The Cow in Cow

The advantage with being a plus sized vintage shopper is that I can slowly meander my way through any vintage or charity shop safe in the knowledge that if there is something special on the other side of the store, by the time I get to it it will still be there because all the other customers are tiny. This has always been my advantage without me even having to give it much thought. Until today.

This morning I went to the huge vintage emporium, COW in Digbeth, Birmingham where as usual, I was the only person bigger than a size 14. Now, please understand, I don’t normally enter a shop and survey all the customers taking note of what size they are, I just notice if there is someone in there who is a similar size to myself. So there I was looking through one rail of dresses, starting at the very end and working my way along right to left, when in my peripheral vision I can see a woman to my right who is around two sizes smaller than me, also looking through the dress rail. (FYI the dress rail is at least 5 metres long) I ignore her and carry on. I spot a dress that I kinda like the look of, pull it out, inspect it, I’m unsure if I like it, put it back and carry on. I then see said woman overtake me, start looking from the left end of the rail and what has she got in her hand? The dress that I was eyeing up a few minutes earlier. WTF?!?!? Not ONLY has she got that dress but she also has several others that she may or may not have picked up from the side of the rail that I hadn’t yet rummaged through. The point isn’t that I was unsure about the dress I saw her with, the point is- I had competition!

I quickly devised a plan.  I whizzed through the remainder of the rail and saw her head off in the direction of the separates. Aha I thought, she hasn’t looked though the sparkly dress rail yet so that’s where I went, trying to stay one step ahead of her, keeping one eye on the sparkly dresses and the other on my new nemesis.  The sparkly dresses offered up nothing so she MUST have looked through that already as that’s the only reasonable explanation in my shopping strategy filled mind. So I too went off to the separates and saw that the pile of clothing on her arm was growing with every step she took. I knew I should have got there an hour earlier. Yes she was maybe a couple of sizes smaller than moi but a bit of Lycra or jersey can make all the difference. After a few moments I saw her slink off to the fitting room. If I was really ruthless I would have hung around to see if she put anything back but I was too busy laughing at myself to really pay any more attention to her. I managed to uncover a few gems of my own and came away with three dresses for a total price of £27. Arch nemesis if you’re reading this maybe we can work something out. Maybe put together a shopping schedule- alternative Saturdays perhaps? Otherwise the claws will have to come out🙂

PS- COW has a lot of dresses in sizes 16 and 18 so if you fit this size range and can get to the store it will be well worth it. There are also masses of accessories and a large selection of menswear. There is a website advertised on the carrier bags (www.cow-uk.co.uk) but it isn’t up and running as yet. Hopefully it will go live soon so then I can shop from the comfort of my own home even though of course, nothing beats the excitement of entering a shop and seeing rails upon rails of potential goodies.


9 Comments on “The Cow in Cow”

  1. emmme says:

    Those dresses are nice, ma! Maybe the competition sharpened your eye!

  2. Mackenzie says:

    The first dress is divine, and your story was quite funny

  3. that drives me crazy when i see a dress i maybe-kinda like. then i see someone else pick it up and then i have to have it! it doesn’t happen too often. it’s totally embarrassing but at least i’ve never tackled them in the aisles. though i have said “um, if you’re not sure about that dress, i LOVE it”. embarrassing. but it’s worked.

  4. oh, also, i’ve blogrolled you. it took me forever to update my blogroll. but you are there now and thank you for adding me🙂

  5. i have no shame when it comes to a good vintage dress. though sometimes it works against you. THEY want it more once you say that.

  6. […] Thrifted from COW. I live in this dress and never get tired of […]

  7. […] this week my favourite place for finding vintage clothes that fit was Cow who have two shops in Birmingham and a website. It used to be that whenever I went there I […]


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