Only 8 days to go until NZ’s biggest vintage and pinup event of the year – the Very Vintage Day Out! I am getting very excited, it will be my 5th year of attending this year. It is looking looking like it will be the best one yet too – in it’s shiny new location in the city and with 2 whole days full of more to see and do! Whether you are a veteran attendee, or this is your first time attending – I’ve put together a survival guide to making sure you have a great day out, avoid potentially stressful situations and make sure you get the most out of the experience.
First of all, a disclaimer! I make so secret of the fact I LOVE to go all out putting together outfits, doing hair and makeup, getting crafty with creating accessories and hunting down vintage bargains to complete a look … because that’s MY jam! So some of these tips will be for those that like doing this too. BUT YOU DO YOU! Don’t stress or feel pressured if you don’t feel like dressing up or doing your hair and makeup “pinup” or are just going to check things out. Or if you don’t have something “new” to wear just for the event. There is nothing wrong with wearing something pretty that you have and like, even if you have worn it a many times before. ALSO whatever your style, if you want to strut a gown in the daytime, go goth, rock some androgynous style in a suit, wear “modern” clothes, be rockabilly, steam punk, a 70s queen or a fucking princess – DO IT! There are no rules and you don’t have to look a certain way to go along and have fun – be yourself!
As a naturally quite disorganised and chaotic person, who also suffers from anxiety (both social, and the kind where I worry about everything!) … large social occasions are fraught with potential stress! So I like lists (which I inevitably lose, but it’s the thought that counts, right?) and being super prepared helps!
With a week to go, don’t panic if there are still items you have left to sort out for your outfits! Or if items haven’t turned up in the post (I’m not even going to go there haha). There is still time! Try on what you are planning on wearing to make sure it fits and there aren’t any broken zips, stains, undone hems, broken clasps etc (this always happens to me when wearing vintage!). This is a good time to take out, try on, set aside what accessories you are going to wear too. Pick out handbags and shoes if you haven’t already, decide if you want a belt, gloves, hat and jewelry. If there is anything you feel you can’t live without embrace the online community! It’s amazing what you will find on short notice to buy, or even borrow – don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice ♥
List of Essentials
This could also be titled “Things I have forgotten many times and wished I hadn’t”!
Like any festival or big event, it’s a few long few days of mostly being on your feet – both indoor and outdoor with changeable weather, so it helps to be prepared and have all the items and extras you need to keep comfortable and also fix any little hair, makeup or wardrobe malfunctions!
♥ A tote bag or shopping bag! I’ll have my cute matchy matchy purse… but also my large “Mom bag” – it’s worth it … for all the things you will need, plus any shopping you do on the day!
♥ A little survival pack with a few bandaids, safety pins, bobby pins, Panadol … (gin, if that’s your thing … only partially kidding)
♥ Flat shoes. If you are fine to wear heels for two full on days and maybe a night, I applaud you! But for all of us regular folk – it might save your bacon. And at least partially, your dignity … yup that was me last year in bare feet! Rock those pretty shoes for your grand entry, photos… but have a back up… just in case. Because blisters and aching footsies are not pleasant
♥ A big bottle of water to keep hydrated
♥ Cash – many vendors may have EFTPOS but some may not
♥ Your fully charged phone (and one of those charge banks if you have one!)
♥ Snacks. Snacks are important.
♥ Weather related stuff – sunscreen, sunnies, a cardi or jacket (thanks Mom!). If rain is forecast, bring a brolly, especially if you are going to be outside doing the Photo Safari!
♥ A small compact or mirror and a makeup wipe for makeup touch-ups if needed
♥ If you are planning on shopping for clothing and trying quite a few things on, consider wearing a full slip under your clothes! Changing rooms are in hot demand to say the least so I find this a good way to skip the queue while (mostly) retaining my modesty (and not horrifying people nearby)
Feel welcome, because you are!
I’ve seen a lot of chat over the years on social media about people sometimes coming to events and possibly feeling a bit left out. Here’s my take. Events can be REALLY crazy busy. It’s impossible to have a conversation or even say hello to everyone, even just your good friends, although we can give it a good go! In a crowd, it’s basic psychology to gravitate to those you already know too, it’s how our little human minds cope with the chaos 😉 In the past five years of attending many events, and even getting brave enough to go on my own, I have been lucky to have met SO many amazing people and make some lasting friendships. But not all at once … good things take time. Come and say hello to me, I’m a bit shy too, although you might not realise that at first!
On the Weekend
Have a squizz at the timetable of events to make sure you know when the things you want to see are on and make sure you don’t miss out!
Don’t stress about the little things, whatever they are… disguise a hair “disaster” with a headscarf, hat, or hair flowers. If it’s windy and/or raining, just give up. Everyone else will be in the same boat… call it windswept … I will be. Or head along to one of the talented teams manning the Hair and Beauty section this year!
Sanity Check. If you are anything like me and suffer from anxiety, navigating such a big event can be quite stressful. Even if not, it’s normal to be both excited and nervous! Being prepared and not arriving rushed helps a little. During the day, take some breaks. Yes, breaks from fun, weird huh. Just to sit by yourself, or with a friend or two where it isn’t busy. Have a snack, relax and take in the atmosphere, have a breather.
Shopping – there will be SO MANY amazing things to buy. Just breathe. Seriously. Innn and out. Have a good wander round and see what’s on offer! If you love something but can’t decide or don’t have the cash on the day, grab a business card, subscribe or give them a “Like” them on FB – another way you can support us hard working small businesses!
If you see me on the day, please come say hello! I hope to see many friends both old and new and meet some of you lovely ladies I only know from Facebook land. I wish all of the Miss Pinup contestants the best of luck, but most of all this advice – enjoy and make the most of the experience – do your best, be confident, be yourself and pat yourself on the back … you are awesome! Whether you come away with a sash or tiara or not, you have worked hard and achieved something, BE PROUD. And have some champagne, because damn… you deserve it!
Vendors – may your sales be plenty and your feet not too sore …
Everyone else, have an utterly amazing weekend!