Bargain Hunting in Manchester - Judy's Affordable Vintage Kilo Sale!

by - Tuesday, May 28, 2013

With summer finally in my clutches, like some sort of nefarious over worked villain, I thought I'd reward myself for getting a First in my second year of uni with a little trip to Manchester. Having been to a few Judy's Affordable Vintage events in the past, I jumped for joy a few months ago when the Leeds based comapny announced that they would be bringing their legendary Kilo Sale to Manchester's People's History Museum.

For anybody who isn't accustomed to Judy's work, what they do is admirable and completely fair-focused. They tour the country with their vintage wares, all within student friendly budgets, in an attempt to share the wonderful world of sequins, peter pan collars and circle skirts with vintage fans all over the country. As somebody with a build slightly bigger than your average Topshop model, I have always loved vintage clothing - dresses from the 50s and 60s were made with the average, realistically sized women in mind, meaning plenty of space for a few extra inches on the waist. What Judy's are doing breaks down the elitism that sometimes surrounds vintage shopping, suddenly making it something affordable.

Whilst Judy's run 'normal' vintage fairs, their kilo sales are a different beast entirely. Based on a principle of paying £15 per kilo of clothes that you pick up, they are not for the faint hearted - after queuing to collect my Judy's carrier and pay my entrance fee of £1, I entered a hall that had ten enormous storage tubs on the floor, with effortlessly cool girls and boys alike crowding around like wise men at the nativity. Well, maybe slightly more ruthless versions of wise men, anyway. All grabbing items, holding them up, bagging some and discarding others, only for somebody else to leap on their relegated piles in search of a bargain. Carnage.

Despite the competitive native of magpie-like searching, the camaraderie in the room was amazing. Three seperate times I picked something up only for a complete stranger to smile at me and say 'buy it, it'd look amazing on you!'. Totally heartwarming, and not something you get in normal changing rooms. I myself took great deligh in helping other sort their piles, and coax the more reluctant of shoppers into buying that item that fitted them perfectly.

So what did I buy, I hear you cry? I went to the fair with the intention of buying some summery things to brighten up my wardrobe, and I think I managed to meet my goal. After just over an hours work and endless soul searching over whether or not that gingham skirt really did look like a tablecloth, I ended up with the following - 

Rainbow Stripe Euro Club Blouse (styled with my already owned dungarees and a white tee)

Whilst this was in one of the men's tubs, I fell in love with it's pastelicious stripes - very Vampire Weekend prep! There is a teeny stain on the front but I'm hoping that'll wash out with a bit of luck. I'm hoping to wear it to the festivals this summer with my dungarees or buttoned to the neck and tucked into a bodycon skirt.

Take Nine Red Button Down Dress
This dress was sized as a small maternity, but I didn't let that put me off. One of the things about vintage fairs is that they often require a bit of creative vision - the fabric is often more important that the size if you think you can do some alterations. This dress was actually floor length, but having faffed around in front of the mirror I think I'm going to cut it to just above the knee to give it a more summery feel, and whip out the shoulder pads too. Paired with a denim jacket, a skinny belt and my topshop red patent mary janes, I think it'll make a nice casual day look.

Wurzer Dirnl Green Patterned Prom Dress
This was the dress that a fellow shopper told me I had to buy, and I'm so glad I did! It's super heavy, I absolutely love the length, the way the skirt falls and the colour - forest green is one of my favourite tones to wear. I'm actually wearing the dress back to front in this picture, but I quite like it - the actual front is a very low square with a hook fastening (I think from this and the brandname it must be some sort of german design) but I think it makes a much more elegant back that means I don't have to show too much barmaid-esque boob! With a little round neck cardi and a satchel I think this dress will be great for uni or shopping weekends.

Deus yellow floral summer dress
I was a bit wary of trying to pull off Yellow to start with, but I simply couldn't resist the prettiness of this dress. It also fits perfectly, so was a good find in amongst the jumble! Like the red dress, I think I'm going to lop off the bottom, make it knee length and then have some fabric left over to make a matching hair bow. I might also swap the buttons on the top half to blue, to match the flowers. I think this dress is the perfect excuse for me to buy some summer coloured converse... I've had my eye on a duck egg blue pair for a while that would co-ordinate just right.

Lisa Jo Floral Pearl Dress
Last but not least, probably my favourite print of the day. Thanks to the lace up back, this dress also fits perfectly, and I don't think I'm even going to shorten it. This has gone right to the top of my list of potential festival outfits, so I might test drive it at Parklife next weekend with black tights, dm's and my light parka over the top, just in case it rains...

So that concludes my lovely selection from Judy's Kilo Sale, which I am delighted to say came to the lowly price of £20! With all of the items in really good condition, I couldn't recommend a rummage more. Sure, it requires a bit of patience, but the potential for wardrobe rejuvenation on a budget is simply too good to pass up! 

For more information on Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair or Judy's Kilo Sale, visit

What do you think of my outfits? Have you been to any of Judy's events recently?

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