A few decades ago, Penelope Whitmore began dressing in vintage clothing as a student at the University of Ottawa.
It wasn’t as popular as it is now. “I wore vintage because it was affordable and the quality was there,” she said. “They were different and one of a kind, but it wasn’t trendy.
“Years ago, I found a long velvet hooded opera coat with rabbit fur. It’s in mint condition and I love it because when I put it on, I feel special.”
Wanting to share her love of vintage clothing and accessories, Whitmore and a friend started the Vintage Clothing Sale at the Chateau Laurier. Twenty-six years later, the exhibitors at the show — which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Chateau Sunday — have more than doubled, and thousands of vintage lovers are expected to attend one of the most highly anticipated fashion events in the capital.
Although the demand for vintage has gone up, Whitmore remains picky about the goods she allows into the show.
“People are always on the lookout for something different,” said Whitmore. “With vintage, you won’t see 10 of one thing, you’ll see one of them.”
And it’s likely at a price you can’t resist.
“You can get a dress for $45 and a coat for $60,” she said. “Some of it might never have been worn. There’s something for everyone’s taste and pocketbook.”