A vintage store is akin to a fashion museum, indicative of a city’s culture and history.
What’s more, its green-friendly and recycled nature gives you the perfect excuse to check out a city’s offerings without that shopping guilt. So whether you’re a retro boutique enthusiast or you consider yourself more of a thrift shop devotee, there’s second hand glamor to suit every price budget. Here we bring you our choice of the best vintage shops to be found on the streets of Europe.
Kraków: Mulholland Drive
Mulholland Drive takes its name from the quirky David Lynch film, for an experience that’s just as surreal.
Off the beaten track to the point of obscurity, hunting down the whereabouts of Mulholland Drive is half of the magic. Once you find it, you’ll be privy to a dreamlike collection of clothes that feels like a well-kept secret.
Sienna 1, 31-041 Kraków, Poland Mullholland Drive.
Antwerp: Jutka & Riska
More akin to a high-end boutique than a second hand thrift store, Jutka & Riska is a luxury peruse. Don’t let its small size put you off because pieces here are highly considered and only the best will make the cut. Expect lots of vintage designer nestled in amongst the well-loved gems in this highly exclusive place.
Nationalestraat 87, Antwerp, Belgium Jutka & Riska
The concept of vintage shopping is a relatively new one in the city of Prague. Under communism, clothing was seen as simply a necessity and the idea of fashion as a hobby was unheard of. One of the first second hand stores to open in the city, Laly is a basement treasure trove well worth a visit on that premise alone.
Štupartská 3, Prague 1, Czech Republic
Barcelona: Le Swing
A glamorous girl’s vintage paradise, Le Swing is crammed with an eclectic menagerie of classic gowns, snakeskin handbags, glitzy headpieces and feather boas. Expect to find vintage Chanel and Hermès and Dolce & Gabbana in amongst the madness, with Le Swing throwing it all together with an eccentric twist.
Carrer del Rec 16, 08003 Barcelona, Spain Le Swing
Paris: Free P Star
In the heart of Parisian sophistication, Free P Star shines like a chaotic rough amongst the diamonds. Descend a rickety stepladder into the basement to find mile-high piles of teetering clothes and a wonderfully busy atmosphere. A refreshing break from the boutiqued streets, it’s well worth the rummage.
61 Rue de la Verrerie, Paris, France freepstar.com
Stockholm: Beyond Retro
With something of a cult following on the hippest streets of East London, vintage clothing chain Beyond Retro has laid claim to Sweden’s capital city. Scandinavia has been quietly establishing itself as a powerful fashion force and Stockholm is at the very heart of the action. More like a warehouse than simply a shop, Beyond Retro is a vintage emporium that hosts vintage goodies at affordable prices.
Drottninggatan 77, 111 60, Stockholm, Sweden beyondretro.com
Home to an impressive five floors of vintage threads, Humana is by far the biggest store on the list. Spend an afternoon in this retro metropolis and you’ll be donating to a worldwide humanitarian organization, as well as uncovering heaps of treasure. You’ll probably even find some vintage luggage to cart all your new belongings home in!
Frankfurter Tor 3, Friedrichshain, Berlin, Germany humana-second-hand.de
Geneva: Vet’ shop
If you want to feel guilt-free about your shopping, head to this thrifty store that’s actually part of the Swiss Red Cross. With a focus on fashion that sets it apart from its charity shop siblings, it specifically sells ‘vet’ or vetements, known to you and me as clothes. Beautifully organized and presented like a boutique, you’ll soon forget that it’s a charity shop.
Plainpalais, 2 rue Leschot, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland croix-rouge-ge.ch
Spanning two floors, Amsterdam’s Episode is the flagship store of an empire that has begun to spread across Europe. The prices are a bit higher than average but the clothes are well organized and the staff are highly knowledgeable. What’s more, Episode also stocks reworked pieces and handmade goods, making it well worth a good browse.
Berenstraat 1, 1016 GG Amsterdam, Netherlands episode.eu
FN92 is just the place for you if you like your vintage with a little bit of extra glamor thrown in. Full to the brim with fancy hats, delicate lace and pretty brooches, the shop specializes in evening and bridal wear. Take a trip here and you’ll be sure to leave with the perfect special occasion dress to make you the belle of the ball.
Larsbjørnsstræde 6, 1454 Copenhagen, Denmark fn92shop.com
Josie Sampson is a fashion blogger with a love for vintage, having previously written for the likes of The Times, The Huffington Post and London’s Metro.
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta
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