Chic for cheap: discover Amsterdam's vintage gems
There is a whole range of second-hand shops in Amsterdam, from thrift stores to cosy vintage boutiques. Many are located in the 9 Streets district. These include Episode and Zipper. Most carry 50s to 80s women’s and men’s fashion. There are many, but here are a few of Amsterdam's vintage haunts.
Laura Dols has a collection of women’s clothes from different decades. Dresses, camisoles, shoes, handbags and lovely vintage lingerie. Downstairs there are party dresses ranging from the 20s to the 90s, and a collection of wedding dresses. If you have a party to dress up for, this may just be the place for you!
Although she specialises in vintage dresses, Wini (Haarlemmerstraat 29) has a mix of everything. The shop sells men’s clothing as well, some of it new with a retro feel, like 50s-style polo shirts or flared jeans. There’s a collection of vintage fabrics you can buy per meter, and vintage women’s under garments. They have retro kids jackets, jewellery and, if you're on the market for 60s ski trousers or a perfect petticoat, this is your shop.
1953 Retro en Chic
Don’t let yourself be fooled by the small size of this shop: 1953 Retro en chic (Staalstraat 2) is brimming with must-haves! Once inside you’ll find yourself in a boudoir from a bygone era. This shop has many rare items, spanning the period from 1800 to 1980. Dresses, shoes, hats, powder boxes, bags, elegant antiquities and some men’s clothing downstairs. Prices range from fairly cheap to more expensive, given that the owner gets some of these rare garments from London and Paris.
Out of the Closet
Opened in early 2012, Out of the Closet (158 Jodenbreestraat) is a thrift chain store from the US. The shop is owned and operated by the largest global AIDS organisation, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Funds earned by the re-sale of donated clothing, accessories, furniture and other items goes directly into the organisation’s free AIDS programmes around the world, including HIV/AIDS testing, education, prevention, outreach and the care and treatment of patients worldwide.
I Love Vintage
Good news for vintage fans – online store I Love Vintage now has a physical store in Amsterdam! Located on the Prinsengracht, this charming boutique offers a huge selection of vintage attire ranging from dresses to lingerie in addition to accessories hailing from another era.
At Waterlooplein there’s a permanent market, open from Monday to Saturday. Several stalls have second-hand clothing: there’s army wear, dresses and tons of shoes. At the Noordermarkt there are stalls with vintage clothes every Monday morning. It’s a real treat to walk around here, rumble through the piles of clothes and try on the crazy boots and party dresses.
The first weekend of every month there’s a huge flea market in the north of Amsterdam (the ferry behind Amsterdam Central Station will take you there) at the NDSM Wharf. Count on a good few hours to check out all the stalls.