Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to shop for stand out pieces whilst knowing that you are doing your bit to reduce climate change? Well, vintage clothes shopping does just that and it is now being more noticed than ever. In 2019 there was a 17.6 percent increase in the number of people shopping vintage around the UK, according to Statista.com. This comes as no surprise as the general public is now much more aware of the benefits of vintage clothes shopping. Furthermore, with high street stores providing great basics, vintage stores are perfect for statement pieces and individual items. 

As a large town, I was interested to discover what Colchester has to offer in the way of vintage shops and what outfits you can create with the clothing from them. 

My first stop was Best Days which is well known in Colchester for its vintage clothing. As you step through the door, you are met by an array of all sorts of eye-catching clothing from jackets to jeans. Not only are there displays of these items, there is also now a café  and places to sit. This all adds to the general vibrant and inviting atmosphere.

The manager, Jez Dixon, explains since the store’s expansion it has become more popular- this is apparent by the many young people present using the new facilities. The increase is also due to a general attitude change to vintage clothing. "People are now viewing vintage differently. They aren’t just seeing it as wearing other people’s clothes - there has been a shift in attitude. This is down to people wanting to be more ‘green’ to help out the environment," thinks Jez Dixon. 

When looking for an outfit, my eye was immediately drawn to a light shaded pair of khaki trousers. They looked versatile and modern. To complete the outfit, I wanted a cropped top and to my delight the perfect black one was on the rack in front of me. This was a simple yet unique top as it had details across the chest and was a more unusual cut. Together these items created a cute look that would be great on many occasions. 

Overall, this was a hub for vintage creativity which provides a fresh and new way of looking at vintage shopping. Whether it be the clothes, café or seating area, there was something of interest for everyone. 

Conveniently, my next stop was opposite on the same street. St Helena’s Hospice vintage shop has gorgeous dresses and skirts lining the window. Beautiful, one-off items beckon you in to have a look. The whole experience is thrilling for someone who loves shopping as there is such a range of special, unique items from an electric blue, mid length, velvet skirt to a 1950s Chanel style pink and black suit. 

There has been an increase in the number of younger people coming in since they moved premises to a more central location. In addition to the environmental benefits of recycling, some people think that the nostalgia of vintage clothing can offer people comfort in these uncertain times. 

Whether you love dresses, hoodies or hats, in these vintage shops there will be an appeal to everyone whatever your style may be.