Those of you who know me, have ever read this blog or who have been driven to near-insanity by my relentless twice-daily Instagram posting this week will know: I bloody love vintage kilo sales. The cryptically named Vintage Kilo Sale is an event where vintage goodies are piled up high and sold… ahem… by the kilo (thank God for the sanity of the metric system: a Vintage Pound Sale would be excruciatingly confusing “A POUND OR A POUND?!” – a neo Four Candles skit in the making).
While you’re statistically more likely to inherit a faraway kingdom from an estranged aunt than find a vintage Chanel among the piles/racks, this haven of pre-loved bears 00s, 90s, (so much 90s), 80s and retro jewels in dazzling proportions. Clothing, shoes, bags and accessories galore – the best I’ve done is £10/kilo though the usual is probably £15. In the UK, the mavens at The Vintage Kilo Sale have you covered and if anyone has any intel on where to go in Aus - I'll update this post-haste! Of course individual vintage stores/markets/sellers may chuck on a kilo clear out off their own bat, Like City Retro 41 here in Glasgae... so keep your non-lazy eye on events and notices.
I suppose I'm quite emotionally attached to these types of events because – in just one day and for around £30/AUD$50 I was able to completely transform my wardrobe. From department-store-casual-meets-work-wear-hell to a kind of sparkly rainbow of weird and wonderful one-off items in the classic vintage/50s style I had wished I could pull off for years. I'd encourage anyone to go along - it'll likely cost you a couple of quid for entry and then, who knows?!
Take heed of these 5 Kilo Sale Commandments and you won't go astray:
1) Never, ever, EVER look at sizing.
Okay, this is one of my golden rules for buying vintage. I'm a bigger girl and have vintage dresses ranging from size 10 (I'm still hunting that elusive size 8... ;) to size 20. Bothered! While the tags may be an easy indicator as you flip through the miles of vintage-y goodness, know your body and trust your instincts when it comes to size. Hold it up and if it looks about right, grab it!
2) Grab first, ask questions later.
Following nicely from Commandment 1… don’t stand fussing over one thing on the rack, throw it over your arm or in your Kilo Sale grab bag and think about it properly later. You'll know fussing is a Kilo Sale Fail for two reasons:
A) You’re just getting into a good rhythm of flip, flip, grab, flip, flip, grab when you’re stopped dead in your tracks by some random fawning to their too-polite-friend-who’ll-never-give-honest-advice-anyway over whether or not they like that perfectly-fab midi dress. “Grab it Honey (or put it down so I can) and get out of the way!”.
B) Because you’ll look at your watch and realise it’s been 2.5 hours, you're at rack 3 and all you have is a 90s slogan t-shirt and a pair of denim cut-offs…. plus there’s a long line of people sending you the evils as per previous point A.
A quick game is a good game and one of the best bits of Kilo Sale shopping is finding a quiet corner to the side of the room to review your grabs before making for the big weigh-in and check-out.
3) Do the Sugar Test
No, this isn't my usual recommendation of a warm-up chocolate brownie... if you have no idea how much a kilo weighs: start training for the sale by lifting bags of sugar: in Kilo Sale Land, 1 bag of sugar = £15. If you're like me and love entirely winter-inappropriate cotton dresses that you pig-headedly wear year-round as some form of arrogant self-torture, you'll get a lot of frock for your Franc. Found your fantasy fringed retro cowboy jacket but worried it weighs as much as you do after Mum's Christmas Dinner? Don't be nervous... just ask the organisers for their policy on weight caps. For example, at The Vintage Kilo Sale - single items are capped at 1kg/£15 regardless of their weight: pocket anvils included.
4) Really, what’s the worse that can happen? Take it!
You’ve held it up in the mirror, tried it on over your essential I’m-in-serious-shopping-mode outfit of jeans and flats, harassed your shopping buddies/strangers for advice but still can’t decide whether to bag it or hang it. While my vintage shopping advice would usually be: “only buy it if you absolutely LOVE it”… the Kilo Sale is a place for taking risks and pushing your style boundaries. Check it first for condition (no tears/stains/damage) and if it passes the test: grab it! At best you have a rocking new outfit and at worst, it goes back in the charity shop bag for someone else to find and squeal over… it’s the Circle of Vintage Life, people!
5) Karma is REAL in Vintage shopping.
And finally, don't just dump your unwanteds on the floor or even in the return bins. The Vintage Gods have been good to you, so pay it forward. Keep your vintage brothers and sisters stylish and re-hang all your unwanted items in about the same place (or at least in the same category) as you found them.
I’ll be rummaging at the Glasgow Vintage Kilo Sale on Saturday 30 April – come join in the fun! If you’re further afield, I’d love to hear about your vintage kilo bargains + tips + antics so, don’t be shy, drop me a note below.
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A big dollop of love from my finger tips to your screen (I promise that's not as creepy as it sounds). xx