Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Rose Bowl Flea Market

Last week Jen Vegas blogged about Pasadena’s Rose Bowl Flea Market, which she visited during a recent trip to the U.S. Well, after seeing her post, I absolutely had to check out this flea market because I had never gone, and it takes about five minutes to drive from our apartment to the Rose Bowl. So today Jasen and I headed over there at 9 a.m. since the cost of admission drops to $8 at that time.

The Rose Bowl Flea Market truly is amazing. It’s the largest flea market or swap meet I’ve ever seen, and the vintage, oh the vintage! I had read Yelp reviews and watched some videos beforehand so I’d know where to go when we got there, but it still took me a little while to find the booths with the best deals.

We received the tickets and two-dollar bills above as change after we paid for admission. Carnival music was playing near the entrance, while a stilt walker paraded around and a man on a penny-farthing rode in figure eights. (Unfortunately I didn’t get photos of these guys.)

Once through the gates, we headed to the left since I’d heard that’s where the vintage and antique items can be found. We soon walked by a charming taxidermy specimen that literally made me gasp and seriously freaked me out.

I also had to photograph this awesome movie poster:

After wandering around the pricier vintage booths, we finally found this sign, far, far, FAR to the left side of the flea market:

If you’re searching for some amazing vintage deals at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, this is the sign to look for! Once you walk over the bridge beneath it, you’ll find clothing, shoes and much more by the truckload.

I bought two dresses in the booth shown above. The people running the booth had hemmed many of their vintage finds to more flattering lengths. Because I had picked out two dresses, I asked if I could have a discount, and they knocked a few dollars off the total.

Then Jasen found the leather jacket of his dreams! He used to have a similar one but gave it to his brother a few years ago because it didn’t fit him anymore. This one was a perfect fit and he was VERY excited to find it!

The far-to-the-left area of the flea market was basically like one ginormous yard sale with clothing, shoes, toys, games, tools, supplies, housewares, you name it. Some of the sellers were charging a little more than you’d pay at a yard sale, but many were practically giving things away. I’m talking articles of clothing for $1 each and gorgeous, robin’s egg blue vintage pumps with cutouts (that sadly didn’t fit me) for $5!

In closing, a few Rose Bowl Flea Market tips:

1. If you want vintage, go to the left, and if you want vintage at low prices, go WAY to the left. Even if you think you’ve gone really far to the left, keep going and look for that sign, which is above a bridge.

2. Bring your own water.

3. Wear sunscreen.

4. Eat beforehand unless you love hot dogs. Hot dogs are $1.50, and all other food and drink items are pretty overpriced.

5. Bring cash and your own bags or cart.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts.

The Rose Bowl Flea Market is held on the second Sunday of every month. I will certainly be going back...monthly if possible!

Oh yeah, and this is what I wore to the flea market:

Headband: Urban Outfitters
Top: thrifted
Shorts: thrifted
Shoes: Urban Outfitters


  1. how fun! there's a flea market by me, but i know it's not a vintage flea market. but one of the fun new junk/junk/mexican food flea markets probably. but i've been sleeping in too late for me to visit it.
    you have the perfect flea market outfit!

  2. This looks like so much fun! Those are some great finds. I'm sure that leather jacket will come in handy this winter. Your pink shirt & headband are super cute.

  3. WOW! I've been to the Rose Bowl growing up but never for the flea market! I definitely, definitely want to check it out next time I go to Fullerton to see family. Aaron has a really similar black leather jacket, and he wears it ALL the time. I also like the two dollar bills- a nice touch. One of the bars I like here in Denver gives out two dollar bills as change.

  4. omg this is heaven, i love flea markets, ur outfit is so cute!

  5. Sounds amazing I wish we had flea markets like that in Australia.

  6. awwwwww so glad you guys got to enjoy it!!! So excited for you guys and your finds :) What a great post. I was totally living vicariously through this.

    We were only there for about an hour and a half, so we didn't get to discover as much, but it was enough to find vintage dress paradise! MAN, I can't wait to live back in America and hopefully visit this market a few times a year!

    My friend Cori (who sells vintage there) says she gets there as early as 5AM, and there are some hardcore shoppers who get in there around 6AM and clean out the place.

  7. I wish I could go!! It looks absolutely amazing!!!

    Your blouse is lovely by the way xo

  8. That actually sounds like my dream flea market - complete with carnival music and stilt walkers! If I ever visit California I'll be making sure to time it around this market. I love your outfit too...the top is very sweet.

  9. i wish we had something like that here. You look super cute and comfy in that outfit. Perfect for a day at the market.

  10. Oh man. I've always wanted to go to the Rose Bowl flea market. The one here is relatively small and there's never any vintage clothing (though there's always plenty of other vintage & antique things). Thanks for taking these pictures and sharing your experience :)

  11. Gaaaaaaaaaah, I've always wanted to go here SO BAD. I love love love your vintage flea marketing outfit too. The headband is so retro cute with your hair!

  12. That place looks awesome! I want to go to a flea market now.



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