A particularly illuminating singer-songwriter, named, of all things, Kevin, once versed: “The past is a grotesque animal.” However, us and things, we must all move on. Which is why we turn to vintage: taking from the past, and finding new ways to beautify it. Here are some of my favorite vintage places in Berlin.
Friedrichshain’s Trash-Schick is a jam-packed vintage shop in the middle of a bustling kiez, stocked with incredibly unusual vintage clothing that doesn’t lack in personality. Think: military jackets, bizarro ‘80s dresses with extra floof, men’s hats, and countless accessories. The owner’s a brooding German dream, seemingly with a secret up his sleeve as he watches you peruse the store. Check the rack out on the sidewalk for especially cheap (under 10 euro) finds.
Another Friedrichshain wonder, Sometimes Coloured’s on the more expensive side of second-hand, with a mostly feminine collection of namebrand dresses, sweaters, jackets, shirts, and shoes.Their selection is precise, as it’s sparse but dynamic. It’s what the girls all over Neukölln, Friedrichshain, and Kreuzberg are wearing, but just a tad different–selected with you in mind. Whoever’s working is always the hippest girl I’ve ever seen, and the whip-smart indie soundtrack yanks you in for a longer perusal than you might expect. Go in for the trends. Stay for the hidden treasures.
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While Sometimes Coloured and Trash-Schick have individuality in mind, Schoneberg’s Garage boasts quantity over quality. It was the first vintage shop in Berlin to sell by the kilo, and its many racks are stocked to the brim with old American camp, Youth Ministry, and basketball t-shirts, cozy knitted sweaters, as well as some ultra-hip H&M and Zara finds (if you hunt long enough, or take out the girl in the dressing room with them). On Wednesday’s, there’s Happy hour from 11 to 1, where prices drop a full 30%, even on the per kilo options. Heaven on earth.
Pick N Weight
Located in both Kreuzberg and Mitte, the Pick N Weight Vintage shop is a football-sized space with long and varied racks of clothes and accessories, organized by color. The quality’s always stellar, the clothing clean–but piecing through the eclectic wears is an afternoon-long challenge, lending you mesmerizing statement pieces from the ‘70s and ‘80s, as well as summer dresses, denim, and Berlin-chic jackets. The clothing is price-coded, ranging between 25 and 85 euro per kilo. Prices are clearly marked throughout the store.
Sing Blackbird is an adorable two-in-one café and vintage haven essential for lazy afternoons filled with coffee, kuchen, and perusing once-loved fashion. The owners, one American and one German, are committed to their craft–with one continually manning the sewing machine to ensure the occasionally ill-fitting vintage looks can fit any frame. The food ranges from light snacks to breads and cakes and cookies, and the place further boasts a beer and wine menu.
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