Vintage shopping can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be a massive drag if you go to all the wrong places. Dirty, dusty, badly lit vintage shops are my nightmare. It is fun from time to time, but mostly annoying as you end up bringing home smelly garments, sometimes involuntary hosts to entire families of bugs. And this, is not cool. Here is a non exhaustive list of pleasant London shops & some online boutiques.
When I first set foot in the Cheshire St shop a few years ago, I thought I had died and gone to vintage heaven. Rows after rows of clothes, all arranged by colour & type of items make for a very easy shopping experience. They have a mix of 70s/80s stuff & “real” vintage from the 40s & 50s, which is really good, as most shops these days seem to focus too much on the 70s & 80s.
Two shops in London: east at 110-112 Cheshire Street & west at 58-59 Great Marlborough Street. You can also find them in Stockholm.
Another giant temple of vintage in East London. Here, it is a bit messier, but there is just so much choice that it doesn’t really matter. The main interest in this one is shoes, as they have an awful lot of them, all the time.
More interesting is Blondie, the luxury sister of Absolute Vintage, about two streets further. There you will find vintage designer pieces from Jourdan to Dior.
Absolute Vintage – 15 Hanbury St
Blondie – 114-118 Commercial Street
& you can also buy online.
As well as designing the Des Moines collection (sold in their shop & in Topshop), The Lazy Ones keep a handpicked vintage selection in their cute little boutique. And if you want a little tip from me: this shop is brilliant for celebrity spotting, as it is where all the cool kids go.
102 Sclater Street (off Brick Lane)
Now, kids, this is the place dreams are made of. Vintage Hermés, Chanel, YSL, they are all there. You won’t find any bargains there at all, only beautiful pieces, unique items survivors from eras past. The whole shop is a dream anyway, so you should go and check it out.
Entrance on Regent street & Carnaby street.
It is mainly a second hand designer shop, but you can also find good vintage items at reasonable prices there. Think vintage Valentino & Dior mixed with current Marc Jacobs & Chloë. I try to go regularly as they always get new stock. The staff there is always super nice and friendly which also helps making the whole experience better.
21 Goodge street
9 Berwick Street
Another one specialised in vintage couture & avant-garde, a feast for the eyes. There you will find Pucci, Ossie Clark & Courrèges amongst others.
21 Canonbury Lane
Perfect place to buy vintage accessories, but also very good for real vintage at good prices.
12 Camden Passage
I hope these addresses and links will prove helpful for all of you my darlings, I am sure those of you who live in London already know most of these addresses!
This is a guest post I wrote for Debutante Clothing.