We visited seven Newcastle charity shops to see who has the best vintage clobber
Looking for Newcastle’s best thrifting spots? We’ve got you covered
Keeping your wardrobe up to date at uni can be expensive. As the semester wears on and your student loan’s arrival becomes an increasingly distant memory, we’re all looking for a bargain. Newcastle is a great city for thrifting and seems to have a charity shop on every corner, but figuring out which ones to go to can be a challenge.
To help you decide, we visited seven Tyneside vintage stores and scored them on their selection and prices to give you a definitive list of the Toon’s best bargain boutiques.
Located just off Northumberland Street, Vintage Scene is one of Newcastle’s newest vintage stores. It boasts a wide range of both American and European pieces, covering all the top brands from Carhartt and Dickies to Ralph Lauren and other designer brands.
While prices are on the higher side, they are balanced out by the £1 rack, which was home to some absolute steals. Complete with LED lighting and a banging indie rock playlist, Vintage Scene is well worth a quick visit between lectures.
Overall score: 6/10
People’s Price has always been a hotspot for student-friendly prices, and their new vintage basement is no exception. The stock is absolutely colossal, teeming with brand names covering sportswear, designer fashion, and some great retro pieces at a price point few can match.
Most items fall between £5 and £20, and with the addition of a 10% student discount you really can’t go wrong. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of tat mixed in with the otherwise brilliant stock, so you’ll have to do some digging to get to the good stuff, but there’s plenty of gems to be found.
Overall score: 9/10
The Vintage Store
It’s time to start a conversation about The Vintage Store. Despite its loud music, interesting appearance, and bustling storefront, The Vintage Store is a little more than a façade, touting an underwhelming crop of primarily American university merchandise at simply fraudulent prices.
With a stock that just doesn’t quite measure up to a lot of Newcastle’s other vintage stores and some of the highest prices on Tyneside, The Vintage Store is definitely one to miss.
Overall score: 3/10
Analog is a globally sourced independent vintage store located in Grainger Market, selling a range of high-quality jumpers from the likes of Nike and Adidas to an off-beat selection of 90’s American streetwear.
Their collection of corduroy trousers are the most student-friendly in terms of price, with most pieces priced around the £15 mark- perfect for combating Newcastle’s looming winter chill. Check out more of their pieces on their Instagram (@this.is.analog) and Depop (thisisanalog) store.
Overall score: 8/10
The only proper charity shop we visited, Sense was pretty underwhelming. Located on Grainger Street within sight of Central Station, Sense had developed a reputation as a hidden gem, however, when we passed through the selection of clothes wasn’t much to write home about. The men’s section only consisted of about 15 items, however, a massive bonus is that the most expensive item we found was only £7.
While the clothes weren’t the best, there was a large collection of vinyl records, crockery, and glassware to spruce up your accommodation. Of course, since Sense is a charity shop their stock is reliant on donations and will be consistently rotating, so we will definitely be going back to look for some bargain pulls.
Overall score: 5/10
Retro is exactly what it says on the tin: a retro paradise. Tucked away in a High Bridge side street, Retro has occupied the same cozy purple storefront for 30 years and it is packed to the brim with genuine vintage labels and high street brands. The merchandise on offer makes up an impressive blend of designer style and sportswear.
We found everything from a huge collection of Levi’s jeans and leather blazers to Hawaiian shirts, NASCAR jackets and 80s football kits, all at extremely reasonable prices. Complete with a vinyl collection and friendly staff, is it any wonder why Retro have been around for three decades? There are plenty of grails to be found on Retro’s racks, and I know we’ll be heading back to dig through them very soon.
Flip American Vintage
The final stop of our thrift shop crawl was Flip, another mainstay of the Newcastle vintage scene. Flip specializes in American imports and fills their shelves with a wide selection of jumpers, military gear, and heavy flannel jackets. Among the stock we found tasseled leather vests straight out of the Wild West next to military combats and cheerleading outfits, so there is definitely something for everyone.
While prices are a touch higher than you might like, most items are pretty fairly priced. Flip also carries a wide range of one-color t-shirts for £8 each, perfect for filling out your closet. Flip also has you covered for accessories, with a wide range of imported patches and lapel pins. If you’re looking to appease your inner Uncle Sam, then Flip is the perfect place.
Overall score: 8/10