Where to shop Second Hand in Helsinki
We have always been advocates of second hand shopping, trifting and buying preloved here at The Maker Journal. Nothing gives us greater joy as knowing that something you are reading or seeing here helps or inspires you to make more conscious decisions about your buying habits wherever you are. So here is our second instalment of vintage shopping guides for Helsinki. The guide is ever evolving, and while we have not personally visited all stores on the map yet, we are planning to do so and will give our honest opinions here after. Included is a mix of dedicated vintage stores and charity shops run on donations from the public. Including Helsinki as a part of our vintage guides was very relevant to us, because as anyone will tell you, Helsinki fashion runs on second hand, and it is what the city's fashion conscious thrive on. Enjoy!
Penny Lane Clothing
This one has got to be the most impressive store of them all. Unassuming when you walk in, you only really notice how theathrical it gets on the second floor (interior and fashion wise). A lot of frothy 80s clothing and blazers galore, this is the place for theatrical prom gowns. With some branded garments on the first floor, the specialty there seems to be vintage shoes.
Best way to describe this store is a pleasant surprise; bursting at the seams with yummy rainbow gelato colours on 60s silhouettes, this place has an emphasis on dresses. While visiting, I happened to have heard first hand the attentive and caring service and textile care expertise that the store owner has. She offers alterations and seems to know the store’s offering inside out, offering customers tailored advice on what to get. With nordic designer brands like Marimekko, Almedahls and Suojanen and luscious evening gowns, this spot is where to go if you need a vintage dress for your theme party.
A music centered curated concept vintage store, Soul Vintage is where aesthetics are everything. Coffee is also served, making this store a cute hangout spot. Come here for good tunes, quality men’s jackets and T-shirts and vintage furniture inspo. If you like a smaller collection of items where you aren’t bombarded with options, this is the place for you.
Helsinki fashion runs on second hand and it is what the city's fashion conscious thrive on
Hoochie Mama Jane
Hoochie Mama Jane is a true vintage store to a T. With equal amounts of 60s 70s and 80s shift dresses, dressier cocktail dresses and kimonos dating all the way back to the 1940s, you can truly feel like you’re jumping back in time in here. One of the most expansive selections of vintage jewellery, hats, pouches, belts and sunnies in the city, there’s accessories for everyone.
Vintage Vuokko garments (kind of like the Finnish Yohji Yamamoto), authentic designer pieces, and a lot of Marimekko, this place stays true to it’s name (mekko means dress). There is so much to see, and everything feels very wearable and casual. Stuff like day dresses, A-line skirts and overshirts dominate the store with more rare pieces here and there. It feels modern and fresh, and is certainly a treasure trove of well picked items for the modern wardrobe.
A play on the word clothing rack, this store is an unfussy second hand store in the heart of the vintage shop district. You may have to dig deep to find something, as there is a variety of cheaper clothing and branded garments. If you have the patience though, my guess is you could find something cool in here (at least I did).
You can’t make a list of best second hand stores and not mention UFF. It is kind of like a place where clothes go to die, but then again there will always be someone who will buy your unwanted clothes. What’s cool about this place is that it’s colour coded, so it will be fairly easy to find something if you know what you’re looking for. The UFF in Fredrikinkatu is the best, as it has the biggest selection and clothes date back to the 80s by the looks of them.
Kierrätyskeskus, meaning recycling center, runs on the same principle as UFF, but are even bigger and messier. With many locations in and around the city, the centers are great places to find anything and everything. Don’t expect quality here; if you are on the hunt for bargains then this place is heaven on earth.