If your wardrobe is more of a floordrobe and you can’t get enough of vintage prints, buying retro-cool clothes for £15 a kilogram will probably sound as appealing to you as it did to us. So we headed down to the Vintage Kilo Sale in East London (although they’re all over the country if that’s not local to you) to see what it’s all about.
Here’s what we learnt.
1. Timing matters
We arrived at the Vintage Kilo Sale at around 11.30am. It was a bank holiday Sunday, and we’d wrongly assumed everyone else would still be in bed. Nope. The Kilo Sale offers early bird tickets for 11, and early-early-bird tickets for 10, and the people who’d dragged themselves out of bed for those were already in an intimidatingly large queue for the tills, stuffed carrier bags in hands.
Did this mean we missed all the good stuff? Thankfully not. The staff are constantly replenishing the stock, to the point that several times I turned round and there was a whole rack behind me that wasn’t there before.
That said, we’ll never know the goodies we’d have got our hands on if we’d turned up for 10.
2. There’s a lot of polyester in the world
Like… a LOT. York Hall was probably the most flammable place in the universe during the Kilo Sale.
Clothes are vaguely separated by type, so there were racks of dresses, denim shorts, dungarees (yep, really), MANY polyester men’s shirts, and some oddly-specific rails like ‘t-shirts of American university sports teams of yore.’
They’re not separated by size (it’d be impossible to maintain) so you just get in there and rummage like your life depends on it. TK Maxx is good training for this.
3. There are also a lot of fish shirts
I don’t know if our Kilo Sale was just particularly fisherman-friendly or what, but we saw SO MANY shirts with fish prints. Not only that, but also shirts from uber-specific fishing expeditions of the past:
On the bright side, there were a lot more men’s clothes than we expected.
4. Jewellery and accessories are — sadly — not included
When we saw the table of rings and earrings, we thought “brilliant! We could empty the whole table into our bag and still not top a kilogram.”
Amazingly, it seems the organisers had thought of this. The accessories, belts, hats and jewellery were resolutely not included, and were priced at the standard London hipster vintage prices. However, a huge box of scarves WAS included, and so are shoes.
5. We’re really bad at estimating how much things weigh
Shoes are a tricky one. These amazing Hello Kitty Vans, for instance — how many kilos do you think?
I thought about 1.5 (thick soles), Zack thought about 1kg. Turned out they were 0.75, meaning they cost about £12. BARG.
Thankfully there are weigh stations so you can work out how much you’re spending before you get in the queue.
6. You need to check everything really carefully before you take it to the till
There are some high-end brands at the Kilo Sale, but check them really carefully. We saw a couple of Polo Ralph Lauren tops that were horribly ripped, ditto a gorgeous winter coat by a Canadian brand.
The Jaeger stuff was in great nick, though.
7. Buying clothes by weight is SUPER FUN
You consider things you otherwise might not, because it’s not much weight to add to your bag. This means you’re a little more adventurous than you would normally be. I got a gorgeous t-shirt that I wouldn’t usually pick up, but haven’t stopped wearing since the end of the sale, plus a stunning red button-up vintage dress that I will be LIVING in come summer.
You can also live your costume fantasies with mermaid dresses:
And Sarah-from-Labyrinth-style poofy sleeved 80s wedding gowns:
There are also changing rooms, so you can’t make too many fashion mistakes. In theory.
8. This is WELL worth three quid
Don’t forget to show us your best finds on Twitter. Happy rummaging!