For years I have longed to visit The Clothes Show but the daunting journey down to Birmingham has always put me off. This year I made it a priority to go and see what it was all about and what discounts I could get. We set off at 6:45am for the long journey ahead. The 350 mile round drive meant setting off early to avoid the rush hour and to make the most of our day. We arrived shortly after 11am on Friday morning and were pleasantly surprised by the lack of queues.
After having our tickets scanned, we entered a large hall filled to the brim of pop-up stores. I was really excited to be attending the first day of the show as it meant we would get the first pick of the goods available. I hadn’t really looked into what brands and retailers would be there but knew the likes of Motel and Little Mistress would be in attendance which set the bar for me.
As we approached the first few stalls, there were a few that were selling identical products such as scarves, gloves and hats which you tend to find on markets and on eBay for cheap. There was also a pop up store with River Island and Topshop signs on it but when we had a look through, the clothes were just knock off designs of the high street styles. This put a bit of a dampener on the day as the show wasn’t what we had hoped.
The Main Stalls
Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of bigger brands that I was really pleased to see there with some great deals on such as Spectrum Collections, Girls On Film, Cocowhite, Barry M and Flamingo Candles. Most stalls were offering special discounts and goodie bags filled with their products. I paid £5 for a 7th Heaven goodie bag which had 5 face masks, a hair mask and a foot lotion which I think was a great buy!
After MONTHS of eyeing up the Siren brushes from Spectrum Collections, I FINALLY got my hands on half of the collection (I would have passed out if I bought the full collection) and they are as beautiful as the pictures. The brush hairs are the softest I’ve felt and I’m so excited to try them out (review to follow). I was surprised by how many sets they had available at their stand considering they are all currently out of stock online!
The foodie in me was hunting down the food stalls as soon as we arrived in the hall. With everything from fish and chips and hog roasts, to a trusty Wetherspoons, there was something for everybody to enjoy. There was even a few chocolate fondue stalls dotted around which looked incredible with marshmallow and strawberry topped skewers.
Baileys and Lambrini were also at the show giving away free samples of their latest drinks. Baileys offered us a taste of their Chocolate Luxe which was deliciously creamy whilst Lambrini was trying to show their classy side with their new range of cocktail drinks – we tried the Peach Bellini and it was lovely!
In addition to the food, beauty and clothing stands, there were catwalk shows taking place throughout the day showcasing the work of fashion university students from around the UK. There was some great quality designs which looked worthy of being on a catwalk at fashion week. Some of the hair and make-up stands were also doing demonstrations using their own products which were fun to watch and get involved in.
Overall I enjoyed my time at the Clothes Show but I expected more established and independent brands to be there, once we were in the hall there appeared to be quite a lot of blank space which could have been filled. It was unfortunate that some of the stalls weren’t there for the full weekend either which meant we missed a few and the price of our tickets remained the same as the other days that had more stands on. It was a long day and a lot of travelling and for the sake of a couple of pounds saving here and there, I think I’ll be giving next year a miss.
What are your thoughts on the Clothes Show? Have you been? Would you go again?