Monday, 27 February 2012

Shopping Guides: Shoreditch Vintage

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Vintage Mafia's Ric Rac club up in Shoreditch, London in aid of Naomi Thompson's "Style Me Vintage" book launch.
It was a great night hanging out and drinking with such glamorous Vintagites (I'm coining that one Charlotte ;-)) as Charlotte, Fiona, Charly, Gemma, Margaret, Shona, Hannah, Claire & Lena to name but a few.
But enough of that... we all had a great night and most of them have blogged about it by now.

During the afternoon before the event I had some time to kill so I went off on a bit of a shopping adventure around Shoreditch, based roughly around the Brick Lane area.
Now before I start I'd just like to get something off my chest... why, oh WHY is it that no vintage seller bother to take the time to size anything up?!? I'm a big fella and the majority of vintage clothing just isn't going to fit me, so to not waste my time it would be great if I could at least narrow down my search to a smaller selection of clothing rather than the whole shop!

I know my measurements off the top-of-my-head... you have to, and although some people do usefully put both chest sizes on tops and waist sizes on trousers this is only half the information! I would really like to see sleeve length on jackets... or at the very least inside leg measurements on trousers!

Come on people! C- More effort required.

Anyway back to the shopping.

Image courtesy
Shoreditch Vintage Fair
First off stop into the Shoreditch Town Hall for the Shoreditch Vintage Fair - Lot's of different sellers there, over 60 stalls apparently and I spotted at least 6 or 7 selling Menswear of pretty good quality (that's a good percentage for Fairs of this type). Check out their Facebook page for details on the next event:

I managed to pick up an excellent green tweed sports jacket (which gave me something great to wear that evening!).

Image courtesy
Vintage Guide to London
Heading down Shoreditch High Street, take a left down Bethnal Green Rd and onto Brick Lane where you'll find Hunky Dory Vintage - Not vast amounts of stock, but good quality (if a little pricey). The shop is pretty much half and half Men's to Women's and they had some great knitwear.

Next head South down Brick Lane and a quick duck right into Bacon St (mmmm bacon) gets you to The Vintage Emporium which houses a lovely Victorian styled tea rooms and a basement filled with Vintage curiosities. Lot's of amazing and delicate women's wear but not much menswear, there are however a few hats and plenty of leather satchels, doctors bags and suitcases.

Heading south again on Brick Lane gets you to the vintage packed Cheshire Street.

Image courtesy
Vintage Basement
First up the Vintage Basement taking up the whole corner of Brick Lane and Cheshire Street - Head downstairs for about 10 racks worth of coats, jackets, shirts, jumpers, trousers and the like.

Across the road is House of Vintage - again a good mix of men's and women's clothing but a bit too modern for my tastes.

Image courtesy
Further down Cheshire street you'll find The Shop - Nice little place with a small but well formed selection of Men's suits, jackets and jumpers. Saw a lovely blue pin-stripe double-breasted 40s style suit from Germany but sadly not in my size (they never are!)

Two doors down is Levison's - a great little vintage menswear store with a lot of REALLY nice suits to be had (again sadly not my size) as well as shirts, jackets, jumpers and waistcoats.
Heading further east along Cheshire street (for what seems like an absolute age!) you'll finally reach Beyond Retro. Usual fair here... LOADS of stuff... a whole arch full of nothing but suits, trousers and jackets! Unfortunately Beyond Retro get the prize for the most UNHELPFUL sizing ever, but categorising clothing into Small, Medium, Large and Extra large (and here's the kicker) without actually explaining what these sizes mean!

Head back along Cheshire street, turn left onto Brick lane and head south until you reach Rokit! Once again, like Beyond Retro, there is vast amounts of stuff here, but just as unhelpfully they don't size anything at all! Which means the great brown pin-stripe double-breasted jacket I found had zero chance of fitting me.

Head further south on Brick lane until you reach Hanbury Street.
Now we've nearly reached the limits of Shoreditch has to offer us, but there are two last ports of call;

Image courtesy| iknow-uk
The first is Absolute Vintage which is along the road to your right. In amongst the sea of stone-washed jeans and bad 80s anoraks you'll find a good selection of jackets, trousers and most interestingly over-coats!

Heading left (that's East) along Hanbury Street you'll reach the newly opened Blitz Vintage Department Store. A lot of interesting things to be found here and the place is spread out over two floors and about four rooms. Head downstairs for the menswear - again an unfortunate lack of sizing on anything.

And that's it! Once you've finished having a rummage in Blitz drop yourselves down into one of their Chesterfield sofas and grab a coffee and a slice of cake from their in-store café (with the most amazing espresso machines I've ever seen!)

Just to make things easier for you i've put together this handy Google Map showing the locations of all the shops listed above. Here you are:
Don't say I never give you anything! ;-)

Special thanks to Lena at The Vintage Guide to London for her original list of places to check out for Men's wear.


  1. Glad you had a fun day shopping Mat and even found something!x

  2. HI Mat!

    just to say, POST SOME MORE! I really love reading your blog, and want to seem more pretty please :)

    I've passed on the 'One Lovely Blog Award' over at mine, go on, take it!

    And also, are you going to the Vintage Festival up at the Racecourse? If so, which day and do you fancy meeting up for a drink?


    1. Hey Emma!
      Thanks for the lovely comment. I PROMISE you I've got SO many good posts in draft almost ready to roll you won't be disappointed, just need to find the time to finish some of them off :-)

      RE: Vintage Nation, you know it's only on Saturday right? I'll be there with Jo-Ann from Vintage Brighton doing my paparazzi bit snapping the well dressed for her blog, so definitely up for a drink!


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