Whether you're a Twinwood newbie, a Goodwood Revival rookie or just popping down to a local nostalgia event for the first time, we have compiled a checklist to make sure you enjoy yourself to the full. We've put together this top ten list based on our own experiences at vintage 1940s and 1950s events. So without further ado, here is our one stop guide to getting the most from your bygone themed days!
THIS OLD THING?
Wearing vintage or replica clothing is not usually mandatory, but it is recommended if you want to fully embrace the event and all that it celebrates. Many first timers start their vintage journey by looking at their existing wardrobe to search for any retro pieces that might be suitable. This is usually easier for women than men. Depending on the time of year, a floral dress, a short cardigan and a pair of pumps is a good place to start. For the guys, have a look for waistcoats, knitted slipovers, a newsboy cap, corduroys or chinos in the back of your wardrobe. Any items with a timeless, classic feel are a great place to start.
Failing that, of course, Revival can point you in the right direction for fabulous true vintage and reproduction clothing exactly right for you and your event.
If you're not sure where to start, take inspiration from the outfit ideas on our website, as well as our social media and blog. Each year as we approach events season, we put together an array of highly curated vintage outfit ideas for both men and women, complete with accessories. There'll be one to suit every midcentury era - 40s, 50s and 60s fashions - and they'll showcase all our newest and best pieces, so you can't go wrong!
EVENTS VISITOR CHECKLIST
Now you have your outfit covered let's take a look at what else you might need:
For some of the bigger events such as Goodwood Revival and Twinwood you may have paper tickets or digital versions which you could print, or save as screenshots just in case you can't get a signal. This is particularly crucial if you will be in the middle of a field somewhere, where signal will be spotty.
2. Picnic or Snacks
Events such as Goodwood Revival are full day affairs, and therefore relying on food trucks and restaurants can add a lot of extra cost to your day. On a warm and pleasant day, nothing could be finer than pulling up a straw bale and eating freshly prepared sandwiches for at least one of the day's meals. Worth considering, even if it's to feel less guilty later on when you are queuing up at the burger van! Moreover, it frees up more money for 'sparkly things' or a new vintage purchase. People watching is the best at these occasions so taking the time to sit down with a coffee or a picnic is a dream. Don't forget the bottle opener if you've included a tipple in there.
If you are hoping to buy some further additions to your vintage wardrobe or other souvenirs from the day you may not be able to rely on phone or card payments. Many traders do have mobile card readers however they don't always pick up a good signal in remote areas. In truth most traders prefer cash as it reduces their payment fees. The upside of this is they are more likely to offer a modest discount on your purchases.
4. Measuring Tape
Like the last checklist item, bringing a handy measuring tape if you have one is an indespensible item for visiting those stalls which might not have changing rooms or any way to try on their garments. If you're savvy about your own measurements, having a measuring tape to whip out and check the size of the piece you've fallen in love with really takes a lot of the guesswork out.
5. Comfortable Shoes
The good thing about 1940s and 50s style footwear is that there are reproduction ranges out there with the emphasis on comfort. Heels might seem like a great idea padding about in your bedroom but there is usually lots of walking and possibly lots of dancing if that's your bag. Cars are often times parked a long way from the main attractions so not easy to nip back to. Alternatively ladies consider packing some lightweight pumps to change into as the day and the pain progresses. Fabric ones from discount retailers are not made to last but are ideal in this instance. Leather brogues are a common choice for men as they coordinate well with many classic ensembles. Revival offers a small selection of well-made and comfortable real leather brogues, if you need to add a pair to your repertoire.
6. Umbrella Or Pack A Mac
Regardless of the weather forecast in the UK there is always the chance of a rain shower or three. A vintage umbrella can add authenticity to your outfit. Black with a wooden handle for the guys or a coordinating shade for the gals with a Lucite handle or Bakelite crook.
A scarf can be a godsend for all day occasions. If you have an early start, a vintage scarf will keep you cosy around your neck or even across your knees on the journey. They are easily folded into your bag or knotted through the handles. If the sun comes out they keep your neck from getting burnt, or if you start to feel chilly wrap around your shoulders then if the wind gets gusty they keep your ears warm and your hair in place when worn Audrey Hepburn-style over the head and over each shoulder. Failing that, you can tie them under the chin like the Queen used to wear. A vintage cravat or aviator scarf from brands such as Tootal or Sammy make an equally useful accessory for men.
Just in case the sun does shine, a pair of sunnies is absolutely essential. If you opt for a good pair of retro sunglasses they will also enhance the accuracy of your ensemble. Revival also stock a range of frames with clear lenses should the rays be far and few between.
A small bottle of sunscreen is of course a necessity, but consider also picking up a lip balm with SPF in: it takes up no room and is an indispensable addition to a lady's vintage handbag. These handy sticks can be used across your face, décolletage and shoulders. On cooler, breezy days they also stop your lips from getting dry and sore.
Most people have a decent camera on their phone nowadays, but if you aren't savvy with your mobile or you're hoping to capture some truly striking pictures for Instagram, then a camera is a must. Vintage nostalgia events are full of photo opportunities; the beautiful classic cars, military vehicles and even aeroplanes at some all provide great backdrops. Regardless of whether you believe you are photogenic or not, you are sure to get swept along with the atmosphere and want to get snap-happy, capturing memories of the day.
11. Freshening Wipes
Wet wipes are always handy for cooling down, or a quick clean up after a melty ice-cream. Look for the anti-bacterial variety to save carrying an additional bottle of hand sanitiser -- some even have added insect repellent if you are bugged by bugs. Add to that a tiny pack of paper hankies if you are prone to outdoor sniffles. They double up perfectly as emergency toilet tissue when supplies dry up in the facilities!
12. Second Bag
It's a good idea to bring another bag with you to carry all of the above. A cute frame bag will look fabulous on your arm, but likely won't have enough room to store any vintage goodies you might pick up throughout the event. A foldaway tote bag is a great idea. For longer events, a vanity case will provide a wealth of storage space without spoiling your outfit; a small brown suitcase or leather messenger bag will serve the same purpose for the guys.
If we have whetted your appetite and you are searching for vintage fairs and events to attend, don't forget we have a comprehensive vintage events calendar right here on the website! Thanks for reading, and enjoy attending your vintage revival event!
Very helpful article Helene. Thank you! Could you refer me to a calendar of events for 2023 and 2024? I’m relocating to Beziers, France from the U.S. in June and I think it would be fun to attend an event in the UK later this year.