Vintage Fashion Expo


The Vintage Fashion Expo is a treasure trove for clotheshorses and fashion devotees, but for someone who is easily distracted, like me, it can be overwhelming (in a good way). This weekend, the Nob Hill Masonic Center was transformed into a vintage lover’s dream: 85 clothing and accessories dealers ready to outfit you in all sorts of goodies.

I’ve been on a somewhat laissez-faire hunt for a hat for months now, so I decided I’d visit the Expo this season to try my luck at vintage headwear. I wandered aimlessly for quite some time, passing the same booths over and over, but finding things I hadn’t noticed each time before. I came across a booth overflowing with pretty 1950s dresses and June Cleaver-like cardigans. A small piece of luggage caught my eye. It was covered in pages from old comic books. The man tending the booth, Daniel Hill, explained that he covers briefcases (one of which he had sold to a Financial District businessman before I arrived) and luggage, among other things. Really very cool, but alas, I continued on the hat journey.

After a few laps around the mecca of precious goods, I found myself marveling at a corner booth filled to the brim with hats: the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party out of San Carlos. There were bowlers, fedoras, cloches, floppy sunhats and more! After declaring my love for at least a dozen hats, I knew I needed to get serious and make a choice. I wanted the canary yellow bowler with the black trim, but my shopping buddies made the valid point of it not being something I could wear often. The straw hats were cute and very on-trend, but not it.  Finally, the perfect fit came in the form of a small gray-brown fedora with a woven band and a feather on the side. I took her home for a cool $35, happy that I could move on to my next mission: a great black bag, big enough for all my folders, books and such. The fashion searches never end—maybe I’ll just wait until September, for the next Expo, to begin that voyage.

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