Both my daughters and I are interested in vintage fashion, so whenever an event related to it comes up, I take the opportunity for a Mother/Daughter bonding day out! This was an event Rain had heard about, and when we approached the Paintworks building, we knew we must be in the right place due to the hoards of students with their clear bags of clothing. It’s basically a vintage clothing sale where you pay £15 per kilogram…
It was definitely an event aimed at students – apart from one lonely Dad shuffling along, I was the oldest there by far! Wannabe hipsters and alternative types aplenty, it was a good place to just stand back and people-watch, but then you might miss that elusive perfect garment at the bottom of a massive plastic tub. Whether or not I’d call it a good vintage clothing fair, I’m not sure, because it’s pot luck really if you find stuff you like or come away disappointed. It felt to me like these clothes were vintage shop rejects – you certainly won’t find any recognisable labels amongst it all. I’d hoped there’d be a few wedding dresses to choose from, but no. Also the term ‘vintage’ was very much directed at the student age-group ie. most of it was from the ’90s. Some ’80s and a small selection of dresses from the ’70s.
There was loads of denim and checked shirts, so considering the ’90’s grunge look is back in fashion, you could get yourself the real deal here. Also, there were piles of fluffy pink jumpers your unfashionable granny might have worn (think Dolores Umbridge), which although I don’t think I’d personally wear, I can see that they’re pretty cool. Along with a few others, Rain bought a jumper with a cat wearing a bow-tie on the front. She also bought this lovely jade dress with dragonflies embroidered on the hem and I think she found a gem there. Jude bought a ’70’s floral dress, a pink cardigan and a shirt. I found a 1980’s Laura Ashley style linen dress, but nothing else really. Then I found a plastic tub in which everything was pure silk. The items aren’t much to write home about – all short-sleeved baggy shirts, but the fabric and colours were lovely, so I picked up most of them! Silk also has the added bonus of being super light, so it didn’t cost me much at all. I bought eleven silk tops and the dress for £19. Jude was a bit disappointed that her three items cost the same.
So value for money, I’m not sure about really. You could do much better at a jumble sale; particularly as most of it wasn’t really that vintage. The hype on social media built up around the event I think really works as people were queuing the length of the hall to pay for their items. By the way it was £1.50 each to enter; though £3 before midday (it was open 11-4). The change in price suggests the early bird catches the best clothes, but they were re-stocking with a few more while we were there, which made you want to hang around in case better ones came along!
The fair seemed well organised and run, with scales in the middle of the room to weigh your stuff on, and the queue moved quickly. You’re only charged for the exact weight of your items – the price doesn’t automatically go up another £15 when you’re over a kilo. The room it was in was smaller than I expected and there weren’t as many clothes to choose from as I had hoped for. It’s a shame space is taken up by the vintage jewellery stalls at one end (you paid for jewellery separately) because I felt it was well over-priced for the quality. I would rather there were more clothes rails there instead. Overall I’m glad I’ve been for the experience, but honestly, I won’t be rushing there again.
Have you picked up a bargain at a sale like this? If you want to see for yourself, there are a couple more sales coming up in Birmingham and Glasgow, and the website is here.