When I was younger I lived for the high street, New Look, Pilot, Bay Trading, Peacocks (this is showing my age!) and second hand clothing was naff and uncool.
But now I’m in my thirties I’m finding myself drawn more and more thrift shopping and vintage shopping too.
Charities shop are like an Aladdin’s cave to me. When I walk into one I never know what to expect.
Unlike high street fashion brands, where you know it’s the same current trend in most of them. With charity and vintage shops you never know what you’ll discover.
I love looking through and finding a great brand at a great price. Its win win for both the charity for making a sale and my my bank account too.
Yes admittedly sometimes I have to rummage through flowery blouses, old Primark tops and pleated skirts to find something worth having. But when I find that item it’s like a small victory (perhaps I need to get out more!).
Also in light of all the throw away fashion we have nowadays, it’s great to be able to recycle old clothes and give them a new lease of life.
I have recently been taking to having a look through a number of local charity and vintage shops and should you live in the south coast of England, here are my tips on where to start looking for those hidden gems.
As a disclaimer, I do not promote myself to be anything of an expert on the topic. I am only just starting out but sharing is caring, so I hope this helps!
(In alphabetical order)
What Arundel lacks in high street brands it makes up for in antique and vintage shops. My favourite places to have a snoop around are:
Nineveh House in Tarrant Street-
A 2 level building with several units on both floors, full of antiques, vintage bric a brac and some vintage clothing and handbags. Most are resonably priced. Well worth a browse.
Cancer Research in the High Street-
A small but perfectly formed charity shop. I once found a velvet Cath Kidston bag in there and though not vintage, still a bit of a find. And the proceeds go to charity.
Chestnut Tree House in River Road-
Again another charity shop. You can expect the normal sort of charity shop wares but advisable to check it out as Arundel has a number of affulent people in the area so who knows what might get donated!
Brighton is a gold mine of vintage and charity shops. Brighton already has that vibe nailed down, so you know you’re in the right place!
I recently discovered London Road in Brighton and they have virtually every charity shop going. I suggest you take your time as there are a lot to get through but it increases the chances of finding a bargain!
If your in London Road it’s well worth having a look at Brighton Open Market. This is situated just off London Road and has a few vintage fashion stores.
There is a vintage shop that has a 1940’50’s feminine vibe. With gorgeous 50’s frocks and beautiful jewellery. It may not be at prices to grab a bargain, but if this is your vibe then a must see.
Next to that is another vintage/retro store- it looks more male orinated with 80’s t-shirts, checked shirts and denim jeans.
Head into Bond Street and follow the road forward and you will soon discover an array of vintage shops. You won’t nessacarily find a bargain, as these are curated items and the owners do know what items can sell for. But do not let that put you off.
If you like the vintage or 80’s, 90’s look then you’ll find plenty of old school Levis, retro 80’s t-shirts and everything in between.
You won’t be stuck for choice!
Further into the North Laine you’ll find a shop with an electic mix of antiques, bric a brac, knick knacks and vintage items. It’s a fairly big shop floor, with lots of items crammed in, so you’ll need to have a good rummage to see what there is to offer.
I recently discovered a couple of gems of bags for a great price. Definetly check it out if you like the feeling of looking for treasure (I’m such a child!).
A stones throw from North Laine is this shop which upon entering feels like a warehouse full of many, many vintage and retro items.
From belts, to hats, to old Converses, to 80’s t-shirts and jumpers to 50’s dresses and many denim jeans. It’s perfect for the vintage shopper.
They prices aren’t sky high, but the team who do the prices do know the worth of items, so unlikely you’ll find a real bargain.
Never the less, if old school is your bag then I would 100% recommend you visit.
This is my home town, so it’s worthy of a mention. Whilst there isn’t really many vintage shops (a couple have since have closed over the last year) there are a number of charity shops.
I know most high streets have their fare share of charity shops also so Chichester isn’t much different but there is a good selection so worth having a visit.
Though with that said if you are after a vintage item in Chichester then try:
Beyond The Fringe-
Just off the main city centre this is a small shop but full of vintage items. When Goodwood Revival nears this becomes a mecca for many people going. In the summer you can see various dresses and outfits hanging out side to grab your attention.
I personally don’t visit it often but now I am getting more into vintage shopping I will be making more of an effort to visit.
St Wilfrids Hospice Retro and Vintage shop-
Supporting the local hospice this shop is as it suggests full of retro and vintage clothing for both male and female and vintage homeware and toys.
They always have a great window display that catches my eye every time I walk past. Even just to have a browse I do enjoy having a peruse around this shop.
On the first Saturday of every month is a pop up market in the Assembly Rooms in North Street. Various stalls selling fashion, home ware and hand made accessories. For the vintage lover, this is a great place to visit.
If I’m honest I haven’t really researched Southampton enough for vintage items. But what I do know is that every so often there is a Vintage Fair held in the O2 Guildhall.
This is a travelling fair popping up at venues across the UK at various points across the year.
I have been to one in Southampton before and it was fab. There are various stalls from independant vintage sellers.
It fills a hall size space and has all you’d expect to from a vintage fair, including tea and cake!
I’m sure there is many more shops and markets to discover. Anything I have missed please do share in the comments below.
One last place to try is my mum’s spare bedroom. There is probably enough clothes from my sister and myself over the years to fill a shop. No joke! There is a few feet high of clothes in there.
I will endeavour to go back through it all and pick on some real bargains- free ones!