With second hand, preloved fashion and homeware sales becoming more popular over the past couple of years, shoppers can refresh their wardrobes in more interesting and sustainable ways. London is a vintage lover’s paradise, there are many vintage clothing stores, markets, and kilo sales across the city, with options to suit all styles and, of course, budgets.
But, with so much choice, it can be hard to know where to start. We’ve rounded up a few favourites from across this fair city, including designer gear, retro looks and second hand style.
Beyond Retro (multiple locations)
Beyond Retro started off in an east London Warehouse, and has grown to become a small chain with eight stores across the UK and Sweden, sourcing clothes from charities and recycling companies as part of its circular-economy commitment. In London, you could spend hours perusing the racks of vintage clothing and accessories. One criticism of vintage clothing is it doesn’t always cater well for plus size fashion, but Beyond Retro operates on scale that means it’s a bit more inclusive. It’s got some of the biggest range of vintage finds from old school sportswear to vintage kimonos and capes, it’s a treasure trove of second hand style.
Dalston: 92-100 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 7XB
Brick Lane: 110-112 Cheshire St, London, E2 6EJ
Pop Boutique, Covent Garden
Another vintage chain with a connection to Sweden, Pop Boutique itself is a vintage gem. It opened its first shop in Manchester in the mid ‘80s and has been in London since the early ‘90s, first in Monmouth Street on Seven Dials. These days you’ll find it down the road at Short’s Gardens. It also has a circular-economy model, with unsold pieces recycled or upcycled under the store’s own label. Browse vintage threads through the decades from the forties to the noughties for some eclectic finds from garish New Kids On The Block T Shirts (for anyone who remembers ‘80s boy bands), to more chic pieces like ‘70s maxi dresses and vintage shirts.
Serotonin Vintage, Brick Lane
The whole of Brick Lane is a haven for vintage lovers, and you could happily spend a weekend perusing the various market stalls. But, as featured in British Vogue, no less, Serotonin Vintage is a bricks and mortar vintage shop specialising in designer clothes where you can pick pieces from Missoni, Versace, Moschino, Armani, Dior and Prada for high street prices. It does sell online too, but it’s worth a trip to the store to try on clothes because Serotonin Vintage has a strict no returns policy.
Paper Dress Vintage, Hackney
Originally based on Curtain Road, and now on Mare Street, Paper Dress Vintage is a bar and venue too, so it’s a fun place to hang out as well as a shop. You can spend the afternoon, perusing rails of interesting clothes and then stay for a gig upstairs later on. But, by day, it’s all about vintage garms from the 20th Century, starting all the way back to 1900 and going up to the ‘80s. If you find an outfit you love, but that isn’t quite the right fit, the shop even has an in-house tailor to do alterations. With it’s chequered black and white floor, retro decor and racks of glam get up – it’s a great place to try on fabulous vintage outfits.
Reign Vintage, Soho
Head to Reign Vintage Soho for vintage finds, particularly if you’ve got a penchant for ‘60s and ‘70s kitsch and mid century fashion, think Peggy from MadMen shift dresses, ‘70s fringe jackets, bold prints, Frend Perry and Ralph Lauren shirts. New stock is added daily and the prices are decent too, with many items ranging from £25.00 – £50.00, which beats fast fashion on price and quality.