Vintage Bazaar at The Congress Theater


The Vintage Bazaar is my version of fashion week. While style bloggers were buzzing about the spring collections and having brushes with Anna Wintour, I was dreaming about the treasures awaiting me at the twice-yearly market that pops up in the Spring and Autumn. Organized by two savvy vintage lovin’ friends, Libby & Katherine, The Vintage Bazaar caters to a younger generation of collectors that want to fill their wardrobes and homes with fairly priced vintage. It only costs $2 admission which grants customers access to 75 well curated booths (sorry no Chinese DVDs or tube socks here), a selection of local food vendors including my beloved Hoosier Mama Pie Company and services like a pop up barber shop, make up services and a free photo booth.

For the first time the Bazaar was both indoors and inside the historic Congress Theatre in Logan Square, a wise move despite the bleak weather. I can definitely say that this was THE best Bazaar yet, due to the breadth of merchandising, inexpensive prices and a roomier layout. It also helped that I got in early as press and wasn’t helping out at a booth this time (which left me free to browse). Unfortunately my dinosaur of a camera doesn’t do well in low lighting so I only concentrated on taking pictures of the outdoor booths. I’m naturally drawn to taking pictures of objects so consciously tried to actually +gasp+ take pictures of people ie vendors and customers too.

Of course the Bazaar is a magnet for other vintage bloggers like myself so I was happy to run into ladies I’d never met ‘in real life’ before, Liz of Zilderoh and Tasha of By Gum, By Golly. I also saw some familiar faces like Lisa of Archives Vintage (who volunteered to work at the front door), Karyn of Dethrose Vintage who was a vendor and Maranda of Persnickety Vintage.


Upon stepping outside the first display that caught my eye was this grouping of colorful 1960s luggage– very “Pan Am”. Of course I was delighted to find out that the cases belonged to Jen Style’s booth, she’s a frequent fixture on the Chicago flea market circuit and always finds the best accessories (look at those belts below!)




Jen is passionate about her business and it shows in the wonderful vintage outfits she always wears, her rockin’ maxi skirt is very Pocahontas meets Bohemian, no?


Vintage. Cat. Photos. Yes, I might have squealed a little when spotting them in The Big Heist’s booth. They were unearthed from a photographer’s estate sale and thankfully three of the 5 x7 images now reside in my personal collection. Continuing the feline theme, I also adored the two embroidered tiger pillows they were selling (below).




Jacob Green, the Artistic Director of Hubris Productions, definitely has a dream job– he seeks out clothing, accessories and objects to be used as props in theater productions. I also admired his merchandising skills, he used a stack of drawers to organize and highlight jewelry and home decor (an idea I want to steal for my apartment!).


A colorful wooden child’s abacus caught my eye in a splashy 1960s/70s themed booth. I tried to justify a reason to buy it but sadly left it behind. Below are two more photos of the space, it made me want to break out the fondue pond and sink my feet into a shag rug.



Definitely the best apron I’ve seen in a while, I like the play on the adage “Cool as a cucumber”.


A rope parrot purse caught my eye, possibly a vintage souvenir from a tropical land?


In the winter I pin a brooch on to all my sweaters/coats/jackets so these colorful enamel flowers grabbed my attention, I’ve never seen a butterfly in this style before.



Stacks of Jadeite! I’m also digging the pastel hued pottery, I can imagine this table being emptied quickly by happy customers.


One Tail To Love, a dog rescue group, had a well curated group of vintage items whose sales went directly to saving the pups. On the left is an Art Deco glass frame and and a blingin’ Southwestern style necklace and on the right is a 1940s star blazer that unfortunately was in rough shape (I could see it starring in my autumn wardrobe otherwise).


I’m posing above with an old 4 x 5 press camera by the Dethrows’ booth. Successful brother and sister duo, Jon & Karyn Dethrow, teamed up again to sell at the Bazaar and as usual their booth was swamped with customers. Karyn is always dressed to the 9s in vintage and her brother always offers up the most unusual and slightly macabre antiques I’ve ever come across in person. All the pieces in his section of the booth would fit right into a 21st century version of a Cabinet of Curiosities. Karyn was still setting up her racks when I took photos so the next six photos are of Jon’s creepily awesome wares.





Both Albert and I were drawn to this Odd Fellows (secret society) framed insignia. Albert snagged it for his collection (jealous!) and I believe the skull is handpainted on a fabric background.



Did the skeleton eat the paint-by-numbers ballerina? Both Jon and Karyn have a quirky sense of humor.


Sarah Kincaid, of Skip About Like Lambs, poses with a 1970s Schwinn bicycle outside her booth. We discussed how she keeps her prices low in order to encourage people to adopt a more ethical lifestyle by shopping secondhand versus new. She actually recognized me from my blog and I was glad she said ‘hi’; I’m looking forward to reading about her future adventures over on tumblr.


Sarah crammed a lot of goodies into her booth, just in this one photo I spy several vintage trends like the turban, floral ’70s suitcase, statement ’80s necklace and a well done embroidered floral picture.


Rudy’s Roundup is a meticulously merchandised stationery and gift shop in Wicker Park that carries vintage items, artist-made jewelry and paper goods with a Midcentury vibe. It was the first time they’d sold at a flea market and it wasn’t a surprise to see that their booth stood out with its organized, colorful displays. If it was spring I would have scooped up the pink flower necklace above.




Rudy’s Roundup had the best vintage purse I’ve ever seen– it was a crocodile bag but had two gold cat heads on either side of the handle and had little gold feet on the bottom of the bag. Some lucky girl out there is squiring about town with this bag on her arm.


I really wish my apartment wasn’t already stuffed with furniture and housewares, Apartment 528 always has pieces I’d love to own, including the re-done white chair on the far left. Also, until the age of 10 my family’s primary TV was a teeny black and white set similar to the one in the picture!


A bevy of owl necklaces (above) and figures (below) appropriately spotted at The Owl Lady’s booth. Yes, she was ONLY selling owls.



A collection of cat eye frames ready for your prescription to be popped in– the pearlescent ’60s pair would make amazing sunglasses. I’d been reading Andrea’s blog, Knick Knack Parade, for a few months and was excited to meet her and browse through her booth.


1970s suitcases and funky dresses at Indivijuli’s booth.


Yes, I’m not sure what’s going on in that middle painting either, I didn’t catch the name of this vendor or the booth.


Sets of Dorothy Thorpe silver rimmed glassware (Mad Men!) and humorous book titles at Seek Vintage’s booth. If you haven’t been to Seek’s retail location in Ukrainian Village/West Town you should swing by soon, they stock well priced vintage fashion for both men and women along with housewares.


Loose buttons in cigar boxes that reminded me of my grandmother’s old tin of buttons.


Lynne & Ty McDaniel own a successful vintage shop, An Orange Moon, on the South Side of Chicago. Until the Bazaar I’d only been able to oogle their wares online so it was a pleasure to encounter their MCM furniture in person. If I was into Tiki I’d have scooped up the streamlined Polynesian lamp above.


Lynn also repurposes vintage pieces like these footstools reupholstered with feed sacks.


A rare photo of Albert & I together, we had Lynn take our picture in her groovy 1970s chairs. No, we did not coordinate the vintage brown & orange wool plaid, we’re just that awesome.


Happy customer pictures above and below! I apologize to anyone with a fear of clowns but this shopper was ecstatic over her new (old) lamp.


A novel way to carry a purchase, also note that she came prepared in rain boots.


I’m posing on a vintage stool near one of the outdoor entrances, look at the line of people behind me!

Phew, congratulations if you made it to the end of this post! I’d originally planned to make it a 2-parter but decided it would be more cohesive as one. Please comment if you recognize any of the booths that I couldn’t identify or if you want to share your finds/stories from the Bazaar. If this wasn’t enough Vintage Bazaar action for you, check out the round ups below from fellow bloggers:

By Gum, By Golly
Yellow Brick Home

I’m also linking up to Her Library Adventures Flea Market Finds and Apron Thrift Girl ‘s Thrift Share Monday this week.


Comments 0

  1. WOW, i am super sad i didnt make it to the outside vendors!!!! my jaw literally dropped at the sight of that 40s starred blazer – its about the coolest thing ive ever seen.

    i was a bit scatter-brained when i saw you (crazy line! yay!), i really wanted to tell you how awesome your outfit was – wanted to steal it right off you! the combo of plaid skirt and tooled belt was quite awesome!

  2. Hello! It was so nice to meet you at the flea the other day. It is always fun to meet blogger people in real life! You have some great pictures – which are kinda nice to look at since I didn't get to do much browsing. Thanks for including a picture of my booth!

  3. it was good to see you again!! sorry i just sort of disappeared, i saw a pretty dress and got distracted-you know how that goes right? 🙂 you two were looking pretty adorable in your plaids, it was the perfect day for it too. i'm glad you took so many pics-i didn't take a single one!

  4. What fun! And what a fab outfit (as always). Please come visit Northern California soon..bring a full wallet and come the 1st Sunday of any month. I think you would die of happiness at our awesome 350+ vendor flea vintage market that happens here.

  5. You and Albert looked so great! When we walked away Mel said, "Did you see her belt?!" LOL You guys rocked the plaid. So nice to finally meet you in person!

    I'm glad to see your round-up because you captured some of the booths we never made it to!

  6. What a wonderful write-up of the event. I love all of your detailed booth shots.

    It was wonderful running into you at the event and I've love to come to your next blogger meet-up before it gets too cold (and dare I say… snowy) in the city. 🙂

    P.S. I love the plaid skirt you wore.

  7. oh wow that is so amazing! i can't even imagine what was inside. if only there was such a well curated vintage event near me. or maybe not, because i would have dropped some serious money!

  8. Oh, I so have to plan my next visit to Chicago during this sale. Do they always have it the same weekends? I go to one here that is 2 x a year and is always first weekend of March and October so you can always count on it. Shame about the star jaket, sooo could have seen that on you. I also loved the daisy necklace. The "creepy" both was deefinately cool, very unique. I love the way he displayed the cabinet cards and Dageurratypes. I have to steal that one! Love the outfits, you two looked great together, right out of a vintage magazine ad!

  9. Wow, so much cool funky Vintage Junque… I would have been in 7th Heaven browsing this Bazaar! I most certainly would have come away with a lighter wallet. *Winks*

    Dawn… The Bohemian

  10. Wow this post makes me want to go shopping. Very inspiring. You look so adorable in your vintage clothing. Awesome! I love junk. Stop by for Thursday's thrift this week. Dawn Suitcase Vignettes xo found you at thrift and shout.

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