Looking good needn't mean looking like everyone else. Vintage is often most original choice, plus its an environmentally friendly way to buy clothes. Below are some of the best places to find vintage and retro clothing in London, from budget buys to high-end vintage.
If you're looking for cheap second-hand clothing, take a look at London's charity and thrift shops.
If you love shoes, step into Absolute Vintage in East London! The shop has a huge selection of affordable vintage shoes, with prices averaging around £20 per pair. It's also great for bags and accessories, with plenty of treasures to be found if you're prepared to rummage!
Alfies Antique Market
London's largest indoor market is a treasure trove of antique and vintage clothes, collectables and 20th century design pieces. Vintage lovers will adore spending hours browsing through the market's 600 stalls crammed with everything from rare vintage finds to colourful baubles. Alfies Antique market also has a great rooftop cafe.
Beyond Retro offers an excellent selection of handpicked vintage clothing to style conscious shoppers. The large-scale, show-stopping stores are a dazzling celebration of style through the decades. Choose from Beyond Retro Brick Lane; the central Beyond Retro Soho; and the newest addition, Beyond Retro Dalston.
Blackout IIBlackout II has been trading in Covent Garden for nearly two decades. Pop in, and you'll benefit from the staff members' extensive knowledge of all things vintage. The well-stocked shop is set over two floors and sells both men's and women's gear from the 1920s up to the 1980s.
Bag some bargain vintage or a really special one-off piece in Camden. The market has loads of second-hand shops and stalls that sell everything from elegant 1940s gowns, to cheesy 70s and 80s disco wear. Look out for Thea Vintage and Lost'n'Found Clothing in the Stables Market.
House of VintageHouse of Vintage is a small vintage boutique in Brick Lane that specialises in one-off pieces from the 1920s to the 1980s, with the main emphasis on clothing from the 40s, 50s, and 60s era. Pop in to find high-end, high-quality vintage designer pieces from the likes of YSL, Givenchy and Burberry.
Lucy in Disguise
Popstar Lily Allen opened vintage boutique Lucy in Disguise with her sister Sarah Owen. Here you'll find carefully sourced vintage pieces, with plenty of designer names. This isn't the place to find budget buys, but some items are available to hire. There's also a salon for vintage hair and makeup to match.
One of a Kind
This Portobello Road vintage haven is a favourite with celebs such as Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. Find inspiration from old Vivienne Westwood and YSL clothing so rare that prices head well into the thousands! One Of A Kind also offers more reasonably priced rags.
Stock up on retro and kitsch items from the 60s, 70s and 80s at Pop Boutique. The shop also sells its own brand of vintage style pieces and has a good selection of menswear. Great for a quick party outfit or key piece to bring a slice of the past to your wardrobe.
Radio Days near Waterloo Station is a treasure trove of vintage clothes, accessories and memorabilia. This is a must for hardcore vintage addicts: find a new outfit, hat, gloves or quirky items from yesteryear to add to your home. Radio Days is also good for retro-themed dress up occasions and gifts for the vintage lover in your life.
A favourite with designers, magazine editors and It girls, Rellik in Kensington specialises in designer vintage clothing. Clothes are beautifully displayed on the walls and the racks are packed with well-sourced and preserved designer couture. Take advice from the expert staff to help put together your outfit.
Find some great retro gear and help a good cause at Retromania, a charity shop specialising in retro and vintage clothes and memorabilia. There's a good mix of cheap clothes and pricier designer pieces, plus lovely vintage household items on sale. Profits are donated to charity FARA.
Go retro with Rokit's huge range of men's and women's vintage clothing. The stores also carry alternative fashion and partywear such as stripy socks, crinolines, lace gloves and novelty hats. As well as the Covent Garden store, there's Rokit Camden and two stores in Brick Lane for your shopping pleasure.