Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Designer Duds at the Santa Monica Vintage Fashion Expo

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

5b2bfba64488b3000926d721-original.jpg

5b2bfba94488b3000926d723-original.jpg

Do you fancy wool letterman's jackets from the '50s, slick yellow thigh high boots from the '70s, or delicate beaded flapper dresses from the '20s? Then you might be familiar with the Vintage Expo held three times a year at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. As a self proclaimed thrift junkie, this LAist staffer decided to check out the chichi event that attracts starlets, fashion designers, and magazine editors.

Though the $10 entrance fee seemed a bit ridiculous (why pay just for the opportunity to spend more money?), I decided to treat this like a visit to a museum costume exhibit where I could touch the clothing and take photos freely without hovering guards. Printing out a $2 discount coupon and utilizing street parking also helped a bit.

Support for LAist comes from

I didn't run into any movie industry types, just teens scooping up colorful bangles and groups of middle aged women trying on hats from the 1940s. Since my shopping tastes run more toward Good Will and the PCC Flea Market rather than the achingly hip vintage stores on Melrose, I experienced sticker shock numerous times throughout the day.

Fortunately I did not leave the expo empty handed; at a booth ran by a friendly woman from Texas I found the perfect item to complete my Jackie O. Halloween costume: a tiny black pillbox hat with netting. It set me back only $8.50. Not bad, but I think I'll stick with eBay from now on.

(More Photos Under The Cut)

5b2c68ad4488b30009285be5-original.jpg

5b2c68b04488b30009285beb-original.jpg

5b2c68b14488b30009285bef-original.jpg

5b2c68b34488b30009285bf5-original.jpg

5b2c68b54488b30009285bf7-original.jpg

5b2c68b74488b30009285bfb-original.jpg

5b2c68b84488b30009285bff-original.jpg

Support for LAist comes from
5b2c68ba4488b30009285c03-original.jpg

5b2c68bb4488b30009285c09-original.jpg

5b2c68bd4488b30009285c0d-original.jpg

5b2c68be4488b30009285c11-original.jpg

5b2c68c04488b30009285c17-original.jpg

(One of the vendors wore his Halloween costume from last year... he was supposed to be an "eccentric flasher.")