Guide: UK’s Best Vintage Shops

October 8, 2008 by Lena Weber’s resident vintage expert Lena Weber reveals her favourite UK vintage stores, hotbeds for Autumn / Winter 08’s key looks.

Lena writes: This Autumn / Winter’s key fashion trends are all inspired by past decades: 70s rock chick, edgy punk and 50s lace. The easiest way of updating your wardrobe with original on-trend pieces is to head to your nearest vintage shop.

Vintage has become one of the biggest trends in fashion over the last few years. Once frowned upon, secondhand clothes are now recognized as individual, high quality alternatives to the high street.

A firm favorite with fashion trendsetters and celebrities alike, no red carpet is complete without an actress turning heads in a gorgeous vintage frock. And who knows, maybe there is a fantastic 50s prom dress or Chanel clutch waiting to be found just by you.

To help make buying from vintage stores easier I’ve compiled this directory of my favourite UK vintage fashion shops, many of which sell online too.Happy foraging!


Absolute Vintage, 15 Hanbury St, Spitalfields, London, E1 6QR

Huge shoe collection neatly arranged by colour. Was voted one of the top 100 shops you must visit in the world.

· Rokit Vintage, 101 + 107 Brick Lane, London, E1 6SE & 255 Camden High Street, London, NW1 7BU & 42 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, WC2 9H2
Four shops around London stock a massive amount of men’s and women’s vintage clothing and accessories. They also sell home accessories.

· One of a Kind Vintage, 253 Portobello Road, London, W11 1LR
Tiny little shop in Notting Hill specializing in vintage designer clothes. A favorite with Kate Moss and other famous fashionistas, so not cheap but perfect for celeb spotting.

· The Girl Can’t Help It, Alfies Antique Market, 13-25 Church Street, London NW8 8DT
Amazing selection of mainly 40s and 50s dresses and accessories. The shop is located in a huge indoor antiques market, make sure to check out the other vintage shops there as well.

· 21st Century Retro, 162 Holloway Road, London, N7 8DQ
Crammed full of vintage finds. It might require some digging, but there are real bargains to me made as most stuff is under £20

North/Northern Ireland

· Best Vintage, 11 Wellington Place, Belfast, BT1 6GB & 14 Highbridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1EN
Both stores have a great selection of mainly 80s vintage for men and women

· Attica Vintage, 2 Old George Yard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1EZ
A treasure trove of 20th Century vintage fashion, furniture and décor. Great selection of evening gowns.

· Decades, 20 Lord Street West, Blackburn, Lancs, BB2 1JX
Crammed full of dresses, gowns and the odd lycra number. Great selection of 70s flares.

· Pop Boutique, 58 Whitechapel, Liverpool, L1 6EG & 34-36 Oldham St., Manchester M1
A whopping 250 tons of vintage are processed in the Pop Boutiques each year, so there are plenty of finds for men and women. Great range of 60s and 70s clothing. They also have their own pop brand of retro wear.


· Decadence Vintage Clothing, 39 Waverley Drive, Bangor, County Down, BT20 5LD
Great selection of hand-picked vintage. Don’t miss the special bridal section for amazing wedding frocks and accessories.


· Paddy Barras, 15 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2HS
Lovely shop on one of Edinburgh’s oldest streets. Best for vintage textiles, lace, hats and shawls.

· Armstrongs, 83 The Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2HJ
Just down the road from Paddy Barras’, Armstrongs stock traditional Scottish Highland wear and fabrics (kilts, tweed and cashmere) as well as the usual vintage clothes and accessories.

· Mr Ben, Unit 6, Kings Court, 99 King St, Glasgow, G1 5RB
Funky, psychedelic 60s and 70s vintage clothes for both men and women. Great shoe collection.

The South

· Vintage Clobber, 920 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH7 6DL
Carefully selected vintage clothes, some designer labels, nice collection of bags.

· The Real McCoy, 21 McCoys Arcade, Fore Street, Exeter, Devon
A two floor vintage experience including a fancy dress section, licensed café and great vintage Levis selection.

Vintage Fairs

· Blind Lemon Vintage
A series of vintage fairs held all over the country from Bristol and Nottingham, to Cardiff, Cheltenham and Exeter. Entry to fairs costs £4.50 (£3.50 concessions). You can expect mens and womens wear from Victoriana to the 70s, accessories and even resfreshment. Check their website for forthcoming dates.

· London Vintage Fashion Fair
Some call it ‘the Rolls-Royce of vintage fashion fairs’ as over 100 leading vintage fashion retailrs come together every five to six weeks in Hammersmith and Olympia to sell clothes, shoes, textiles and accessories from the 1800s to the 1990s. Entry costs between £5 and £10, check their website for forthcoming dates.

· Leeds Vinatge Fashion Fair
Held at Leeds Town Hall, this newly created fair has plenty of vintage fashion from 1900 to the 1980s for sale. Entry costs £3. Check their website for forthcoming dates.


4 Responses to “Guide: UK’s Best Vintage Shops”

  1. Stacy Cooksley on October 24th, 2008 9:22 AM

    I’ve been having a good browse through your website and I noticed you have the most amazing vintage shop missed off of your list. I live around the corner from Merchant Archive in Queens Park London, which is my favourite place to lose an hour. Go in there and I guarantee you that you’ll not leave empty handed – even if it is just a feather to make a headpiece out of (OK that was me but really it is fantastic).

    As it goes the pieces she has are of a slightly higher price, but equally of higher value. I just bought the most amazing peach beaded 20′s flapper dress for my friends December wedding. And talking of weddings she also has some beautiful wedding dresses as well.

    Anyway, enough gushing from me! If you’ve not been there before and you like vintage I implore you to visit!

  2. zoe durrant on January 5th, 2010 7:38 PM

    a great vintage fair in the east anglia region…


  3. Michele Marck on May 10th, 2010 6:59 AM

    You missed off your list another great Vintage Fashion Fair, “Vintage Vogue” which is the largest Vintage Fashion Fair serving the East Anglia Region.

    Our next Fair is on Sunday 6th June at The Brentwood School Sports Centre, Middleton Hall Lane, Brentwood, Essex CM15 8EE.

    Check out the link below to see our photo gallery from the March fair.

  4. Patricia Maggs on May 12th, 2010 1:19 PM

    You missed out my fab new website called
    Pretty Pink Vintage Online Boutique based in Brighton.

    I’m pretty vinatge myself lol

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