It’s time to find out where London’s fashion bargains truly lie. Between the charity shops’ rags, and the vintage boutiques’ riches lie the wonders of the thrift store; second-hand stuff that’s beautifully curated but doesn’t cost the earth. Sift through the wares in London’s best.
1 – East End Thrift Store
Address: E1 4UT Assembly Passage, Whitechapel 0207 4239700
Opening hours: Mondays till Wednesdays 11h-18h; Thursdays till Saturdays 11h-19h; and on Sundays 11h-18h
The straightforward idea behind the EETS is to provide good value vintage – which is becoming a rarity in the capital. The owners come from the Topman stable and have a good feel for current trends.
You’ll find lots of vintage denim shirts for £15 and jackets for £25, as well as leather skirts and cheap £10 party frocks. To bring you prices this cheap, money has been saved on decor – by which we mean to say, there isn’t any. But while the converted old Stepney warehouse isn’t pretty, it is functional. The first floor now sells more expensive product and the odd designer piece.
Join the mailing list to hear about frequent sales and super cheap jumble events. 😉
2 – Leftovers
Address: Unit 71 Brixton Village, SW9 8PS London
Opening hours: Wednesdays till Saturdays 11h-17h30; and on Sundays 12h-16h
This pocket-sized shop is stocked by Gallic owner Margot Waggoner with sweet sai lorette dresses and bleached cotton petticoats.
If you’re a bit crafty, you can buy a sweet little lace collar from here and sew it on to a plain dress to make it your own. There also lots os collectible items that look like they’ve been raised from a 1950s Parisian larder; cute rusty tins and vintage bits and bobs which would make perfect gifts for the kind of people who would never throw anything away.
3 – Crazy Man Crazy
Address: 18A Church Road
Opening hours: Thursdays till Sundays from 10h-18h
One of the very few menswear-only vintage shops in London, Crazy Man Crazy is worth the trek from Crystal Palace station. Owner Paul Davies stocks American style clothing from the ’40s-’50s. Although small in size, the store is cleverly laid out by style, and stylishly propped with a gigantic white double bass and a retro radio playing ’50s rock and roll.
The shop provides the vintage of choice for numerous rockabilly band, and stocks a great variety of leather and bomber jackets priced from £65-£225, and a neat selection of jeans hung on mini meat hooks from £25 to £130.
4 – Frockney Rebel Vintage
Address: 242 Cambridge Heath Road London, E2 9DA
Opening hours: Tuesdays till Fridays from 11h-19h; Saturdays and Sundays from 11h-18h
Laura McAlpine (now defunct Victorville) and furniture designer Omid Asghari are behind this sleek outlet. Together, they look to source wearable vintage (that means no fancy dress prom dresses) from across Europe and make regular visits to Berlin, Milan, and Paris to handpick their women’s and menswear.
Despite the effort these two fo two, prices are surprisingly reasonable with almost all pieces (including coats and shoes) coming under £50.