Hong Kong is often called a shopper’s paradise, but sometimes the endless parade of fast fashion chains and shiny luxury shops can feel a little soulless and devoid of personality. If you dig a little deeper, however, you’ll find that the city actually has a surprisingly good selection of vintage and second-hand clothing stores. Whether you’re tired of seeing people wearing the same H&M top as you or simply want to diversify your wardrobe, here’s a list of our six favorite places to pick up one-of-a-kind threads in Hong Kong.
Founded in 1993, this is one of the largest vintage retailers in Hong Kong, with two very conveniently located branches in Tin Hau and Mong Kok. As the name suggests, Midwest stocks a decent range of cowboy boots and hats. Beyond the Spaghetti Western-esque clothes, Midwest is also a great find for the patchwork-obsessed, with patchwork workshirts, jeans, and kimonos all available in store.
While the inspiration behind Midwest is distinctly old school, the brand has maintained a loyal customer base by “upcycling” vintage materials into modern pieces. (We’re particularly big fans of the tracksuit-inspired jeans.)
White Whale Vintage
While this Mong Kok shop may be small, they make up for it in the sheer quality of their products. Each piece of clothing is personally sourced by White Whale’s owners from Europe and Japan, and the proprietors are super clued-up on the history behind each and every item.
Cold weather fans rejoice, White Whale’s got a smashing collection of military jackets, embroidered souvenir jackets (a.k.a. sukajan), bomber jackets, leather jackets, and more.
The owners are very friendly and more than willing to discuss the history behind each piece with customers, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the labor they put into sourcing is reflected in their prices, which are definitely higher than those from other shops.
White Whale: Room 4, 9/F, Prosper Commercial Building, 9 Yin Chong Street, Mong Kok (Google Maps)
Mee & Gee
Mee & Gee is one of the cheapest second-hand clothing retailers in the city, and with five locations across Hong Kong, it’s one of the easiest places to bag a unique bargain… especially as they all have HKD10 racks. Be still our beating, thrifty hearts.
Across the board, the clothes (of which there are a lot) here are more skewed towards womenswear, but there is a solid collection of vintage t-shirts and trousers for men too. (Or women who don’t believe in paying a premium for “boyfriend fit” clothing, we won’t judge.)
Given the sheer volume of Mee & Gee’s stock, the quality is bound to be more inconsistent than some of the other shops listed, and it does take a while to dig through everything available. However, we maintain that half of the fun of vintage shopping is the thrill of landing a diamond in the rough.
Mee & Gee (Mong Kok): 64 Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok (Google Maps)
Mee & Gee (second Mong Kok branch): 181 Fa Yuen Street (Google Maps)
Mee & Gee (Tsim Sha Tsui): 71 Granville Road (Google Maps)
Mee & Gee (Central): 9 Li Yuen Street West (Google Maps)
Mee & Gee (Wan Chai): 3 Tai Yuen Street (Google Maps)
While it may be in Causeway Bay, this shop is worlds away from the thronging crowds of Fashion Walk. Tucked away on the appropriately named Haven Street, this treasure trove of vintage goods is perhaps the most “grown up” shop out of this list.
Luddite’s aesthetic leans towards traditional cuts and fabrics, with a distinctly “preppy” and mid-century Ivy League (or at least, Ivy-League-as-imagined-by-Japanese-sartorialists) vibe. Here, you can browse leather boots, selvedge denim, tweed jackets, and more to your heart’s content.
Apart from clothing, Luddite also has a wide selection of shoes, such as combat and work boots, the widely sought-after German army trainers or even retro bowling shoes. Not to mention their adorable shopkeeper, a tuxedo cat named Mr. Black.
Luddite: 15A Haven Street, Causeway Bay (Google Maps)
In a similar vein to Luddite, Vintage1961 exudes a more mid-century aesthetic. This shop, which caters towards women, is stocked with elegant vintage dresses, bags, shoes, jewelry, perfume, and decorative trays.
Most of the clothing here is ‘60s and ‘70s-inspired, with choices that are appropriate for both the office and a casual day out. The styles range from modest teadresses (which are actually all the rage this summer, since fashion is a cycle) to colorblocked mod shifts that wouldn’t look out of place on Twiggy.
Vintage1961: Shops 801 & 802, 8/F, Radio City, 505 Hennessy Road (Google Maps)
Bang Bang 70s
If you’ve just come off a Netflix binge of That ‘70s Show and want to emulate some of that funk-era flair, then Bang Bang 70s is the place for you. This Soho store is filled to the brim with groovy handbags, jewelry, and clothes.
While the overall feel of the inventory is very ‘70s and ‘80s-informed (which is to say: loud), Bang Bang 70s stocks a lot of modern pieces too – we’re talking Bape trousers and chav-tastic Burberry hats. One particular highlight of this store is their extensive collection of vintage bags from designers such as Valentino, Prada, and Gucci — many of which are in mint or new condition.
Bang Bang 70s: 1/F, 16A Aberdeen Street, Central (Google Maps)