My favourite vintage shops in Cologne
Never was vintage as trendy as it is now, in fact it has been ever since sustainable consumption became a thing. Indeed, why should we buy everything new when there’s so many treasures from decades past just waiting to be discovered? Also, it’s a lot of fun browsing through local vintage shops on the hunt for the perfect dress or accessory. Especially in Cologne, which is home to a number of superb vintage stores. So many, in fact, it’s not easy to decide which one to visit first! Here’s a guide to Cologne’s vintage jungle with my top five recommendations.
Vintage & Rags
This store on Hohenzollernring is not just smack bang in the city centre, it’s a genuine vintage institution. Stepping through the doors you almost literally enter a time machine. On two floors, Vintage & Rags has everything a vintage lover needs: extravagant hats, retro sneakers, flower-print dresses from the 70s and much more. There’s also a few almost-new items here and there, like sunglasses and jewellery. The decoration is incredible – almost a reason in its own right to visit this place.
Vintage & Rags | Hohenzollernring 47 | 50672 Cologne
Vintage Emde in the Belgian Quarter is heaven for women and men alike. Owners Christian and Stanislava showcase their vintage pieces in the most loving way possible. If you’re like me and you think there’s no such thing as too many shoes and bags, this is definitely the place for you. But Vintage Emde also has a full range of clothing in addition to accessories – simply ask for some help if you lose your way. The assistants are always happy to help. And there’s a programme of regular cultural events as well, so be sure to check out the store’s Facebook page before you go.
Vintage Emde | Bismarckstraße 56 | 50672 Cologne
Small on space, big on atmosphere – that’s Polyestershock in a nutshell. Straight after you walk through the door of this Ehrenfeld gem, it’s plain to see that Anna runs her women’s vintage clothing store with love and passion. If you walk out empty-handed, you’ve no one to blame but yourself: for if your chosen garment doesn’t fit, Anna will tailor it for you in her small studio. The best thing about that? It’s free of charge! These days, you need to look high and low for that kind of service. Besides Anna’s wide range of vintage clothing, there’s also some pieces from her own dressmaking studio on the racks.
Polyestershock | Geisselstraße 14 | 50823 Cologne
The Think Twice stores have become a firm favourite in Cologne. One is on Ehrenstrasse in the city centre, the other is on Severinstrasse in the Südstadt area. Think Twice has become so popular, especially among the younger population, that long queues of bargain-hunters have been known to form outside, especially when the week-long sales come around once a month, just before a new collection hits the stores. Prices drop as the week continues, with discounts of first 30%, then 50%. On the last day, the remaining quality vintage pieces go for just one euro each. These deals are of a regularity not to be found anywhere else in the city.
Vintage Revivals – Contemporary Second Hand
Vintage Revivals sells selected second-hand pieces in stores across Germany, but also maintains an online shop with an eclectic mix of vintage clothing including some unusual designer apparel by Max Mara, Cavalli, Moschino and other names. The thoroughly stylish Cologne branch of Vintage Revivals is right in the heart of the city on Ehrenstrasse. This is a great place to come exploring if you’re looking for that one special piece: spread out over two stories, the selection is extensive and well-presented, including by colour.