Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting


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Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair, Cardiff

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It’s been a while since I’ve been back to Cardiff (apart from trains passing through), but last weekend I went back to attend Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair.

Cardiff is a great place for vintage hunting and the city has certainly missed a regular vintage event since the Blind Lemon and Rose Tinted fairs ceased. The event was held in City Hall and there was an entrance fee to attend, but there was a good selection of clothing and accessories on offer, and the space was big enough to accommodate quite a few stalls.

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Tartan dresses made from reclaimed fabrics, on sale at the vintage fair

The fair seemed to have a number of on-trend vintage items: tartan dresses, leather bags and tweed jackets; and there were even little extras such as a pop-up parlour for anyone wanting a makeover. There was a mixture of old and new items, and even dresses made from reclaimed fabrics.

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Sadly, I didn’t buy anything as I didn’t really see anything I wanted, although there were some great dresses and skirts on offer. Some of the prices of the clothes did seem a little steep though. The dress above, which was handmade from a thin fabric, cost £75. In my opinion, this was far too expensive for what it was, although I really loved the print. Not all of the stalls had such high prices, but this particular stall seemed to be marking up their clothes a bit too much. Considering that you can buy vintage much easier than you used to be able to, these prices seemed wrong to me, especially for a dress that was made by hand and (I’m assuming) not to sell. I find that so sad.

What about you? Do you think vintage is overrated these days? Is it too expensive? Let me know in the comments.


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Buffalo boutique

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Yesterday, I ventured out to Cardiff’s own Buffalo boutique, a vintage fair held on the last monday of every month, in Buffalo, on Windsor Place.

The fair did not disappoint and, as always, I loved every minute. The organisers did a great job, combining handmade items with the preloved and there were many different stalls selling things ranging from clothes to jewellery and even cards.

The fair was held upstairs in Buffalo, and the bar atmosphere certainly made it seem like a great place to spend some time. And with an exclusive catwalk show, what better way to spend some money than by giving money to some independent designers and clothes sellers?

And with the demise of the Rose Tinted Vintage fairs last year, I was happy to hear that Cardiff once again had an affordable monthly vintage fair, which I am sure will be just as popular as its predecessor.

The next fair will be held on the 25th March and more information can be found on the event’s Facebook page here.

Anyway, onto the purchases. There were plenty of things I could have bought, including a blouse that I also fell in love with, lovingly handmade by the seller’s grandmother, but as I was on a budget, I set myself a limit and, as a result, I only bought one thing, this skirt.

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Bargains can often be found at vintage fairs

The skirt is quite a small fit, but I am already imagining myself styling it up in the summer with some brogues and a simple white tee. And, like with all the clothes I buy, I am so excited to wear it.


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Crafting ideas: Where to buy fabric

Any newbie crafters out there might be surprised when they find out that the price of fabric from department stores can often be quite pricey. I know I once was. But there are cheaper ways to source your fabric, so for anyone looking for a bargain, here’s my pick of the best places to buy fabric.

1. Number one: Jumble sales/vintage fairs

I’ve often found a great bargain at one of these fairs and, if you look hard enough, so will you. The key is not to go to a fair specifically to buy fabric, but when going along anyway, have a look and you might just be surprised. They may not be a great length, but these kinds of fabrics (offcuts, usually) will do for making homemade bunting and to jazz up existing clothes. Once I even managed to pick up enough fabric offcuts to make a skirt.

The offcuts of a fabric I once found at a vintage fair

2. Number two: Charity shops

Fabric from charity shops isn’t usually dressed up as fabric, so here’s where you can get creative. Any charity shop will do, as most of them sell some ok-ish stuff in the forms of old curtains, bedsheets and pillowcases. Don’t look at them like curtains, sheets or pillowcases, but as potential fabric. For example, an old curtain will make an ideal winter skirt or dress (the extra weight will keep you warm in winter), a sheet gives you enough fabric to make a summer dress and a pillowcase can easily make an A-line skirt.

Incidentally, charity shops are also an ideal place to pick up extras, such as buttons, either on their own (just ask if you don’t see any), or on old, affordable granny cardigans and the like. Seriously, £1.49 for a cardi with some amazing buttons is a bargain!

3. Number three: Ebay

This was where I first ventured when looking for cheaper fabrics and I still manage to find some great bargains now. When I first discovered Cath Kidston and Laura Ashley fabrics, for example, I scoured Ebay for them and found some older stuff for a lot less than in the shops. Ebay shops offer the best selection and one of my absolute favourites (and one I’ve been using for years) is this one. One thing to remember is that if you’re planning on using a lot of fabric, then it might be worthwhile buying a roll. Although it can be expensive, in the long run it actually works out a lot cheaper per metre and you can get some great quality fabric if you look in the right places. For example, I once bought a roll of old Liberty fabric for a steal!

A roll of Liberty fabric I once bought on Ebay


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Rose Tinted Vintage

If you’re in or around Cardiff today, then head to the Woodville pub. The last Rose Tinted vintage fair is happening from 3 until 6pm. The girls who run it are passionate about raising money and cheap vintage clothing and they’re promising that, this time, their fair will be bigger and better than previous fairs.
I hope to see you there!


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Blind Lemon Vintage

Fashion has always been an interest of mine. When I first embarked on my Journalism course, we were told that we would have to write an article every week.  It was inevitable then that I chose fashion for my first.  You can see that article here.

The good thing about my interest in fashion is that it can take on completely different routes inside the broad spectrum of fashion.

One of these routes is vintage.  For many years now, I have been interested in vintage clothes.  Fairs are a good way of highlighting what goods your local area has to offer and now that I’ve moved from the sticks into the city, I’ve found more and more.

The first one I ever went to was one called Blind Lemon Vintage.  They hold fairs every spring and autumn in South Wales and the South West and have expanded over the years to include many more locations.

I am a devoted fan of the organiser, Edwin Dyson, now and his shop in Cardiff, A Vintage Affair, is one I often venture to in search of a new (old) purchase.

Whilst searching the wonders of youtube once again, I came across this fascinating video, giving a behind the scenes look at what happens at the fair.  Enjoy!