There's nothing better than waltzing into a vintage shop, sifting through rails of eclectic items and unearthing a one-off piece. London is home to some of the best vintage shops around, meaning there is always a new shop, pop-up or market to peruse.
Vintage clothing allows you to breathe life into a not-so-new garment while also revamping your own wardrobe. Shopping second-hand is a step towards sustainability as each dress, T-shirt or trouser has a pre-existing story behind it. Plus, what is more satisfying than when someone asks you: "I love your top, where is it from?" and replying with a subtle tinge of pride knowing the lengths you went to discover this pièce de résistance: "Thank you – its vintage." Success!
Mary's Living and Giving, Primrose Hill
To kick off the list, we've got Mary's Living and Giving in Primrose Hill. Although technically a charity shop, the charity shop chain houses rails upon rails of dreamy designer finds. Situated a few minutes' walk from Primrose Hill, this pristinely organised shop offers up a vintage visual feast of Vivienne Westwood tartan suit sets to Stella McCartney knits. Visit the other Mary's Living and Giving stores dotted around London in areas including Notting Hill, East Dulwich and Marylebone.
Mary's Living and Giving sells valuable second-hand designer items
Octavia, Hampstead Heath
Hampstead is home to some of the most beautiful houses in London that house the most enchanting wardrobes. Thankfully for us, the contents of the wardrobes are often recycled in Octavia in Hampstead Heath. Browse the shop's stock to find luxury staples for affordable prices, including winter must-haves and summer essentials for sunshine-soaked afternoons relaxing on the Heath.
Serotonin Vintage, Brick Lane
Enter the neon decked walls of Serotonin Vintage to unearth some funky youthquake finds from brands such as Custo Barcelona, Versace and Moschino. From Kenzo mesh to tiger-striped Roberto Cavalli jeans, Serotonin Vintage provides playful clothing to help customers achieve the ultimate cool-girl quirk. Gander at the retro framed prints that cover the shop's interior – which also happens to be a favourite of Romeo Beckham's fashion-forward girlfriend Mia Regan.
Serotonin Vintage is a visual feast
Atika, Brick Lane
Spread across two large floors, Atika is a perfect place for budding thrift enthusiasts to start searching. Offering an abundance of vintage staples such as shirts and jeans, retro sportswear and reworked co-ords, mini skirts and accessories, Atika has something for everyone. Browse the offbeat jewellery selection, furry printed bucket hats and hand-made handbags for your eccentric everyday needs. Young artists also sell their work there, so pick up a print to liven up your bedroom while you're at it.
Brick Lane Vintage Market, Brick Lane
Prepare for vintage overload when descending upon Brick Lane Vintage Market. A matrix of independent vintage brands, Brick Lane Vintage Market offers a kaleidoscope of luxury labels. From signature Burberry nova checks to 20s flapper fringing and Victoriana lace corsets, items for sale boast reasonable prices. Come with a full wallet and leave with some unique one-offs.
Brick Lane Vintage is a treasure trove of designer finds
The Market Cartel, Hackney
A vast display of clothing, furniture and homeware, The Market Cartel is located a few minutes' walk from Hackney Downs station. One for old-school fans, the Market Cartel fulfills all your vintage needs from house interiors to outfit exteriors. The shop also hosts the occasional pop-up event, where shoppers can buy and boogie to the beat of an in-store DJ.
Nordic Poetry, Brick Lane
One for payday, Nordic Poetry sources highly sought-after luxe collectibles. Vintage Prada nylon bags, rare Chanel sunglasses and Jean Paul Gaultier mesh dresses are to die for. Slip into a Dior dress and snap the shop's Instagrammable interior, which has been frequented by Jada Pinkett Smith and singer Jorja Smith. Can't make it to London? Don't worry, as Nordic Poetry also sells via ASOS Marketplace.
Nordic Poetry stocks brands including Prada, Chanel and Versace
Gigi's Dressing Room, Walthamstow
Not a massive fan of labels and logos? Gigi's Dressing Room is the shop for you. True vintage pieces speak to the modest dresser. If you change your mind however don’t fret, as there is the occasional Oscar De La Renta knit or Mulberry linen blouse to experiment with. Owner Gigi also offers intimate client consultations and wardrobe edits, where the team customises and revitalises your closet.
Rellik, Ladbroke Grove
Visiting Rellik Vintage is an unforgettable experience, something that previous A-list clients Lady Gaga, Lucy Boynton, Kate Moss and Kylie Minogue can vouch for. Comme Des Garcons dresses, Gucci shirts, Hermès sunglasses and Celine heels make for special occasions. Not to mention the jewellery on offer, from luxury labels including Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton. Save up for a successful shopping trip to this den of designer dreams.
Rellik is a celebrity favourite
Bridge Portobello, Portobello Road
Situated within Portobello Road's market which takes place every Saturday morning, Bridge Portobello is the go-to for 70s midsommar frocks and prairie blouses. Vintage Intimissimi slip camisoles, ivory cheesecloth shirts, 50s florals and milkmaid maxi dresses appeal to feminine dressers. Bridget is open to a reasonable haggle, to ensure both buyer and seller are 100% satisfied with their beautiful purchase.
Karen Vintage, Portobello Road
A boho fairytale fantasy, Karen Vintage is a treasure trove of Laura Ashley prairie frocks, Ossie Clark ostrich feathers and Zandra Rhodes silks. Opulent party pieces are framed by the shop's gold and pistachio interior, making Karen Vintage a celebrity spotting mecca. Paloma Faith and Strictly's Oti Mabuse are notable fans.
Fairytale fantasy meets boho bling in Karen Vintage
Retro Women, Notting Hill
This hidden gem takes on the appearance of a traditional thrift shop masking some unconventional pieces. Retro Women resides seconds away from Notting Hill Gate tube station but be careful not to miss it. Rows of undeniably chic clothing line the walls of the shop, making the search for that one dopamine hit of a top, trousers or tuxedo even more exhilarating. Balenciaga blazers, beaded Prada two-pieces and Jasper Conran jackets are all up for grabs, plus much more.
Last Place on Earth, Portobello Road
Another Portobello treasure, Last Place on Earth is an unmissable pit stop on your journey down the famous road. Filled with sweet négligée slips, fishnet jumpers, corsets, prairie girl tops and more, this lowkey second-hand shop boasts great prices and a welcoming atmosphere. Brands stocked include Salvatore Ferragamo, Margaret Howell and Cavalli - in addition to familiar, affordable high street names and Y2K garments.
Past Times Chic, Portobello Road
If like us, you are always on the hunt for the perfect slip dress - Past Times Chic has got you covered. The pop-up boasts a selection of upcycled silky slips, satin skirts and lace-trimmed babydoll camisoles - all exquisitely crafted by owner Tongie. With prices starting from £10 for a truly sumptuous négligée, the shop proves that it doesn't have to cost a fortune to embrace your femininity through clothing.
Fill up your sustainable shopping bag with slips galore at Past Times Chic
Frock Me! Vintage Fair, Chelsea
The longest-running vintage and thrift fair in London, Frock Me! Vintage Fair is bound to send thrift lovers into a fashion frenzy. Hosted in Chelsea Town Hall halfway up the King's Road, aka the birthplace of punk, the fair is easily accessible and requires a modest £5 entry fee upon entry. Spanning the 20s to 70s, relive your favorite fashion decade with the glittering garments available to buy.
Frock Me! Vintage Fair takes place in Chelsea
Goldsmith Vintage is available online with stores on Portobello Road and Charing Cross Road. The store is eponymously named after its founder and principal curator Peter Goldsmith, who accidentally "fell" into the vintage fashion trade, after falling on hard times. Starting out with a small market stall on Brick Lane, Peter’s individual style and entrepreneurial spirit quickly resonated with East London fashionistas and business boomed; over 10 years on, Goldsmith can now lay claim to being one of London’s more prominent vintage fixtures. Head to the saturated Portobello store and rifle through American denim, silk scarves, designer one-offs and so much more. Your wardrobe glow-up awaits!
South London is home to some of the most well-priced second-hand shops in London. Saunter down Peckham Rye to find Traid, a charity shop with lots to offer. Plenty of steals and deals including retro Ralph Lauren handbags and Alexander McQueen sweatshirts will make perfect additions to your seasonless wardrobe. Pay a visit to other Traid stores in Dalston, Camden, Hammersmith and Notting Hill to expand your vintage vocabulary.
Grab a luxury bargain at Traid
Another hub of affordable yet eye-catching clothes, Crisis in Camberwell is a sustainable option for those on a budget. Selling everything from pre-loved jewellery to high street and high fashion items, Crisis is ideal for South London-based students wanting to stand out from the crowd.
Pick up designer labels for less and elevate your style of dress. Explore other Crisis charity stores in Archway, Islington and Finsbury Park to score even more designer deals.
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