I consider 7am far too early for any self-respecting person to rise on a Sunday morning, but the first week of December saw my doing just that. One coach that failed to stop, a taxi, a short train ride and a two hour drive later, I had arrived at The Clothes Show Live 2013 with my mum and sister in tow!
After being subjected to the £10.00 car-parking fee (a bit steep considering we had paid thirty pounds each for a ticket), we hopped on the free bus provided to arrive at the entrance to the venue, The NEC in Birmingham.
The Clothes Show is best described as a five day fashion and beauty showcase, with shops to splurge in, new brands to discover, fashion shows to watch and celebrities to rub shoulders with! The Show celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, so this is clearly a winning formula! Indeed, as soon as we entered, we were greeted with an arena packed full to the brim with clothes shops, makeup stalls and catwalk areas- basically a fashion and beauty obsessive’s dream! It looked like it was going to be worth the early wake-up call…
It was my first time ever attending the Clothes Show Live and overall, I had a fantastic day and would definitely love to go back to the Clothes Show next year. See my top Clothes Show tips and my haul below:
My Top Five Clothes Show Tips!
I composed a short list of my tips on how to make the most of your day if you’re planning on attending the show next year.
1) Wear Flat Shoes! -With a seemingly endless arena to get around and plenty of shopping to be done, comfortable, flat shoes are a must for you to make the most of your day!
2) Bring your own food! -This will save you money on the limited and expensive food options I saw on offer at the show. Further, having a packed-lunch you can easily eat while walking around will mean you don’t waste precious shopping time queuing for food! Also, note that the choices available for specialist dietary requirements were very limited.
3) Bring the cash you are planning to spend with you! -There’s limited cash-points available at the show and the cash-machines there often have long queues and charge you for the withdrawal. Bringing the money you wsant to spend rather than putting it on the plastic also means you will think more about what you’re spending and are less likely to overspend!
4) Take a camera or phone to take photographs with! -There’s plenty of opportunities to get snapped with your favourite celeb at the show so you you can get that perfect shot at one of the organised meet and greet sessions!
5) Arrange a meeting place with your companions! -The Show covers a massive area and it’s so easy to get separated from your friends while you’re all browsing at different stalls. I found the mobile phone signal to be surprisingly bad inside so it’s possible you may not be able to contact your companions if you lose sight of them. Arranging a central place to meet if you can’t find each other means you can split up without worrying where everyone is!
My Clothes Show Haul!
Now on to what you’ve all been waiting for- what I bought! As a serial shopaholic, I was actually surprised to have some cash left at the end of the day! I certainly took up the opportunity to buy more (and probably unnecessary) makeup however! The deals on the beauty stands were amazing and were certainly the highlight of the shopping for me! There were lots of different beauty brands to choose from at prices you would never see in the shops! The December show dates also meant it was the perfect time to pick up some Christmas stocking fillers (or just buy gifts for yourself like me…)
I have to admit, I was pretty disappointed with the clothes and accessories for sale, as being at The Clothes Show, I would have expected the offerings to be a bit more…well fashionable. The clothes stalls had a mostly market- place kind of vibe as a lot of what was on offer looked a bit cheap and un-original and many of the stands seemed to be selling the same things.
So here’s all my Clothes Show buys…
– Cosmopolitan and Company Magazine Goody Bag.
Having paid my £3.00 for this goody bag in advance when I bought my Clothes Show tickets, I was very excited to pick this up on the day! I was however, really disappointed with what was included.
Let’s take a look at the contents:
So included in the goody bag was: The December issues of Cosmopolitan and Company Magazines and a Men’s Health Christmas 2013 Gift Guide for Him, a rather bizarre tasting lemon and mint drink (which I drank at the show), a mini Andrex Toilet Tissue, two sachets of Kenco Millicano Instant Coffee, one Lindt Lindor Chocolate, a sachet of James Bond 007 Quantum Aftershave, a small tube of Colgate Max White One Toothpaste and a mini Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation.
Although in terms of value for money the goody bag was worth buying as Cosmopolitan and Company Magazine together retail for well over £3.00, I was expecting more from my favourite magazines. I was certainly surprised to see toilet paper included and a sample of men’s aftershave was also a strange choice for a goody bag from a women’s magazine.
The best picks from the bag were the mini toothpaste and foundation– although the foundation was perhaps a poor choice as the colour ‘Ivory’ included would only suit some of their reader’s skin tones. All in all, I think this was a poor effort for a ‘goody bag’ and the magazines were the only inclusion I will actually enjoy.
– Barry M Goody Bag
I’m pleased to say I wasn’t let down by Barry M and their goody bag was definitely worth their £10.00 charge! Their stall was easily one of the busiest in the beauty section and it’s easy to see why when you see what was in the bag:
There were slightly different products included in the goody bags but I was really pleased with the selection I received. My bag held an intense black mascara, a lipgloss, several eye-pencils, two dazzle-dusts and a selection of their infamous nail paints.
The nail polishes alone retail for £2.99 each so this bag of treats was a real bargain! Barry M is one of my favourite beauty brands so I can’t wait to try out all the products in my bag!
– Models Own Goody Bag
The Models Own goody bag was another great £10.00 buy at the show! There were rows upon rows of nail polish colours to choose from and you could choose any three you liked to go with your free gifts. I chose red, white and black glitter polishes for the Christmas season and received a goody bag with them including a copy of Closer Magazine, a bubblegum flavour lip-balm, eye-shadow applicators, four eye-pencils, a purple powder eye-shadow, a nail file and buffer, a pocket mirror and the official Models Own Clothes Show nail polish.
This was my favourite buy from the show as not only were you able to pick which three polishes you wanted, but the goody bag contents were absolutely amazing for the mere price of £10.00!
–Jelly Pong Pong Goody Bag
Jelly Pong Pong isn’t a brand I’ve tried before so I can’t wait to sample the products included in my beauty bags! I love the quirky name of the brand and the packaging on the products is pretty and colourful. Included in my beauty bags was a bronzer duo, an illuminating palette , a 2 in 1 eye-pencil and eye-shadow and a lip and cheek stain. Best of all, it was only £5.00 for two goody bags which was certainly too good to miss!
–Sleep In Rollers Gift Set
I’ve wanted to try Sleep In Rollers for a long time so I was really excited to see them for sale at the show. This set was just £10.00 and included the gorgeous pink glitter rollers set, a velour pouch with kirby grips, an instructional DVD and two reusable bags! The exact same set is on the Sleep In Rollers website for £29.99 so I’m really pleased with my buy! I’m planning on doing a review post when I try out these rollers so I hope they meet my high expectations!
–Candy Kittens Bauble
As a massive Made in Chelsea and Jamie Laing Fan, the pink-filled Candy Kittens stall was a must visit! I picked up this pink bauble for my tree for £5.00 so here’s hoping for a ‘Candy Christmas!’
–Oh My Love Top And Skirt
Although I wasn’t overly impressed with most of the clothes stalls, I did spot this gorgeous, glittery top and matching skirt on the Oh My Love Stand! At just £20 for the set, I think this sparkly outfit is perfect for the festive season and I love that I can wear it together and as separates!
Did you go to the Clothes Show this year or are you planning on attending next year? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments!