Sheffield Showcase #7: Sheffield Vintage Fairs

Every month, Mixtape Couture will be showcasing and shining a light on the talent that can be found in Sheffield. From bands to fashion brands, shops to restaurants, events to exhibitions, if it’s in Sheffield and it’s worth you knowing about then I will be letting you know. Whether you are a Sheffield resident yourself or are planning a visit one day [which I highly recommend] then hopefully this feature will help you to know where to visit, what to do and what’s going on in the Steel City.

This month, I wanted to bring a more fashion related success story to you all and as something I have already written about on my blog quite a few times already it is definitely about time that I put together a bigger and better piece on the vintage fairs that take place in Sheffield regularly. When they first started back in 2008, it was around the time that vintage clothing was really starting to take off as a viable and fashionable sense of style. Picking up on that trend the team behind Lou Lou’s decided to throw a fair featuring vintage stall holders from around the country in a small venue in Sheffield city centre. From then, it has all been history as the brand and fairs have grown from strength to strength over the past 6 years.

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After that fair and the success of it, the team put on more fairs in Sheffield steadily building up the size of the venues and gaining more stall holders as a result as the demand for vintage clothing was going up and more and more people were jumping on the vintage clothing bandwagon as a way of dressing. The team not only built up a great reputation in Sheffield, they expanded to more cities around the UK and now in 2014, they have fairs in over 42 cities across the country on almost every single weekend there is a fair somewhere! The team have also been awarded ‘Best Vintage Fair’ for the past two years, quite an impressive and well deserved feat.

Personally, I’ve been to quite a few of these vintage fairs from the early days in little bars in town to where they are now at The City Hall in Sheffield. There are always plenty of gems to be found in there if you are really willing and dedicated to look for them and as the popularity grows it is even more of a contest to find exactly what you are wanting, looking for or to stumble across a gem of a find. Not only is there a list of stall holders a mile long at every single one of these events but there is also tea and cake served in vintage tea cups which is always a highlight of mine.

Over the years I have picked up some amazing pieces from there whether it is dresses, bags, a polaroid camera, jewellery, skirts from Gracie Airs of t-shirts from Freshman’s, plenty of things have gone into my wardrobe over the years from the vintage fairs. The thing I like is that they cater for all price ranges from bargain £5 for everything stalls to more high end vintage which costs, quite understandably, a lot more. There is everything from true 1920’s to 1990’s vintage and there is also the reworked vintage for a more fresh approach if you are not a fan of going for a full vintage look.

It’s safe to say that Lou Lou’s remains a popular choice, not just in it’s home city of Sheffield but all over the country and that doesn’t look like it will be changing any time soon.

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Another fair I have recently started going to that I really love is Mary’s Marvellous Vintage and Craft Fair at St. Mary’s Church on Bramall Lane. This one is a little less busy and for that reason my mum preferred it. It is a lot easier to look around the stalls here and there is some very good stuff but if you are expecting a true vintage fair like Lou Lou’s you may be slightly disappointed or hopefully like I was pleasantly surprised. There’s clothes and accessories from vintage sellers but there is also homewares, craft stalls and homemade candles so it’s a vintage fair meets craft sellers and the sort of nice stuff you would find on Etsy. In my eyes, perfect!

There is a great atmosphere here and I loved this the last time I went. They have some amazing cakes and drinks on offer for reasonable prices as well as the other stock. I picked up some records and books last time I was there and a lovely pair of handmade earrings. I’d love to go back to this one more often as it is a great opportunity to pick up vintage clothing, handmade accessories and quirky, one off pieces for the home. A really great alternative to check out in the city and one that along with Lou Lou’s I would highly recommend checking out at some point.

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Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair takes place regularly at Sheffield City Hall. To find out more about Lou Lou’s Vintage Fairs and find out when they are in your city visit their website or for Sheffield vintage lovers check out their Facebook page.

Mary’s Marvellous Vintage and Craft Fair takes place around every month at St. Mary’s Church, Bramall Lane. For more info on St. Mary’s Vintage and Craft Fairs and to find out when they are next on in the city visit their website or their Facebook page.

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