I love just about all things vintage – cars, music, furniture, dinnerware, clothing, shoes (particularly vintage Nikes), accessories, jewelry trays, you name it.
When I lived in Memphis, one of my favorite weekend pastimes was shopping for antiques with my mom. We'd wake up early Saturday morning, grab breakfast and then spend the rest of our day traveling through Midtown on the hunt for some of the most quaint, one-of-a-kind, charming and inexpensive pieces we could find.
I've sort of gotten away from my hobby since I've been in Nashville. But this past Sunday afternoon, I made it a priority to head to Wedgewood and check out the flea market as well as a few antique shops in the surrounding area.
Now I wouldn't call myself an expert just yet, but I can say that there is a technique to this kind of shopping (I've done my research). If this is something new for you, here's a routine that guarantees me the best experience:
wear comfortable clothing and dress appropriately for the season
bring a cold bottle of water during the warmer months
don't be afraid of the dust (as many things can be dry cleaned, polished, etc.)
have patience to sift through cluttered merchandise
throughly inspect items for discoloration and other unfixable things before purchasing
avoid wearing blatantly expensive clothing as this may affect your ability to bargain with vendors on pricing (remember almost everything is negotiable), plus you don't want to risk getting dust on your clothes
create a budget beforehand and take cash to ensure staying within budget
have a mental list prepared of things you are looking to buy but keep an open mind to other items that may catch your eye while there
And as far as the flea market, if there is absolutely something that I am looking for and have to have no matter the cost, I try to get there as early as possible on the first day of the market for first dibs. Otherwise, I wait until the last day of the market to shop as my chances of negotiating prices may be greater.