Review: Hamilton Vintage Marketplace!
Hamilton is a treasure trove of vintage pieces. There’s plenty of antique and vintage stores year-round (which I admit I go to VERY often), but my friend won free tickets to the Hamilton Vintage Marketplace this weekend so naturally I jumped at the chance to go.
I expected to find larger items and furniture, but when we walked in I was surprised to see a ton of clothing and smaller, curated items. When I hear the words “vintage marketplace,” my mind goes instantly to a items crowded tightly together, with no rhyme or reason. NOT the case at this one. Every vendor was meticulously curated with only the best items from their collections. You didn’t have to look far to find a treasure, and better yet – it wasn’t piled miles high. Each booth felt like its own retail store: intentional, beautiful, with just enough to fill the space.
At vendor-based shows, I have a 3-circuit rule.
Here’s how it works:
- Circuit 1: browse from the aisles. Get your bearings! I usually hold off on buying anything unless something REALLY jumps out and I know I’ll regret not grabbing it.
- Circuit 2: Go a little closer. Pick booths that catch your eye. This is the fun stage! Browse your heart away, buy what you love, and keep tabs on things you’re not sure about!
- Circuit 3: When you’re ready (and hopefully hydrated), do a third round! Last call for anything you weren’t sure about, and a great way to make sure you haven’t missed anything in the crowds. Take business cards. Look at people’s instagram handles. If you haven’t bought from them but love their style, it’s a great opportunity to build up a list of new vendors you love, without the obligation of buying yet!
Now on to what I bought!
Because I’m trying to stay within a pretty tight budget, I’ve made myself a list of items that are holes in my wardrobe – and identified them either thrift, make, or buy (ethically). This list made it super easy to hone in on booths that had what I was looking for.
Item 1: Denim jacket.
It’s a wardrobe staple that somehow, I’ve never had. I mean, how is that possible??
I found this gem of a Levi’s crop jacket on circuit 1. I beelined to the booth and right away knew that I should buy it – for some reason, I have a really hard time finding jackets that don’t make me self-conscious about my shoulders (why? I have NO idea).
Where you can find one: Etsy
Item 2: Hand-knit boxy tee
I wasn’t looking for it specifically, but found it on circuit 2 – and the scalloped detailing, quality of work, and versatility of this top make me SO excited. I can see it making appearances in summer and winter alike. Denim skirts, with turtlenecks, hippie summer looks and with cigarette pants and heels. Guys. When you find a piece that makes your mind go wild like this, and can be worn with almost everything: go for it.
Item 3: Modern hand-sewn kimono
It took me until circuit 3 to realize that everything in one booth was hand-sewn.
I avoided it at first because I find dusters and kimonos (if you don’t choose right) can be pretty specific and not versatile enough for a smaller wardrobe – which I’m trying to get to. Looking more closely, I saw potential for all seasons in one of her styles. It wasn’t too Coachella, it wasn’t too forest-nymph.
What won me over was the impeccable structure and beautiful lines of Helene’s kimonos once you try them on. I thought I would be disappointed, but WOW. She told me she got her technique from her mom, who used to sew all her skating outfits! She’s now taking those learnings to modern kimono making. The great thing about Helene’s approach is that she uses all scraps to make headbands, bags and pouches so there’s minimal waste in her process. That’s what I call A++
Where you can find her collection: instagram @mybeautifulkimono
So, that’s what worked! What didn’t work? A kick-ass pair of Calvin Klien high-waisted denim that was just a TINY bit too tight. They buttoned up, but 1 good dinner later, they’d be busting. You can’t win ’em all!
Overall verdict: The Hamilton Vintage Marketplace was wonderful, not too crowded, and beautifully curated. Would totally recommend it to anyone into smaller vintage items, and clothing secondhand!
Have a favourite vintage show? Pop it in the comments below.