The 10 best vintage/thrift shops in London
With the closing of Topshop, and the rest of Oxford high street hanging on by a thread, there's no doubt that tourist shopping in the capital will change drastically.
Using this as a catalyst for positive change, I'm here to make a radical suggestion; why not ditch the fast-fashion, claustrophobic centre of London and instead head for greener (metaphorically speaking) pastures? One of my favourite London pastimes is going thrifting. But in such a huge city, with so many different areas, it can be daunting knowing where to start if you're new to the city or just here for a day or two. Having lived North and South of the river, I have built up a repertoire of regularly frequented spots, scattered all over the London boroughs. Here is my crème de la crème of the best vintage shops in London, giving you the insider intel I wish I had as a fresh faced sightseer.
This is hands down my favourite second hand fashion joint in London. There hasn't been a single time I've entered it's threshold and left empty handed, despite the state of my bank balance. Each piece is carefully selected and displayed, resulting in a stunningly curated boutique that would excite even the most dowdy of dressers. And if by some bizarre stroke of misfortune you don't manage to find anything in here, it's surrounded by an bustling array of other vintage stores that you can peruse. Oh and I can't mention Brick Lane without imploring you to try on of their world famous bagels should you work up a hunger. During lock down I would treat myself to a peruse of their Depop to quench my thirst for vintage, which helped to instil a bit of normality.
Top from Here After Vintage
I love this shop because I get to combine my love for vintage clothes with my love for vintage furniture, without feeling like I’m cheating on the former. The bottom floor is packed to the brim with one off, pre-loved homewares. Once you’ve had your fill of the trinkets, you can make your way up what feels like a secret and slightly magical, curved stairwell to a tiny attic overflowing with the most vibrant vintage collectibles. Think 1920’s tailor meets Alice in wonderland, pure wonder. Each piece has been lovingly curated, which makes for a lengthy browse. I could (and have) whittle away hours in this little hidden away gem. London Field’s best kept secret!
If you want the satisfaction of thrifting without the laborious trawling through countless racks, then Retrouve vintage is for you. Glamorously set out, with more of a fashion boutique feel than a car boot, this store will make you stop in the street and pull you into it’s clutches. I go here if I’ve got a wedding or formal event coming up and need a slap up gown, and it’s ever disappointed.
Pink and orange silk jumpsuit from Retrouvé Vintage
This is my one stop vintage stop for all my staples. Whether you need a new pair of jeans or a new trench coat, this no frills store will sort you right out. It’s also the biggest vintage store in London, so let this replace your Oxford Street Topshop.
Jeans and blazer from Beyond Retro Vintage
Want a trendy London shopping experience without the carbon footprint? This is the spot for you.
The shop fit is as instgrammable as an art gallery with quirky decor and furnishings to boot. This vintage boutique will be sure you kit you out with the most stylish one of a kind garment, making you the envy of all your pals.
This celeb hotspot is frequented by the likes of Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, FKA Twigs, Phoebe Pillo and the rest. Flat turned into vintage store, the shop has the feel of being in your coolest friends living room. If you’re a designer vintage hunter wanting your next fashion week look then look no further, Found & Vision will kit you out.
Yellow silk set from Found and Vision Vintage
If I’m after a statement look, I can always count on Gigi’s. Beautifully curated, this small shop will have you in the dressing room contemplating if you can pull off a 70’s minidress and accompanying platforms.
This is my kind of vintage shop. Clothes busting onto Portobello road, you can’t help but be lured in by the smell of ageing leather. If you’re up for a good old rummage then this spot is for you.
There’s something so nostalgic for me about vintage shopping in Camden. It just reminds me of being with my mum hustling for a good price on some mad flared cords (lol remember that trend?). I will always love trudging around Camden rain or shine for this very reason. Treat yourself to a day in Camden, peruse some vintage, walk along the canals, pop some Amy Winehouse on and daydream of the rock and roll Camden era of times gone by.
This shop is actually just opposite number one on the list, so I regularly pop in here. I don’t come out with something every time, but every once in a while I’ll find a banger. A Channel tracksuit from the 80’s. An original Apple merch jumper. A denim Gucci bag. Loveofhuns meets East London designer vintage.
Bag from Serotonin Vintage
I hope this write up has succeeded in wetting your vintage appetite and should you chose to dabble, you can now trifle with the best thrift junkies out there.
Dress from Here After vintage, bag from Serotonin vintage