Vintage Shops In Central London

Don’t think that a central London location means that shopping is limited to high street chains and designer boutiques. Vintage and secondhand shops are there if you know where to find them, like the W1 outpost of Absolute vintageLucy in Disguise – the ritzy showcase for Lily Allen’s vintage collection – and off-the-radar places like Reign Wear and Peekaboo

Absolute Vintage
Berwick Street, London, W1F 8TL

Smaller than its east London counterpart, this Soho branch of Absolute Vintage moves away from the ramshackle, bursting-at-the-seams approach of its sister establishment, though it does share its focus on shoes. Lined up by the dozen on packed shelves, both men’s and women’s styles are arranged in meticulous order by colour and by type. So, if you’re looking for a pair of gold loafers, black Dr Martens, or brown ankle boots, the search is made infinitely easier here. The boutique-style store also has a solid selection of bags as well as a back room packed with apparel. It’s a whittled-down selection, helping you avoid a complete rummage-fest. View the Absolute Vintage listing

Blackout II
51 Endell Street , London, WC2H 9AJ

Blackout II was peddling vintage threads long before it became fashionable. For some 25 years, the Covent Garden store has specialised in antique apparel (largely dresses from the ’20s and ’30s) as well as more wearable men’s and women’s clothing and accessories from the ’40s through to the ’80s. The duplex store is heaving with stock, and you’ll need a great deal of rummager’s enthusiasm to prise through the stuffed rails, but incredibly knowledgeable staff, together with signs on rails indicating era, make the shopping experience a smidge easier. An ideal place to go if you’re after a specific item from a specific decade. View the Blackout II listing

Lucy in Disguise
48 Lexington Street, London, W1F 0LR
Enter this glamorous boutique and you’ll find Lily Allen and her half-sister Sarah Owen have done all the hard work for you. They’ve scoured the globe for premium beaded ’50s-’60s prom dresses (many at £80-£120), 1920s silk slips, brocade gowns, and on the ’80s/’90s rack, an awesome pair of clown print Versace jeans (£120). At the top end are some fabulous Ossie Clark jumpsuits, which, if you can’t shell out £450, can be hired for £90. Plus, in an effort to make this a one-stop glamour shop, there’s retro hair and make-up styling on the floor below. It’s not the place to come if you’re on a tight budget, but it’s worth coming for a look at how the other half spend. View the Lucy in Disguise listing

Ganton Street, London, W1F 7QL

Styling itself as a boutique – rather than a jumble-style vintage den – this classy store in the Newburgh Quarter is a great place to find occasion wear. Founders Emily Bothwell and Michael Caunter (the pair behind Topshop’s long-loved Peekaboo vintage concession) have moved away from the colourful, secondhand party garb that made them so popular on the high street and have focused instead on the more exclusive, grown-up side of vintage. Designer gowns and day dresses meet clutch bags, hats and immaculately kept heels. As you’d expect, price tags reflect the ethos, with dresses starting at around £90. View the Peekaboo listing

Reign Wear
12 Berwick Street, London, W1F 0PN

A favourite among Soho’s media types, this Berwick Street store is well stocked with unique buys. The owners head to Austria, Germany and Italy (among other European countries) to source apparel, so items have a fresh feel compared to vintage dens that rely on American and British secondhand. There’s also real attention to detail when it comes to arranging stock: items that work well together are paired on rails, and clothing is largely colour-coordinated – it makes the process of fashioning a complete outfit almost effortless. Prices are fair given the central London location, and you could walk away with a striking Nordic wool cardie for £30. View the Reign Wear listing

Read the rest of this article on TIme Out London!

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  1. <3 Vintage! London is the place to be!


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