So my love affair with vintage stems from a very old but very cherished childhood memory. Every Sunday morning would be spent accompanying my father on our weekly trip down to Brick Lane Market. It was such a thrill to walk through the bustling crowds, I vividly recall the sights of beautiful fur coats, sheepskin jackets and flowing dresses hanging from the arches along the lanes, as well as colourful shoes and rows of trinkets all lined up on floored blankets on the street. As a child, I was fascinated by these items and couldn’t help but wonder where they came from and who they would belong to by the end of the day. My Dad would have to hurry me along, eager to get home for the Sunday Roast. These trips, I believe, is where my fondness of preloved items began.
Fast forward to my college days, this is when I discovered the joys of Covent Garden. My “enabling” friend and I used to jump aboard the Piccadilly line and head there to browse in the vintage shops and people watch in the square. I didn’t have many pennies to spend but we managed to unearth some real gems, some of which I have still got today. I remember the overwhelming feeling of awe which would come over me when I was confronted with rails upon rails of beautifully printed vintage dresses, so unlike anything in the high street stores at the time. Each item, having a tale to tell. We idled away so many hours cooing over dresses and people watching for outfit inspiration. We discovered stores such as Pop Boutique, Yellow Submarine and the shop with no name (affectionately named weird man shop) The rails of brightly coloured beauties had me at hello!
(image courtesy of Pinterest)
My passion for vintage pieces was cemented when, a few years later, I was working across two boroughs, Westminster and Camden. Often based close to Portobello Road and Camden Lock, I was in prime Vintage territory! Lunch hours were spent rifling through little shops and stalls full of hidden treasures! Needless to say, my salary was greatly affected by these locations but my wardrobe was very happy about them!
The appeal for me firstly was, that the pieces were just so different from what was duplicated in the high street stores and secondly, the romance of the stories that these pieces held. Who knew who had danced the night away in that little wiggle dress or what romantic date that little velvet number had been on!
I know vintage isn’t for everyone but I do think a few carefully chosen items would add interest to anyone’s wardrobe. I enjoy mixing in vintage pieces with high street, one of my current favourites is pairing a vintage shirt with dungarees. I love the juxtaposition of the old style shirts alongside the more modern feel of denim dungas!
Also, you can’t beat a vintage dress for a bit of WOW! The cut is usually very flattering and the unusual prints or details such as pearl buttons really stand out.
Another favourite for me is vintage scarves. This is an easy way to add a little vintage schujj into your every day wardrobe. I have been very lucky enough to have inherited some truly beautiful scarves, my favourite being a giant liberty paisley number! Match with a denim shirt for easy wearability.
Another must have for me is a vintage blazer, I have a few, these range from soft velvet to herringbone 80’s, I love them all and paired with a simple jeans and tee combo, they really work.
Where to buy vintage…
As I don’t get to visit many of the vintage boutiques very often these days, I do use Ebay a lot. It is full of gems, just be careful to check measurements, remember vintage sizing is usually different so get your measuring tape out! Depop is also a real treasure trove of goodies!
I do love a charity shop as well, some of my best finds have been from searching through these little shops to discover velvet shirts, printed shift dresses, leather satchels, you name it! I love the thrill of the rummage as when I do unearth something amazing, I really feel like I have earned it!
There are of course, lots of amazing stores out there, dedicated to vintage , this TimeOut article has a great list of London shops. The Kilo sales are always great for finding some brilliant vintage, so if you can find one local to you, I definitely recommend going along!
Below are some of my favourite places to browse online…
Lastly, here’s some style inspiration…all courtesy of pinterest
Thank you so much for reading, I would love to hear what you think…