For the uninitiated, a kilo sale is an event where you can buy vintage, second hand, reworked-pieces, and even ‘new’ stock at wholesale prices. By paying a set price per kilo as opposed to per item, you can replicate YouTuber sized “hauls” without breaking the bank. With tons of gear available in one place, it helps to prepare a plan of action. Having everyone else in on the deal means that you’ll need a hand to navigate an event that makes a busy Boxing Day sale look like a cakewalk? Here is your kilo sale essential guide.
Most wholesale/kilo sale events offer an ‘earlybird’ ticket. It is worth paying a few pounds extra to be one of the first to gain access to the stock. The best products will have been laid out first, the room will be tidy, and you’ll be able to move around before the main crowds have arrived. Arriving early will give you the chance to scope out the areas you want to look at more closely, and let you have first dibs on the nicest items. The venues can get easily trashed, so being an early bird typically guarantees a more pleasant retail experience.
Know your purpose
With a bewildering amount of things on offer, it is a great to have a rough idea of what you’re after. If you are shopping for dresses it is best to check them out first. Vintage denim can differ wildly in sizing so if you’re on a Levi haul, prepare to try items on. Tops and jumpers however are usually true-to-size. If in doubt, grab the ones you like-you can always pop them back on a rail later.
When shopping for vintage clothing, it is best to just accept that some items won’t fit like you think they will. I recently grabbed a pale pink satin gown with a boned bodice and zip fastening at the back that was too beautiful to pass on. At home however, the zip was just a tad too stubborn so I have accepted that the cost of acquiring a beautiful dress so cheaply will be taking it to the seamstress’s and turning the back into some kind of lace-up feature. When shopping for a specific event, such as the ball that this gown is for, it is worth paying for adjustments in order to enjoy a one-off look (that fits).
Pack light and fixed price
Attendees at kilo sales are usually given plastic Santa-like sacks to fill and tote around. These can get heavy, so choosing small and light items such as tops and accessories means that you will get the most for your money and save yourself a full-body work-out in the process. However, fixed price items such as coats are often amazing quality and worth the weight. Be wary of real fur: companies rarely cared about animal welfare back in the day. If however, you buy some by accident, accept that you are not contributing to ‘new’ sales, and are saving the product from the landfill.
When you’re done rummaging, weigh your sack, pay on the door, make off with your bargain haul, and revel in a whole new wardrobe bought for less you’d pay for a mid-range dress.
Words by India Alicia