Whether you’re browsing or buying, Leeds has some amazing retro shops full of old-school eye candy.
If off-the-rack style isn’t for you or you just want to do your bit for the planet, Leeds will be your new best friend. The city’s fashion scene has enough one-off wears, retro garms and vintage threads to keep fashion followers and frugal pockets happy. But that’s only if you know where to find them – and soon you will. So if you’re looking for a little wardrobe refresh, let us introduce you to the best vintage shops in Leeds.
Born in Leeds in 1997, Blue Rinse has been serving countless vintage-loving folk and thrifty hands for 20-odd years. Here, four full floors of secondhand garments, shoes and accessories await their next rightful owner. The regrettable fashion choices of the 70s and 80s are celebrated and 90s and 00s attire take centre stage, so you can expect all manner of Levi’s jeans, American varsity jackets and printed tees of every shade. You can even pick up reworked pieces, made from recycled fabrics, for a little something that’s uniquely yours and good for the planet. Don’t forget the sale section – rummage around a bit and you’re bound to come up with a bargain.
Blue Rinse, 14 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7DH.
Cow sits in Victoria Leeds, where rows of rails rammed with wondrous vintage wears line the shop floor. Whether you want to live out your 00s pop star dreams or complete your Gorpcore look on a budget, they’ve got the goods – all you need to do is put them together. Their attire is handpicked and ethically sourced from all around the globe, with some given a new look, bringing you unique pieces that have stood the test of time. Heck, a few even go back to the 60s! Whether it’s vintage tees, 70s flares or secondhand Converse, make your way through the hangers, from the coats to the cargos, and you’re bound to come across something you won’t be able to let go of.
Cow, County House, 82 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7JH.
Love a good root through the bins? Ryan Vintage will be right up your street. It may be small, but this little Leeds corner shop is heaving with some absolute retro gems. They’re big on everything sporty, stocking all the familiar brands, from Adidas to Nike, Reebok to New Balance. No one said vintage shopping was easy, but nothing beats finding that next wardrobe staple. True bargain hunters will be rewarded by the odd Gucci scarf or Burberry bag, nestled in the vintage frenzy. The shelves of clothes and accessories are regularly swapped out with new loads, so a stop off at Ryan’s is always in order – that also means that a steal is never too far away, in fact, it’s probably right at your fingertips.
Ryan Vintage, 13 Duncan Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DQ.
Head down Lands Lane and you can’t miss Pop Boutique – the pastel blue building welcomes you into an eclectic mix of retro clobber from the last six or so decades. Pop ticks all the vintage shopping boxes, combining quirky designs with an appreciation for every garment. They’ve got every type of jacket going, from leather bombers to fur coats, and flannels of every size, colour and pattern to see you through all four seasons. Jean shopping? All of their jeans are labelled by the waist, so you can find your perfect fit without even trying. You never know what you’re going to find on the racks here, but one thing’s certain – you’ll leave with a toteful of not new but new-to-you things you love.
Pop Boutique, Queens Arcade, 26 Lands Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LB.
Shop Kilo HQ
Vintage shopping doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper, but at Shop Kilo it does. It’s the original UK vintage pop-up kilo shop and you’ll find the Leeds store in the Merrion Centre. You pay by weight here, so if you love fashion but not so much the fast kind, you can still find pieces to complete your wardrobe for £15 to £20 per kilo. Wondering what one kilo will get you? Well, you could snap up an entire outfit for way less than your usual high street shop. From retro footy shirts to 80s windbreakers and 90s hoodies, there’s loads of bits and bobs to dig through. They’ve also got an impressive collection of individually priced items that are still as cheap as chips.
Shop Kilo, Merrion Centre, Merrion Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NG.
North South Vintage
North South Vintage is a Hyde Park local and Leeds student favourite. They stock the serious stuff – quality leathers, branded sweatshirts and cool jackets to top off your looks. Whatever your aesthetic, they’ve got a real range of retro clothing on the top floor, evoking all sorts of nostalgia. Their collection is impressive, with dungarees, fleeces, Hawaiian shirts and tweed coats aplenty that’ll kit you out head to toe. It’s a feast for the eyes, bringing together the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s in a colourful abundance of bold prints, denim and leather. Vinyl collector? The lower floor is rammed with LPs from across the ages, spanning all genres. And if it’s a secondhand guitar you’re after, they’ve got those too.
Vintage Boutique, Headingley Lane, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 2AS.
Chinese Laundry has vintage clothing down to a T. Whether you’re on the hunt for your next statement piece or like to shop secondhand only, it’s a Leeds favourite for a reason. The store pulls you in with R&B beats flooding outside, offering a mere glimpse into the treasures kept inside. You’ll find original garments from the 60s to the 90s alongside masterfully reworked pieces that keep up with today’s trends, as well as their own branded accessories, hoodies and tees. Take in the sights and browse the collection of leather jackets and ethically-sourced knits, or try on their hats in the mirror. Fancy some new shoes without the brand-new price tag? They’ve got loads, all ready to wear.
Chinese Laundry, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
BEST is a northern powerhouse of vintage threads and it certainly lives up to its name. You’ll find the Leeds shop in the Victoria Quarter – and it’s the only flagship store in the country, so you can browse the best in BEST. From tees and sweats to co-ord sets and reworked Burberry, they’ve been scoping out the best in vintage in Leeds for over 10 years. The range is impressive, with a huge collection of old-school and reworked clothing from big name brands like Nike, Carhartt and Reebok. Looking for big hoodies you can just throw on? They’ve got an endless choice, including limited edition designs. Their premium vintage garms sell like hotcakes, so you’ll have to be quick if you spot something you like.
BEST, 22 – 24 New Market Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DG.
Hide n Chic
Looking for a proper leather jacket to keep you warm? You’ll be spoilt for choice at Hide n Chic. From black leather jackets in the usual biker shape to vintage university varsity jackets made in purple leather, the shop walls are chock-full of all manner of leather goodies. A leather jacket is an investment and unlike those you’ll find on the high street, these are top-quality and ethically sourced. So whether you’re looking to make a statement or you rock a leather on the daily, this should be your first stop in Leeds. But it’s not all leather – they’ve also got a load of quirky items to spice up your home decor, whether it’s a funky coffee table, a set of vibrant vases or even an ancient sword that piques your interest.
Hide n Chic, 14 Thornton’s Arcade, Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ.