Leeds’ Vintage Boutiques
Fashion Editor, Elicka Ghahramani, ranks Leeds’ most renowned secondhand haunts.
- Sue Ryder: Nestled amongst Headingley’s generous cluster of charity shops, Sue Ryder is often erroneously mistaken as one. But once you enter it becomes pretty clear that the vivacious and eccentric pieces stocked here just scream ‘Very Vintage!’. From audacious lilac shag coats to floor-sweeping technicolour Dreamcoat inspired jumpsuits, the stock at Sue Ryder rejoices loudly and proudly over the originality and experimentation of fashion from past eras. Sue Ryder, 57 Otley Road.
- Tunnel Boutique: A pricier option, so you may not have heard of it as being a go-to amongst Leeds’ uni students. If you haven’t blown your student loan (not likely; we know how much Flux tickets cost), then you might want to splurge on a swanky (faux) fur coat or Italian leather bag from Tunnel. The pieces selected to be stocked here suggest a subconscious partiality towards the 40s and 60s from the owners, with the abundance of checked pea coats and pleated midi skirts, as well as the odd twenties flapper or sixties mini dress. The clothing at Tunnel Boutique showcases the true decadence that can only be found in vintage dressing. Tunnel Boutique, 8 Queen’s Arcade.
- Vintage Kilo Sales: A termly affair that takes place practically on campus, the Vintage Kilo Sale really is both a gift and a blessing to a university student in Leeds. The location is usually at Church nightclub, but for once enter the building with sober eyes, high hopes and an empty bag to stuff full of all the cheap, funky t-shirts, shirts and accessories on offer. Items are predominantly circa seventies, but equally, you will always find racks upon racks paying their respects to the 90s, with the multitudes of flannels and oversized denim jackets on sale. Vintage Kilo Sales.
- Blue Rinse: Blue Rinse receives mixed opinions across the block: some swear by it, and you’ll more than likely find yourself forking out a substantial chunk of student loan towards a pair of reworked Levi’s jeans or floaty shirt in the first weeks of university. On the other hand, some rightfully raise an eyebrow at the average £30-40 price tag given to items that can be found at half the price (and more likely to be genuinely vintage) at fairs held in the Corn Exchange or kilo sales. Blue Rinse,9-11 Call Lane.
- Best Vintage: When it comes to forming an opinion on the pieces at Best Vintage, it’s best to interpret ‘vintage’ in heavy quote marks. Alongside Blue Rinse, Best Vintage is famous for their reworked items that categorically fit the ‘edgy Leeds’ uniform of tastefully battered late 90s and early 00s gear. However, since the 90s and 00s aren’t technically vintage (remember the retro vs. vintage rule: anything as recent as the last twenty years shouldn’t be marked as vintage) the boutique loses points for what we would classify as an anachronism. On top of that, as with Blue Rinse, we’re sceptical about the overstretching price tags that come attached to the cut out Champion jumpers and raggedly cropped t-shirts. Best Vintage, 22 New Market Street.