Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Vintage Nostalgia is coming!

A fat lady in a coral 1950s dress in front of an aluminium caravan
Did you have a good Easter? It finally feels as though Spring is here, and I've started digging out my lighter clothes and looking forward to a summer of fun. A few people have asked me if I'll be at the Vintage Fair in Bath on 30th May, and I've had to explain that I won't as it clashes with the Vintage Nostalgia Show. Saddo that I am, I have been excited about, and preparing for, Vintage Nostalgia for months. It's less than two months away now. The first year I went, I wasn't sure what to wear, and last year I pulled out all the stops. This year I have learned from the first couple of years, so here is what I'm thinking of taking, and why.

Easy options
It's a relaxed event, in a field. When I first started thinking about what to take I considered my brown lace Evans Tweensize suit, but that seems a bit fancy for the location, more cocktail bar than campsite. If you're going to be dancing, eating hotdogs, shopping and socialising, you want to feel comfy. I've got several (genuine) midcentury dresses under consideration: a honey-coloured embroidered linen wiggle dress, a black-and-white shirt dress, an atomic sundress in earth tones, and a new floral sundress in purple, teal and turquoise. The first two can both be dressed up with jewellery for evening, and I haven't decided yet whether to wear them for night or daytime. Last year I got sunburned and didn't change at all on the Saturday evening, and that too is an option, just to go all Saturday in one frock.

While I probably don't need to take all four dresses, they will all go nicely with my ivory boxy bag and cream 1950s Cooltimer jacket, which saves taking lots of layers and bags and means I probably could pack all the frocks. I'd rather take fewer bags and an extra dress, given the choice. Though it's not a 'fashion show' event for me anyhow, more a good weekend to relax and enjoy fast food and snappy music.

a trio of midcentury cotton dresses with a cat standing on them
This year's options, plus cat (not going to the show)
Mr Robot will probably pack some of his fab shirts – he's got a couple of natty bowling shirts, plus a heavy cotton one with an incredible tiki print all over, and a lighter one with hotdogs on. Just thinking about them makes me smile, because he only seems to wear them for Vintage Nostalgia, so they always remind me of happy times.

Just say no to the petticoat
Lots of people wear them, they look fab, they get heaps of compliments, and the coral broderie dress with giant petticoat that I wore last year was no exception. However, you have to be prepared to wrestle your frock and petticoat to keep it from touching any part of a much-used portaloo at 11pm AND still be able to do what you went in there for. After last year's dress-wrangling, I'm sticking with more fitted styles that are easier to control in the confines of a TURDIS.

Leave the good shoes at home
This is subject to change, depending on what the weather has been up to. Last year I wore a pair of cheapo black cotton flats from Shoe Zone for the whole event, and was very glad I'd done so when I stepped in a puddle up to my ankles while going back to my tent at night. (While the camping field is dry, and the event field is dry, there's a patch of low ground between them.) I don't fancy getting my Miss L Fires covered in mud or cowflop. If the weather's been properly dry for several weeks, I'll consider nicer shoes, but if there's been any rain at all, I'll stick to cheap ones.

Essentials
My three absolute essentials are sunblock, antibacterial hand wipes and Soap and Glory Off Your Face makeup wipes. This year I shall not be relying on Mr Robot to tell me when I'm going pink, I shall be slathering on the sunblock all day. The antibacterial handwipes are for after using the portaloo, and the makeup wipes are great for getting off all traces of slap when I get back to my tent, and they have to be the Soap and Glory ones as they do the job without bringing me out in spots. Now, I was going to say, 'This isn't one of those poncy festivals with showers', but this year there will be a company providing hot showers, plusher portaloos and a powder room – for a price. Not sure I'll bother with that as the event only lasts two days; a bowl of warm water will do for me (as I said, for me it's not a fashion show, YMMV).
A stall at Vintage Nostalgia Show 2014

Take cash
There are lots of brilliant traders selling lots of wonderful things. We really regretted not taking more money the first year, and made up for it last year. I'm not too worried about not packing many accessories because if I do suddenly decide I need a different dress/jacket/lipstick, there will be someone on site selling just the right thing.

So, the short version of all this is: I'll pack casual, pack light, and won't forget the wipes and wallet! Have you been camping at a vintage festival? And if so, what are your essentials?

19 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. It clashes with the Frome steampunk weekend, annoyingly - most people we both know will be at that.

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  2. Thanks for all these tips, really useful to know these kinds of things. I always take antibac gel and wet wipes to festivals, plus plastic bags to sit on if the ground's a bit damp. Sense of humour also essential for festivals where you're tired, it's pouring down, and the queues for the loos are long!

    Hope to see you there, I want to buy tickets this weekend!! xx

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    1. I've got my tickets, so I'll definitely be there. Will you be camping or driving in? It's well out of the way for public transport (terrible phone data connection!) but its rurality is part of its charm. I hope the cocktail caravan makes it this year :-D

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    2. A pack of baby wipes are useful along with the anti-bac ones as you can use them to freshen up when there are no wash facilities.

      Why are men so useless when it comes to sun block?? Himself will let me fry to a crisp and then point out I'm very red!

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    3. I was seriously unimpressed over the sunburn, as I had repeatedly asked if I was looking red.

      We have a portable stove, so I usually warm up some water for a wash in the tent, which is tricky, and I do live in fear of tipping the bowl all over the sleeping bags.

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  3. I nearly went to this last year but things got in the way. I'm half thinking about it this year but have tickets for the Dig For Victory Show in June and the Air Tattoo at Fairford in July, so not sure I can fit it all in! Will definitely try though and will take note of your fab tips!

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    1. Yes, Dig For Victory seems big this year. I haven't got any other firm plans, and probably won't do any other full weekenders, though there are lots of silent film showings coming up in Bath that I'm keen to go to.

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  4. I'm a die-hard music festival goer. I'm not quite sure what a vintage festival entails - probably lacking the mosh pit and the sniffer dogs!
    We usually do at least 8 a year and I'm already counting the days till Glasto .
    Once a day sun cream is far better than the stuff you have to keep applying and wasting valuable cider time. Calypso from Home Bargains beat even the high end ones in a recent research test.
    The best baby wipes you can find - cheap ones disintegrate and you end up using twice the amount.
    Poundland's camping section do a fab picnic blanket with a plastic backing so you avoid the 2am wet arse.
    Festivals are when 1960s & 1970s vintage clothing come into their own. Synthetics dry quickly if it rains or you spill cider down yourself and obviously don't crease as much when stuffed in a rucksack. Lots of hair accessories detract from rancid unwashed hair as do sequins and psychedelic clothing.
    Have a fab time. Sad you won't be around when we do Bath but hopefully we'll get to meet another time. xxx

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    1. Yeah, no mosh pit! Though no bottles of piddle flying everywhere either. (Memories of Donington in the 90s there...) In our case, it mostly involves sitting at the beer tent listening to music, with occasional wanderings to look at the vintage cars, poke around the stalls (I'm hoping to pick up some more pre-1960s SF mags this year) or buy food. It's really laid back, a real brain holiday, especially with not much data connection, so even the phone gets abandoned. As it's only three days long, my hyper-dry hair will be fine! And it's a realy family event, lots of people there with kids, which means everything feels very safe overall.

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  5. Ooh, I do hope you have lots of fun. I have never, ever been a camper, and there's nothing but nothing on this earth to induce me, but the event itself looks like a good day out.

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    1. I never thought I'd like camping before the first Vintage Nostalgia. I still wouldn't be prepared to go more than a couple of days without running water, but for this it's not so bad.

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  6. Sounds as though you have it sussed, Mim - only thing left to do now is select your frocks and enjoy the festival! xxx

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    1. To be honest, once I've had a few beers even the frocks don't matter! I'm just looking forward to hassle-free sunshine...

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  7. My camping days are long-gone, but I'll pass along a couple things that were helpful when I was doing my fieldwork. Bring food no one will want to steal (apples, a jar of nut butter, toasted soybeans, etc.) and have a bottle of liquid antihistamine handy. The latter is useful when someone gets stung, or comes in contact with some poison ivy, or ate some of your exotic food they shouldn't have wanted, and has a reaction, etc. The stuff is cheap, fits in a handbag, and in my experience always ends up being used if only to help you fall asleep. I'm sure the vintage festival goers are better behaved than your average anthropologists (less drunk anyway) and wouldn't steal your food, but a bag of apples is never a bad thing to have.

    I'm sure you'll have a seriously great time, and I can't wait to see the posts afterward.

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    1. Happily, we don't have poison ivy over here. The worst we have are stinging nettles, and they're easily avoided. I tend to take antihistamine pills as I have a mild allergy to insect bites and swell up quite badly (though no anaphylactic shock or anything like that).

      There's certainly no drunken drama at the festival. I haven't heard of any thefts either, though I make sure my jewellery is locked in the car if I'm not wearing it. (I don't take anything valuable anyhow.) Food-wise, the on-site stuff is so good I wouldn't bother taking food at all, but the husbeast loves to fire up the camp stove to fry bacon for breakfast. It's a real family event, and we're always in the general camping field, so there are lots of people with kids around, and I guess that means they're all keeping an eye out for dodgy behaviour.

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  8. Ooh, this sounds like so much fun, except the camping bit. I'm such a wuss when it comes to tents. Very good advice for festival going though. I LOVE that 50s coral dress.

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  9. It sounds very exciting and like you have it well sussed out. I vote for the new sun dress to get a day out, it looks gorgeous!

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  10. I have never been to any sort of festival, I leave that to my sister!

    I adore your coral dress ❤

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