Vintage stores are on the rise, and rightly so. If you want to shop with sustainability in mind, second hand and vintage fashion is a conscious way to go. And forget musty old charity shops, in London’s best vintage shops you can discover amazing designer pieces, one-of-a-kind vintage clothing and beautiful items that you won’t find anywhere else. From East London to West London, there are eclectic vintage items to be discovered. Here, we showcase 10 of the best places to shop vintage.
Not just any old high street charity shop, these boutiques were set up with retail aficionado Mary Portas. Hence the name. Second hand donations are cherry-picked. Products are ethically sourced and 100% of the profits go to the Save the Children charity. It’s fashion to feel good about. There are several stores around London and the UK. This one on Chiswick High Road is rather arty, drawing on the area’s artisan history.
Find it at: 152 Chiswick High Road W4 1PR
“Not fashion, style” pronounces menswear store, Hornets. They’re in the business of selling classic and interesting style. Its three stores in Kensington stock mainly vintage classic English pieces including modern and high end designers. Expect exquisite service from Bill an English actor, Orlando a Brazilian model and Chris, a Scottish tailor. It’s such a different experience from High Street stores – cups of tea appear, tins of biscuits and maybe even a drink on a Sunday.
Their clothing is extremely high quality – Savile Row and Jermyn Street tailoring. But you’ll pay about 10% of the price of the new garment. They offer everything an English gentleman requires – top hats and tails, formal suits and cufflinks, quality bags and shoes. It’s a wonderful store if you love quality, classic tailoring and style.
Find it at: 2 Kensington Church Walk W8 4NB
Loved by the instagram set, Nordic Poetry has super stylish pink interiors to set off its amazing vintage pieces. Browse the rails to find anything designer vintage from greats like Vivienne Westwood, Yves Saint Laurent, Fendi, Gucci, Chanel and Moschino to name but a few. It’s a ‘conscious luxury archive’ of timeless classics from various eras.
Find it at: 141 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, E2 7DG
If you’re after something unusual, rare or even one-of-a-kind, head to House of Vintage in Shoreditch or Hackney. Browse the rails of carefully curated menswear and womenswear from the 1920s to the 1980s. Pick up some pre-loved Levi’s, old school American tees and jumpers or some unusual homewares. Find it at: 4 Cheshire Street, London E2 6EH.
While you’re in Brick Lane, don’t miss Serotonin Vintage’s amazing mix of designer items from high end brands from Dior and Versace to Burberry and Dolce & Gabbana and many more in between. Find it at: Brick Lane, Weavers, London E1 6SA.
Now this is how you do vintage shops! The two-storey former furniture warehouse that is Atika is absolutely showstopping. The design team drew inspiration from its East London location (near Spitalfields) and heritage, and its stock is super stylish and pristine. Alongside its pre-loved wares, the Atika team also rescue pieces from going to landfill and rework them into something new. It may be an eye-catching bomber jacket, bold and brights sportswear or striking blazers. Find it at: 55-59 Hanbury Street, E1 5JP.
A favourite of fashionistas, stylists and Notting Hill celebrities, Rellik is a treasure trove of pieces which are mainly from the 20th century. Rummage through fabulous accessories and you’ll find a one-off piece that you’ll absolutely adore. Rellik also stocks vintage designer pieces from the likes of Biba, Helmut Lang, Jean Paul Gaultier and Balenciaga and many more.
Find it at: 8 Golborne Road, Ladbroke Grove, W10 5NW
At the Ladbroke Grove tube end of Portobello Road is 282 Portobello. A favourite of British Vogue, its super stylish editor-in-chief Edward Enninful and the likes of Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, 282 boasts one-of-a-kind pieces. Its pretty unassuming exterior undersells the extensive vintage collections that they house within. Their focus is on classic, English sartorial elegance. You’ll find quality items from tweed jackets to beautiful ballgowns with quality footwear to match.
Find it at: 282 Portobello Road, London W10 5TE
If you want to explore Portobello further, join our Portobello guided walk on Saturday mornings.
Specialising in 1950s fashion, Paper Dress Vintage is like stepping back into the rock ‘n roll era. The black and white checked floor is simply made for dancing, and this retro boutique does host various events in the evenings. On its rails you’ll find wonderful vintage pieces dating from the 1920s to the 80s, but its sweet spot is definitely the stylish 50s.
Find it at: 352a Mare Street, London E8 1HR
Rokit started in Camden Market and has since expanded to both Brick Lane and Covent Garden. The Rokit store in Camden is a two-storey vintage treasure trove. It’s said to have served local music and style icon, Amy Winehouse, as well as British fashion legend Kate Moss. Rokit’s a good place to browse, rummage and seek out that perfect piece. It has its own laid-back vibe with staff on hand to help and advise when you need them.
Find it at: 225 Camden High Street, London NW1 7BU
This legendary store in the heart of Covent Garden and Seven Dials is a dream for vintage fashion lovers. Over its two floors, you’ll find outstanding clothes and accessories from days gone by. Amongst the vintage fashion, you’ll discover period costumes dating back to the 19th century. There are oodles of hats, jewellery and accessories to finish off your look. It can feel a bit like playing dress-up in a costume department! It’s an incredible place to find a one-off outfit.
Find it at: 51 Endell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9AJ
Frock Me! is not a permanent fixture, but a regular event in a vintage fashionista’s diary. The fashion fairs take place at Chelsea Old Town Hall on Kings Road and Kensington Town Hall. The fairs are well-established and have been running for 25 years now. You’ll find around 60 exhibitors at the Chelsea events and more than 100 in Kensington. The exhibitors have a great eye for fashion. Many have worked in film and TV as costume designers or in another aspect of fashion design. These events are the place to go to find unusual, rare and eclectic vintage fashion. Entry is £5 and you’re unlikely to leave empty-handed.
Find it at: Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road, SW3 5EE and Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street W8 7NX.
Fashion enthusiasts will love our guide to the British fashion collections at British museums
And to discover the fashion of music of London in the swinging 60s, join our London Walk.