Like our neighbourhood in the Fifth District in Vienna, the streets surrounding our apartment in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin – including our own – are dotted with vintage clothes shops.

As soon as the snow stopped and the footpaths were cleared, racks of fur coats, groovy frocks, and army surplus gear suddenly appeared on the streets like retro art installations.

Here are some of my favourite shops in the neighbourhood, though trust me there are dozens more:

Lychener Str. 14
The Prenzlauer Berg shop is the younger sibling to one of Berlin’s original vintage stores in Charlottenburg, set up in the days when ‘vintage’ was simply called ‘second-hand’. Specialises in timeless women’s classics, from houndstooth pencil skirts to smart tweed jackets.

Meins & Deins
Danziger Str. 38
This cluttered vintage clothes store is like the op shops my best friend Lynley and I used to rummage through after school in the 1980s. In those days we wouldn’t dream of wearing anything that wasn’t unique. This place brings back memories. Plus they have a phenomenal range of retro sneakers.

No Socks No Panties
Stargarder Str. 10
No clutter. No dust. No smells like grandma’s hall closet. With its freshly painted walls and polished floorboards, this funky vintage clothes shop looks like it should be selling new clothes. And it does. Mixed up on the racks are second hand clothes from the 1950s through to the 1990s, along with new stuff with an idiosyncratic, retro look.

Eberswalder Str. 21/22
You’ll find secondhand shoes galore in this cluttered store, from glamorous pumps from the 1940s through to groovy knee-high boots from the Sixties.

Eberswalder Str. 34
Top quality vintage eye glasses, both sunnies and prescriptions, from the 1950s through to the 1990s – everything from those cat’s eyes your grandmother used to wear to the Jackie O sunnies you stole from your Mum!

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