The Best East London Vintage Shops
But what, exactly, is vintage clothing?
According to the popular second-hand site, Depop, we can generally take ‘vintage clothing’ to mean garments that were made at least a decade ago. From high street threads to designer clobber, there’s all sorts of vintage pieces out there to suit every taste and budget.
So, why shop vintage?
Vintage clothing has grown in popularity over recent years, with more vintage shops than ever popping up all over London and beyond. Whilst it’s impossible to put this down to any one reason, there are a few factors likely at play. These are:
Cost: Young consumers have grown up in a challenging economic climate. With less disposable income than previous generations ‘Millennials’ and ‘Gen Z’ers’ have had to be thrifty with their money. Vintage clothing can be a cheap, fun and accessible way to play with fashion without spending a fortune.
Sustainability: Fast fashion brands hold a huge amount of influence over the youth clothing market. However, with a growing consciousness of the impact that mass-produced fast fashion has on the environment, there are many young consumers who see vintage clothing as a more sustainable and eco-friendly way to dress.
Style: If you’re shopping the latest trends at high street stores, chances are you and your friends are all going to end up sporting very similar looks … For those craving a little more individuality, vintage shopping offers the opportunity to find special one-off pieces. We love that each item has already lived a life and has its own story to tell.
London is a real hot spot for vintage, with some incredible shops to be found all over the city. Whether you’re looking for bargain designer items, distressed denim, 80’s biker jackets, sturdy boots, quirky hats, cute tea dresses or unique accessories, vintage shopping in London promises plenty of treasures.
The vintage shops of East London are some of our favourite in the city. Saturated around trendy Brick Lane and its surrounding streets, along with others scattered throughout Shoreditch and Hackney, the vintage scene here is second to none.
If you’re planning to visit some of the best vintage shops in London whilst you’re visiting the city, we suggest heading East one morning. Spend the day leisurely wandering from one East London vintage shop to another. Bring a friend and see who can find the bargain of the day!
So, without further ado, here’s our pick of the Best East London Vintage Shops. Check them out and let us know how you get on …
The Best Brick Lane Vintage Shops
Brick Lane is a ‘go-to’ location for anyone who loves to shop vintage. It’s well known for its abundance of well-stocked, quirky vintage shops. Start your vintage expedition around this area and you’ll have easy access to lots of great shops.
If you’re looking for the busy and bustling Brick Lane experience, head along on a Sunday when the famous Brick Lane Market takes place. If you want to visit at a quieter time to have a chance to browse the shops with less crowds, plan your visit for during the week.
Amongst the most popular Brick Lane vintage shops are Rokit Vintage, Hunky Dory Vintage, Brick Lane Vintage Market, Atika and Beyond Retro. Read on to find out more about what each one has to offer.
We’ve partnered with super talented blogger Sophie’s Suitcase on the hunt to find the best vintage shops in London:
Best for: Good quality pieces for style conscious, environmentally aware vintage lovers, dating from the Thirties to the Nineties
Rokit is a stalwart of the Brick Lane vintage shops. Starting life as Camden market stall in 1986, Rokit sourced original denim pieces thrifted from American cowboys. A pretty cool start to life on the London vintage scene, we’re sure you’ll agree! Demand was so high that Rokit soon took over a two-storey shop on the Camden high street and has gone on to open three further stores, including their popular vintage shop on Brick Lane.
Rokit’s denim-only days are firmly over. The store is packed wall to wall with a cracking selection of vintage clothing, catering to 50s gals, 90s dudes and every possible street style and catwalk trend in between.
Rokit has more of a boutique feel than some of the other vintage shops in East London. Clothes are freshly laundered, pressed and repaired where necessary so expect to pay a bit more for this kind of quality vintage.
Rokit 101 Brick Lane E1 6SE, UK
Monday – Friday: 11am – 7pm
Saturday – Sunday 10am – 7pm
Hunky Dory Vintage
Best for: A carefully curated selection of classic pieces in good quality fabrics
Hunky Dory Vintage proves that good things very often do come in small packages. If you can, it’s best to visit this intimate little shop during the week when it’s less busy – or it can feel a bit crowded.
That said, the Hunky Dory team have done a great job of arranging their well-edited collection by colour and style, so it’s not too tricky to navigate your way around if you are looking for something in particular. Keep an eye out for sale pieces which can often get hidden on the packed rails.
At this well-loved brick lane vintage shop, a strong emphasis is placed on style over fashion as the team aim to source classic styles in good quality fabrics. As such, you won’t find the kind of sportswear and 80’s styles that fill the rails at a lot of East London’s vintage stores. But if you’re looking for a well-curated collection of eternally stylish, great quality pieces Hunky Dory is for you.
Oh, and once you’re done browsing, do yourself a favour and grab a famous bagel at famous 24 hour joint Beigel Bake.
Hunky Dory Vintage 226 Brick Lane E1 6SA
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11.30am – 6.30pm
Image Credit: ashionlamour.com
Brick Lane Vintage Market
Best for: A huge, eclectic selection of vintage and upcycled pieces under one roof
For a great introduction to vintage shopping in London head along to Brick Lane Vintage Market where you’ll find an eclectic selection of vintage specialists from all over Europe and the UK displaying their wares under one (very big) roof.
Housed in The Truman Brewery, a huge warehouse on Brick Lane, there’s a great selection of vintage clothing and accessories from over 100 vendors, dating from the 1920’s the 1990’s. From glam fur coats to feather capes, vinyl records to vintage bridal wear and men’s suits, Brick Lane Vintage Market has something for everyone.
Make sure to also check out the host of creative designers and makers who are doing some cool upcycled pieces and new vintage-style clothing.
Best of all, there’s also some great food outlets offering up tasty grub. So, when hunger strikes, you won’t have far to go!
Brick Lane Vintage Market 85 Brick Lane Spitalfields E1 6QL, UK
Monday – Sunday: 11am – 5pm
If you’re looking for designer vintage in London, then make sure to stop at lifestyle store ATIKA on your tour of the vintage shops of East London. Stocking high end labels like Armani, Burberry, Barbour and Escada, this is the spot for high end vintage lovers.
Also on the shop floor is a good selection of American workwear including well-loved brands like Carhartt and Dickies. We’ve also fallen hard for ATIKA”S collection of hand-picked mid-century Japanese Kimonos.
Housed in an historic Victorian warhouse, ATIKA also stocks an ever-changing selection of mid-century furniture, art, records, coffee, books and even some vintage games and comics.
Atika 55 – 59 Hanbury Street E1 5JP
Monday – Saturday: 11am – 7pm
Sunday: 12pm – 6pm
Got your cool vintage outfit sorted? Why not take it for a night out at one of the best jazz bar in London?
Best for: Some wacky festival garms and a fun day out browsing the rainbow racks
Step into Beyond Retro London and you’ll be immediately dazzled by the rail upon rail of colourful clothes. A visit to this London institution feels a bit like a chance to be a kid again. The endless racks are stuffed full of fun and interesting vintage items and you can easily spend a couple of hours playing dress up in some of the more outlandish finds.
Be prepared to spend time rifling through the rails as there’s a really big selection. Most items are from the 70’s – 90’s, although there are a few older pieced to be found if that’s what you’re after. Prices are pretty reasonable, just be sure to check the condition of your items before you buy.
If you’re hitting the festivals this summer, then head to Beyond Retro London to put together your show-stopping vintage-inspired outfit!
Beyond Retro 10-112 Cheshire St, Shoreditch E2 6EJ
Monday-Wednesday: 10am – 7pm
Thursday: 10am – 8pm
Friday-Saturday: 10am – 7pm
Sunday: 11.30am – 6pm
Image credit: cool-cities.com
The Best East London Vintage Shops
Sticking around East London, but moving a little away from Brick Lane, you’ll find a great collection of stores where you can happily continue vintage shopping in London to your heart’s content.
Wander the streets and get inspired by the wardrobes of the cool kids in this trendy part of the city. They’ll no doubt be shopping in some of the best East London vintage shops like Paper Dress Vintage, East End Thrift Store, East End Vintage Clothing, House of Vintage, The Market Cartel and Metro Retro.
Follow in their footsteps and pick up some vintage pieces that you’ll treasure forever. Read on to discover what the best East London vintage shops have got to offer.
Paper Dress Vintage
Best for: Great vintage threads and great tunes
We’ve got a lot of love for places that aren’t exactly what they seem, and Paper Dress Vintage is exactly that. Downstairs is a fully functioning vintage shop complete with a bar hidden away at the back (because shopping and booze are fitting companions, right?) and upstairs is a tiny, 75 capacity gig venue where bands play in front of the glass shop front window.
The shop itself is surprisingly large, with an interesting selection of both men’s and women’s clothing and accessories dating from the 20’s to the 80’s. Items are displayed on a charmingly kitsch selection of vintage sofas, chairs and tables.
There’s a laid back, authentic vibe about Paper Dress Vintage. It manages to be quirky without being contrived and you’ll likely just feel like you’ve stumbled into the house party of someone with a particularly impressive wardrobe of vintage threads.
Paper Dress Vintage 352a Mare St E8 1HR
Boutique: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 7.30pm
Bar / Gig Venue:
Monday – Wednesday: 12pm – 10pm
Thursday: 12pm – 12am
Friday: 12pm – 2am
Saturday 12pm – 3am
Sun: 12pm – 12am
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East End Thrift Store
Best for: Vintage lovers on a budget
If you’re a backpacker on a tight budget, then the East End Thrift Store is just the place for you. The simple idea behind the EETS is to provide good value vintage which, if we’re being honest, is getting more and more difficult to
To bring you this affordably priced vintage, there’s a back to basics approach with the décor at this old Stepney warehouse. As in to say – there isn’t any. But once you’re busy rummaging through racks to find bargains galore, who gives two hoots what the shop looks
Make sure to keep an eye on the East End Thrift Store Facebook page to hear about their enduringly-popular Thriftstock sales where you can fill a big for just a tenner. EETS offers thrifting as it was meant to be – so be prepared to sift through piles of stuff to find that hidden gem …
East End Thrift Store 4 Assembly Passage E1 4UT
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm
East End Vintage Clothing
Best for: Bargain hunters with the stamina to root through big piles of clothes …
East End Vintage Clothing is another warehouse-style London thrift store that’s a great shout for those hoping to grab a bargain or two.
You’ll find French, European and American vintage spanning the decades – from the 20’s to the 90’s. A curated vintage boutique this is not, but there’s plenty to choose from for those willing to spend the time rummaging through the rails.
Like the East End Thrift Store, East End Vintage also offer a Fill a Bag sale. Fill a medium bag for £10 or a large one for £20. Occasionally they run special events where you’ll have the chance to buy individual items for as little as £1. If that’s not a true vintage bargain, we don’t know what is! For news of these special events follow along on their Facebook page or Twitter.
East End Vintage Clothing Railway Arch 452 Robeson Street E3 4JA
Monday – Thursday: 11am – 6pm
Saturday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm
House of Vintage
Best for: Quirky and cool 40’s, 50’s and 60’s pieces
House of Vintage is a Shoreditch vintage shop worth checking out. An import from Canada, its first London store opened in 2010 stocking a gorgeous collection of carefully curated vintage from the 20’s to the 70’s, with a particular focus on pieces from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.
House of Vintage has a more refined, boutique-like feel than some of the other London vintage shops than we’ve featured, so this is reflective in the price of the items you’ll find here.
That said, if you’re looking for a special, one off piece and don’t mind investing a bit more then it’s definitely worth visiting this gem of a Shoreditch vintage shop.
House of Vintage 4 Cheshire Street E2 6EH
House of Vintage Amhurst Road E81JN
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm
The Market Cartel
Best for: A classy selection of mid-century vintage clothing + furniture and homewares
Housed in a gorgeous 1930’s art deco building, The Market Cartel source goods from all around the world, with a focus on good quality mid-century pieces. Along with vintage clothing you’ll also find jewellery, accessories, furniture and lighting. Look out for their occasional pop-up events where you can come and browse to your heart’s content whilst listening to the sounds of a trendy in-store DJ.
The Market Cartel has class and style in bucket-loads so if you’re around the Hackney Downs area make sure to check it out.
12a Downs Court Parade Amhurst Rd E8 2AQ
Tuesday – Friday: 11am – 7pm
Saturday: 11am – 8pm
Sunday: 12pm – 6pm
Best for: A carefully chosen selection of beautiful vintage with an Eastern twist
Mero Retro in Dalston offers vintage lovers in London something a little bit different. They specialise in vintage fashion and gifts with an eastern twist. Head in for a browse and you’ll find amazing hand-chosen vintage from Japan, the U.S and Europe alongside handmade and fair-trade jewellery, clothes and handicrafts from India, Nepal and Thailand. The owner of Mero Retro is super friendly and more than happy to help you with more information about her carefully chosen pieces.
If you’re looking for beautifully made, original clothes and a great shopping experience then make sure to pay a visit to Mero Retro.
Mero Retro 2 Bradbury Street, Dalston N16 8JN
Opening Hours: Monday: 4.30pm – 8pm
Tuesday & Wednesday: 10.30am – 7.30pm
Thursday: 10.30am – 8pm
Friday & Saturday: 10.30am – 7.30pm
Sunday: 12pm – 6pm
Vintage Shopping in London is an experience like no other. With an incredible array of shops to choose from offering unique clothing and accessories to suit almost every budget and style, you may well want to put aside a whole weekend in the city to explore them all!
Why not book a bed at Clink261 Budget Hostel or at Clink78 Backpackers Youth Hostel in King’s Cross and save more £££ for your vintage shopping expedition? If you’re travelling with a group, check out cheap group accommodation in London.