RETREHManchester with its vibrant student population and history as a world centre for the textiles industry unsurprisingly has lots to offer the vintage hungry female. It’s possible to kit yourself out in style without so much as a whiff of high street, and eager vintage queens will find themselves spoilt for choice. Liz Kenny has compiled a guide to the best vintage shops the city can offer.

The home of independent retailers and alternative fashion in Manchester is the Northern Quarter, a network of shops and businesses centering around Oldham Street. Here you’ll find fashion boutiques and record shops so you’ve got somewhere to send the boyfriend whilst you browse to your heart’s content.

First up, you must pay a visit to Retro Rehab (91 Oldham Street). You can’t miss it for its mint green exterior. Set up in 2006, it now even has a concession in the TopShop Manchester branch, but here is its authentic vintage home. Inside you’ll find both original and reworked vintage pieces, with dresses from approx £16 and tops from about £8, as well as bags, shoes and jewellery.

There’s also a sale rail where you can snap things up from as little as £1. Yes, this may tempt you to risk trying out a fringed neon jumpsuit in case it ‘works”‘ but personally I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. I once found a breathtaking Fifties, red fit-n-flare dress here for £4, that still gives me palpitations, so I’m forever indebted to Retro Rehab. Go grab yourself something pretty!

Huddled away on Tib Street you will find the not at all unassuming Rags to Bitches. This vintage emporium was set up by City Life magazine columnist Flic Everett in 2003 and has established a unique identity for itself. Not just a dress shop, RTB offers tarot readings, dressmaking workshops and social soirees and features  a beautifully designed interior. Where Retro Rehab has accessible charm, RTB is definitely going for old-school glamour, Hollywood sirens take note. They also have a unique website that is well worth a gander.

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