As you may know, I buy a majority of my clothes second hand, generally from charity shops, because I think it’s a great way to save money and look stylish.
I’ve been seeing these Vintage Weigh & Pay events advertised for ages and I’ve kept wanting to go but the stars of free time/childcare/spending money never quite aligned, that is until they finally came to Unity Works in Wakefield last month.
At these events, items are not individually priced – as the more astute among you may have gathered from the name, you weigh your items and then pay £15 per kilo.
I went quite late in the day which meant it was quite quiet giving me plenty of browsing space, but there were still racks and racks of both mens’ and womens’ clothes and bundles of shoes and accessories filling the large hall. Apparently new items are put out regularly throughout the day. I’d been given a large plastic bag on entry and I pretty quickly filled this up as there were so many fabulous fabrics with great prints that I couldn’t resist.
Although changing rooms were available, I was quite short on time so I decided to just eyeball items to judge how they would fit and sell on anything that didn’t work out. Fortunately, most things either fit really well or can be easily altered to be wearable – I’m quite practiced at doing this with second hand clothing though so I would highly recommend trying things on, especially if you’re used to shopping modern standard high street sizes!
Small repairs were offered free of charge on the day.
Value for money
I got 11 items which included a wool jacket that cost £9 (I had it weighed separately as it was by far the heaviest item) with everything else averaging out at £4.40 per item which is broadly similar to charity shop prices. My haul included several dresses which were comparable to ones that sell at specialist vintage shops for £15 – £25 or more. Outfit posts will be coming but you can see everything I got further down the post.
There wasn’t anything I felt was a rip off or that I could have gotten for a better price elsewhere. Obviously how good value you find this pricing model depends whether you’re after a bulky leather jacket or a thin silk dress though I feel that in the majority of cases even the heavier items worked out at pretty good value.
Personally I was impressed with the variety and quality available. I think it goes without saying that you’re not going find, say, an original 20s flapper dress at an event of this nature but you are very likely to find something that is unusual and interesting and cheap.
If you are used to shopping in vintage stores where items often come with a little label giving information about the original era and/or modern size conversion you might find yourself a little lost but for me the cost saving in buying through the Weigh and Pay compared to those kinds of shops more than makes up for it.
There was a small charge to get in which I found slightly annoying as I felt I spent enough anyway but I understand that there are *reasons* for such things. It was £1.50 for most of the day and £3 for early bird access if you wanted to get in an hour before everybody else.
You can check out dates and locations of upcoming Weigh and Pays on their Facebook page here and I will definitely be hitting the Leeds one on the 3rd of December so the conclusion to my review is obviously a BIG THUMBS UP!
What I got
This is the wool jacket I mentioned which I bought because the colours are gorgeous. Problem is it’s really not meant for a short person and the sleeves come practically to the end of my fingers – but hey that can come in handy this time of year when you can’t find your gloves and by the time warmer weather rolls around I’ll have managed to take it somewhere for altering (she says optimistically).
This dress is amazing and this photo in no way does it justice. I absolutely love it and would have paid quite a bit for it to be honest so I feel I got a real bargain. The colour matches my eyes and it’s just such a nice shape on. I’ve already worn it a couple of times and it will be featured in a post very soon.
This dress has also had a couple of wears already and it must be made of some kind of magic fabric because I spilled a massive blob of butter on it and it just wiped away leaving no sign it had ever been there. Gorgeous print and colours too, and I love the buttons on the neckline.
This blouse is just a solid work horse. I mean, it’s a blouse, there’s a limit to how exciting it can get but I can wear it with lots of things, it’s a thick quality fabric and again loving the print which is a very pleasing green.
These two skirts caught my eye from afar, they looked so fantastic with such distinctive prints – I’m looking forward to trying them with various ensembles.
These two dresses are sadly too small and in the case of the green one too fussy for my taste – with that colour it could *not* be left on the rack though, and it has its own petticoat so, YA KNOW. I had suspected they’d be too small when I picked them up and I do have a cunning plan which will be revealed in future posts.
This skirt is a in a lovely velvet (I have a bit of a thing about velvet) and but it is the one thing I cannot make fit or in any way wearable. So this will be sold on OR possibly made into a bag or some such, still deciding.
Ok…These two I cannot really wear on their own in current form. There is a difference between going for a stylish, vintage based look and seeming like you have stepped through a portal in time and refuse to ever get changed and these two cross the line, on me at least. I really like the skirt on the brown one, and have already worn it with a plain blouse over the top and docs on my feet to toughen the look up a bit. I plan to do something to alter the neckline though so I can wear it more easily.
The second one…well I just don’t know, I don’t feel I can wear it but at the same time I kind of…love it? What can I say, it speaks to my inner Cyndi Lauper or something. The shiny orange drew me in like moth to flame. I’ll work something out….watch this space!
Have you been to one of these? I’d love to hear about it 🙂