Phew, the months of January and February were busy with flea markets and antique shows including 2 iterations of The Vintage Bazaar, a Valentine’s Day themed Randolph Street Market and last weekend was the Cat’s Pajamas Vintage Clothing & Jewelry Show. Located in Elgin, a city an hour away from Chicago, the Cat’s Pajamas show featured 75 vendors spread across 2 floors of a convention center. Surprisingly it was the first time I’d attended; I had the misconception that it would be too high end for my tastes but upon learning that several of my vintage vendor friends would be selling there this year I had to go take a peek. In exchange for helping a vendor load into the show I managed to get in early before the general public and had the chance to take PLENTY of photos and to do a little shopping.
Thankfully Maranda of Persnickety Vintage was also there so we had a grand time meandering through the stalls, molesting pretty 1950s dresses and trying on sparkly jewels. We were happy to discover a wide variety of eras represented at the show (from Victorian to Mod) and a wide range of prices that included $5 jewelry!
Marvelous hats were everywhere at the show, including this stunning feathered hat featuring an abstract parrot.
Vintage handbags galore! Below is a handbag featuring knitted decorations included a mini handbag.
Gorgeous millinery feathers for hats or fascinators. Each feather decoration was only $8, a good price as I believe they were 1920s or older.
I regret not getting more photos of the shoppers at the show, everyone was decked out in their finest including WWII uniforms, Titantic-era dresses and 1950s Rockabilly looks. The woman above was wearing the cousin to the parrot hat I tried on at the show.
Edwardian outfits as would have been worn on The Titantic. Look at the wide brimmed hats and teeny waists on the dresses.
Tiny leather Victorian shoes for children.
Maranda and I started gushing over this booth before we realized it belonged to our friend Dena, we have good taste! Everything in her booth was from the 1940s, 50s and ’60s and she has a great eye for color and pattern.
She had a covetable collection of novelty print cotton dresses from the ’40s and ’50s– in larger sizes too!
I loved the colors and print of this dress in Dena’s booth as well as the rounded collar and little tie at the neck.
Yes, this dress had a large enough swing skirt that Maranda could almost hide behind it!
Competition for men’s vintage at the show was fierce, it’s difficult to find so I can understand why the lads were excited about being able to shop too.
A leather wrestling belt that has been personalized– I would hang this up in my living room as a piece of folk art.
Only one booth sold home decor items and it was packed with quirky vintage cookbooks and unusual publications like the one below.
“Experiences with my cockatiels”. I wish I’d looked inside this book, it almost sounds like a confessional.
“Poodles… as pets”. What else would you do with poodles?
The biggest hair comb I’ve ever seen, it almost seemed like a joke. A lady with some serious hair rocked this comb back in the ’30s.
So many sparkly jewels at the show!
My favorite, vintage plastic jewelry (lucite and bakelite).
Dawn of Timeless Treasure Vintage had a covetable collection of vintage handbags in her booth along with a duds for the guys too! The photo above and the next four photos are from her booth.
I really wish the embroidered strawberry purse and the FAMILY TREE (!) purse could have come home with me. They’re both unusual and quirky.
A new-to-us collectibles category, Victorian sewing birds. They seemed like something you’d find out about on “The Antiques Roadshow”. They’re made of metal and would clamp to a sewing machine table and would hold pins.
Rows of antique bonnets in one booth and Maranda below trying on a Pioneer-style bonnet in another.
Jen of JenStyle Vintage looking sassy in her booth, I liked the bold print of her dress.
Pretty dresses in bright hues hanging from the ceiling of Karyn & Nicole’s shared booth. I’m not sure how Karyn can part with the hot pink dress.
Nicole was selling this unusual sparkly bra, I wonder if it belonged to a burlesque dancer?
Karyn actually bought the ’40s pinafore dress she’s wearing at the show after setting up her booth. I’m in love with the color and ruffle detailing.
Across from Karyn & Nicole’s booth was what we called “The Betty Draper” Mad Men dress. Aren’t the colors gorgeous?
My friend Leah brought both men’s and women’s clothing to the show including the smart 1940s suit below.
Everything a dapper gentleman needs for a night out on the town!
I’m trying to convince Maranda to start wearing hats, fascinators are a good “gateway drug” into the world of vintage hats. I had her try on this pink feathered fascinator in the booth shared by Estate Chicago & Tangerine Vintage.
Of course it wouldn’t be an antique show without Bakelite bangles.
If Maranda was a 1980s Barbie Doll she would wear this dress. Actually she told me that she wants to wear this dress for when she renews her wedding vows (yes she’s serious!).
A CHEESE pin. Why didn’t I buy this? The vendor was from Wisconsin, of course.
A feathered hat that could double as a sculpture. Or a weapon.
1960s Siberian Princess coat.
Maranda trying on a sweet ’50s (’40s?) periwinkle blue dress with full pleated skirt and tie at the collar. Yes, she did buy it!
My biggest regret is not buying this Pop Art style sunglasses case. It reminds me of the sleep mask Audrey Hepburn wears in “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”.
Go Go Boots and vinyl hats/helmets. I hear 1960s London calling.
Please let me know if you can identify any of the booths as I’ll be happy to link to the owner’s etsy site.
Have you ever been to an antique show that just sells clothing/jewelry/accessories? What was it like?