Vintage Shopping 101
Summer 2019 has almost come to an end and with that so did 3 years of studying at London College of Fashion. I graduated a while back from university and so the last few weeks have been feeling like a bit of a whirlwind. Nevertheless, I’m excited about creating new content for The Obsession Quotient, especially as today marks 4 years of starting this blog. Thank you to everyone whose been by my side throughout this journey, you know who you all are!
To celebrate this milestone, I created a look that combines my favourite colours, and introduce to you my newest obsession, vintage shopping! The past few months have got me hooked onto scouring secondhand/charity shops and vintage stores in London, that have ample supply of unique gems that have the added advantage of going easy on the environment. The skirt in this look is from a vintage car boot sale that I had the chance to shop at, and I can say with confidence that I will never have to worry about running into someone with the same skirt on Oxford Street!
I do find vintage shopping a little stressful because of the sheer amount of clothes there are and the time it takes to scour through rails of them properly to find that one piece that you love. However it is without a doubt a fun (especially with company) and sustainable way to indulge in shopping. Seeing as the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world, its only right that as consumers we start seeking alternative ways of adding to our wardrobes without succumbing to fast – fashion every single time. I wholeheartedly claim to not being any sort of expert when it comes to building a sustainable wardrobe or constantly being conscious of where I buy my clothes from. In fact, I am as guilty as any of you when it comes to raiding Zara or Bershka every month or placing that massive online shopping order, but I think taking that first step towards being aware of the gravity of every purchase one makes is the only way to start this sustainable journey. Purchasing vintage pieces and using Depop to both buy and sell pre-loved clothing are some of the ways in which I’ve started cultivating some conscious habits, and in this blogpost I will be sharing the details on my favourite vintage stores/markets in London that will get you excited about shopping (but hopefully in a different light).
THE BEST VINTAGE STORES IN LONDON:
1. Rokit Vintage – It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Rokit Vintage is on the top of my list, its an iconic spot for vintage lovers and has been around since years. Plaid trousers, Y2k mini bags, halter neck tops, bomber jackets and funky accessories, you name it and they’ve got it all. Other than their massive store in Brick Lane, they also operate online and there are plenty of items from the store circulating on Depop.
2. Beyond Retro – Located in the heart of Soho, this place is absolute heaven and a guaranteed spot to find unique pieces that will take your #ootd to the next level.With plenty of edgy accessories, clothing for every possible season, Beyond Retro will have you covered for whatever you are after. Prices do tend to vary though, ranging from extremely affordable to extremely ‘bad news’ for your pockets.
3. Brick Lane Vintage Market – By far my favourite place, a huge underground vintage market that houses several sellers that each offer an amazing selection of trendy items. You can get lost inside for hours and definitely return with not only clothing, but also old vinyl records, decor items, costume clothing and posters from an era gone by. After all, vintage encompasses a lot more than offering just a way of being a sustainable medium of shopping, it brings with it the curiosity of who owned the particular item before you and what is its story?
4. Here After – Located on 151 Brick Lane, a tiny store that opens up a world of possibilities to finding something you’d like. I’d recommend seeing the accessories table first, they always have an amazing range of sunglasses for good prices, its hard to pass that by.
5. Goldsmith Vintage – Portobello Market houses several great vintage stores but if I had to choose one it would be Goldsmith Vintage. With lovely staff and 2 floors of merchandise, there is ample choice among patterns, colours and styles to look through.
6. Depop – Saved the best for last, Depop is no secret for most of us but the sheer amount of goodies that you can find there is unimaginable. With some serious stalking skills and determination, one can end up with vintage luxury items or raid the wardrobe of international influencers such as Chiara Ferragni, who regularly list items on the platform. My favourite sellers are without a doubt @internetgirl (her YouTube videos are the reason I got into vintage shopping in the first place so do check them out for some inspiration), @graceff, @00princessshit, @serotoninvtg, @theraggedpriest and @imindiarose
Time Out Magazine regularly updates Londoners on upcoming vintage markets in the city, car boot sales, flea markets and vintage pop-up stores. Pick up your copy on your commute every week or have a look on their Instagram to find out vintage bargains that you can get your hands on. Also a quick mention to always pop in to charity shops in your local town, such as Save the Children and British Heart Foundation, which always have a selection of second-hand items, proceeds of which are donated to a number of good causes.
Skirt – Vintage
Shoes – ASOS
Bag – ASOS Design
Jacket – Missguided
Hair accessories – ASOS