In a new series, Body Confidential editor L'Oréal Blackett shares her favourite NQ vintage hotspots

My fourteen-year-old sister tells me she’s into vintage fashion now. Fab, I think. She yearns for the slow living of 'yesteryear', the days before the Internet and social media, when grainy photographs weren’t just app filters on your phone. When I realised that the 'vintage' she was referring to was from the 90s, and that she has zero recollection of a cassette tape, I died a little inside. In her eyes, nineties stuff is cool but 'well old'.

With that said, today’s ‘vintage’ clothing feels entirely new. Nineties nostalgia is trendy and teens seem to have co-opted Will Smith’s dress sense from his Bel Air years. You can now go to Topshop or Urban Outfitters and buy vintage-feel clothing without having to dig for items in a rubble pile of musty material. But isn’t the rummage all part of the fun? The bliss of finding clothes that have lived a previous life and will continue to live on in your wardrobe until you pass them on?

18 04 06 Manchester Vintage Cow Manchester
L'Oréal Blackett tries on upcycled clothing at Cow Manchester

With sustainability and clothing waste a growing topic of concern for the fashion industry, learning to love and shop vintage clothing could be considered a fashionista's 'ethical' duty. 

Luckily in Manchester, we have many stores which continue to celebrate pre-loved clothing - especially in the Northern Quarter. Sadly we have lost some great vintage haunts in the area in recent years, Ryan Vintage on Oldham Street is now home to jerk chicken by way of Caribbean chain Turtle Bay. And remember those quirky fashion conservationists at Junk Store? Once an amazing haunt for accessories and quirky outfits, Junk Store has now been thrown onto the discarded pile. 

Regardless, it's rare I visit the NQ without taking home a pair of re-worked Levi jeans. 

In the first episode of 'What I Wore Manchester', I give you a whistle-stop tour of some of my favourite NQ vintage stores. From the fun one-stop shop that is Cow Manchester to Retro Rehab, one of the last remaining vintage independents in the area. 

Let us know where we should visit next.