Being Vintage, Not Broke!
by Gemma Davey
Style is how you make it. You pick your clothes, you buy them, and you put out there the image that you want everyone to have of you. But here’s the problem most of us face, in a city like London it’s hard to find cheap clothes that not everyone has. We’re sure you’ve experienced this, because we have, walking down the street in my latest Primark, feeling really confident and cool, only to stumble across someone else sporting the exact same thing. Then you’re not feeling as cool or individual, you’re just feeling part of the same corporate machine. Don’t get us wrong, the cheap find you can get at TK Maxx or Primark are great, but sometimes don’t you want to just stand out a little bit more?
The most fun way to do that is to start going to the vintage shops, although they can end up being a bit pricy. And being BrokeInLondon that does not work for us or our budgets. So, after scouring the Internet, we’ve found some great shops that can give you want at prices that you can afford. One of the best of its kind is East End Thrift Store, London’s only vintage fill a bag store where you can find some great bargains.
Moreover, Time Out did a great job a few years ago going to the local shops and reviewing their finds, providing their picks for the top twenty vintage shops in London. They found great deals including a vintage Dolce & Gabbana vest for £15 and a Gloria Vanderbilt silk bomber jacket for the same price. Some of their finds were upwards of £40, but as their reviews show if you have the time to pick through a few stores, you can get something great at a low price.
Yelp can also be a great tool when looking for a local second- hand / vintage clothing store. Make sure when doing your own search to narrow down the price range, as some stores will specialize in high end vintage fashion and you won’t be able to find much in them. Reading the Yelp reviews of the stores you are thinking about checking out is a great way to get a sense of what they have and to ensure that they are in your price range.
Another great blog to check out for vintage looks is Vintage Fashion London. Vintage Fashion London blogs on the latest vintage fashions that are in at the moment and how to “get that look”. They do use a lot of top name brands, but it’s there as your style guide to take with you while you’re picking through the shops for the greatest finds.
Vintage / second-hand fashion is fun, and sets you out from the crowd a bit more. Never discount the local second-hand clothing stores in your neighborhood either, don’t think that you need to go on a huge adventure to find that great piece, you never know what you can find even just around the corner. Below we’ve listed the best vintage shops in London and the best online shops for those who like to shop without having to leave your house.
Best Online London Vintage Shops
- Etsy UK
- Love Miss Daisy
- Tanaka Vintage
- Oxfam Online Shop
- Beyond Retro
- Palette London
- Darlings Vintage UK
- Vintage Deli
- The Stellar Boutique
Vintage shops in central London
- Absolute Vintage | Berwick Street, London, W1F 8TL
- What The Butler Wore | Lower Marsh, London, SE1 7AE
- Blackout II | 51 Endell Street , London, WC2H 9AJ
- Lucy in Disguise | 48 Lexington Street, London, W1F 0LR
- Peekaboo | Ganton Street, London, W1F 7QL
- Reign Wear | 12 Berwick Street, London, W1F 0PN
Vintage shops in east London
- Absolute Vintage | 15 Hanbury Street, London, E1 6QR
- Beyond Retro | 110-112 Cheshire Street, London, E2 6EJ
- Blitz | Hanbury Street, London, E1 5JP
- East End Thrift Store | Assembly Passage, London, E1 4UT
- Hunky Dory | 226 Brick Lane, London, E1 6SA
- Rokit | 101/107 Brick Lane, London, E1 6SE
- Strut | 2b Ada Street, London, E8 4QU
- The Vintage Emporium | 14 Bacon Street, London, E1 6LF
Vintage shops in south London
- 360 Degrees Vintage | 3/3a Greenwich Market, London, SE10 9HZ
- The Beehive | 320-322 Creek Road, London, SE10 9SW
- Crazy Man Crazy | 18a Church Road, London, SE19 2ET
- The Emporium | 330-332 Creek Road, London, SE10 9SW
- Leftovers | Unit 71 , Fourth Avenue, London, SW9 8PR
- Threads | 186 Bellenden Road, London, SE15 4BW
Vintage shops in north London
- Cafe Vintage | Mountgrove Road, London, N5 2LT
- Camden Thrift Store | 51 Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AN
- Deborah Woolf Vintage | 28 Church Street, London, NW8 8EP
- Dirty Blonde | 129a Church Street, London, N16 0UEH
- Episode | 26 Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AG
- Painted Black | 22 Veryan Court, Park Road, London, N8 8JR
- Pelicans & Parrots | Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7XJ
- Strut and Stroll | 182 Church Street, London, N16 0JL
- Vintage King | Unit D04, Stables Market, London, NW1 8AH
Vintage shops in west London
- Circa | 64 Fulham High Street, London, SW6 3LQ
- Retro Woman | 20 Pembridge Road, London, W11 3HL
- Victory Vintage | Whiteleys Shopping Centre, London, W2 4YN
You may also want to have a look at our Tips for Shopping at The Supermarket.