Thinking Vintage: Our top picks for second hand clothing

If you like quirky, retro garments, you’ve come to the right University. Leeds provides a hub of vintage clothing shops, ideal for those of us bored of the high street repeats, looking to shop more ethically or just trying to stretch that student loan. The real question is not whether we’ll shop vintage – it’s where we’ll shop vintage…

5. Leeds Student Union

Leeds Student Union, Lifton Pl, Leeds LS2 9JZ

What better way to pass that spare hour between lectures than to browse wavy garments in the University itself? Watch out for posters all year round advertising vintage fairs that are so convenient it’d be a crime not to pop by. But be quick – the best bargains are gone in instants, and you’d probably find better deals if you headed further afield. 

4. Vintage Weigh ‘N’ Pay

Leeds Beckett University Union, Portland Building, City Campus, Portland Way, LS1 3HE

Coming in fourth place, Weigh ‘N’ Pay sales are frequented by most students. A rush of cheap vintage clothing, priced in terms of its weight (duh) may seem like heaven to many of us. But, despite the seemingly low prices, these car boot style sales are – dare I say it – kind of overrated. Yes, the clothings cheap. But what they don’t tell you is it’s usually the same garments the vintage shops reject on a basis of ripped seams, unappealing stains and, to be frank, bad designs. 

3. Blue Rinse/ Pop Boutique

Blue Rinse, 9-11 Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 7DH
Pop Boutique, 12-14 Central Road, City Centre, Leeds, LS1 6DE
Images: bestofengland

Located just minutes away from Kirkgate market, these two treasures are well worth a trip into town for. Expect to pay a little more than the Union or Weigh ‘N’ Pay, but expect to find much nicer garments. Think genuinely stylish shirts and clean smelling jumpers. Blue Rinse provides three storeys of on-trend vintage, carefully selected and upcycled in places. Pop Boutique lives 50m away and offers a cheeky 10% student discount, which is just the icing on the cake.

2. Ryan Vintage

Ryan Vintage, 13 Duncan Street, Leeds, LS1 6DL

Just two minutes from Blue Rinse and Pop Boutique, Ryan Vintage is the longest running vintage shop in Leeds and a firm favourite amongst students. Whilst clearly less time is spent on a fancy shop floor, this hidden gem provides genuine vintage clothes at remarkably good prices. The shop has all the vibrancy of a market stall, run by a friendly old man who’s more than happy to tell you exactly how vintage the vintage clothes that caught your eye are.

1. Sue Ryder

Sue Ryder, 57 Otley Rd, Leeds, LS6 3AB
Image: Florence May Vintage

Saving the best ‘til last, Sue Ryder is an afternoon well spent. Stroll into Headingley, pop by Hattie’s for a loaded milkshake, then head next door to the glorious charity shop that is ethical in every sense of the word. You’ll be captivated by colour as the shop floor boasts arrays of bright shirts, dresses and jumpers to make your heart sing!

Lydia Varney