Here are six of the best places in London to go thrifting
Whether it’s a wrangler outfit or a gothic corset – you won’t be disappointed at these London second-hand gems
Are you really a London student if you don’t own any second-hand clothing? Either way, with the continuous growth of thrifting in the UK, it would still be silly to overlook it as an option for you.
Not only can thrifting be ridiculously cheap to save money for nights out or fancy meals, but it’s also incredibly sustainable – something you should consider after the 40-degree disaster we just went through.
It can be daunting to start looking around randomly for second-hand shops. But fear not: The London Tab has compiled a list of places littered with vintage and charity shops perfect for starting your thrifting journey.
1. Kentish Town Road
While some vintage stores can be expensive (considering they’re second-hand), charity shops are guaranteed to offer you a great price that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.
Kentish Town Road offers too many charity shops to count. This is my personal favourite on the list (totally not just because I once scored a bargain of £14.50 on five items.)
2. Camden Market
Camden Market is the epitome of London thrifting. The Crème de le crème, if you will.
While it’s not as cheap as the Kentish Town charity shops, the historic Stables Market wins with an unrivalled array of pre-loved garms, from Western wrangler gear to Victorian corsets. You’re almost guaranteed to find something you love here.
If you’re somehow insatiable when it comes to vintage goods and the market doesn’t satisfy you, head onto Camden High Street for the charity and vintage stores, including chains such as Traid and Rokit.
But the cherry on top is that you’re right by the amazing food market for some much-needed sustenance after a hard day of thrifting.
3. Brick Lane
Brick Lane holds a special place in my heart as the origin of my biggest thrifting flex: a pair of perfect condition Valentino trousers for a fraction of the price.
Even though there are many vintage markets along Brick Lane, The Brick Lane Vintage Market is definitely a standout. It’s a massive underground market full of pre-loved clothes, novelty accessories, and even vinyl. Trust me, going into the market is an experience in itself.
If you want to follow in the footsteps of fashion influencers like Maddison Beer, then check out Vintage Paradise for a curated collection of Y2K fashion.
And while you can find a Rokit everywhere, you’ll find the unique Rokit Originals store on Brick Lane, which reworks run-down clothes into trendy new outfits.
4. Portobello Road
Portobello Road is home to possibly the world’s most famous street market called, you guessed it, the Portobello Road Market.
But the vintage clothing market is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, so be prepared to face the crowds on a busy weekend’s day out.
5. Covent Garden & Soho
Hidden away between Covent Garden’s fast fashion stores and Chinatown’s delicious food are some of the best thrift stores in the West End.
The most notable of these, in my opinion, is yet another Rokit. (Sorry, I’m a fan.)
But that’s not all! Just across the street, you’ll find PickNWeight, a unique thrift store that charges you based on the weight of your items. You can also find the ever-growing Beyond Retro store closer to Soho, which boasts the best in-house clothing of all the vintage stores in London.
6. Spitalfields Market
I can’t make this list without mentioning the Spitalfields Market, a fantastic thrifting spot right in the cultural hotspot for art and business.
The market hosts various stalls during the week, including clothing, jewellery, gadgets, and records. You’ll find it hard to come away without buying something (and for a good price, too!).
It’s also worth mentioning that the food and social life here are pretty spectacular. Players Social offers a great way to unwind and play games after shopping, and places like Humble Crumble provide one of the best sweet treats you will ever find.
Keep an eye out
While you should definitely check out the places on the list, the biggest advice I can give you as an expert thrifter in London is to snoop around for any events or sales. For example, York Hall in Bethnal Green often hosts a kilo vintage sale, where general admission is only two pounds, and you can get a kilo of clothes for £15.
You never know when you might find a bargain, so stay hunting and be ready to pounce. Your next second-hand outfit is out there waiting for you.