Expert opinion | 3rd December 2021
Six of the best vintage shops in London
Whether you’re searching for a unique outfit for a night out or a special gift, buying vintage is a great way to guarantee a one-off.
You’ll be helping the planet as you shop too. Waste charity Wrap estimates around 300,000 tonnes of used clothing go into landfill each year in the UK, so buying pre-owned items is an easy way to make a difference. You’ll also know you’ve got your hands on something no one else owns, adding a distinctive head-turning flair to your wardrobe. Here are the best places in London to rummage for vintage treasure and shop (sustainably) ‘til you drop:
Pic copyright: Circa Vintage
Gigi’s Dressing Room
104a Wood Street, Walthamstow, London, E17 3HX
A fashion editor’s favourite, this chic store in East London is the perfect place to find the dream outfit for a last-minute invitation. Everything is available to hire so you can always enjoy new clothes without the environmental footprint, but you can also buy clothing if you’re truly smitten by a piece. It’s run by stylist Galina Sherri aka Gigi, who used to run a stall in Spitalfields market and has worked with everyone from pop stars to CEO’s. She’ll gladly help you put together an outfit if you’re not sure where to start too. Show-stopping party dresses, customisation and Gigi’s own jewellery line are a real highlight.
One of a Kind
259 Portobello Road, London W11 1LR
You’ll be in very good company hunting for pre-loved pieces in this small but beautiful store close to Portobello Road Market. Celebrities including vintage queen Kate Moss have shopped here and you need to book an appointment just to get inside. Once there, expect an exquisite range of vintage clothes dating back to the 19th century, pristine designer labels and some hefty price tags to match.
12 Berwick Street, London W1F 0PN
Reign Vintage started as a market stall in Portobello and Camden but now has two, well-established shops in the centre of Soho and Oxford. Stock comes from all over Europe so you can expect a vast array of second-hand treasures for men and women including swimwear, denim and even skiwear if you want to make a real statement on the slopes. There’s a well-priced designer section too with finds from Armani, Versace, Missoni and Yves Saint Laurent but their accessories take some beating, with to-die-for shoes, bags and belts.
87a Lansdowne Way, SW8 2PB
If you need to dress to impress, Circa Vintage has you covered. A vintage lover’s paradise with an eye-popping selection of womenswear from the 1920’s to 90’s, everything is pristine with a swoon-worthy selection of dresses, jewellery and handbags from the likes of Lanvin, Chanel, Moschino and more. Open by appointment only, you won’t pick up a bargain but you will find the outfit of your dreams. There’s even a gorgeous choice of vintage wedding dresses to truly stand out on your big day.
Paper Dress Vintage
352a Mare Street, London, E8 1HR
Far more than a shop, this hip Hackney emporium spread over two floors has a 50’s diner feel, complete with spinning disco ball, checked monochrome floor and even a vintage cash register. It serves coffee, beer and wine in the afternoon, then transforms into a live music venue and bar each evening selling cocktails and local craft beers. Have a rummage and you’ll find clothes from the turn of the century up to the 1980’s, with gems including 50s’s cocktail dresses and psychedelic 60’s t-shirts. Don’t panic if you can’t find the perfect fit either as there’s a tailor on hand for extra tweaks.
St. Cyr Vintage
56 Saddle Row, Camden Market, NW1 8AH
Devoted vintage hunters can spend hours roaming Camden’s famous market for all sorts of pre-loved goodies but this friendly store stocks almost anything you’ll ever need. It’s particularly good for casual clothes, men’s shirts, covetable sunglasses and jackets, with a huge selection available in denim and leather. There’s even a small selection of children’s clothes if you want your little ones to stand out from the pack.
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