Vintage Shopping

Ben Diette

As a student in Manchester there is so much to explore, from vintage shops to cultural cubbyholes, there are plenty of new discoveries to keep almost every student t happy. However as well as the expected ‘high street’ clothing stores there are also many less known finds waiting for you to discover your city….

Oldham Street speaks vintage from its heart, still pumping to the beat of ‘Madchester’s’ anthems. This street located next to Manchester Piccadilly Gardens is a passage through time nestled in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. For anyone bohemian at heart it is a definite must see. Like all hidden gems it is hidden. Walk past the casinos and betting shops to find the good stuff and it will certainly be worth the walk. There are so many great places for all you vintage junkies on this street, it would be impossible to describe them all so here is a small selection:

2nd Hand Shops

At no.80 on the opposite end of the street to Piccadilly bus station is the ‘2nd hand shop’ with ‘nothing over £5’ signs in its window. It says it all in its name and plays host to a mismatch of second hand clothes and basically is the house clearance of a mad man.  Get past the gritty damp smell and there are bargains to be had. Vintage Adidas Jackets for £3 are a favourite of mine at a tenth of the price of other shops on the street. In my experience only about a quarter of visits results in a find, but it will be worth it.

And if all this shopping has made you hungry check out:

Cafe Pop

‘Cafe Pop’ (next to POP Boutique) is a great experience. You will be transported into a 1970’s quirky kitchen. Counter top £1 peanut butter/double choc chip cookies are a delicious impulse buy, as well as the first-rate choice of home-made soups and deli food. If you are missing home and all its comforts, try the banana and walnut bread or a cream tea and your worries will be a little less than before.

P.s look out for the solitary goldfish in the cloudy bowl above the counter.

Afflecs Palace

Oldham Street cannot be mentioned without the one and only Afflects Palace. This magical emporium is layered with a maze of four floors filled with alternative shops and independent retailers. From jewellery to fancy dress, tattoo studios to boutique fashion, Afflects has it all not to forget the retro sweet shop.

These places will give you a taste of what the Northern Quarter is about and of course there are loads more places waiting to be discovered. Why not check out ‘JUNK’, ‘Retro Rehab’ or if you like making your own clothes ‘Abakhan’ who have a massive range of fabrics that won’t break the bank.

Whether you are from Manchester, are visiting or are a brand new student go out and explore your city!

Photograph: Phil Simpson


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