The Vintage Kilo Sale

Vintage blouses and coat c/o The Vintage Kilo Sale

Last Saturday I was invited to attend the Vintage Kilo Sale at Bristol Paintworks. I'd already blogged about the coat I got my hands on here, and I wanted to write a post to talk about the event itself and also share the other items I bought!

For the uninitiated, a Kilo sale is exactly what it says on the tin; you pay per kilo for vintage clothes sourced from all over the world. I'd never been to an event like this before, though I'd heard of them, so I was keen to see what it would be like!

The event began at 11am for earlybird admission but the sale was opened an hour prior to this for trade. This means that shop owners or businesses could come down first and make their purchases, but there is so much stock that there will still be finds to be had after this; over 5 tonnes of stock was brought to the Bristol event!

Adrian and I arrived just after 11 and there was already a huge queue snaking away from the entrance to the building. At first this was a bit daunting but once in the queue, it did move quickly and soon we were at the front! On entrance, we were given a carrier bag each to put our finds in, and off we went!

I'm not easily overwhelmed when it comes to shopping, but I did get a bit of the same sense of disorientation and confusion that I suffered when I visited the 5 storey Topshop on Oxford Circus. The room was at capacity when Adrian and I went in, which probably didn't help; it was heaving. I was prepared for a bit of a jumble and because I charity shop a lot, I wasn't adverse to a bit of a dig, but there were so many people there it made doing so quite difficult. However, I tried to get into the spirit of things; there were so many different rails and tubs to be rooted through that it didn't take long to get stuck in!

I could see that there had been some attempt to split the clothing into product groups, for example, all the jeans together, dresses, blouses, coats etc. This made it easier to decide what to look for, I love silk blouses so I went straight over to the rail with the shirts on and started to dig through. I pulled a few out, put back the polyester but kept this beautiful pale yellow shirt which is a lovely, feather light silk and beautiful colour. I also ended up with a white polka dot shirt which I thought would look really cute with jeans in the summer.

A few circuits later, I decided to peruse the coat rail, and was attracted to this lovely fuzzy shearling coat so thought I'd give it a try. There was a mirror, but there was also a queue to use it so I put it on to show Adrian, and he really liked it so I trusted his judgement and went for it! 

After a couple more trips around the floor, we headed over to pay. Your choices are weighed and you pay by the kilo, which equates to 3-4 tops or 1 coat, approximately. It's such a good idea because you can get some amazing bargains this way and there's no faffing about with the individual costs of things, you just pay for everything at a set price.

I was really pleased to be able to attend this sale and I had such a good time, there was a totally diverse range of customers there and everyone was having a ball, trying things on and snapping up the bargains. I have learnt a few things from the experience, though, which I will impart below; hopefully they will help if you are planning to attend a sale such as this!

1. Go with a partner: If you can go with a partner or friend, so much the better. I took Adrian along and it was really lovely, someone to chat to in the queue and he was also able to act as a spare pair of hands, holding things I wasn't sure about and telling me what he thought of my picks. He also acted as a very honest mirror!

2. Wear a backpack: Classic, from my chazza trips but essential if you want to be able to get stuck in and have a good dig without worrying about your bag falling off your shoulder or having to put it on the floor. 

3. Act fast, and be open minded: If you see something you think you might like, grab it. It's a bit like a vintage version of Primark; if you put something back, you'll never find it again. You can always sort things through before you pay and return anything that doesn't make the cut. Like charity shopping, if you go with something particular in mind, you'll never find it, so have a good look at everything on offer and try not to be too specific.

4. Be certain before you buy: Does it fit? Will you wear it? Are there any marks or stains on it? Will you alter it? Returns aren't usually offered so make sure you are happy with your buys and won't have any 'what was I thinking?' purchases! A kilo will get you (approximately) 3-4 tops or a coat, so think about what you are shopping for.

5. Take a drink: you'll probably need it afterwards!
6. Enjoy the atmosphere: This was a sale like nothing else I've ever been to, and although a little daunting at first, it was actually a really great experience! I saw a lot of amazing vintage fashion and it was great to see so many people busily filling their shopping bags and having a lot of fun!

Find out more about the Vintage Kilo Sale on Facebook here to see where they will be heading to next!

XO Amie
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