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When you think of Amsterdam you may be forgiven for thinking instantly of red light districts, live sex shows and museums, aswell as Anne Frank, along with a tulip here and a pair of clogs there.

The Dutch may not be as known for their fashion as the Italians, the French or even the British but trundling around the Negen Straatjes area you may find yourself as delighted as I was to find a very cool emerging retro and vintage scene with an eclectic artistic vibe.

Amsterdam: home to the world’s first stock market, legal marujuana and an emerging status on the world vintage fashion scene.

In fact, vintage ladies and gents, I had THAT feeling as I was walking about the Negen Straatjes Area…you know the one; that pure unadulterated tingling excitement as you wander through wonderlands of truly amazing second hand goods and breathe in the luscious scent of days gone by.

Yes, it’s fair to say, Amsterdam is up there as one of my favourite places to go vintage shopping…(and the prices aren’t too bad either!)

Top 5

I felt absolutely compelled to buy a few goods – it would have been rude not to – and here are my top 5 places you really MUST visit when you’re in vintage Amsterdam..

Episode (Waterlooplein 1, Old Centrum Area and Berenstraat 1, Negen Straatjes area) there are 2 branches in Amsterdam plus Antwerp, Brussels, London and Rotterdam – I bought the most glorious oversized fur coat and a couple of cute beanie hats here; the girls here were so friendly and stylish, lots of cool customers and helpful smiley assistants. (see photo Robyn and Clara)

Laura Dols (Wolvenstraat 7)
 – where I bought a vintage Chanel shirt and a Diane Von Furstenberg dress; this is truly one of the most beautiful vintage shops I have ever seen and the owner and the clientele were equally as lovely (dont forget to check out the basement in this place, it’s chockablock with vintage wedding dresses and stage costumes!)

1953 Retro en Chic (Staalstraat 2)– the layout of this shop was simply breath – taking with an eye for gorgeous olde worlde detail, it felt like stepping back in time to a more glorious and glamorous era of the 1800s to 1920s; but beware the assistants, not at all as friendly as Episode or Laura Dols! Not to be deterred I got a great deal on my first ever pair of vintage Manolo Blahniks (feeling very Carrie Bradshaw right now!)

Daffodil (Jacob Obrechtstraat 41, Oud Zuid -Old South area) was hard to find but worth it…a tiny corner shop with classic trousers, skirts and sophisticated suits and seasonal outfits that cater to a more sophisticated customer – lucky customers may find a rare Chanel or Yves Saint Laurent…I was delighted to treat myself to a vintage Vivienne Westwood clutch.

and to relax after all that shopping…

Brecht Cafe – on Weteringschans 157, with its roots firmly in the Berlin arts scene, this cute cafe had a seriously vintage laidback vibe (plus some rather lovely looking vintage men for us to look at; note, Dutch men are very tall!) the German pretzels and beers went down a treat too

added extras…

ILV Store (I love vintage) Prisengracht 201 – originally started as an online store five years ago but grew so quickly the girls have now opened their own live store – and it’s gorgeous!

Speigelbeeld (Huidenstraat 24, Negen Straatjes area) for 2nd hand Manolo Blahnik, Burberry, Dolce and Gabbana and Chanel

Joosje (Spuistraat 62)- sells second hand and new clothes

Wini (Haarlemmerstraat 29) mix of anything and everything

Out of the Closet (158 Jodenbreestraat) thrift chain store from the US owned and operated by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Waterlooplein market – Monday to Saturday, north of the red light district including mega deals on vintage clothes every Monday

First weekend of every month huge flea market in the north of Amsterdam at the NDSM Wharf – hop on a ferry at Amsterdam Central Station

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