Many of us out there are dedicated followers of fashion, and there’s something about retro styles that really appeals to us. Whether you want to make something old new again or find an outfit for a fancy-dress party, London has plenty of vintage clothing shops all over the boroughs. Some harken back to the city’s most fashionable periods from the Mods to the grungy Nineties. While there are plenty to choose from, we’ve attempted to narrow-down five from many lists of the best from all over London. If you’re looking for some new threads with history and reasonable prices, then check out one of these places and let us know your own favourites in the comments.
Beyond Retro is one of the originators of vintage clothing in London and has grown from a single location to three stores in Soho, Dalston, and Cheshire Street. Additionally, it has several other stores in Europe and a significant online catalogue from which you can order anywhere in the world. However, nothing quite beats shopping on location. Cheshire Street is the original location, so if you’re really a history buff, you may want to start there. Beyond Retro has everything organised by clothing type, so if you want some classic Doc Martens or tie-dyed shirt, you’ll have plenty from which to pick.
Rather than organising clothes by periods or styles, Absolute Vintage near Spitalfields Market has everything arranged by colour so that you can pick out the perfectly matching ensemble. Of course, if you want to do things the old-fashioned way, there’s a back room with plenty of chances for rummaging. There’s a lot going on at AV on a given day, from discounts on Student Tuesday to live music performances while you shop. Even if you’re not a student, the store offers plenty of coupons that you can print off from the website as well as opportunities to win tickets to concerts, plays, and other events.
While this shop in Covent Garden has been around for twenty years, its fashions go back even further. The eras available are a bit more limited, containing fashion from the 1920s to the 1980s, but that doesn’t mean the selection is any less varied. Besides clothing and shoes, Blackout II offers a wide assortment of handbags, costume jewelry, and hats. What’s more, if you don’t want to buy something just for a party or a photo shoot, you can rent the clothes instead. And just like BR and AV, if you can’t make it in, Blackout sells its wares online as well through its eBay store.
Also close to Spitalfields, Blitz is proud to let you know that they’re the biggest and the best in the city, ranking several times in both Vogue and Time Out. Their selection ranges from the 1960s to the present day, with new items being brought in every week. This certainly gives patrons a lot to choose from and plenty of space for it all, considering the store has two separate floors filled with fashion. Additionally, nothing is simply thrown on the rack as soon as it comes in, but the shop makes sure it is all cleaned and pressed before you ever try it on.
The big, sprawling Camden Market has more than vintage stores, but there are certainly plenty of them to shop from. Funky Town, The Arc (women’s wear), What Goes Around, Teddy Boy (men’s wear), and St Cyr Vintage are just some of the vintage clothing stores, but they also have vintage-inspired shops such as Modfather and Collectif. If you want to buy some vintage goods instead, Camera Hut has vintage cameras, Disc Disciples has records, and shops such as Fleming Antiques and Planet Bazaar have many unique items. There are also plenty of places to eat and numerous events throughout the year, so it’s totally worth checking out no matter what you want.