Essential vintage shopping stops around the city’s Northern Quarter
Centred around Oldham Street, Manchester’s Northern Quarter is the city’s thriving boho haven. Packed with independent stores, delis, bars and venues, no trip to the city’s complete without a rummage round some of the area’s many, many vintage shops. If it’s your first trip to the city, a train to Manchester’s Piccadilly Station will drop you right at the door. Here’s our pick of the vintage bunch, offering up everything from clothing to records and retro home furnishings.
Shop til you drop without the guilt
Oxfam Originals on Oldham Street gives you the excuse to splurge while still racking up the good karma. This branch of Oxfam charity shop is dedicated to cool vintage threads, as well as vintage-style garments. It’s pricier than your average Oxfam, as you’d expect, but it’s still a lot cheaper than your vintage boutiques. You’ll find a mixture of new and old, with some high-end vintage gold in between. If you’re on the lookout for books, records and kitschy bric-a-brac, check out their sister store, Oxfam Emporium, just down the road.
Retro Rehab is a womenswear clothing store that ain’t afraid to flaunt its pretty bows and girly frills. You won’t find ratty old tshirts and jeans in here, but you will find gorgeous vintage dresses, heels, silk jumpsuits and feminine fabrics galore. Alongside their vintage range, this store on Oldham Street also stocks original pieces, as well as jewellery, accessories, gifts and handcrafted soft toys.
With store in Birmingham, Sheffield and Nottingham, Cow is the newest addition to the Northern Quarter’s thriving vintage scene. Located at Piccadilly Gardens, just next to M&S, the store specialises in affordable vintage, which they source from all over the world. Their latest delivery arrived from Italy this month, including a bunch of designer vintage from the likes of D&G and Ralph Lauren. As well as their fantastic vintage range, Cow also puts on special events If you skip this store, you can check out their eBay shop too, where they tend to stick some of their pricier high-end items.
Head up Fountain Street to Church Street and you’ll arrive at Manchester’s most eclectic shopping emporium. Affleck’s was founded in 1982 and is a self-proclaimed “thorn in the side of the high street”. Four floors crammed with a range of boutiques selling vintage fashions, new independent clothing, home furnishings, and more, there’s also a couple of tattoo and piercing studios, and you can have your tarot cards read too. If you’re looking for a break from shopping, there’s also a couple of places to grab a bite to eat, and a lipsmacking milkshake bar with views over Oldham Street – a great place to people watch.
And if you’re looking to stay in Manchester for a weekend shopping trip, consider a stay at the Crowne Plaza Manchester Airport.