Pre-loved on the Free-love Highway

By Sarah Ann Murray

Vintage fashion: treasure-trove or minefield? Fashionistas all over the world have been rummaging among the rails of vintage stores for years, finding pre-loved gems to elevate their wardrobes to dizzying heights leaving us wondering, where on earth do they find such unique pieces? But, you don’t have to be Sex and the City’s stylist or have Kate Moss’s effortless bohemian style to master the art of shopping the latest trend in sustainable fashion.

Remember the gold hot-pants that famously re-launched Kylie Minogue’s career? Well, they were found by her stylist in a charity shop for a pound. I’ve found Ray-Bans for a fiver, bought a Billabong wetsuit in perfect nick for fifteen quid and a vintage Nike tennis jacket. In the Madrugada charity shop in Luz, I picked up the perfect cotton trousers for 4€ and my find of the century? The comfiest pair of Salomon ski boots for 25 shiny pounds.

The stigma of the dusty, old charity shop is long gone, and so are people’s attitudes towards pre-owned pieces. Today, the pre-loved experience is more of a curated boutique with its own identity, where owners meticulously and passionately source unique pieces that offer us, the shopper, a chance to experiment with our wardrobes for a fraction of the cost of shopping brand new. Not to mention the benefits of avoiding fast fashion and its inevitable landfill resting place.

With an open mind and a will to rummage, vintage stores could be your best financial and eco-friendly opportunity to revamp your closet.

Sarah Murray is a freelance stylist, shoot creative director and menswear luxury specialist. Instagram

Luah Vintage

Gorgeous boutique-style Luah Vintage has quietly been going about its business for the last six months, offering new and pre-loved pieces. Acquiring a brilliant mix of cool and elegant garments, this little store could be on the corner of Portabello Road or Williamsburg, Brooklyn. From classic Levis denim to cool Ts and little black dresses, it’s the perfect place to find pre-loved style with a fantastic collection of shoes to boot. They also do a great job of offering styling tips and putting entire outfits together in-store to help make your shopping experience feel more fabulous than flummoxed.

Address: R. Dr. José Joaquim Figueiredo Luis, 8600-714 Lagos

The Urban Jungle

Say ‘aloha’ to the coolest interpretation of the now totally acceptable patterned shirt style. For your bolder patterns and summer vibes, you have to check out The Urban Jungle in Lagos old town. Funky retro and rad prints, there’s something for everyone in here and it’s a great way to delve into pre-loved fashion. Grab a shirt in your favourite colour, throw it over a monochrome T-shirt or bandeau top and wear it with jeans, loose trousers, denim shorts – these loose shirts, worn open or closed, add a little flair to every outfit. But that’s not all The Urban Jungle offers; hats, bags and jewellery are to be found hidden deep in this jungle …

Address: R. Prof. Luis de Azevedo Lote 8, 8600-617 Lagos

We Thrift

Pop-up stores across the Western Algarve

We Thrift is a new conscious clothing company based near Lagos whose key focus is a commitment to reducing environmental impact and textile waste as they source some of the coolest, design-led second-hand sustainable women’s wear, menswear and accessories. The business was born out of its founders’ love for spending their weekends looking through rails of second-hand garments for unique pieces. Jade and Dan have established their own style through timeless staples, such as denim, quality fabrics, well-made pieces, vintage Italian shirts as well as some preloved high-street classics. This is so much more than just your usual ‘vintage clothing store’.

Find out when their next pop-up is scheduled by contacting them by email or follow them on Instagram.



Styling tips


This is your chance to try something new without breaking the bank. If something takes your fancy but seems too daring, you don’t necessarily need to know how to wear it right there and then. Take it home and wait for a day when you’re feeling creative and inspired to add that one statement piece to your outfit.


Embrace mixing high and low, designer and thrift, new and old, plain and patterned; the contrast in an outfit can make for a fantastic look and often vintage stores have more interesting pieces that can become your statement piece for any outfit.


A bit of fashion retrospective knowledge is a great thing when it comes to wearing vintage. Knowing the era – which if you’ve lived through the original decade will come quite easily – will allow you to find a stylish harmony in your overall look. The key is to find the balance between a cool nod towards that decade and mixing it with modern pieces. Try picking one piece and wear it boldly.


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