Rummaging in Wembley

7 December 2008

So here I begin yet another blog, with the fashion event of the year. Being a native Londoner, but stuck in Nottingham most of the year (Uni) can be annoying at times (H&M Nottingham doesn't seem to qualify for Comme De Garcons, or anything else for that matter), but after hearing about this sale last month on Style Bubble, I knew I had to take a trip down South. I booked my train tickets (£12, woop) and rearranged my shift at work so that I could come down, and providing I could get to the sale early and catch my train at 1.30, everything would be fine. I wanted to get there for 7am, not because I thought there'd be lots of people, but because I'd heard cloakroom space was limited, and I needed to dump my luggage (alas, i cannot travel light). I woke up at 5 after precisely 0 hours of anxious sleep, and managed to get myself from South East London to North Wembley in a daze, via the Overground (mission even to find the platform at Euston). When I got there at 7.30am, my arrival time slightly later than planned due to the Bakerloo line being completely suspended, I was confronted with a large queue, though once I'd joined I heard that there was only a few hundred in front of us (!).

I was somewhere on the left by the fence, and waited for about 45mins before they gradually started to let people in and sort bags out. Further up I could see people had definitely stayed overnight, as there was food everywhere (and even, I hear, matresses). Anyways once I'd offloaded my bag, and bought my first £20 bag I was free to rummage. I reckon I got in just before 9, and ran straight to the 1950s room (I'd printed off the Facebook map and memorised it). It was chaos from the start. People were everywhere rummaging through boxes, and I had to take a moment to collect my thoughts and work out my next move. I started to go through a row of boxes in turn, holding up anything that took my fancy to see if it was fit. This strategy seemed to work, and I found 9 dresses in total (though I only think 5 will work, maybe 6 if I can turn one into a skirt) and some other bits. After a while tiredness got the better of me, and at about 10am I made my way to the other rooms. I wasn't really sure about what else I was looking for, as I'd only really come for 50s dresses. I sorted out my bags (I'd bought another by this point) and condensed most of everything into my first £20 bag, so started to rummage in the 80s section as I didn't want it to go to waste. I managed to find leggings (I love my pinstripe stirrup leggings!), jumpers and other random bits, but not the stand-out cocktail dress or band t-shirts I really wanted. Eventually I made my way to bags and belts, and though depleted, I bagged myself a Jane Shilton bag and Mulberry (I hope) belt. I decided to leave at 12, but before I left I revisited the 50s room which held so many fond memories for me. It was now a wasteland of oversized coats, and shredded bits, though people were still rummaging away.

5 dresses, 3 pairs of leggings, 9 belts, 2 skirts, 1 pair of shorts, 3 bags, 4 scarves, 4 tops, all in 2 £20 bags, plus 4 other dud items I won't mention.

I managed to lug my haul to the station, and after some serious transport issues (such as all tubes terminating at the next stop, and a crazy amount of people), I managed to catch my train back to Nottingham and make it to work on time, well 5 minutes late. So what did I get? Here's my haul in pictures, I had to use my cameraphone as my camera seems to have retired, but will try and post some pictures once I've altered everything.

I'm glad with what I got, and if I can sell the duds (about 4 items) then I can perhaps justify this whole excursion. The dresses are great, nice and fitted and pretty much the kind of thing I wanted. Most are slightly two big and long, but can be altered and shortened, and there are a few holes to sew up.. Even the duds could perhaps be sold or turned into something else once I can find the time, a too-small satin dress into a skirt dyed another colour perhaps. In total 35 items, makes it almost £1 per item. I do have a few regrets, I wish I hadn't dismissed the shoes (I have size 8 feet) as I could've added to my collection of boots. There are also a few people I'm jealous of, such as the girl trying on the two tone cardigan and promptly stuffing it in her bag. Maybe I should've given the 60s more of a chance, but hey, there's enough vintage out there for everyone. After that rummaging masterclass, I will now be a pro at the Vintage Warehouse in Hockley and any charity shop, and it's re-awakened my thirst for vintage clothing.


  1. id love to see more detailed pics of the stuff you scored :)
    since i live in sydney i had no chance in hell of going to the sale, but it looks like you scored a lot of great stuff! will you let us know when you sell the dud items on ebay?

  2. Agh I'm so jealous! I was also after 50s dresses but couldn't make it until just before 9, so when I finally got in there was nothing left. Good pieces there :)

  3. Definitely! When I manage to sort out a decent camera, I'll take pics on my mannequin...

  4. wow you got loads!!! i did feel gutted when i saw a woman with about 20 bags, but after hearing other people's stories of getting absolutely nothing i feel quite lucky!!!
    That Vintage Warehouse in Hockley sounds interesting i've heard somebody talk about that before.
    i'd love to see what the dresses look like on! xxx