Vintage Hotspots

Vintage Hotspots

Vintage Hotspots

Image by J Smith

As the demand for vintage has continued to grow, so has the quality and quantity of vintage emporiums throughout the UK. We pick some of the best shops throughout the country to visit on any vintage expedition.

Truly Madly Vintage, Chelmsford, Essex:

Whether you’re an Essex girl or in town for the V festival this summer, Chelmsford hides a hidden treasure off its high street. Truly Madly Vintage sits quietly on Moulsham Street amongst other independent businesses.

The shop opened a year ago, and fulfilled the distinct lack of vintage shops in North Essex. It was a risk that paid off, and Phillipa Barnes, 27, has now expanded to add a vintage furniture shop to her business, just a few shops down.

She says; “I think there’s a small but dedicated contingent of people in Chelmsford that are interested in vintage and the more its advertised on the high street helps, as it opens peoples eyes and gets more people looking for vintage, then with the furniture shop as well, it’s become very fashionable to have things from different decades in your home.”

Jolly Brown, Hitchin, Hertfordshire:

Jolly Brown has been running for four years, nestled between pubs and music shops in Bucklersbury, the medieval, cultural street in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

Hannah Brown, the founder of Jolly Brown, explains why she picked Hitchin for this unique beautiful boutique. “I have lived in Hitchin for 12 years and it has such an amazing community feel, lots of independent shops and it also has a very creative, arty and musical side. There is a really stylish feel to the way people dress in Hitchin, there are lots of creative young people too, with a flare for fashion and there wasn’t a vintage shop in town. I wanted a place where people could buy affordable and great quality clothing”

Here you’ll find rails and rails of quality vintage for men and women, in a friendly atmosphere, with staff only too happy to help you put an outfit together.

Revival Retro, South West London:

There are mixed feelings about replication vintage, but Rowena and her Revival Retro team produce such fantastic replication vintage, nobody would ever no the difference! Her London based showroom, offers customers a personal shopping experiences and outfits tailored to them from the 20s to 40s era. Rowena will also be opening a shop in May, in London’s east end, so you can see these replicas yourself and decide!

“Our customers are women of every age group, every background, every walk of life but united by a common love of the art and aesthetic of the 1930s and 1940s. We would all love to own amazing vintage pieces but they are old, fragile, hard to find and decent ones should probably be in a museum. We try to be inclusive and stock a range of sizes from size 6-26.”

Rags to Bitches, Manchester:

This Manchester based brand is more than just a vintage shop. Rags to Bitches has become so successful they have branched out to include popular courses and events to their repertoire. From dress making to hen nights, all ran by professional experts in their field.

Rags to Bitches have won a number of awards, including Stella magazine’s 50 best boutiques in 2008. If you’re planning to visit the store, it’s well worth going all out and making use of one of their many courses or services. A perfect port of call for a weekend away with the girls.

Absolute Vintage, London:

When a shop has been voted ‘one of the top 100 stores you must see in the world’ by the Evening Standard, you know you’re on to a good thing. When a shop has been named as the ‘best vintage shop in London’ by InStyle magazine, you know you’re on to something amazing.

Absolute Vintage’s London based shop and online store have proved massively popular and come with high praise from fashion insiders and customers alike. Both the shop and website are packed with vintage goodies for you to rummage through, no matter what your budget. Vintage Kurt Geiger shoes for £25 anyone?

Virtual Vintage

Twiggy by Bert Stern

Twiggy by Bert Stern

Can’t be bothered to rummage through the rails? Smart vintage shoppers are looking online. We pick the best sites on the web.

Juno Says Hello:

Used by vintage style icon and chef Gizzi Erskine, Juno Says Hello boasts a selection of 200 dresses at any one time, shipped in from America and mainland Europe. Owner and creator, Rebecca Rose, says “The attraction of vintage is that you get fashion plus history – as well as the mystery of wondering who wore this dress before you, to what sort of event. Did they dance the night away or end up having a blazing row with their lover? That intrigue is something that appeals to a lot of vintage aficionados.”

The website specialises in luxury vintage, and is a fantastic port of call if you want vintage that is individual and timeless. Perfect if you’re looking for something special.

“We are now recognised as one of the best online vintage boutiques in the UK, which makes me tremendously happy. We have a blog that features our Skype clinic and monthly giveaways (prizes include books, jewellery and clothing).”

Streaking Scarlett Vintage:

On this eBay store there are weekly auctions of chic casual daywear with dresses and jumpsuits modelled by a fantastic range of models. Streaking Scarlett has a dedicated band of shoppers who log on weekly to bid for much coveted items. If you’ve always rooted through vintage fairs and charity shops to find a beautiful vintage item but always come back empty-handed, Streaking Scarlett is bound to have something that captures your heart.

Most of Streaking Scarlett’s stock conjures up images of effortlessly cool art school students, boasting beautiful dresses and jumpsuits on its store weekly. Checking up on their stock can get addictive and you’ll have to be ruthless with your bidding, if the item you want is popular. But you will always walk away with a bargain, items rarely sell for more than £30.

Memoir Vintage:

Struggle to find period pieces in your size? Worry not, Memoir features clothes in all shapes and sizes and holds regular sales and offers. Run by Susie Burne, who gave us her words of wisdom in our vintage dealing feature, Susie gathers her stock from America and Europe, as well as constantly scouring the UK for fantastic items for her customers.

If you’re looking for glamour when you buy your vintage items, Memoir is a great port of call. You’ll find fabulous sequined and beaded items, with beautiful intricate detail. Best of all, the glamour doesn’t come with an A-list price tag, with most items ranging from £10-£50. If you love the style of the 1980s, you’ll find some great dresses as you scan the wealth of stock.

Devoted 2 Vintage:

This website offers one of the widest collections of vintage in the UK. Stocking both men and women’s clothes and accessories, whatever you’re looking for it’s a haven of designer and high street labels. With free shipping to UK customers, and a mix of budget and luxury vintage, daywear and eveningwear, its well worth checking out what they have on offer.

They also now stock a vintage-inspired range of 1940s and 1950s dresses, from the utility dress of the 40s to full circle prom dresses of the 50s. The dresses are made from original patterns and manufactured in limited numbers in London, so you’re still getting something exclusive. For those looking for some post-war glamour, this website is perfect.

Elizabeth’s Vintage Closet:

The truly unique range of dresses, separates and accessories on this website will make you the envy of everyone. Karen Elizabeth searches high and low nationwide to bring her customers luxury high quality vintage womenswear.

Whether you want to channel Edie Sedgwick or Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth’s Vintage Closet is bound to have something beautiful that you will fall in love with. Karen explains on her website “Vintage clothes are unique and a work of art, and clothes like that just don’t go away, do they? They’re like great old paintings-they just move around. Would you simply discard a beautiful old painting just because of a few flaws and some wear and tear; and then buy a replacement modern picture? Well vintage clothing is very similar, and I know which I would choose.”

Although this online store stocks clothes at the slightly higher end of the price spectrum, they are fantastic pieces you will keep and pass on.