Things That Are Awesome: Flea markets

I am a simple woman. A shot of whiskey is my perfect drink. Take me to a used bookstore and I will be your best friend for life. I am perfectly content spending an afternoon on coffee shop patio reading my Kindle. And flea markets make me exorbitantly, unreasonably happy. As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing better than a day spent outdoors, wandering from booth to booth, never quite knowing what to expect.

My parents didn't have much money when I was growing up. Fortunately, my mother was a champion bargain shopper and a frequent visitor of flea markets near our home in Queens. On our trips together I'd closely study proper market behavior -  the art of haggling with vendors and hunting down bargains, and which stand sold the best frozen lemonade. At the flea we'd pick up things like handmade tie-dyed socks and scented candles bottled by bored housewives in their basements and knock-off purses and hippie jewelry woven out of hemp. I grew to love the uncertainty of it, the unpredictability of vendors and the ever-changing merchandise. Perhaps I would dig up a bargain on tights. Maybe I'd go home with a parakeet. If I was lucky, I might actually end up with something I needed, like tube socks and personalized pencils for math class. You just never knew.

However, Texas flea markets beat the New York markets of my youth to a bloody pulp. In addition to better food (Frito chili pie and hot boiled peanuts? Yes please) there's completely epic people-watching. There are grizzled old men in overalls selling firearms and "art" constructed from antlers and and whatever crap scrounged from their front yards. Women in housedresses push rolling carts past you, cigarettes hanging limply from their lips. It seems that everyone either sports a mullet, Civil War-era facial hair, or Nascar apparel. Or a combination of all three. The truly stylish wear Carhart jackets and camo pants. The supremely stylish are outfitted in Carhart camo and a Nascar tee. And don't even get me started on the accents flying through the air. I couldn't understand a damm thing anyone was saying.

Several booths do a brisk business selling fried apple pies, dusty Depression-era glasswear, studded tee shirts and bags emblazoned with crosses and zebra prints, and household items constructed from scrap metal. Here's a sample:

If you're ever in the Dallas area, definitely take the time to check out McKinney Third Monday Trade Days, Canton Third Monday Trade Days, or for the truly adventurous, Bonham First Monday Trade Days. Bonham's market offers things like chickens and goats and truck engine parts and grandma's musty afghans. It's really something to see.

For my flea market adventure, I went with a favorite pair of boyfriend jeans and a lightweight sweater. Compared to my comrades in camo and overalls, I was most definitely overdressed.

Are you a fan of flea markets? Any interesting ones in your area?

Gap stripped cotton sweater; Gap tee (under sweater), AG Adriano Goldschmied boyfriend jeans; Forever 21 shoes; thrifted Coach belt; Urban Outfitters flower studs


  1. I can see how the Texan experience add color and character to flea-market shopping, but does that region have access to contemporary fashion? I enjoy thrift-stores here (in NY) because a trendy, affluent woman's cast-offs are quite desirable. I can't imagine finding those clothes down South. Hope that doesn't sound snobby; I'm just asking about the clothes available.

  2. There's amazing contemporary shopping here in Dallas! The area has the most square feet of retail shopping anywhere in the country, if you can believe it. I rarely shop retail, but when I do I'm often torn as to where to go. Even the suburbs have great options. If you ever visit the DFW area I'd be glad to give my recommendations for places to visit.

  3. Love your outfit and after reading this post I would really love to visit Texas one day - Thanks =)
    I was wondering if you are interested in a follow swap!

  4. You look so cute even on a casual day! I love going to our local flea market! It's always on Saturday mornings & is usually jam packed. Some days you can score good deals and other days you find nothing. It really just all depends. Your post made me want to visit this weekend :)

  5. I'd go just for the fried apple pie! Oh me geez that sounds good! I need to check out our local one...sounds like a fun day!

  6. That actually sounds really fun! We don't have a lot of flea markets here but if I had some friends that wanted to go, I'd definitely love to!

    You look super adorable in your cropped jeans and oxfords. The sweater looks so soft and cozy too!

    Come take a look inside A Working Mom's Closet

  7. I'm as bad at flea markets as I am thrifting. I lack patience! I do like the food though!~ And I know I miss out on a LOT because I'm so impatient.

  8. I've actually never been to a flea market :-(... I don't even know here one is around Denver. I'm sure that there is one, because I hear people getting some awesome deals!

    My husband and I haven been looking into moving to Texas (he's from San Antonio originally) and we've actually set our eye on McKinney! I just noticed that you're from there! Now I'm looking forward to the move even more, maybe I'll get to experience my first flea market in Texas :-D

  9. i wanna go to a flea market! idk if theres any around me!

  10. Just found your blog! Love what you said in the "about me" section :) I am a flea market junkie, too!! Great jeans...they look amazing on you!

  11. Love the cut of those jeans and the slight cuff is perfect.


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