Thursday, 7 January 2016

Second Hand Shopping in Berlin #1: Kreuzberg

Colours vintage store in Kreuzberg
It's been just over a month since I moved to Berlin, and now that Christmas and New Year are out of the way I can finally get round to one of the things I've been most looking forward to - second hand shopping! For the first part of this guide, I've focused on two of the biggest vintage stores in Kreuzberg, in the heart the city. Luckily, although the streets have changed somewhat since I lived here in 2010, both stores are still going strong and between them offer an exceptionally wide range of clothing for men and women in all the colours of the rainbow, from the 1950s onwards. Read on for the first part of my guide to second hand style in Berlin!

Bergmanstraße 102, Kreuzberg
Nearest U-Bahn: Mehringdamm (U6), Platz der Luftbrücke (U6) or Gneisenaustraße (U7)

Tucked away behind the main street, Colours (above) is a treasure trove of vintage fashion predominantly from the 80s, 90s and 00s, although if you search hard enough you can also find voluminous circle skirts from the 50s and classic shift dresses from the 60s. Highlights from my visit included a navy wool cape, black leather biker jacket and a beautiful cream jumper embroidered with pearls.   

Almost everything is charged by the kilo (currently €25) but some coats, shoes and accessories are priced individually. If you're after even more of a bargain, don't miss the Happy Hour on Tuesdays between 11am-1pm, when you get an extra 30% off the kilo price.

Good for: All types of thick winter coats (wool, leather, shearling and vintage fur, see below), men's suit jackets and good quality boots.
Could improve: Edit and condense - the enormous range on offer means it takes a while to find the hero pieces amongst everything else.
Verdict: Perfect for bargain hunters with time to spare.

For more info and opening times, check out their Facebook page here.

Mehringdamm 41, Kreuzberg
Nearest U-Bahn: Mehringdamm (U6) or Gneisenaustraße (U7)

It doesn't look like much from the outside, but step past the rather strange mannequins and you will find a vintage palace inside what used to be an old cinema. The store has had a bit of a facelift since I last visited a few years ago, and the renovated entrance is where most of the accessories including shoes and bags are now displayed, before you enter the main shop.

Everything here is individually priced, which can take the fun element of surprise out of weighing your clothing, but it does mean that every piece in the shop has been deliberately selected, leading to a more curated feel and higher quality items. Some of my best finds included an amazing aviator-style shearling jacket for only €149 which was unfortunately a bit too oversized, and classic trench coats from €24.

Good for: Shearling jackets, knitwear, tops and jeans.
Could improve: Demonstrate how vintage pieces can be styled in a modern way - minus the mannequins.
Verdict: High quality vintage finds selected with care.

Stay tuned for more tips on second hand shopping - for the next few installments I'll be heading further east to find out what the districts of Friedrichshain and Neukölln have to offer.

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