The shops might be open again, but lockdown has made us reassess our habits. Instead of buying new, there’s great fun to be had going vintage. You have to have a magpie’s skill of finding gems among the ordinary in a great warehouse. It’s better to start off in one of the curated collections here or hone in on these other tried and tested bigger emporia.
Vintage Market, Brick Lane
If you only get to go to one place, come here. It’s the UK’s largest collection of independent vintage clothing and accessories. Leather jackets, 40s’ suits, lace shirts, they have everything and because they are all individual shops it’s a joy to go round. Pick up business cards from the ones you like and follow them on Instagram for the latest items. 85 Brick Lane, Spitalfields, E1 6QL. Open Friday & Saturday 11am–6pm; Sunday 10am–6pm
Vintage Basement, Shoreditch
Some great bargains to have here; I picked up a Liberty dress in the Everything for £10 basement. 7 Cheshire St, London E2 6ED. Open daily 11am–7pm
Pick’n’weigh Vintage Kilo Store, Covent Garden
Again, this is serious fun to go round. Fill up your basket and pay by weight depending on the sort of items you’re buying. Look no further for Converse sneakers. 14-18 Neal St, West End, London WC2H 9LY. Open daily 12-6pm
Antika Vintage Department Store
Find football T-shirts and great denim. There are some new things here too as well as homeware and books. A great place to browse. 55-59 Hanbury Street, E1 5JP. Open everyday 11am-7pm
There are a few Rokits across London of which the smallest and the best is the one in Brick Lane. I bought a wonderful yellow floral shirt complete with pointed collar. You can also shop online and via instagram @rokitvintage. 101 Brick Ln, E1 6SE. Re-opening soon. Weekdays 11am-6pm, weekends 10am-6pm
Nordic Poetry, Bethnal Green
Beautiful shop with, as the name would suggest, Scandi brands. Because it’s so curated, you will see beautiful things but they come with a price tag. 141 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 7DG. Open daily 11–7pm (til 8pm on Thurs & 6pm Sun)
Like lots of the vintage shops, drops happen on Saturday and Sundays. This is a small, well-curated collection with big turnover. If you have a good eye, you’ll always find something here. 12 Berwick Street, W1F 0P. Open 11am-8pm daily.
Retrouvé Vintage, Hackney
If you’re looking for vintage childrenswear, Retrouvé shop on Wilton Way has a lovely selection including hand-knitted jumpers, petticoats, Liberty dresses and more as well as womenswear. The shop is quite small so if you prefer you can book a private appointment by emailing email@example.com. They also have a seamstress who can make alterations. 61 Wilton Way, E8 1BG
Serotonin Vintage London
Serious designer brands – Gucci, Dior and more. 194 Brick Ln, London E1 6SA. Open 11am-8pm daily (Sunday 1-8pm)
Hunky Dory Vintage
Some fabulous items here. I bought a Japanese floral skirt circa 1950. 226 Brick Lane London E1
This is a massive shop – great for retro sportswear. 110-112 Cheshire St, E2 6EJ
House of Vintage
Perfectly curated. Two outpost from this Canadian-born shop. 20s through to 70s. Two stores at 4 Cheshire St, E2 6EH and 28 Amhurst Road, E8 1JN.
Fridays at Portobello Market
Rummaging through the knits or looking in awe at the 70s prairie dresses at Portobello Vintage market remains my favourite place to pick up vintage buys. All the traders are so friendly; we’ve never been disappointed. Fridays all day under the flyover by Portobello Road.
Laura von Behr Vintage
We’ve written about Laura Von Behr before, and she’s now got an airy new studio in Blackstock Mews. Book an appointment and browse her beautifully curated selection of dresses and blouses.