When a former colleague and friend, Andrea from who-I am.co.uk ,asked me to go vintage shopping with her, I was there like a shot. Andrea attended my first online vintage shopping masterclass back in November last year and afterwards we promptly set a date to meet in her lovely seaside hometown of Brighton.
Here are my 3 best vintage stores from my recent February jaunt.
Wolf and Gypsy Vintage on Sydney Street is high on my list of the best vintage stores in Brighton, it suits my aesthetic and I was drawn to many pieces on my most recent visit. I enjoy wearing my vintage in a modern and minimal way. I’m not particularly attracted to a specific decade or era, I buy what winks at me, that takes my eye and I feel I have a connection with and I love nothing more than to help others to seek out pieces that call to them.
Their store offers a strong and focused selection, with womenswear at the front of the store and a small rail of menswear towards the back, sharing the space with a good-sized fitting room. It’s light, airy and easy to navigate and the product is merchandised in a coherent way.
When people say to me they find vintage stores daunting, smelly and difficult to shop, I would introduce them to vintage shopping in a store like this. For me Wolf and Gyspy is the epitome of where I believe the in-store vintage shopping environment is heading and if I owned a vintage store, I would want mine to be something like this, it feels modern in a new kind of way.
Their items are great quality with a slightly higher price tag, but I wouldn’t be put off by this, as I certainly think you get what you pay for. I didn’t purchase anything on this trip, I only buy something when it really knocks me out, but I have to say there was a lot that caused me to see stars.
There was a great selection of Levis 501 jeans, an incredible pair of off-white casual trousers, like the Maharishi ones from the nineties, some cool motif t-shirts and a sprinkling of smarter coats, including a very wearable black and white checked cape.
Alongside their vintage clothing offer they also sell, vintage pyjamas, jewellery and accessories, a selection of gifts, underwear and non-vintage clothing. Here are a few of my favourite pieces that are currently available online, I say currently, as I am sure someone will snap them up soon enough!
All About Audrey on Trafalgar Street, is a short hop, skip and jump from Wolf and Gypsy . Set over two floors, with a strong 60’s, 70’s and bohemian vibe, there is much more to be seen in this store. Once you have made your way up the narrow stairs, you are met with some amazing vintage, it feels as though you have opened the door to a wardobe in a West End theatre, an Aladdin’s cave, where you are sure to find plenty of precious pieces that can be worn in everyday life, not just on the stage.
The prices are incredibly reasonable and the selection is impressive. It’s the kind of store I long to get lost in, even though it’s not a very big space, there is something to be appreciated or tried on with every slide of a hanger.
The space flows and there is room to move and browse. I found a great knit, see photo below, that I could, without doubt, have seen hanging in Liberty, with the designer label, Isabel Marant stitched in the back. As an former blouse buyer for Topshop, back in the early noughties, I am still charmed by a vintage blouse and there were plenty to choose from here, the one below especially took my eye for it’s shape and colour, it was a complementary top half to my jeans.
I struggle to resist a coat but resist I did, the one I have featured below was priced at £64.00, the fabric reminded me of my Mum’s parent’s front room sofa, I can still see and feel it now, a textured loop kind of fabric called moquette, which is derived from the french word for carpet. The shape and the fit was hard to walk away from, but walk away I did. And last but not least an incredible cotton dress, I am still thinking about it now, the photo doesn’t do the colour or the detail justice.
Sitting on the first floor of Snooper’s Paradise, a renowned flea market selling everything from vintage clothing, cameras, books, suitcases and homewares is Snooper’s Attic, on Kensington Gardens ,the last place we visited.
It’s an enchanting curated space, sectioned into individual sellers and their stalls, the name is perfectly suited, it’s what you do, snoop! It really does feel like you have stumpled upon an incredibly organised attic, as though you have gone through a secret door and entered a world where you are surrounded by things that make you go ooh and aah.
This spectacular store offers collectable and handmade one-off pieces, it has weekly drops of new treasure and I liken it to the kind of place Enid Blyton may have written about. Again, prices are reasonable and you are able to find outstanding gems, it really feels like the sellers have sourced the best of the best, as with all 3 of my best Brighton picks.
I let myself down with photos here, I was too engrossed to remember to take any! Image below is courtesy of Snooper’s Paradise.
I love to help women to shop vintage, it can be daunting, but it is so worth it when you find items that you love. If you are wanting to explore the delights of what vintage shopping has to offer, but you are not sure where to start then please get in touch. I have a little black book to share and heaps of experience and enthusiasm, in helping to shape our future relationship with circular fashion.
Thank you for reading my best of Brighton vintage shopping blog, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. If you have any comments or questions please feel free to leave them below.