I’ve been to LA more times than I can recall, but I’ve never been there with this particular objective: try a stab at vintage shopping. I’ve always wanted to boast, “Oh this little thing? It’s vintage.” Okay, not really, but there is an untapped world of used goods out there – a treasure trove aged with history and waiting to be discovered.
So on Sunday morning, after already losing an hour of sleep thanks to Daylight Savings Time (also a first experience grumble, grumble), I woke up and hustled over to the Melrose Trading Post for their weekly flea market.
The amount of junk commingled amongst the treasure was dizzying. But that might’ve been attributed to the nutritious breakfast I had thanks to the hotel’s 3-minute waffle iron. Anyway, I dove right in and immediately found an adorable scarf with bold colors and a fun pattern for $2. I thought it was a good indication that it was going to be a successful first venture into vintage.
Unfortunately, I soon became overwhelmed and reverted into indecision mode. There was so much stuff just bursting out of boxes. Talk about overstimulation. So instead of continuing the hunt, I ended up taking in the sights, sounds, and smells. That in itself was a great experience.
After I checked out all the flea market vendors, I headed over to Jet Rag Vintage. My research (if you know me, you know I do my homework before I travel!) indicated that every Sunday, Jet Rag has a yard sale where every piece is $1. I wasn’t even close to ready for the absolutely mayhem about to be witnessed.
If there’s anything that I’ve learned from my miserable Black Friday experiences at an outlet, I should’ve known that cheap goods equals chaos. Again, I stood aside, preferring to watch people digging through piles, hoarding heaps of clothes in corners, and even snatching pieces out of each other’s hands. I’ll pass, thank you.
Inside the store, I had a more pleasant experience as everything hung on racks and was sorted by type of clothing and period of time. By this point, I was exhausted and just browsed the racks for the sights.
I walked away with only the scarf that I purchased at the beginning of the day, but I did learn a few things from this experience:
- The early shopper snags the best goods.
- Come with a mission and have an idea of what you’re looking for; otherwise, you’ll easily lose yourself in all the junk.
- If you’re looking into vintage clothes, have your sewing kit ready. Many items don’t have size labels and are in need of some re-shaping.
I haven’t decided whether vintage is for me quite yet. It was definitely an adventure, but also incredibly exhausting. And while it’s a lot easier to browse the racks of Forever 21 and H&M, I do plan on giving it another go. Next time, it’ll be vintage with a vengeance.