Charlotte Croft shows how you can be spoilt for choice in the Observer area’s vintage bonanza...
When we think of vintage in the south east, we tend to think of Brighton’s North Laine, with its vintage retailers and authentic cafes where cream teas are available on tap.
Now, however, you can save those pennies which would’ve been spent on the trainfare as this kitsch lifestyle can be found right on your doorstep.
So what would we define as vintage? A common assumption is anything with a 1980s print or 1950s hemline will have an expensive price tag attached, but I have found shopping in charity shops quite an affordable vintage experience. Fortunately, Chichester and Bognor are laced with second-hand stores.
A tapestry handbag just short of £5 and a winter sheepskin under £30 could soon be new additions to your wardrobe. So if you’re running short of time and cash, it is almost guaranteed you’ll be able to rummage your way through items from high-street to ‘granny chic’ and find something for that lunch date or night out.
Bognor’s Sue Ryder has enhanced its stock by including a vintage rail within its store.
That 80s denim bomber jacket you once loved, but condemned to the attic long ago, could be exactly what a young fashion scout has on their wish-list, and find itself in the more niche section of the store.
Sue Ryder broadcasts its ‘Vintage and Retro’ pieces online, actively trying to broaden the market for second-hand, making it more desirable and celebrated among its shoppers.
Moving into the city of Chichester, vintage continues to spread across the town centre. You can almost smell the vintage musk from your front door with One Legged Jockey and Vintage@Chi being representatives of Chichester’s love of retro fashion.
If you’re looking for 1940s and 1950s glamour, then look no further than Jays Walk where Vintage@Chi will share your love of sequins, pearls and polka dots.
This shop of sophisticated style welcomes both younger and older generations.
The owner, Elizabeth Grosvenor, proves this through the stock she carefully picks out herself. When visiting the store, my eyes fixated on a bright pink 60s smock dress, accompanied by a beautiful white collar and three buttons sewn on the front.
Elizabeth laughed, claiming ‘most of the younger customers love the material crimplene, whereas older women hate it’ and would never be caught buying it, proving vintage fashion is still an ageless and timeless field.
You really do feel like you’re walking into the dressing room of a 1940s movie star; or better still, it gives you the chance to re-enact those dreams of being one.
Situated on Crane Street, One Legged Jockey catches many glances from passers-by with its alluring array of items for sale located just outside the entrance: stacks of leather cases, racks of vibrant blouses and, beautifully-styled mannequins alongside them.
It most certainly doesn’t end there, as inside you will be greeted with yet more jam-packed rails of garments from decades gone by, from men’s tweed jackets to bohemian print maxi dresses; you’re pretty much spoilt for choice.
One Legged Jockey is one of two branches, the other can be found in Southsea. Chris Reeves, manager of the Chichester store, revealed baggy 80s Hawaiian and silk shirts are proving most popular in sales at the moment, so for those of you looking for seasonal second-hand spring wear, you now know where to look.
When mentioning Goodwood Revival, Chris went on to say ‘the shop takings usually go up two months before the event. ‘We tend to get a lot of panic buyers around that time.’ So as well as being store manager, Chris styles his customers into the past, picking out that ‘1960s Beatles’ look or ‘1940s country gent.’