Whether it’s RUN DMC sweaters or 1930s flapper dresses, we all love a bit of vintage. And vintage shopping in Leeds is one of the UK’s best experiences for shoppers who like their clothes ‘pre-loved’, with a whole bunch of options for the thrifty buyer.
Leeds has been a hub for vintage fashion since the 1980s when Pop Boutique first opened its doors, and when the trend for preserving and repurposing classic clothing took off. Blue Rinse, Ryan Vintage and many more now compete for attention. TV and film costume departments regularly descend upon Leeds looking for their character’s defining hat and shoes, and the young people of said city are known for being slightly more dapper than average.
If you – or perhaps your kids or grandkids – are interested in being a Mod or a Rocker, or some even more niche subcultural figure, hard-to-find but essential pieces can be tracked down and had for a good price in these vintage stores. Or perhaps you’re looking for an extra-special dress for an extra-special occasion – weddings and key birthdays come to mind … or dispense with the excuse all together and just slay on the dancefloor any weekend! Classic ball gowns line the racks along with enough costume jewellery to set off an entire squadron of Las Vegas backing dancers. Now that the 1980s are vintage themselves, you might find the perfect Blade Runner shoulder pads … or a suit that wouldn’t look out of place on one of Miami Vice.
Don’t fall into the trap of buying online – it’s always cheaper in a brick and mortar vintage store, before the scalpers get hold of that Debbie Harry leather jacket. You’ll find plenty of offers, and a made-to-last vintage piece will hold its value.
Here are the best places to go vintage shopping in Leeds – go forth and purchase!
Here are our picks
Best Leeds, 22-24 New Market St, Leeds , Yorkshire, LS1 6DG - Visit now
Best is one of the biggest vintage shops in Leeds. It offers a large selection of styles for Men, Women and Unisex. Since opening in Leeds in 2007 Best has branched out to Newcastle and Liverpool, proving that they are a Northern fashion house to take note of.
Pop Boutique Leeds, 12-14 Central Rd, Leeds, LS1 6DE - Visit now
Another semi-independent, semi-chain vintage shop is the bright and cheerful Pop Boutique, crammed to the gills with cute and quirky clothes, shoes and the odd bit of kitsch. It even has its own retro fashion range, subverting the very concept of ‘vintage’ itself. Snazzy.
Ryan Vintage, 13 Duncan St, Leeds, LS1 6DQ - Visit now
Ryan Vintage is like some kind of old-school bazaar, with skirts, shirts and trousers all piled high as far as the eye can see. If you’re looking for something unique (and maybe even worn by someone now dead, excitingly), you’ll be sure to find it here.
Johnsons Of Leeds, 2, Vulcan Foundry, Haigh Park Rd, Leeds, LS10 1RT - Visit now
Always had a hankering for that army life, but couldn’t be bothered with the whole million press-ups-a-day lifestyle? Don’t worry, this huge army surplus store can give you that military look minus all the sweat and hard-work. They’ve clothed everyone from Robson & Jerome to the Chippendales and the cast of Emmerdale.