This time it has to be about my favourite vintage shops in London. Vintage shops & vintage in general has been a theme of mine throughout my blog, I must say...
Okay, so there are tonnes of vintage Aladdin's caves all over London Town & in areas like Camden, Brick Lane & the East End, Portabello Market, etc, making London one of the best places to shop for all your unique, vintage needs. Whether you are an aficionado of vintage or those of you who are all fresh & new, where to start is often a challenge! I make it sound like an art & perhaps it is & does require some adept skill & hunting? You need to know which stores maintain reasonable prices, regardless of the brand of the item, even if the item is on its last legs!!! Then there's the case of which store stock items from only specific eras... Aaargh, the mind boggles & before you know it, your spinning around in a state of vintage confusion instead of folly! I know which one I prefer, so, I have searched high and low around ye ol' London Town & have compiled my list of top vintage fashion stores. Both helpfully thrifty & unforgettable, these vintage paradises are gorgeous to look at & many even offering a cosy place to relax after all that shopping, so you can sip a warming
coffee & munch on some yummy fairy-cakes.
Over the years I have been to many, so now I've decided to blog about & list my top vintage shops in London, in no particular order...
All images from http://shoparazzi.com/
♡ Beyond Retro, Dalston ♡
One of the most well known stores in the vintage fashion world. Beyond retro has a-mass of four stores in the UK, Sweden & even an online store.
Their latest London-based store opening was in Stoke Newington. Rich in architectural history, this location just adds to the great look of the store itself- a huge, old warehouse has been transformed into what looks like an evil villain's headquarters! 'Beyond Retro' in Dalston is the biggest vintage store London to date & stocks an massive array of clothing & accessories.
Sourced from the US & Canada by specialist trend teams, 'Beyond Retro' offers styles & garments from all eras. Prices are affordable too & now they have introduced their very own internal coffee shop, offering re-freshing range of beverages- served on & in vintage crockery!
♡ Rokit, Camden Town ♡
Next stop, my home-turf, Camden & 'Rokit'... Ahh, so many memories. I'm an original Camden gal born-and-bred, so I remember this place during the good ol' days when the shops in Camden were far more diverse & eclectic. Better in my opinion! The days when The Stables Market was dark & gloomy, like a Victorian Alley-dim with warm, flame-like glows of light barely illuminating the cavernous quarters of the market. Rows of mini shops all packed together, cozily cramped, offering a vast range of vintage after vintage. It was all so make-shift & make-do, that was the beauty of Camden back then. Nothing generic, nothing tourist-themed, all original & different. Sadly that's all gone now, but we are left with a few vintage gems around the place. It's all about finding them & I have done just that!
Although you may not find classic or vintage-designer pieces in 'Rokit', you will find a great amount of on-trend goods like knitwear, American baseball jackets & grungy denim jackets-perfect for your everyday, casual vintage needs. Price range is similar to that of 'Beyond Retro', as are some of the goods. Both are sourced from the same locations...
Other 'Rokit' stores can be found in Covent Garden & at two other locations in Brick Lane.
♡ Berty & Gerty, Camden Town ♡
My favourite vintage shop in Camden, as mentioned in my previous blog post, is this pleasant paradise of vintage wonder- 'Berty & Gerty'...
Located amongst the many eclectic & kitch shops that make up the West Yard of Camden Lock Market, 'Berty & Gerty'- the home of original vintage, brings you nothing less than an impressively wide range of beautiful hand-selected accessories, piles of shoes from many eras, mountains of boots, belts & tonnes of bags... Just follow the crowds up the rather-old stairs on the left-side of the shop, to find another 'Berty & Gerty' which houses specifically vintage clothing! You'd be spoilt for choice & won't know where to start.
Wherever your eyes settle, feast them upon their wonderful range of sexily amazing sunglasses, jewellery, belts & hats that adorn their accessories shop. Jeez, I was shopping with these guys when they had their very first Camden stall, over 10 years ago now...
I assure that you won't leave empty-handed. 'Berty & Gerty' offers something for everyone! They are now on ASOS Marketplace & have an Ebay store, so check it all out!
♡ Retro World, Camden Town ♡
I LOVE this place, it's amazing! It's like a junkyard of vintage clothing! 'Retro World' is just soooo Camden... A magical & colourful place of anything & everything vintage, all eras welcome. Okay, I have to admit that most of the time vintage finds catch me by surprise. Most of the time I'm not looking anything specific & don't know what I want, but, when I see something & that little vintage button inside me switches on, I know that I have to have it!
If I'm not sure what I want or am looking for, an anything goes attitude, then I head straight for here. I'm guaranteed to find something!!! Great value items & a great selection- from your everyday to your fancy dress parties. There's even a selection of vintage wedding dresses priced at £35 each or 2 for £60! Come on!!! I'm thinking Bride of Dracula for this coming Halloween... Anyone with me?
♡ Wow Retro, Covent Garden ♡Looking very retro indeed, located in both Covent Garden & Leicester Square lies 'Wow Retro'. Snuggled nicely in a back-street alley, a stone-throw away from 7 Dials, this no fancy rubbish vintage store. Selling clothing from the early 940s-1990s, Wow Retro stores a large display of both second hand & fancy dress!
Unlike many smaller vintage paradise's, 'Wow Retro' offers a generous range of gentleman's-wear, as well as ladies-wear. Here you'll be more than happy & satisfied to know that you can discover most things- from top-notch, cher-esque leather jackets to luxury, leather bags & snazzy, jazzy shoes... Stock is priced according to each individual pieces' brand & quality/condition. For example, when I was there last, I saw a Chanel jumper for a cut-price £85!
♡ House of Vintage, Brick Lane ♡
If you're thinking high-end, quality glamour, more lacy-frills than cheap-thrills, then this cutesy, clean, beautifully merchandised, vintage boutique- 'House of Vintage', is just for you... Specialising in rather bespoke looking, one-off pieces mainly from the 1940s-1960s, they still offer a delicate & elegant display from the roaring 20s, 70s & 1980s...
I love the quality of their vintage garments for both men & women alike. 'House of Vintage' should be the first port-of-call for those of you who are seeking high-end, quality, vintage designer pieces. You'll be sure to find pieces from Givenche to the lower-end of the alphabet only, with the likes of YSL.
♡ Blitz, East End ♡
Remaining in the East End of London, with its rich history & foundations, I bring you the aptly-named 'Blitz'; The Vintage Department Store...
Now I couldn't possibly fail to mention these guys now, could I? Starting-out as an empty, huuuge space of nothing, 'Blitz' has transformed it into what seems like a 'showroom' of lovely, vintage goods from fashion to furniture & even old medical equipment?! Cool indeed!!!
♡ The East End Thrift Store / Assembly Vintage ♡
Just like the infamous, cult television classic Steptoe & Son, this 'rag & bone man'-esque place just yells bargain vintage gems! If you like the good ol' Cockney turf of the original East-enders & even Jack The Ripper, then you'll favour hanging around the likes of the small alley-ways of White Chapel & Stepney Green & their hidden vintage shops. So feast your mince-pies on this part & geht on the ol' dog an' bone t'yer mates un tell 'em awll abaat this wun luv...
With enough retro goodies to get your laughing gear all caught-up in an endless grin of joy. Known more for what it offers than for its not-so-pretty face & looking more like a stock-room that houses a permanent home for all the lost souls of vintage. All I can say is CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP!!! And in the best possible way! Finally, a real bargain place with great quality & much desired pieces. From all kinds of eras, every item in each clothing category is priced the same- regardless of its brand or style! Wow! I mean, where-else would you find that?! So, all shirts are usually £15 & all jackets, £25! This store definitely is my fave price-wise without a doubt!
It has to be said though that it's not just the amazing prices that makes 'Blitz' a pop-by & pop-in must, but what tehy have done with their upstairs... The recently opened second floor of the store houses another place called 'Assembly Vintage'. What's that, you say? Well, if the girl behind the till, fumbling with a garish, purple, silk 80s dress didn't tell my curious mind about it, I may have never even known & ventured like an intrepid adventurer, beyond my comfort zone of vintage dresses & jumpers... Situated behind what can only be described as an escape-route out of the store in an emergency-the fire exit, the second floor can be found down & up a flight of concrete stairs. There I discovered a hidden room of wonder; a massive, wide-open space, with only a few rails of what appears to be 'specially selected' vintage pieces. Oh & there's a tree, too?! In this world, prices are higher, but that's because the items are of higher quality... They never disappoint!
♡ Paper Dress Vintage ♡
Almost BIBA-esque with its rather art-deco signage, 'Paper Dress Vintage' is a cosy boutique situated on Curtain Road.
Specifically specialising in vintage clothing from the early1900s-1980s, this store even houses a quaint, classic-looking coffee bar & little seating-area. Made up of sweet vintage tables and chairs, you're welcome to have a little pre or post-shopping refreshment or even ice-cream, anytime! Their specialist 'alteration team' is on-hand for all your tailoring needs! How unique? So that you can really wear something that was made for you! Not too long ago now, 'Paper Dress Vintage' even released their very own 9-piece range of what they call "vintage replica styles", aptly named 'The Collection’. How cute?!
♡ Frockney Rebel Vintage ♡
One of the best-named vintage stores that I came across was Hackney's very own 'Frockney Rebel Vintage'. I can honestly say that each & every piece that you will find here is hand-picked & sourced from around Europe, making this store unique in comparison to it's counter-parts...
'Frockney Rebel Vintage' seems like a genuine representation of its owners & the hard-work & dedication they have put into making their vintage paradise applicable for all. Generally, they seem to stock items from the 1960s-80s, but unlike most other stores, they seem to focus on current trends, no matter which era the pieces come from. But it doesn't end their for the lonely garments that failed to find a home, oh-no. Frockney Rebel keeps all of their 'out of season' items in their storage unit! So, even if you're wanting a summer dress in December or a fur coat in July, just call these guys up & they'll ever-so-kindly will rummage & scrum through their storage & bring a selection that suits your vintage needs. They'll even keep it there all safe & away from rival-eyes until you come in store & pick it/them up!! How's that for great personal, customer service everyone? That is why Frockney made it onto my list...
Oooh, wanna hear something great? 'Frockney Rebel Vintage' is a part of the 'First Thursday' movement... This is a wonderful idea that has been thought-up by the local establishments, where a bunch of the local galleries & museums around the East End area, stay open till late on the first Thursday of every month. That means late night shopping & lots of free food & drink! Cool indeed...
Well guys & gals, that's all from me for now... Until next time.
Lots of Love
x TCB x