Vintage in the Capital

28 Mar

So I’ve been harping on about second hand clothing in every post. I tend to drone on about it whenever I get the opportunity if I’m honest, c’est la vie! I love it and I’m not ashamed! I always find that with retro trends and revivals constantly being in fashion you just don’t need to fake it with expensive high street. When wearing the real thing for a fraction of the price is an option I often wonder why people bother with anything else. Having the patience to plough through the rails is a must – and actually enjoying yourself is a bonus! I could spend hours sifting through rails upon rails, with no real idea what I’m looking for. And I always find a little gem.

Today’s insight into vintage and second hand shopping – where to look! I get so many young ladies exclaiming that they’d simply LOVE to shop vintage but just have no idea where to start. After this, there will be no more excuses. Here are a few my favourite spots to do a bit of retro shopping when you’re a fashionista living in the Big Smoke.

My favourite place in London to find my vintage goodies has to be in the East. I first came across Brick Lane in September. I had dreamt of this magical place many a time after friends had come back from London trips singing its praises. My hopes were high. Needless to say I was not disappointed. Head down on a Sunday morning – there’s always a market on with street performers and bric-a-brac for sale. Look hard enough you’ll always find a bargain! A friend of mine got a fab nineties fluffy top from the boot of a man’s car. The best bit, it was only a pound! Perfect! Nearest tube stations are Aldgate East and Liverpool Street.

After you fight your way through the many Indian restaurants and men desperately trying to get you to eat at the undoubtedly BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD (as each boasts) you quickly (maybe not quickly enough) stumble across the infamous ROKIT. Rokit seems to be the vintage shop that most people have heard of. It’s great, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I find it a bit hit and miss. Especially with the price. I once picked up a real leather coat for a measly tenner, but then you’re looking at paying up to 30 pounds for a pair of cut off shorts that you could easily make for yourself for nothing.

So now we need to take a little diversion off Brick Lane, onto Cheshire Street. My most favourite shopping street ever. On the corner you’ll notice a great little vintage shop. The perfect mix of all decades. I always find some shops have far too many of what look like 80s prom dresses. Which, dare I say, is not quite the look we are going for.  Head downstairs in here for the bargain bins!

Staying on the left hand side of the road a few doors down you’ll come to a slightly dingy looking shop. My favourite. Owned by some lovely guys who always seem to be rolling joints. Great bargains on shoes, coats and bags on this floor. Again, head downstairs where everything is £10! I recently got a denim jacket and a tacky as hell leopard print dress.

Right so we’ve got our bargains and we’re back onto the street. Keep on walking down and you’ll eventually come to huge warehouse Beyond Retro.  The first time I stepped into Beyond Retro I was totally stunned! Just absolutely blown away by the sheer range of vintage and retro clothing they own. You could probably come here for all your vintage needs. (Although I wouldn’t want to, the hunt is part of the fun!) They cater for every angle you could possibly be going for and mix it up with their own little range of bags and hats. I picked myself up a turban. Controversial. Paloma Faith, Kate Nash, Diana Vickers, Jessie J, Marina & the Diamonds, Carl Barat and Alexa Chung have all been spotted wearing Beyond Retro clothing. If it’s good enough for the Chung then it’s good enough for us!

Moving away from Brick Lane, aka vintage heaven, onto my favourite market. You have to trust me on this one! So many of my friends have turned my nose up at this place, shaken off my adoration of it and referring to it as a dump. Do keep reading! Deptford Market is the epitome of having to search for your bargain. All the clothes are in huge piles on the floor. So you literally are scrambling through piles. The beauty of it, to me, is that these sellers have no idea that what they are selling is fashionable, or how much they could actually charge. Everything is dirt-cheap. Nothing is priced. You show the seller what you’re interested in and they’ll say a random price! I found a shirt and a dress, showed the lady; she spoke enough English to tell me – ‘£5!’ I nearly fell over. I mentioned in an earlier post that I got some Brothel Creepers from here for £3. I still haven’t recovered. It was an amazing day. Just catch the DLR to Deptford Station.

There you have it, a select few of my favourite spots in LDN to grab a vintage bargain. You’ll find me frequenting these hotspots almost weekly. (Most definitely why I’ve maxxed out two overdrafts…) Take heed, don’t be afraid to root around and see you there!


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