Look Smart: A Guide to Vintage Shops in Central London

Visit Britain

When you're looking for some great bargains on retro clothing or on the hunt for some designer goods from an era gone by, don't miss the chance to scour the vintage boutiques and thrift stores around central London. Some of these stores are regional chains, while others are locally owned shops that have been catering to vintage fashion lovers for decades.

Many are within walking distance of central London's major high-street shopping districts, so you can enjoy some window shopping or pick up modern trends during your shopping rounds. Here's where you'll find some of the most popular vintage shops in Central London:

Lucy in Disguise

Located on Lexington Street, this upscale fashion boutique is the perfect destination to play dress-up with collections from around the globe. Head here for designer jeans, prom dresses, jumpsuits, blazers and other ensembles from years past. This is also a great place to get your hair and nails done — just make a pit stop at the hair and makeup studio on the lower floor for your retro-inspired makeover.

Absolute Vintage

This local chain vintage boutique is famous for its shoes, bags, and accessories. It's the place to pick up a pair of authentic Doc Martens boots or shoes, find designer heels for a special occasion, or just try on a new style of flats and loafers. It's the place to pick up sequined glitter tops, beaded "Dalmatian" tops from the '80s, and real lizard print and croc handbags. Absolute Vintage has been "voted one of the top 100 stores you must visit in the world" by Retail Week and the London Evening Standard.

What the Butler Wore

This independently owned vintage shop is located on Lower Marsh Street in Waterloo. It's well stocked with men's and women's clothing from the 1960s and 1970s, so be prepared to pick up dresses, pants, shoes and accessories with a retro vibe. Items are reasonably priced, and you may even run into a rummage sale now and then.

The Vintage Showroom

If you're looking for tailored clothing and higher quality pieces for men, make your way to this vintage boutique on Earlham Street. The shop stocks many contemporary labels and high-end brands, and the staff is ready to provide tips on creating the perfect look for any occasion. You'll find a large selection of tailored jackets, suits, and designer knits for any dapper gentleman. This can also be a good place for gift shopping and men's fashion advice.

by Sabah Karimi

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