An article serving as a guide to readers to be able to find the vintage boutique most suitable for their personal style and preferences.
The vintage revival has influenced street style all over the world and just as it could be predicted: more and more vintage shops have opened their doors in Budapest in the last few years. As the abundance of options can sometimes get overwhelming and cause customers to stick to their old habits of buying new, fast fashion pieces, this article serves as a guide to readers to be able to find the boutique most suitable for their personal style and preferences.
But first of all, what is vintage? In terms of clothing, vintage is used to describe clothing that is between 20 and 100 years old and is clearly representative of the era in which it was produced. Therefore, one of the best qualities of vintage clothing is that it actually stands the test of time, and can be relied on to be a long-lasting piece in our wardrobe.
Why shop at vintage stores?
One thing is undeniable: each of the vintage stores is a passion project, run by small business owners that are motivated by their creativity and love for vintage instead of profit. Supporting people with such attitudes is better for the soul!
Now, let’s see a handful selection of the stores that our beautiful capital has to offer in terms of vintage clothing!
Antifactory Vintage Home Shop – located in the 6th district on Paulay Ede Street, Antifactory Vintage has one of the best interior designs of any of the vintage shops I’ve visited. Just as its name suggests, the shop can be found in an area where its main surroundings are cosy flats. The introduction on their site guarantees that each item is a carefully selected 1/1 of clothing, therefore, there’s a very slim chance of bumping into your outfit on the street. This vintage shop has become a favourite of tourists as well, receiving 5 star ratings and lovely messages on the shop’s Facebook page. If you’re an interior-junkie that is obsessed with neon signs like me, this shop is worth visiting merely for the interior design itself! The music blasted is usually pretty good, too.
Recommended to: those preferring a more bohemian, rock ‘n roll aesthetic
Address: 1065 Budapest, Paulay Ede Street 58.
LoveBug Vintage – now located in the 2nd district, but originally ran as an online shop since the April of 2010, LoveBug Vintage was the first online vintage shop in Hungary. As the online webshop is still operating, customers from all over the country are able to buy vintage items, carefully hand-selected by the owner of the shop. In addition to the option of ordering, the online shop offers outfit inspiration put together from the pieces than can be bought on the site. LoveBug Vintage offers numerous sales and fairs throughout the year; some special occasions include fairs after the owner’s visit to European capitals. Fairs like those are always popular with hundreds of women queuing in front of the shop, stretching into Margit Boulevard. Yes, I have hands-on experience. In addition to the opening hours, potential customers have the opportunity to call for a private appointment to the shop. Just as it is stated on the site: PEACE+LOVE+BUG’N’ROLL
Recommended to: those preferring a classier, more sophisticated aesthetic
Address: 1027 Budapest, Margit Boulevard 62.
Szputnyik Shop – to be perfectly honest, Szputnyik was the first vintage shop that I ever visited after moving to Budapest, and will forever be the dearest to my heart. And to be even more honest: although it’s primarily known for its vintage quality, most of the clothing and accessories I bought there were new and not vintage at all, which doesn’t mean that I don’t always check out the vintage selection when visiting the store. Szputnyik expresses much of its fashion philosophy on the website, stating that personal style is an important tool of self-expression and communication, and people wearing vintage clothing have something to tell you. This kind of romantic attitude towards style and clothing that suggests an interesting story behind every single piece of clothing could easily appeal to more idealistic types. Why wear a mass-produced piece from a fast fashion store with no history – and most of the time, poor quality probably long-lasting enough to survive half a season – when you can buy long-lasting pieces that stood the test of time and have an air of mystery? If you’re curious about some of the newer pieces you can select from, make sure to check out their online webshop as well.
Recommended to: people with all different kinds of taste
Address: 1074 Budapest, Dohány Street 20. & 1062 Budapest, Király Street 22.
Retrock Vintage-Designer Store – the biggest vintage shop in Budapest, Retrock is located in Anker köz near Deák Square in a 300 m2 lobby shop. It is one of the pricier vintage stores, but most definitely worth a visit. Its history traces back to 2001, and in addition to a special selection of vintage pieces from Chanel to Ralph Laurent, it also sells designer pieces from Blind Chic, the YLD collection of Dora Mojzes, Derszu, Ms. Herskin, Acid & Zorro, and Urban Legend.
Recommended to: those that prefer a fusion of old and new, and are willing to invest in designer pieces
Address: 1061 Budapest, Anker köz 2-4.
Cydonia Tearoom & Vintage – a vintage store with a truly unique atmosphere, Cydonia re-opened its doors in Akácfa Street in the December of 2016 and now functions as a vintage store and authentic English tearoom. Cydonia has been described as a fairy-tale like place where you can sit back and enjoy tea from Sussex, homemade cakes, and afterwards do a little vintage shopping.
Recommended to: lovers of tea, homemade cake, an authentic English atmosphere, and lace
Address: 1072 Budapest, Akácfa Street 37-39.
by Réka Árvay