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Pre-loved Haven: Vanity Fair Vintage Markets

Once upon a time, wearing pre-loved clothes was for poor people and younger less fortunate siblings, but times have changed and vintage is now a permanent member of any fashion-lover’s wardrobe. Unfortunately, it can be exhausting trying to sort the wheat from the chaff; op-shops overwhelming and frankly, they smell funny. Plus the odds of finding the perfect 50s Grace Kelly-esque dress in your average op-shop is as likely as death by champagne cork. And that’s where Sydney’s monthly Vanity Fair Vintage Markets steps in – not with champagne bottles at the ready but with heart-stopping vintage fashion. Held in Leichardt Town Hall, the limited space means sellers edit their selections too, which means you have better odds of finding that perfect outfit.

While the makeshift changing room (it’s a tent) may hold little allure, you will definitely find something to model among the clothes racks. Every decade and budget is accommodated; from affordable $5 earrings to exquisite 1940s suits worth a pretty penny (I saw one for $349), everything is valued fairly. Many of the more valuable pieces (there are several exquisite 1950’s cocktail gowns) lie around the $250 mark. If that’s too pricey, never fear because nearly everyone is open to haggling. I snapped up a flawless 80’s Versace blazer for $80 and my friend found a gorgeous 60s suit for $50.

Make sure you arrive with your hair prepped because you will be trying on an enormous array of hats. To say the selection is impressive would be an understatement; cute 60s jade berets rest alongside velvet cloche hats and elegant wide brimmed delights. Don’t expect any to effectively block out the sun, but there is no quicker way to look retro.

When your aching arms can’t carry another purchase, it’s time to sit down at Katie’s Sweetheart CafĂ© for some afternoon tea. Enjoy a few finger sandwiches or lather up some scones with a healthy dose of cream. (Rubenesque figures look great in vintage, so go nuts!) Once you’ve refuelled, it’s time for round two. Bliss.

Entry is $5 for Adults, $2 for children (10+).
Markets are open on the second Saturday of every month, 10am to 4pm.
Leichardt town hall, 107 Norton Street, Leichardt (entry from Marion Street entrance)

words: Sussannah Singh


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