Saturday, 6 December 2008


You know that feeling when the alarm goes off at 7.30am and you think "I wish it were Saturday"? I had that feeling yesterday morning, except it was Saturday, but I was still getting up for some insane reason, at the same time I usually get up for work. The reason was the much blogged about Angels Big Vintage Sale. I arrived at North Wembley just after 9am when the doors opened and I anticipated a queue but nothing prepared me for what I found.

This was the view I was confronted with when I arrived, but this was only the beginning. It took a good ten minutes walking to get to the back. After one hour in the cold I considered giving up, but I like several others around me decided to give it till 11. By 11.15am we were on the home straight, the sun had come out and people were exiting the sale and we were getting a glimpse of what we would be missing if we left, so we soldiered on figuring it would have been a wasted morning if we didn't at least have a look inside.

Views from the 'home straight'. It took a good 45 minutes still from here.

A taunting glimpse of people already rummaging inside

By the time I was at the door, I'd been in the queue nearly 3 hours. I bought a £10 and £20 bag which I now realise was more than slightly optimistic. I headed straight to the 30s, 40s, 50s room and found it was seriously depleted. I had better luck in the 80s and 90s section and the uniform section was still overflowing with military coats (though none in my size). I rummaged on while my toes thawed out and came across a couple of oversized shirts and bagged them. I continued bagging anything I vaguely liked to begin with and then found a corner to filter my choices. After my first filter, I was left with about 3 things. I found a Nicole Farhi denim dress but it was far too big for me and frankly ugly. By the time I ran out of steam and patience I had a total of 5 items and managed to stuff them all in the £10 bag and get a refund for my £20 bag. Not bad when you work it out as price per item however some may be destined for eBay/the bin. I did quite want a military coat or some kind of blazer which as many others have noted, were in abundance however they were mostly HUGE sizes. At lot of the male attendees seemed happy.

Like many others I was disappointed in the general condition of most of the items - moth eaten, ripped, stained. Though I heard someone nearby saying they found a military coat with an actor's name still written inside it. In hindsight I should have got there earlier but the dilemma was get there at 8 and wait an hour in the cold in a queue that's not moving plus however long it takes once the doors are open or get there later and risk getting inside later and potentially missing out on the good stuff. A couple of girls were selling on their emptied £50 bags for £10 a piece as we were waiting, they'd bagged 40 dresses each and that was about 11.30am and rumour has it the first person in the queue camped from 3pm yesterday, so the vast majority of us were probably fighting a losing battle!

One of the best things about the day was people watching as London's fashion crowd, turned out to nab a bargain or piece of fashion history. Also rather amusing were those who were clearly just there for the costumes! I spotted several members of the blogging contingent, but was either too numb or too shy to say hello! Maybe at a more sociable/warm event!

Last but not least, here is what I bought. Definitely not worth 3 hours in the cold, mostly only picked up to fill the bag which I was stuck with anyway as you could only get a refund on empty bags once you'd filled one bag.

What I stuffed in my £10 bag - 1. Ugly 90s top which I just took home for the LOLs. I don't know what I would ever do with this 2. American Apparel esque shorts. Very 118 118. I sort of love this, I just need a roller disco/80s party 3. Amazing 80s dress which doesn't fit me/isn't my style but I'm sure someone will love 4. Oversized mans shirt 5. Oversized sleeveless shirt which might need alteration/disposal, I haven't decided yet 6. The £10 bag which all of this fit into


  1. Oh my, I feel your pain. I got there at 9 as well and after queueing for ages the only good things I got were a military blazer that was small-ish enough and a navy pencil skirt. I was lucky with the books though. Ugh never again.

  2. at least you guys could actually go. I hate living in scotland. boo hoo

  3. You didn't' do too badly then! Well done for braving the cold. I got there early and found some gems but after ten minutes it was madness and it was just a sake of picking anything to fill up my 50 quid bags!

    x x x

  4. 50 quid bags, yikes!! I wish I'd ben there to see the good stuff but I hear it was pretty mental inside early on

  5. I had a lot of fun, though I wish I had a partner in crime who could've gone to the 80s bit for me. My finds are on my blog, managed to cram an awful lot in my bags. So much for 6 items per bag as advertised.

  6. my boyfriend went in the end, and i stayed in bed. it sounded like there was a lot more stuff left later for boys than for girls - he came away with loads of shirts and jackets but most of the women's stuff was stripped. so glad i had a lie-in, i don't think i'd have been able to get up early enough to make it worthwhile...

  7. saw your comment on cheapskate chic. you should've said hello!

    we i didn'r really get anything and were completely hysterical with coldness/tiredness by the time we got inside. i have chilblains on all of my toes!

    you did better than me with your buys than i did. will probably post about mine soon

  8. Oh man...that is some determination... I had some similar experience too...when I went to the big sale for American Apparel in Downtown L.A....that is just MADNESS.