A journalistic pet hate of mine, common to online magazines, is that when we bring you ‘the best’ of something, we actually just bring you every option under the sun that relates to a certain subject.
Well, that’s not The Jackal’s way, so in this edit, there’s no Beyond Retro, no Brick Lane market and no Rokit Vintage. Well established they might be, but the best? Not quite. Instead, three options tick all our boxes; they’re well curated, reasonably priced and whether a boutique like Mint, or a warehouse like Atika, they’re worth the journey, too.
Mint’s local to me, so believe me when I say it’s excellent. Situated on Stoke Newington High Street, it’s not huge, but it is fantastically curated. The team there take pride in offering tight edits that change every few weeks, but that also do a great job of covering all the major mens (and women’s) vintage must-haves.
Whether mid-century indigo dyed work jackets, green nylon MA-1 bombers, printed camp collar shirts, chunky pleated cords or denim truckers, they do a great job of hunting down the lot. It’s not too expensive either (we’re talking £30 for a shirt, and maybe £75 for a jacket), so it’s well worth a visit.
Take a tip: Make the trip on a Saturday, have an afternoon browse at Mint and then round out your excursion with a pint in The Jolly Butcher’s at the end the high street. Great afternoon, that.
71-73 Stoke Newington High St, N16 8EL, mintvintage.co.uk
2. Atika London
Formerly East London vintage institution BLITZ, the place rebranded as Atika in 2017. A vintage warehouse that spans some 6,000sqft, it houses 20,000 potential steals at any given time. It’s known for supporting independent vintage dealers, and for its mixed offering; vintage luxury like Burberry and Barbour on the one hand, and retro sportswear from the likes of Reebok, Champion and Fila, on the other.
There’s also a mean denim department, with more acid washed Levis’ than you can shake a stick at, plus sections devoted to French and American workwear, and even mid-century Japanese kimonos. It’s size alone makes it a worthy weekend window shopping destination.
55-59 Hanbury St, E1 5JP, atikalondon.co.uk
This little gem tucked away down a Kensington side street has a very particular take on vintage menswear. A self-styled ‘gentleman’s outfitters’, its buy is markedly dandy, with everything from 1950s Savile Row checked sports coats, to 1970s corduroy peacoats, loud fedoras, hunting pinks and knickerbockers. You name it, Hornets has it.
While not to everyone’s taste, its a West London clothing institution, exuberant and eccentric in the best possible way. Step inside and you’ll find yourself in a veritable warren; the store itself is made up of four small, interconnecting ground floor shops, each piled high with everything from striped rowing blazers to opera capes. It’s the vintage store to head to if you’re looking for something a touch of curiosity factor.
2/4 Kensington Church Walk, W8 4NB, hornetskensington.co.uk