizes. That’s not to say overseas buyers, usually from vintage-gaga Japan, won’t show up and snap up all the 1950s dresses, suits, and ties at first sight, pre-show. Next up is the Midwest Vintage Clothing, Jewelry, Textile Show & Sale, presented by Cat’s Pajamas Productions in Elgin, Ill. on Feb. 27-28, followed by Minneapolis, June 26-27. So buy some nostalgia, if only to keep you warm when the heating bill becomes too expensive to pay.