The Clothes Show : Years of Fashion Tips


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Ever since I was 15 years old, I have ventured to the NEC Birmingham each December for Clothes Show Live. First thing’s first: it’s pretty amazing. From the wide variety of designer and high-street stalls to the flurry of celebrities dotted around the building, the whole day is a delight for any discerning fashionista. Read my top tips for how best to enjoy your day, stress-free!

Some of the more unusual designs from the daily catwalk...
Some of the more unusual designs from the daily catwalk…
  • Have a budget in mind

For many of the years that I have been to Clothes Show Live, I’ve been skint to say the least. From school-goer to student to post-graduate, it’s all been about saving up and making money stretch. With that in mind, a pre-planned budget is ideal. Set yourself a limit and stick to it (I know, I know, it’s tricky). If you’re really tempted on the day, the NEC has plenty of ATMs to assist you! Ways to accumulate your Clothes Show Live fund could include saving up any spare change, setting aside a few notes each month or, indeed, asking for Christmas money early (guilty!).

  • Be prepared to haggle!

So you have your budget, and now comes the fun part – spending it! Although many of the designer retailers won’t budge on their prices, loads of the smaller, independent stalls and high-street favourites will often knock a couple of quid off an item if you’re super-polite and fair with your suggestion. Always worth a try!

Not all of the clothing was up our street...
Not all of the clothing was up our street…
  • Plan your outfit before you go

You’re hot, you’re cold, you’re flustered, you’re trying things on… what do you wear for such an occasion?! Flat shoes are a must (you’d be surprised how many people totter around in stilettos all day!) as is an outfit that you can easily slip on and off if needs be. Skirts are always a good shout, as it means you can try on trousers/jeans/some leather hot pants that you come to regret later, with ease. A large bag of some sort is always a good idea, too.

  • Try things on!

Following on from my last tip, please please try things on. Although there aren’t many changing rooms across the event, there is plenty of opportunity to try things on before you buy. Many fashion mistakes have been made over the years simply because I didn’t try the items on… ill-fitting playsuit or over-ambitious rodeo-print shirt, anyone? The best way to make sure something fits/suits you is to find the nearest available private space or, failing that, getting your mates to gather around you!

Me and my sisters found a photo booth - can you guess?!
Me and my sisters found a photo booth – can you guess?!
  • Keep an eye out for your favourite celebs…

From reality stars to TV presenters, Clothes Show Live is awash with tanned and toned specimens for you to try and spot. So far I’ve had a chat with Jamie Laing, rubbed shoulders with Lauren Goodger and breathed the same air as Gok Wan!

  • Goody-bags are a must…

And make for perfect Christmas gifts! A variety of magazines and fashion brands are always at Clothes Show Live to boost their coverage and hand out tempting goody bags full of treats. Most are great value for money and come with a selection of make-up and fragrance samples, miniatures, new food products, vouchers and beauty tips.

The stage for the catwalk - pretty impressive!
The stage for the catwalk – pretty impressive!
  • Strategically plan your time slot into the fashion show

Probably one of the most exciting parts of the day is watching the fashion show. Awash with beautiful and handsome models, breath-taking choreography and live music acts, it’s the perfect way to end the day. With this in mind, think about when you’d like to see this show, as it runs throughout the day. Other prime slots include early morning (to get you ready for the experience!) and post-lunch (to let all that food settle). And what’s more, if you’re feeling sleepy after a full day of shopping and schmoozing with the stars, we have a great selection of Birmingham hotels for you to relax in.

I hope you’re inspired to get yourself to one of the hottest fashion and beauty events in the Winter 2015 calendar! Let us know in the comments section below!

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