Absolute Vintage, 15 Hanbury Street, E1 +44 20 7247 3883 (see map)
Great design, style (and sparkles) take precedence in the selection process of the thousand plus shoes housed by Absolute Vintage. While the store is packed with colorful bargains, though the accessories are what elevate this store to shoe-maven haven.
Alfie’s Antique Market, 13-25 Church Street, NW8 +44 20 7723 6066 (see map)
600 stalls fill London’s largest indoor market, where worshippers of vintage will find anything from antique treasures, vintage clothing, collectables and 20th century design pieces.
Beyond Retro, 112 Cheshire Street, E2 +44 20 7613 3636 (see website for other locations) (see map)
A vast warehouse on Cheshire street has come to be known as the Vivienne Westwood of vintage fashion. Try to keep it a secret, but you’ll find something for everyone at every price range at this chain of vintage emporiums. From £1 silk scarves to 50s dresses, retro fabrics, coats, hats, and plenty of shoes, thank goodness for Beyond Retro and their reverence for affordable vintage.
Blackout II, 51 Endell Street, WC2H +44 20 7240 5006 (see map)
With two floors of vintage clothing and accessories for both men and women, dating from the 1920s to the 1980s, Blackout II bills itself as a glamorous Aladdin’s Cave. Source costume jewelry, lingerie, handbags and shoes here – or enlist the help of the staff who will assist you in creating a masterpiece of an outfit. Stock can also be hired for special occasions and photo shoots.
Blondie Boutique, Unit 2, 114-118 Commercial Street, E1 +44 20 7247 0050 (see map)
Blondie is the sister store to Absolute Vintage around the corner, and sells chic outfits from well-known labels of the past. If you have a unique occasion requiring a once in a lifetime piece or some unique accessorizing, make a trip to see Blondie.
Cloud Cuckoo Land, 6 Charlton Place, N1 +44 20 7354 3141 (see map)
Located just off Islington’s Camden passage, Cloud Cuckoo Land specializes in vintage dresses spanning from Victorian times to the 1980s. If you’re looking for pretty day dresses, skirts, capes, cardigans or 1950s cocktail hats, they house an excellent selection, as well as plentiful accessories to match.
Crusaid, 19 Churton Street, SW1V +44 20 7233 8736 (see map)
While this is indeed a vintage store (comedian Alan Carr called it ‘the Harvey Nichols of charity shops’) much of their regularly-donated stock has never been worn. With labels reading Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Ralph Lauren, you’d better start crusading over there! Decorated with fairy lights and antique chandelier, this is no ordinary thrift store.
Lost N’ Found, Unit 25a The Stables Market, Camden Stables Market, NW1 +44 207 482 2848 (see map)
This two-floored establishment offers everything golden, from 1950s Americana (old-school college jerseys and cowgirl boots), to wedding dresses, black groom tailcoats, feather fascinators, and 1930s floor length gowns. A 1950s cheerleader jacket for £40? Get your ‘Grease’ on!
Lucy In Disguise, 10-15 King Street, WC2E +44 20 7434 4086 (see map)
The brainchild of Lily Allen and her sister Sarah Owen, Lucy in Disguise (with diamonds!) can be found in the heart of Covent Garden filled with vintage items given to and worn by the star, not to mention pieces chosen with the same sartorial bent as the songstress herself. There’s also an in-store hair and beauty salon, and a selection of high-end designer pieces.
My Sugarland, 402-404 St John Street, EC1V +44 20 7841 7131 (see map)
My Sugarland is the realization of top stylist Zoe Lem’s lifelong dream. Her good taste infuses the shop with style, which stocks handpicked labels from young graduates to established names, alongside an immaculate vintage selection (including vintage bridal), various bric-a-brac, art, and accessories. Ever dream of raiding your most stylish friend’s closet? Now’s your chance.
One of a Kind, 259 Portobello Road, W11 +44 20 7792 5284 (see map)
A favorite with first name-rate London celebrities (Kate, Naomi, Sienna), One of a Kind has serious street cred. Not only are Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, Stella McCartney and Karl Lagerfeld the labels hanging on the racks, but the designers themselves have visited the store for inspiration. All clothing is preserved in pristine condition, but accordingly, sold at designer label prices.
Pop Boutique, 6 Monmouth Street, WC2H +44 (0) 20 7497 5262 (see map)
The Pop Boutique began in 1994 in Manchester; after almost a decade of selling vintage clothing the owners decided to create a shop that incorporated all kinds of vintage curiosities for the ‘everyday vintage junkie.’ There are now six stores across the UK; Pop’s speciality is clothing from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Rellik, 8 Golborne Road, W10 +44 20 8962 0089 (see link)
This independently owned vintage boutique was born in 1999 by three partners who then ran successful Portobello market stalls. Favoured by designers, magazine editors and It girls, Rellik’s racks are packed with preserved designer couture and well-sourced items from the likes of Westwood, Dior, Alaia, Comme des Garcons, YSL, and Pucci. You won’t see the Jones’ wearing your wardrobe!
Rokit, 101 and 107 Brick Lane, E1 +44 020 7247 3777 (see website for other locations) (see map)
Another market-stall success story, Rokit has garned acclaim from stylists across the UK who continue to utilize Rokit’s goldmine of vintage in magazines such as Vogue, Dazed and Confused, and i-D magazine. The store offers ‘true vintage’ and retro clothing spanning from 1920 to 1980 at four London shops, an online store, and worldwide online shipping.
Shikasuki, 67A Gloucester Avenue, NW1 +44 20 7722 4442 (see map)
Visit Shikasuki for high-end Primrose Hill vintage; they specialize in Ossie Clark originals. Pick up some stationary and homewares on the ground level as you enter, before descending into dress up box heaven below.
The Vintage Showroom, 14 Earlham St, Seven Dials, WC2H +44 207 836 3964 (see map)
The historically situated Vintage Showroom is located in the chic shopping district of an area called The Seven Dials near Covent Garden. The shop itself was once an ironmongers (for 174 years), though it now barters with an eclectic mix of vintage clothing and accessories, seemingly specializing in 1940s aviator jackets and androgynous blazers.
Virginia’s Antiques, 98 Portland Road, W11 +44 20 7727 9908 (see map)
Virginia offers high-end vintage clothing and accessories from way back at the beginning of last century, specifically from the 1900s to the 1930s at her antique store in Holland Park. Virginia Bates herself is an eccentric bohemian with a white bob who dresses in 1930s bias cut gowns with matching velvet jackets.
What Goes Around Comes Around, Camden Stables Market, Arch 47, NW1 +44 20 7424 9621 (see map)
This store in Camden Stables Market once specialized solely (pun intended) in rare vintage trainers, and they still do – with many still in their original boxes. However, they’ve expanded now to included a range of 1940s- 1980s clothing and accessories, plus a strong collection of vintage Vivienne Westwood.
By Sophie Ward