Friday, 5 February 2016

Second Hand Shopping in Berlin #2: Charlottenburg

For part 2 of my second hand shopping guide to Berlin, we're moving west to the leafy suburb of Charlottenburg - former centre of West Berlin after the war, home to Charlottenburg palace, and my current temporary neighbourhood. This district has a completely different vibe to hipster Kreuzberg (which you can read all about in Part 1), so don't expect to pay per kilo here - instead, enjoy the grand townhouses and sophisticated streets, full of second hand "boutiques" with well-chosen selections of quality items.

SCORPIO, Sybelstraße 47, 10629 Berlin
Nearest U/S-Bahn: Adenauer Platz (U7), Charlottenburg (S5/7)
One of several second hand boutiques located within a few metres' walk from each other, Scorpio specialises in high quality clothing and accessories, most of which by well-known brands and designers. The layout is easy to shop, with jewellery, hats and boots interspersed between racks of clothing. Look close enough and you'll come across some gems, like this Alexander Wang top for €89 and stylish Cynthia Rowley jumper for €39.
Good for: High quality fabrics and designer names
Could improve: I would expect to pay more in a shop like this, but some items still felt a bit overpriced - it's always worth asking for a better deal!

Alexander Wang top and Cynthia Rowley jumper
Kurfürstendamm 146, 10709 Berlin,
Nearest U/S-Bahn: Adenauer Platz (U7), Charlottenburg (S5/7) 
Located right on Kufürstendamm (or Kudamm), Berlin's prime shopping street, this Oxfam is a beautiful example of charity shops done well - tidy rails, quality products and a curated feel to what's on show. Two changing rooms make it easy to try before you buy, which is not always possible in some stores.
Good for: Office basics like shirts and trousers, including a great men's range
Could improve: Prices are slightly higher than would be usual in any other area, but I still managed to find a brand-new book for €1 and classic 90s jumper for €6.50.

RAZZO, Sybelstraße 25, 10629 Berlin,
Nearest U/S-Bahn: Adenauer Platz (U7), Charlottenburg (S5/7)
You might be forgiven for walking straight past this tiny, maze-like shop on the corner of Sybelstraße and Droysenstraße, but it's definitely worth a look. There's not a huge range, but definitely enough to choose from, with a big men's section in a the back.
Good for: Coats, boots and menswear, at reasonable prices.
Could improve: More treasure hunt than curated boutique, so don't expect mountains of designer product.

ALEX'S PLACE, Droysenstraße 3, 10629 Berlin,
Nearest U/S-Bahn: Adenauer Platz (U7), Charlottenburg (S5/7)
Another boutique located in the same area as Scorpio and Razzo, Alex's boutique is arranged by colour, which is great if you have something specific in mind. There is a big womenswear range, including handbags, shoes and scarves dotted around the store. You might also find some designer bargains - I spotted a Jil Sander shirt for €39.
Good for: Women's clothes and accessories
Could improve: A higher proportion of well-known brands would have put this shop on the same level as Scorpio.

A note on Humana
You never know with this second hand chain if you'll walk into a vintage palace or a jumble sale, and this branch is unfortunately the latter. Racks and racks of poor quality synthetic pieces from the 80s and 90s, with little thought to presentation or appropriate pricing - try if you dare, and definitely only  f you are a confident upcycler with lots of imagination!

Stay tuned for part 3 or follow me on Bloglovin to keep up with the latest posts. 


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