Boutique and vintage hotspots
England's retro chic...
ngland’s relationship with fashion is long, prosperous and continually evolving. Be it Regency, Romantic, Victorian, Edwardian, Flapper, Utility Rationing, the mini dress, Punk, New Romantic, Haute Couture or Royal Robes. Trends born in this small country tend to reverberate out through the wider world.
A fashionable history
With this glorious mix of fashion history and cutting edge design, it means for the fashion intrepid England is a treasure trove of fashion, offering re-invention, class and pure style, all at affordable prices.
Of course when talking about fashion and vintage hotspots, one must, darling, start with the capital, London . And with vintage shops like Beyond Retro , Rellik , Annie’s , Secret Siren and Soho Vintage to name just a few stocking everything from Victorian corsets to rock tees, days, if not months, can be spent stocking your wardrobe with incredible one-offs.
And for fresher looks in London, the amount of high end independent boutiques stocking the latest designs from the world’s hottest designers is almost endless. Maybe start with, uhm, Start, and progress to KJ’s Laundry , Hub , Browns Boutique , Hurwendeki (part hair salon, part vintage emporium), Margaret Howell and Diverse .
However as much as London thinks the whole of the fashion universe revolves around its hip molten core, elsewhere in England other fashion centres like Manchester ,Brighton and Chester offer a fresh take on England fashion, often without the pretension and prices of the capital.
In Brighton, the Lanes are a rabbit warren of cobbled lanes offering up a labyrinth of jewellery, craft and homewares, run by passionate people with a flare for the unique, unusual and stylish. North Laine is the place for retro chic, a bohemian quarter of independent retailers offering something funky for everyone. Likewise in Manchester the Northern Quarter has a eclectic mix of fashion and boutique vintage stores that manages to keep poor students, penny pinching fashionistas and the uber cool all suited and booted. Try Cow, Pop Boutique , Afflecks and Retro Rehab for inspiration.
And lastly, perhaps the greatest of all fashion and vintage finds can be had at the myriad of vintage fairs and fashion markets that literally pop up all over the country. Judy’s Affordable Fashion Fair , which now tours 20 cities every year, is just one example of markets that offer the best of England's clothing, accessories and homewares, all under the one roof, or on the one field.