I think it’s time that I told you all about my greatest shopping secret, Notting Hill’s retro shops. Many a time I have found myself alarmingly bored of my wardrobe – my drawers cluttered with last season’s has beens, staring sadly up at me – and feel desperate for a revamp or at least one exciting new garment. I am overly sentimental, so sometimes getting rid of that special dress or meaningful t-shirt can be very difficult. With the prospect of new clothes though comes strength; this is the beauty of exchange.
Once I have stuffed a bulging bag of giveaways, I take it along to Notting Hill to see how much they are willing to give me for it. Each piece is priced separately and depends on quality, size and how ‘on trend’ it happens to be at that point in time. The current season and weather also affect how much they give you, as this all contributes to the garment’s selling potential. The final price is offered in cash, or doubled in vouchers.
These shops cater for all needs with two RETRO WOMAN shops, a RETRO MAN shop, music, book and even homeware shops. The best thing about the vouchers is they can be received and used in any of the shops, so you could take in a load of books, and use the vouchers to buy yourself a new outfit! I recently took in a few old jackets that I had grown out of, including a grey and black checked velvet Luella number, and in exchange bought a beautiful orange silk Hermes head scarf that I completely adore.
Unlike a lot of London’s vintage outlets, these aren’t ridiculously overpriced, and with several different shops in the same vicinity, there is a wide variety of designers and prices to choose from. Rokit, Absolute Vintage and other chains tend to limit their collections to the look of the moment, with identikit layouts, and rails of the same item in every colour and size. Notting Hill’s shops are much more individual, there is only ever one of anything, so you walk away feeling like you have found something really special every time.
Located around Notting Hill Gate station, open 7 days a week.