I absolutely love a vintage fair, or picking up cool pieces in an independent retro shop. Because I'm also the kind of dickhead that refuses to eat in Nandos or Wagamamas, goes to independent cinemas and listens to vinyl. JUDGE ME BITCHES.
That's not to say I don't love me a bit of H&M or have a never ending ASOS wishlist. I just enjoy the experience of vintage shopping more - it's exhilarating because you never know what you're going to find and the stuff you DO find is usually a bit different. I've taken a few friends with me to Lou Lou's vintage fair whenever it comes round to Cardiff and they've found some real gems.
I took Martin along to the Kilo Sale when it hit Cardiff last weekend because I've always missed it whenever it's come around. Damn Sunday retail working. This time, though, I was prepared. I was ready. I got some absolutely amazing pieces and, unbelievably, so did Martin! It might not be something you would think to go to yourself, but I promise you won't regret giving it a go. They're always in different cities (here is their calendar) so I thought I'd give you a run down of what to expect so you feel more comfortable visiting when it's local to you.
1. It's kind of organised.
I expected to see piles of crap strewn everywhere and a general chaotic free for all. There was a LOT of stuff on offer but all on rails in an easy to browse kind of layout. Like a mega weird shop. Nothing on the floor or flying through the air so pretty much more organised than your standard Primark. There are some big skip-type bins full of stuff if you want less order, but that's about it for chaos.
2. It's polite and (relatively) calm.
Along with the aforementioned piles of crap, I pictured a bunch of bearded hipsters fighting over the bomber jackets like animals. However everyone was really nice, a little excuse me here and there and squeezing past to get to stuff and everyone was happy. I wasn't shoved once and someone even complimented me on my choice of cardigan!
3. Expect to be left with the dregs after 12pm
Early bird entry starts at 11am (and is slightly more expensive) and normal entry is at 12pm. We got there around 11.30 and the queue to pay was already mega long and I couldn't help eyeballing everyones picks turning a lil' bit green with envy. A lot of the best stuff had clearly been snapped up. If you're someone who can make something awesome out of nothing you'll be fine whatever time you go, but I'm not blessed with that talent (or literally any other talent can I get a hell yea??) and I wish I'd gotten there 30 minutes earlier.
4. There are also individual priced items
This stuff tends to be the more "generic" and in demand vintage clothes - think Levis, plaid shirts, fur coats and big old jumpers. That's not a dig at all, it's some of my favourite stuff. This was actually the busiest, most hectic bit where it felt a bit squabbly sometimes and you couldn't even get near to some of the rails. I also think some of this stuff was a bit overpriced, considering I managed to get a thick woollen cardigan, a jacket and a t shirt for Martin for around £18, but the top Martin picked up in the individually priced section was £15...
5. You can weigh before you buy
You know when you fill a bag of pic n mix and weigh it and it turns out you've got £6 of pink & blue bottles and that's waaayy too much but you can't put it back? That doesn't happen here. There's a little weighing station so you can check how much you have and if it's too much you can take stuff out - no judgement.
Bonus Tip: Make a shopping list
If you have a little idea of what you want before you get there, it's easier to spot the gems. I knew I wanted something knitted and hopefully a jacket. Martin knew he wanted an NFL jersey. We managed to get everything we wanted and a few extras. It stopped us wandering around lost and confused and gave us purpose.
FYI, I decided not to include any pictures of the sale because I wanted it to be some kind of surprise when you walk in. Not because I'm super lazy. I was so pleasantly surprised and excited when I walked in and saw the absolute goldmine of vintage in front of me, and WHY OH WHY would I take that pleasure away from you? I hope this has inspired some of you to check out your next one.
Have you been to a kilo sale before? Have you had much luck in finding the hidden gems amongst the rails?