Vintage shopping can be one of the most thrilling life experiences for fashion lovers out there. Nothing compares to the joy and excitement of rummaging through a treasure trove of retro sunglasses or the pride and satisfaction of excavating the perfect ‘60s designer dress from under a pile of old sweaters. There is a ridiculous number of vintage shopping guides, lists and stories for almost every fashion-conscious city out there. Try typing, “Vintage shops in Paris” into Google. Now replace Paris with New York, Milan, London, Stockholm or Berlin and you’re going to be directed to thousands of different places to dig for old clothes. Now try Reykjavík, and you won’t come up with much. Yet, vintage shopping in Reykjavík is alive and well, according to Rakel Unnur Thorlacius, a fashion enthusiast who manages Spúútnik in Kringlan. “There are only a few stores, but they are all nice,” she says. “They’re not cluttered like vintage stores in other places.”
Here is a list of Reykjavík’s vintage stores, and while Spúútnik wins ‘Best Vintage Store’ this year, the others also have their perks that make them the best in different ways.
Best Overall Vintage Store
Spúútnik Laugavegur 28b/Kringlan
Spúútnik has to be every fashion lover’s dream come true. It has the widest selection of vintage clothing for all genders and ages. The best part of it all is that none of these gems are hidden! One glance into the store and you’ll easily be able to see the many wonders that Spúútnik has to offer.
“Hmm,” Rakel pauses to think when describing Spúútnik’s typical customer. “All kinds of people of all ages. We have young girls from the age of 10 to old women buying dresses. Men come to the Kringlan store to buy plaid and denim shirts, but most of them go to our downtown store because there are more clothes for men there.”
Spúútnik has its large variety of printed shirts, denim shorts, military jackets, sequined dresses, leather bags, and all other vintage items that you could be looking for arranged neatly in racks and shelves by the super stylish staff, making your vintage shopping experience as pleasant as it could possibly be.
“We keep the store very organised,” Rakel says. “We have a very big warehouse where we keep our stock. We get lots, but we don’t bring everything into the store. We choose all the items very carefully.”
Individual high-quality vintage pieces are carefully hand selected from the United States, France and the Netherlands and brought back to Iceland in perfect condition for the Spúútnik stores.
“If the clothes have holes or tears, we can’t put them in the store. We have to make sure that everything is in very good condition,” Rakel says.
The wide array of vintage goodies coupled with the comfortable and friendly shopping environment certainly makes Spúútnik the winner for the best overall vintage store in Reykjavík. Also, don’t forget to check out the summer and the kilo sale for some great deals! The ongoing summer sale ends at the start of August when the kilo starts. During the kilo sale, you’ll be able to get a whole kilo of clothing for 5,900 ISK! You can also just get half a kilo if you have that much self-control.
Best for high-quality vintage women’s clothing
Nostalgia Laugavegur 32
Located just a couple of steps away from Spúútnik is the super colourful and quirky store called Nostalgía. There you will find the most brilliant collection of must-have vintage kimonos alongside other unique, museum-quality evening gowns, tweed blazers, beaded cardigans, lace lingerie and other vintage treasures. Prices may be a little steep so you might want to bring lots of cash and a few working credit cards before heading over!
Best for stylish and affordable clothing
Fatamarkaðurinn Laugavegur 118
If you have already spent your entire fortune at the two vintage places mentioned above, you have nothing to fear! Just like Spúútnik and Nostalgía, Fatamarkaðurinn has all types of fashionable vintage clothing, shoes, bags and accessories for every shopper out there, and it is much cheaper than the other two stores. Although you may have to go searching through piles of old stuff and check thoroughly for the quality of each item, your time and money spent will definitely be worth it! You will find the most amazing vintage items at the lowest prices; however you are still most likely going to want to spend your very last króna on more than one of those shockingly affordable faux fur vests.
Best for super cheap second-hand clothing
The Red Cross Laugavegur 12
Although this is not exactly a vintage store, you are still likely to find many cool (and cheap) vintage items here if you search hard enough. Never underestimate the Red Cross. You could find really cheap used clothing and the occasional vintage designer item for a tiny fraction of the price that it’s worth! By shopping at the Red Cross, you will also be doing a good deed as the proceeds benefit both the local community and other international causes.