Vintage Fashion Expo Returns to Santa Monica

They really wore that? See how fashion has evolved since the 1800s

If you're in the market for a three-tiered 1850s skirt or the perfect headband to complement that 1980s shoulder-pad dress, the Vintage Fashion Expo in Santa Monica is the place to be.

Since its debut in 1988, the event has attracted fashion designers, celebrities and vintage enthusiasts. This year, the expo will be at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Feb. 5 and 6.

About 85 dealers will set up booths exhibiting period clothing spanning the last 160 years. Buyers beware: Haggling won't get you very far. According to an article by Emili Vesilind, the seller of the most expensive item ever purchased at the expo, a black Chanel dress circa the 1920s, came down in price $1,000 -- from $22,000 to $21,000.

Visitors who pay $20 can enter the expo early from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Regular admission, from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., is $10. On Sunday, regular admission is 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is free entrance on Sunday with a Saturday ticket purchase, and students are admitted for free on Sunday with a student ID.

See the list of exhibitors here.

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