Vintage Fashion is definitely more IN than ever, especially for those who want to add that special „something” to their style and make an outfit uniquely chic. Being dressed like everyone else is not so cool is it? Hitting the clubs and meeting your dress-clone from Zara or Mango is not something we wanna go thru, do we?...well, by adding a vintage twist to your look, you’ll be one of a kind for sure :)
Being one of the most influential fashion „temples” across the globe, London just had to be as generous in regards to vintage offers as it is with everything else, since there is really nothing you can’t find there! I had the great pleasure to stroll across a few of London’s vintage venues, experience that I definitely want to share :) Vintage shops in London are much more specialized, organized and generous in terms of the offer, than the ones we have in Romania, BUT it all comes at a price, you won’t find real bargains (compared to prices we have here!), dress prices average from 15 to 25 GBP and you will be able to find almost any age and any style: evening dresses from the 50s, flower power from the 70s and party dresses from the 80s…they have it all! I also got to admire real treasures by Dior or Lanvin, but for the moment let’s just say they are out (waaaaay out) of my budget-league!
Below is my very small list of vintage dens I got to visit. I also left with some souvenirs (mais biensur :)) and will share them with you in my next post!
Absolute Vintage – East End, 15 Hanbury Street
This one is just WOW! First of all, it’s huge and you’ll find tons and tons of shoes, belts and bags, all organized by sizes and colors! They would not let me take a picture inside (yes, they have a huge security guard standing around!), but believe me I was amazed when I stepped in and it’s worth to visit.
Bang-Bang –The Clothing Exchange: West End (Soho), 9 Berwick Street
This small and cute boutique is bringing a quite popular London concept to life and that’s like the name says it: the “clothing exchange”. If you’ve got something vintage or just second hand that you want to trade for something else or just sell it, this is the place! The offer is quite small, but it changes very, very often and you’ll find items branded by H&M up to Balenciaga (fell instantly in love -and had to break up almost immediately as well- with some wedges at 150 GBP!), Luella or Stella McCartney.
Beyond Retro: West End (Soho), 58-59 Great Marlborough Street
This is also a place you definitely need to see, since they've got a great veriety of decades and items to offer. They've got a second shop on 110-112 Chesire Street in the East End, unfortunately I did not get to see that one as well.
The Salvation Army – Central, 9 Princes Street
Do not really get mislead by the name :) you won’t find that many cheap items here neither. Being really centrally located, really close to Oxford Circus and to the London College of Fashion, this is a very popular venue for stylists and designers, some even claim that Vogue employees love to visit from now and then!
Spitalfields Market – East End, off Commercial Street
Oh, The Old Spitalfields Market in the East End! I so loved this place, where you can find a lot of interesting and a bit more better priced vintage and antique items, while the sellers are also up for some “light” negotiations, so never forget to bargain! Every vendor has quite a small selection, so if you see something nice, you have to grab it pretty fast…ok, after acting like you don’t care, so they’ll go down with the price…but not for too long, like I did, ‘cause someone else will heartlessly buy that amazing peach ruffle dress you wanted so much!!! And while vintage shopping, you can have some amazing food as well :)
Portobello Road Market – West, Portobello Road
This is definitely a London Must See, since the Portobello Area offers a quite different feeling of London, being more picturesque, with the small, chic houses and nice coffee shops and restaurants. Starting from the Notting Hill Gate tube station, going down to Portobello Road, you will come across several vintage shops, while the road itself hosts a charming street-market and the cutest little boutiques.
Hope it helps!
Enjoy your shopping :)