There are not many places in the world where you can find such tremendous opportunities for shopping as London.
The British capital still tops the statistics over the world's most visited destinations and the shopping is probably one of many reasons. When you arrive in London you cannot help being struck by the numerous different cultures and people, styles and personalities and fashion is simply something that brings us all together.
As a fashion designer and stylist now turning into a committed and professional writer, I needed to combine my two main interests fashion and writing. Sweet London Town is filled with pretty and mysterious boutiques, providing everything known to man. When traveling here you should definitely take at least one day to visit these hidden gems, packed with goodies from the past.
Here is a guide to some epic vintage stores you absolutely cannot afford to ignore. Bring your wallet and an open mind and be prepared to being taken by surprise.
Vintage Stores You Should Visit in London
If you try to avoid smelly old clothes with the odour of mummies, there are a few vintage stores that are still worthwhile.
Mostly second-hand stores and vintage boutiques leave you with a cosy feeling but yet a lack of lust to buy anything because of the scent. It is a shame, for these clothes all share a story and are often in a good or even excellent condition.
In Peekaboo vintage, situated both in Oxford Street in Top Shop and at China House in Edgware Road, the entire collection stands out. If you are too lazy to get out of the couch you can also have a sneak peek at their vintage line in ASOS.com.
I assure you that the garments are in great condition and come with a trendy feeling. Silk blouses, alpaca ponchos, suede pants and cool accessories are typical pieces in Peekaboo. Not cheap nor expensive in camparison to other vintage stores and definitely worth a visit. You will certainly not leave empty-handed.
William Vintage in Marylebone
On appointment only, this well preserved and famous second-hand store lives a life of its own and will blow you away.
Situated in Marylebone, you should skip the usual thoroughfares nearby and head straight to the hidden treasures at 2 Marylebone Street. Inside, you will face internationally known designer brands, beautiful accessories and shoes to die for.
Forget bargains and donated second-hand outfits and stockpiles at Portobello Road or Camden Market. In William Vintage you will find haute couture at its best from Versace, Gucci and other luxury clothing wonders. Not so pricey as one would think but in case you cannot afford most of its content, you can reach the big "under 500 GBP rack" and see if there is anything you like. If you are lucky you might bump into celebrities like Amal Clooney, Kate Moss and world renowned stylist Rachel Zoe. It is also the favourite spot among Vogue editors.
Alfies Antique Market
Church Street offers a great deal of both vintage stores as well as antique stores. At Alfies you can kill two birds with one stone and shop clothes and antiques till you drop. This store/market is the home of 75 dealers, selling everything from jewellery, modern furniture and vintage garments and furs from the early 1910s and on.
Check out their flapper dresses from the '80s or preserved costume sets from theatre plays. Cheap and pricey at the same time, you just have to hunt through the racks to discover the treats. Across the street from Alfies you can see another epic store called Deborah Woolf, selling fantastic '60s and '70s garments at quite reasonable prices.
Rokit -3 Places in London
The story of this success store started in Camden Town in the '80s. Ever since the golden days it has now expanded to several stores all over London.
One of the best ones you can find in Covent Garden (the others in Camden and Spitalfields), providing you a range of clothes from the '40s and forward. The price average is around 30 BGP but there are also som expensive goods as well. I should already tell you that this vintage store is packed and sometimes you do tend to feel the scent of oldies, but if your wallet is not as thick as you would hoped, this place is a gem.
Head for the treasure trove Merchant Archive in 22 Bloomsbury Street as soon as you arrive in London. This fabulous store mixes vintage and contemporary pieces in an incredible environment. The vintage store is simply a must during your stay and if you do not feel like buying clothes or designer objects, you can stop by to enjoy the art exhibitions or a take a look at the books. Its growing client base is constantly evolving around celebrities, editors, ordinary people as well as fashionistas and interior nerds.
Even though you reckon vintage might not be your thing, then think again! Second-hand and vintage does not necessarily mean stained garments and a stinky atmosphere. Thrift shops can equally offer you a wide range of selections and give you a unique style.
You just have to go for the handpicked spots to meet your needs.