Exploring Bricklane Vintage

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I fell off the blogo-sphere for the past couple weeks. After working over-time all of June to help out EfG on a grant and I was in serious need of balancing out my life away from a computer.

But during that time I've had a few adventures around London and I've saved it up to share with you all so we are back up and running ladies and gentlemen.

The first of my ventures was to Shoreditch and Bricklane Vintage:

When I mentioned to one of my London-savy friends that I loved vintage shopping (Kennsington Market, Toronto I miss you sooo much!), she immediately said I needed to go to Bricklane.

Defining what makes a shop vintage and not just used is always a bit tricky. According to the gosel which is Wikipedia, vintage is any clothing from the 1920's to about 20 years ago. But vintage stores like those in Kennsington or Bricklane are just as likely to carry:

a) More selective chosen second-hand clothing, or

b) Clothing that is iconically from the 90's, 80's or 70's... maybe 60's and if you are very lucky 50's

Oh how are standards have fallen! Well yes and no. You can still find those true to the name vintage stores but expect also to hand over more cash for that honest to god 40's or 30's pieces.

Just like charity shopping for many people is more about thrifty than ethical living, vintage shoping often about a conscious style desire. But that doesn't mean you don't get ethical points for shopping there because you are still recycling clothing.

When you compare charity shop vs vintage shop the general rule of thumb is that you do spend more money but you can end up getting a more unique look.  Which is either a plus or minus depending on your personal style. I wouldn't really describe my style as 'vintage' or 'vintage inspire' but I enjoy hunting for pieces that add something different while not going entirely overboard.

This trip I managed to pick up two jackets. I pick up a lot of jackets from vintage because:

1) Tailored items don't usually loose their shape so they are great to buy used
2) Jackets are often pretty classic as long as you avoid crazy shoulder pads, or extreme lengths
3) Pairing them with an otherwise modern wardrobe and you have a good blend of old and new style

I grabbed this camel coloured blazer. I like the menswear feel of it (with sleeves wide enough to fit a jumper under, very London necessary). It has a bit more shoulder padding than I would normally like, but I haven't decided yet whether I will take them out or not.

Somewhat ironically, it says it was made in Canada. How it founds its way to a thrift-shop in London, who knows? (mystery!)

I also grabbed a waxed jacket. Waxing is a way of waterproofing canvas material and I own a waxed bag which has held up to all sort of abuse. On the partical side, I have learned you can never have enough raincoats in London and I've been yearning after the Barbour waxed jackets. This waxed jacket could pass for theirs (and it may actually be, the label is gone) but at 10 pounds its way easier on my budget.

I know a lot of people get turned off of vintage because of the smell. And let me tell you, the waxed jacket was in need of airing out when I got it. Here are some tips on getting the musty smell out of your clothing finds:

Seven popular tricks

But since the waxed jacket can't be washed, I'm going to try this trick that MadMen used to get the musty smell out of their pieces:


Will keep you posted on its success!


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