VINTAGE FASHION STORES
Best for Vintage Tees
The Trapeze Swingers
Hidden down a small alley connecting Phra Athit and Ram Butri, The Trapeze Swingers
(15 Soi Chanasongkram, Phra Athit Rd., 086-332-1045) is an old favorite for its treasure trove of both men’s and women’s pieces, from cotton/polyester graphic tees (starting at B300)—think ‘80s Stussy (B1,800), ‘90s Def Comedy Jam (B4,000) and Versace Jeans Couture (B1,300)—to snazzy ‘90s Jams World neon color block windbreakers (B3,400) and all kinds of caps, bucket hats and shoes. Meanwhile, VTG Shop
’s (online only, Instagram: vtgblackmarket
) collection of one-of-a-kind T-shirts ranges from authentic big brand names, including ‘80s Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, to punk and heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden and The Sex Pistols. They also offer tons of great streetwear, including jeans, shirts, polos and caps from Europe, America and Japan. Prices vary widely, from a few hundred baht to five-figure sums.
Best for Luxury Labels
The Vintage Store
For decades-old French couture, don’t miss The Vintage Store
(G/F, Eight Thonglor Bldg, 88/36 Sukhumvit Soi 55, 02-006-2669), which specializes in genuine and highly collectable luxury items from the creme de la creme—Chanel, Hermes, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, to name a few. Their huge collection of certified vintage designer pieces date from before the 2000s, including haute couture, handbags, costume jewelry, accessories and high heels. Prices must be discussed privately (in the shop or on Line), but don’t expect to snag any bargains. Similarly, Labellist Vintage Vibes
(2/F, Gaysorn Village, 999 Phloen Chit Rd., 080-565-6156) offers unique hidden gems from the 1960s-2000s from brand name powerhouses. While they do have a varied selection of dresses, jackets and jewelry from Chanel and Dior, the real highlight is their wide range of Hermes handbags (B242,000 for Birkin 35 Gris Perle P Stamp, B545,000 for Kelly 32 Black Crocodile Porosus). Those in the know looking to snag a luxury label bargain head to Tokyo Joe
(24/7 Sukhumvit Soi 69, 02-751-2544), where people’s Gucci and LV cast-offs regularly sell below B3,000.
Best for Military and Americana
The owner of Wooden Submarine’s
(121/118 Phetchaburi Soi 18, 081-255-2866) love for vintage Americana is apparent. The shop specializes in menswear from New York, both new pieces and old stock, with a focus on rare 1920s-70s military-themed apparel like shirts, jackets, leather bags, shoes and boots from brands such as London’s Alan McAfee, Peal & Co. for Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, Champion and Converse. Retro graphic T-shirts start from B500, jeans and pants from B1,500, and rugged canvas bags from B1,000. Rare pieces like the 1900s Edwardian tailcoat are also available. For more vintage military style, head over to Horse Unit
(Warehouse 30, Charoenkrung Soi 30, 089-454-2250), whose vast collection of ‘50s and ‘60s US and European military items spans US army jackets, European work jackets and cargo pants, to overalls, boots, duffle bags, and canvas totes (most items range from B1,000-B5,000), plus other knick-knacks like helmets, badges, pins, keychains and even WWII newspapers. Old polaroid film and cameras (from B2,000-B10,000) were recently added to the collection, too.
Best for Ladies’ Boutique Fashion
Again & Again
Ari’s vintage den, Museum of Everything Jinglebell
(18/2 Ari Soi 2, 090-263-6925), covers retro styles from every era, offering ‘70s daywear, luxe jewelry, handmade accessories, brand name handbags and wallets, and an impressive selection of vintage feminine dresses and formal one-of-a-kind cocktail dresses—if you’re lucky, you might get your hands on designer gems from Alexander McQueen (B8,000), Betty Johnson (B6,500) and Miu Miu (B4,000). Moving on to a more relaxed, bohemian style, Again & Again
(Suanplern Market, Rama 4 Rd., 086-626-6965) is a hit among Bangkok’s fashionistas for its whimsical resort wear-inspired signature ruffle top (B2,980) and matching midi ruffle skirt (B4,980), which come in everything from all-white to bold colors with polka dots. You’ll also find glittery statement earrings (B6,500) and pom-pom hemp bags (B4,900).
More Awesome Vintage Fashion Stores
Great collection of glamorous ‘70s-‘90s jewelry and accessories from big names: Chanel giant clip earrings (B14,670); Celine necklace (B88,70); Christian Lacroix brooch (B4,970); Dolce and Gabbana bangle (B3,870).
Chatuchak Weekend Market Section 3 Soi 42/1.
Everything Under the Sun
Decked out with a vivid wall mural of a surfer, this shop serves up a decidedly tropical vibe, reflected in the owner’s carefully curated selection of Hawaiian shirts. You’ll also find some cool print tees, blindingly colorful ‘80s-style shorts, trucker caps and the odd brand name (think Margaret Howell, Stussy and APC).
2/F, Gateway Ekamai, Sukhumvit Rd. Open daily 10am-10pm.
His & Her Vintage
This ‘60s-inspired boutique is packed with a unique collection of hats, sunglasses, jewelry and other accessories. Chatuchak Weekend Market Section 4 Soi 1, or order online www.etsy.com/shop/hisandhervintage.
Indigo to Indian
Indigo-dye work from Chiang Mai, Thai handicraft products, Native American silver and turquoise jewelry, along with vintage rugs, US military coal bags, T-shirts and denim.
2/F, Blue Dye Cafe, Sukhumvit Soi 36, 094-156-6166. Open Tue-Sun 9am-8pm.
Lost & Found Store
Unique, high-quality men’s and women’s wear from all over the world, but mainly Japan. Expect jeans, jackets and dresses with a spotlight on hard-to-find men’s suits and sunglasses. You can also shop Zudrangma Records’ old Thai and world vinyl at the same time.
2/F, Zudrangma Records, 7/1 Sukhumvit Soi 51, 088-891-7016. Open Wed-Sat 12pm-8pm.
Mrs. Bangonsri & Sons
Very classy and sophisticated vintage boutique offering stunning haute couture, big brand ready-to-wear pieces, bags, shoes, jewelry, art and books. Expect gems like an early-2000s Dries Van Noten hand-embroidered men’s gilet, Christian Dior earrings from 1971 and a faux tortoise shell Lucite handbag from 1950.
Sukhumvit Soi 31, 095-565-9659. Open Mon-Sat 11am-6pm.
Womenswear from 1960-80 (mostly ‘70s), including dresses, blouses, bell bottoms, jumpsuits and gowns. Pocket-friendly prices, from just B600 for dresses. Highlight is the vintage wedding gowns (B4,000-B20,000).
Lad Phrao Soi 61, 096-464-4965. Open Mon, Fri-Sun 2pm-7pm.
Sugar & Cream
A place to hunt out vintage dresses from piles of clothes. Mainly womenswear, from blouses, maxi skirts and dresses to bags, hats, belts, and jewelry—the highlight is their reasonably priced selection of clutch handbags.
1/F, Terminal 21, 88 Sukhumvit Soi 19, 081-763-5898. Open daily 10am-10pm.
Thonglor Art Village
This small compound of vintage shops sits outside the owner’s home, categorizing hats, bags, belts, and dresses into different shops. Offers big collectable names from Europe and America, but also some unique items from India and Pakistan.
Thonglor Soi 17, 085-145-4691. Open daily 10am-9pm.
Run by celebrity and vintage collector Nita Tejapaibul, with a focus on elegant luxury one-of-a-kind evening wear, mostly sourced from the UK, France and Italy. Expect lots of handcrafted details like sequins, embroidery and lace. Tailor service offered to ensure the perfect fit. Men’s shirts and blazers also on offer.
1/F, The Commons, 335 Thonglor Soi 17, 084-665-5626. Open daily 11:30am-8pm.
Specializes in rare leather shoes, bags and accessories for men and women. Most items are from ‘70s Italy, although they go back way further (their oldest ever shoes were 1930s). Best thing: the pricing won’t bankrupt you, with items from B380-5,000.
Ekkamai Soi 10, 02-726-9592. Open daily 12pm-9pm.
Best for High-end Statement Pieces
When it comes to luxury vintage furniture, Casa Pagoda
(Sukhumvit Soi 45, 02-258-1917) is your go-to. The airy 600-sq-meter, two-story space is filled with an eclectic mix of tasteful home decor items, ranging from French country-style wooden dining tables (B63,000) to industrial-chic leather couches (from B78,000-B220,000) and elegant lighting solutions (from B15,000 for chandeliers). As well as stock from designers and artists like Thomas Bina and Kelly Hoppen, they also have smaller decorative pieces, mostly in keeping with the rustic European theme. Their second branch in Sathorn
(64/1 Pan Rd., 02-637-8384) places greater emphasis on modern and edgy designs.
Best for European Antiques
The passionate owners of Vintage Showcase (1155 Patthanakarn Rd., 063-446-9394) have traveled across Europe to gather their eclectic array of pieces, from Victorian and Edwardian to vintage industrial gems from the ‘50s-‘60s. Most of the stuff here comes from British and French flea markets, antique fairs and auction houses—expect a gorgeous 1920s wooden wardrobe, a handsome 1930s oak haberdashery cabinet, a French Napoleon coffee set, and a leather sofa from the 1880s, as well as other decorative items like picture frames and an English Imperial typewriter (B9,500). Similarly, over in Ladprao, European Antique Shop (8/71 Ratchadapisek Rd., 089-995-4969) specializes in genuine antique furniture and interior pieces from Italy, France, Holland, Germany and England, offering a huge collection of more than 2,000 home decor items—brass candlesticks, mirrors, lamps, chandeliers, record players, cabinets, paintings and religious artifacts—in primarily Baroque, Victorian, Empire and Rococo styles.
Best for Mid-Century Scandinavian Pieces
Situated below the dearly-missed Moose bar, Y50
(24 Ekkamai Soi 21, 02-711-5629) specializes in Scandinavian items like Ib Kofod-Larsen wooden dining sets, and chairs by Borg Mogensen and Arne Jacobsen (B2,000-B90,000). Owner Pramet Sritongkul sources rare items from European auctions, including ceramics, wooden cabinets and wardrobes, leather chairs and sofas, sculptures and suitcases. Pramet also has a warehouse on Sukhapiban 5 Soi 46 and offers restoration and reproduction services. For more vintage Scandinavian goodness, 1 of A Kind
(Rama 9 Soi 48, 02-718-3260) promises 100-percent vintage Nordic furniture (B2,000-B100,000) and an on-site cafe. Expect to see rare chairs and lamps like the 1965 Louis Weisdorf’s Turbo Pendant (B35,000).
Best for Kitsch Retro
Tuba (34 Soi Ekkamai 21, 02-711-5500) is a two-story pub, restaurant and art gallery whose ‘70s-inspired oddball bric-a-brac is actually for sale, meaning you can play pool, listen to some old tunes and buy a couch or life-size statue of Superman, the Incredible Hulk or Darth Maul all in one visit. The place also serves Thai-inter food (order the laab moo tod, B220) along with draught Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and cocktails served in huge martini glasses. Operated by the same owner is Papaya (Ladprao Soi 55/22, 02-539-8220)—a massive vintage furniture warehouse that has to be one of the most surreal places in Bangkok. Every inch of the three-story space is stuffed with thousands and thousands of antique, vintage and retro items, from 1900s Art Nouveau porcelain dolls (from B20,000), a Denon turntable and radio console from England (B35,000) and ceramic vases (from B500), to super-kitsch toys, tin cans, wooden rocking horses and surgical lights. Anything that you can think of, they probably have it stowed away somewhere.
More Awesome Vintage Furniture Stores
A long-time distributor of quality Chinese antiques, selling everything from cabinets, partitions, tables, chairs, and beds to jewelry boxes, oil paintings, Tibetan mirrors and drums.
47/1-6 Senanikom 1 Rd., 094-475-9999. Open Mon-Sat 8am-6pm.
A go-to for solid-teak reproductions of mid-century classics. Chairs, sofas, desks, tables and shelves based on iconic ‘50s-‘70s designs can be tailored to your measurements.
34 Ekkamai Soi 21, 065-262-8255. By appointment only.
Born from a love of British colonial furniture, offering a stunning collection of items imported from Myanmar, with a focus on teak wood from 1900-30.
11/4 Sathorn Soi 9, 081-910 9597. Open daily 8:30am-5:30pm.
Originally specializing in Burmese colonial-era teak furniture, the shop has evolved to include collections from Thailand and across Asia. Expect exquisite Burmese colonial pieces, Thai teak furniture, rare textiles, collectibles and more.
Sukhumvit Soi 13, 02-253-9025. Open Mon-Sat 8am-5pm.
Workmanship General Store
Specializes in restoring, recycling and repurposing iconic artifacts from America’s golden age of manufacturing (late 1800s to mid-1900s). Discover enduring pieces like vintage U.S. Army drafting tables, wood radios, leather luggage and original Toledo stools.
281/7 Ekkamai Soi 15, 02-381-8596. Open Tue-Sun 10am-7pm.
Yesterday Once Again
Specializes in Chinese antique and reproduction furniture, as well as furniture repairs, refinishing services and made-to-order services. Beautiful selection of Chinese home furnishings, including tables, painted sideboards, cabinets, chairs and chests.
2594 Rama 4 Rd., 094-641-9965. Open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm.
Best Vintage Flea Markets
Chatuchak Playground Antique Flea Market
Not to be confused with Bangkok’s sprawling Chatuchak Weekend Market, Chatuchak Playground Antique Flea Market (Bangsue Junction Bldg, 511, Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd., 088-377-5385. Open Fri-Sun 9am-10pm) is located along the strip in front of nearby Bangsue Junction shopping center. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, vendors display tons of Thai and foreign vintage, secondhand and antique goods, from knick-knacks like toys, glassware, electronics, vinyl, stereos and game players to fashion accessories and large-scale furniture. Also right next to Chatuchak, The Camp Vintage Flea Market (482 Kamphaeng Phet Soi 1, 098-998-8580. Open Tue-Sun 3pm-midnight) is sure to appease those who can’t hold out till the next Made by Legacy. Here lovers of all things retro can spend their hard-earned on secondhand clothes (and new stuff that looks, well, old), as well as furniture, home decor and vinyl. All that vintage treasure hunting is bound to work up an appetite, so luckily street-food names (Taikong Seafood) and hipster faves (Pompano Roasted Cafe and Ari’s Summer Street and Paper Butter Burger) take part too.
Best Vintage Night Markets
Rot Fai Market Srinakarin
Tucked behind Seacon Square shopping mall, Rot Fai Market Srinakarin
(Sri Nakarin Soi 51, 081-827-5885. Open Thu-Sun 5pm-1am) is the original vintage shoppers’ mecca (though it used to be over near Chatuchak). Set across two vast main zones dedicated to all-things antique and vintage, night shoppers can dig around for rare finds in the many stores and street stalls—from electric appliances, old cameras, bike accessories, used auto parts, and classic cars to kitsch toys, furniture, memorabilia, secondhand clothes, shoes and fashion accessories. Following the huge success of the first Rot Fai Market, owner Pairoj Roikaew opened a smaller but more accessible branch in the form of Rot Fai Market Ratchada
(55/9 Ratchadaphisek Rd., 092-713-5599. Open daily 5pm-1am), which boasts a similar vintage atmosphere to the original—a vibrant bazaar of street fashion, food and home decor. Unfortunatly, many of its stalls sell cheap plush junk. Moving further out of town, the 1.6 kilometer street beneath MRT Bang Son hosts Siam Gypsy Junction
(965/8 Bangkok-Nonthaburi Rd., 02-910-7913. Open Wed-Sun 6pm-1am), which sports an Oriental-meets-Wild-West vibe. Piles and piles of eye-candy spanning everything from collectible Lego to taxidermied buffalos, auto spares, classic movie posters, clothes, accessories and knick-knacks for the home can be found here. The market is organized to have different themes such as gypsy, cowboy and scooter. There are a number of pop-up bars, too, most of which offer a tavern kind of vibe and affordable prices.
Do's and Don'ts of Flea Market Shopping
Do take plenty of cash with you, especially small bills—card readers and ATMs are rare.
Do ask for a discount—if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Do check the condition and materials of clothes and furnishings—silk, leather, suede, cotton—if you’re not sure, ask the vendor.
Do opt for timeless classics. If this is your first foray into vintage, go for go for wardrobe staples—leather jackets, LBDs, cotton T’s—over glitzy statement pieces.
Don’t walk away from an item you really, really love. You’ll have a hard time locating it again in the market maze, so it’s best to buy it there and then.
Don’t forget to try on the pieces. It can be tempting to rush to buy in the excitement of finding that killer suede jacket or rare pair of 1940s Levi’s, but remember it will have been worn and washed countless times, so don’t rely on the size as a guide.
Don’t buy items that will give you a hard time to fix or repair, whether it’s weak fabric, heavy stains, holes or tears—it’ll probably end up costing more than it’s worth and may not even be possible.
Don’t haggle if you're not serious about buying an item, and don’t offer anything less than half of the price tag—otherwise you risk insulting the vendors and wasting their time.
Tucked in the eaves of golf-centric Thaniya Plaza, this store is a haven of Coltrane, Davis and Rollins, to name just three jazz kingpins they stock in all their Japanese-pressing glory. Call ahead to ensure it’s open.
4/F, Thaniya Plaza, Silom Rd., 093-328-5998. Open Mon-Sat noon-7pm.
Perched atop Thonglor’s Black Amber building, this hidden gem is frequented by local indie musicians and music nerds who could well be extras from the set of High Fidelity. The selection spans ‘90s Britpop through to soul, funk and dance music. The tiny balcony occasionally heaves with gigs from up-and-coming rockers, too.
4/F, Black Amber Building, Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 086-606-2230. Open Tue-Sun 1pm-9pm.
The third floor of the aging Ratchada mall bursts with record stores. HOF Records makes a great place to start.
5 Ratchadapisek Rd., 02-248-5855. Open daily 10am-10pm.
One of Bangkok’s most popular record stores does brisk trade in restocked rare finds, with a particular love for ‘80s-‘90s alternative rock—will it be the original 1987 UK pressing of Jesus and Mary Chain’s Darklands (B1,300), or the Yugoslavian version (B990)?
Lad Phrao Soi 8 (Yeak 9), 083-839-2016. Open daily 4pm-midnight.
Track Addict Records
Very small, very hidden shop packed with an impressive collection of wax from B300, whether rare old finds (Pink Floyd’s The Wall, anyone?) or up-to-the-minute movie soundtracks.
MT&T Building, Sukhumvit Soi 69, 02-054-9669. Open daily 8:30am-5pm.
Vinyl Die Hards
Black and red shelves piled with records priced from as low as B100 for used titles into the thousands for new and reissued LPs.
Sri Nakarin Soi 44, 02-346-4547. Open daily 10am-8pm.
Owned by globe-trotting DJ Maft Sai, this store has been credited with making molam (Thai country grooves) cool again. Aside from their reissues of forgotten molam and luk thung artists, they also offer up world music gems.
7/1 Sukhumvit Soi 51, 083-063-1335. Open Wed-Sun 12pm-8pm.
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REMEMBER: This stuff’s more expensive than eBay
If you’re shopping for trending mid-century European pieces or vintage Americana then chances are, that’s right. The fact is that not a lot of this stuff was about in Bangkok when it was new, so the people selling it now are likely to have bought it from online auctions themselves, paid the tax and shipping, and marked it up for a profit. And don’t expect to stumble upon some hapless seller who doesn’t know his tatty old plywood dining set is by Arne Jacobsen. These people are super-knowledgeable. If what you’re looking at sounds like a bargain, then chances are it’s a knock-off and even those don’t come that cheap.