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Friday, 20 March 2015

TRY THIS - 2nd-Hand in Ole' Amsterdam

Today we find my friend, actor and ever-stylish Alma, serving as a Foreign Correspondent for Huntress London. Direct from Amsterdam, here's what she's uncovered -

"My other half turned 30 this year and I decided rather impulsively to book a trip to Amsterdam. Nicknamed ‘Venice of the North,’ it could not have made a better impression on us. Perfect Spring weather, lucky restaurant choices, delicious beers and endless corners to discover on foot, all contributed to the memorable 3-day city break.

And then there was the 2nd-hand shopping. I was hoping there would be a vintage side to Amsterdam, and I’d already asked Huntress for tips but I needn’t have worried. By simply walking around the city, we effortlessly stumbled into all sorts of 2nd-hand and antique establishments. But with only a hand luggage allowance, I had to choose wisely.

While desperately seeking style in the disappointing Waterlooplein Markt, my clever man spotted the Kilo Shop CLICK HERE where 2nd-hand items are assigned a colour, the colour is assigned a price per kilo, items are weighed and the price calculated. This proved a lot of fun and imagine my delight when two gorgeous paisley shirts (my new obsession) weighed up at only 10 Euros! Ker-ching. I also picked up a lovely neckerchief in a 2.50 EURO box which works a treat in a ‘We Can Do It’ poster kind of way. I can’t recommend this shop highly enough; beautiful stock, friendly staff and value for money. 

Day Two and I discovered Bis CLICK HERE, a chain of three shops. I explored the Lady’s Vintage Fashion branch at Sint Antoniesbreestraat 25d, a very classy shop with legit vintage stock and a sales assistant wearing a full 50s sailor’s outfit (probably from the shop next door, Bis Vintage Army Fashion & Basics). I thought I’d just be looking because the price point was out of my league but then I spotted a selection of classic raincoats, something I’ve always wanted. Sadly I've never managed to find the right one. I tried a couple on but again, no luck. Then my eagle-eyed man picked one out for me and while it didn’t look like much on the hanger, the boy’s definitely got the knack because it fit like a glove. With no price tag attached, I imagined the worst but Sailor Lady only wanted 50 EUROS for it, a fair price for a well-made classic that I'll wear for years. The following day, our last in Amsterdam, I swanned around town in my new/old raincoat feeling like a million bucks. 

On the the last day I found Episode, a well-organised European-wide charity shop CLICK HERE which looked a bit like Beyond Retro here in London; fashionable retro, not super cheap but not overly expensive either. Here I found dungarees, a staple I've long searching for (unsuccessfully). Seems I've the figure of a Dutch woman because for a very reasonable 29 EUROS these slipped on like they were made for me.

There were many more shops that I didn't buy anything from but which still deserve mention. Zipper, similar to Rokit in London and Carla Palermo, a mad selection of pretty frocks and kimonos, just for the fun of it, both on Huidenstraat. Harvest & Co CLICK HERE for vintage home wares and furniture, very expensive but a beautiful place to browse. And if paper and stationary are your thing don't miss Papier CLICK HERE pricey but absolutely stunning."

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