Vintage shopping in Istanbul

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hey squaddies! 
I love vintage clothing; it is a love that my husband can’t seem to comprehend. He doesn’t understand why I want to buy and wear “old and used” clothing, maybe it’s the work involved or the thrill of the hunt. I don't mind spending countless hours shuffling through endless racks and not knowing what I'll find or maybe it's because whatever I do find I know it will be a unique piece and unless the vintage gods are all against me and pigs have started flying the likelihood of someone else owning the same exact piece is slim to none or maybe it’s just me feeling like I’m doing my part of being green and recycling versus buying new. Whatever it is I love it and everywhere we go I always make sure to stop by a vintage shop. 

Before we left for Istanbul (see my travel diaries here!), I did a little research and to my surprise found out that there would be a handful in the area we were staying in Cihangir. I was so ecstatic and couldn’t wait to get there and check them out! Well squaddies my excitement was short lived when I discovered that most of them had been closed (insert SUPER sad face here) but let’s not dwell on that and focus on the good. Of the handful that were open and for time sake let's focus on three that probably won't be closing anytime soon. My favorite of the bunch was Pied de Poule, located in Cukurcuma and owned by a sweet elderly lady name Selale. The shop albeit small was filled with goodies from the 50s (that her mother owned!) and onwards. She also had a decent selection of shoes, hats and handbags (a lot still in their dust bag!) and overall a better selection of stuff than the other ones I checked out. The only downside, it was small and bit cramped making it hard to shop but Selale was extremely helpful so that was a huge plus. What I really loved was the history involved, this is the first vintage shop I’ve ever been to where the owner had dresses and accessories that has been passed down by her grandmother and mother with pictures to boot! Also, unlike other vintage stores Selale takes impeccable care of all her merchandise, she has every item cleaned and then stored in plastic garment bags so they are ready to be loved again. How awesome is that?! Overall it was a memorable and personable experience and I would highly recommend this shop if you’re in Istanbul and could only go to one. Just be sure to go after 11AM and don't expect deals it's quality you're here for. Look out for Selale's model pictures.. she was a total babe!
Another great option is Mozk Vintage, located in the heart of Cihangir, the shop sells not only vintage clothing and accessories but furniture as well! A lot bigger than Pied de Poule, Mozk had a boutique feel to it and I love that the shop had mixture of clothing and furniture, adding that special vintage touch to the atmosphere. The staff were helpful but not overbearing which I love when shopping. I don't know about you but when I shop I like to be left to my own devices until I need help or check out and Mozk did exactly that for me. Price wise it's very reasonable especially if you're looking for a cool piece that won't break the bank. Be sure to go downstairs and check out the awesome vintage furniture in the basement!
My last recommendation is By Retro which is located on the busy shopping strip of Istiklal Caddesi. Don't expect to just walk by and see it though since it's hidden in the basement inside the Suriye Pasaji. Keep an eye out for the sign outside the passage, from there you'll walk down an alleyway with tons of local drinking tea and you can't miss it. You walk in and downstairs to see what I can only describe as Goodwill and The Salvation Army had a baby and Goodwill was seeing Value Village on the side.. in short it's a hot mess. The store itself is a huge disaster but that's the charm of it, it's a maze filled to the brim with any and everything you can possibly think of. If you can imagine it then you can probably find there if you dig hard enough. No joke, I spent a few hours there and exhausted myself digging! Unfortunately I wasn't able to find anything and nothing was priced so I can't comment on price points but judging from the selection it seems very possible to be score a sweet deal here. All in all it was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Be sure to check out their huge sunglasses section!

Here are the shops and addresses just in case you're in Istanbul and would like to check them out:

Pied de Poule - Cukurcuma Faik Pasa Yokusu No: 19/1 Tel: (0212) 245 8116

Mozk - Kuloglu Mh. Agahmami Sokak No: 13/B Tel: (0212) 252 3499

By Retro - Istiklal Cad. Suriye Pasaji No: 166/C Tel: (0212) 245 6420

 What about you squaddies, do you love vintage? Share in the comment box below!

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