5 Of The Best Places to Shop Vintage in South East London
Updated: Nov 18, 2022
Want some fab flares, a frilly shirt or a sparkly jumpsuit so you can catch the eye of the judges for our Best Outfit Dance Off competition at our next Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet party?
Have a special occasion coming up and want something “wow” to wear?
Or maybe you have just had your fill of fast fashion & want to dress more sustainably?
Shopping vintage makes sense on so many levels: You’ll find wonderful, good quality, affordable clothes, plus, if you ever don’t want something anymore, you can always find a new home for it as vintage is always in demand. And of course, passing it on to someone else is way better than it ending up in landfill.
Here are a few of my favourites (and, yes, there is a north of the river version too) View that post here.
And if you want to suggest any other places in south east London (this is just a fraction) feel free to share recommendations in the comments.
1. Cenci, 4, Nettlefold Place, West Norwood, London SE27 OJW (020 8766 8564)
Tucked away in a warehouse off Knight’s Hill, this vintage treasure trove is stashed full to the rafters with men and women’s vintage clothing and accessories from the 1930s to the 90s. Not surprisingly it’s a popular haunt for costume designers from film, TV and theatre - and our dapper HSDY MC, Fergie, is a big fan. If you need something particular, ask Massimo and DeDe who have been running Cenci since the mid 80s and they do their best to find it for you.
They’re open Mon - Sat but also on the first Sunday of the month, which is good time to go as it’s also West Norwood Feast (www.westnorwoodfeast.com). If you have never been to this “volunteer-powered street market festival”, do check it out. Alongside all the food and craft stalls and live entertainment there’s a Retro Village area so it’s win, win!
2. Little Sister, Market, 133A Rye Lane Peckham, SE15 4BQ
Tues - Sat 11-6 and Sun 11-5
After starting out in the old school Holdons Arcade, Little Sister now has a shop at the front of Market, the funky huge red brick co-working space opposite Peckham Rye Station, which also has numerous small boutiques & places to eat.
There’s a rapidly changing stock of good quality men and women’s vintage from dagger collared 70s denim jackets and waistcoats to sparkly 80s outfits, along with loads of retro style sunglasses.
Owner, Nicola, is big on Instagram (@littlesisterrocks) and often models her fabulous finds, as do her staff & customers. While you are at Market it’s worth taking a look at all the other small businesses who sell everything from vegan skincare to homewares and flowers.
And do visit Holdron’s Arcade next door. Esme cooks up the most delicious Afro-vegan food (@deserted_cactus).
If you love all things vintage, you’ll love So Last Century and we’ve never left one of their fairs empty handed. They have huge events at St Dunstan’s in Catford, with up to 40 traders selling everything from ceramics and furniture to retro clothes and jewellery, plus there’s always a street food van & coffee & cake outside.
They also put on fairs every few months at the very lovely Beckenham Place Mansion (where we also host HSDY too) and in New Cross and Peckham.
The traders change every time, so you’ll always find new stuff.
4. Vien Vintage, 87, Church Road, Crystal Palace, SE19 2TA (020 8653 6943) Crystal Palace is a brilliant place for vintage shopping and Vien Vintage is perfect if you want something rather special for a party. Their frocks have graced numerous red carpets and awards ceremonies. At the front of the shop they have furniture & homewares, but keep walking and you’ll find beautiful, good quality, women’s vintage clothes from the 50s onwards. Staff are really helpful when it comes to finding just what you want.
While you are in the area, don’t leave without visiting Haynes Lane Vintage Market (@haynes_lane_vintage), open Thurs - Sun, where six local vintage traders including our fabulous dancer Lady Boo (see below) have joined forces to set up The Boutique at Haynes Lane (@theboutiquehayneslane) and offer rails & rails of great women’s vintage clothes .
I couldn’t write about vintage clothes shopping without talking about the one & only Lady Boo. For over a decade now Lady Boo has been hosting thrice yearly Saturday afternoon women’s vintage clothes sales at her house in Crystal Palace & I have never left without something gorgeous. There’s a table laden with delicious homemade cakes if that helps tempt you.
So many of my HSDY outfits, including a glittery ruched batwing dress and an OTT leopard print number, have all come from Boo’s stash, but if you are after daywear/workwear there’s plenty of that as well. There’s often a £5 suitcase, though prices are really good anyway.
Lady Boo also sells her vintage clothes, plus her stunning handmade earrings, via Instagram
(@ladyboosalutesyou). She is a woman of many talents.
And please do share your own recommendations in the comments below.
See you on the dancefloor!