By Neha Gadhvi in London—
Every now and again I catch my breath going through a pile of crumbled clothes in a damp smelling sea of castoffs at one of London’s vintage or charity shops. Who knows where it’s been? Or what sort of person had worn it? How did it make them feel? And most importantly: Will it fit and how much is it?
Vintage dressing in the heartland of trendy London districts has been hot fashion property for quite some time now. Sadly as a result, “vintage” doesn’t always mean “cheap.” However, London is still bursting with secret little finds where one can find jaw droopingly beautiful clothes from yesteryear at reasonable rates.
Begin with a market rummage
From Whitechapel Market, where one can find colorful scarves and sparkly slippers to Portobello Market where there are several first-class vintage shops and stalls, a walk around London’s many markets is well worth your vintage mission. These markets are a good place to start with their decent sampling of high-quality stock, which has a high turnover (important, as it enhances the chances of stumbling on a great find).
Brick Lane is a vintage lovers paradise. Nearby Spitalfields Market, too, offers plenty of punk and vintage stalls along with over-smart designer shops. Camden Market (Tube: Camden Town), London’s traditional home of punks and punk-dom, is worth a visit, as it boasts plenty of vintage clothing stalls and shops.
Just north of Notting Hill tube, along Pembridge Road, there are several vintage shops. If you want real bargains (yes, they are still to be found in this area), you’ll have to make a return visit on a Saturday–it will be worth it. Head up Portobello Road to the market stalls under Westway. The stalls and shops further north and along Golborne Road are even cheaper, although the merchandise is unpredictable.
Here are some other places that boast vintage prices within a mortal’s league. Happy shopping!
112 Cheshire St, E2
Telephone: 020 7613 3636
Tube/Rail: Liverpool St.
7 George St, W1
Telephone: 020 7935 2946
Hours: Mon-Sat 9.30 a.m.-5:30 a.m.
318-320 St Paul’s Rd, N1
Telephone: 020 7226 0565
Tube/Rail: Highbury & Islington
Hours: Open Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-5:20 p.m.
2 Acre Lane, SW2
Telephone: 020 7326 4330
I Dream Of Wires
68a Cheshire St, London E2 6EH
Telephone: 020 7739 4481
Tube/Rail: Shoreditch High Street
Radio Days, London
87 Lower Marsh, Waterloo
Telephone: 020 7928 0800