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Vintage Vietnam: Hanoi’s best thrift stores

Hanoi has an ever increasing array of standout second-hand stores. Here are our top picks

Ha Doan

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Everyone loves shopping, and the Vietnamese are no different. But for the best part of a decade, nostalgia has arguably been one of the country’s defining trends, which can be seen in the abundance of the city’s many thrift stores. Hanoi’s youth are neglecting exuberant plazas and fancy shopping complexes in favor of refined thrift stores with high-quality threads, sneakers and jewelry at great discounts.

Often these hipsterish stores are tucked into little alleys and are difficult to find unless you are in the know. With that in mind, Chào has compiled a list our top five vintage stores for those looking to buy on, or even under. Bland chains such as H&M and Zara and the like are ok, but if you want a unique piece that really standsout and pops then these are the shops to try. Go check out and support these awesome retro vendors,

1. Lộn Xộn Clothing

Lộn Xộn, literally translated as “messy,” is hidden above a pretty awesome tattoo studio. It overs offers an endless supply of pre-owned products from T-shirts and pantsuits to vintage denim and limited edition brand-name sneakers, or even stuffed animals! Here items are mostly hipsterish or street style, but you still can find other pieces that mix-and-match as well. Do check out the excellent range of 80s-inspired tie-dyed T-shirts, to unlock your inner raver.

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“I don’t think Lộn Xộn is set for any particular style or tone. To me, it’s fine as long as it [the clothes] gives you pleasure and comfort,” says Tran Thi Hai Ha, the founder of the store. Initially the store was just a side-interest for Hai Ha to assist her mom financially, but over six years, she has built a strong reputation for herself and a deep fan base.

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“I never want to focus on a particular customer group, because this store is not only my passion but also a way to make friends with people having the same interests or styles like me. I never run advertisements either. Instead I focus on the quality of my products and just let word of mouth will do the work,” she says.

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If you are looking for a wardrobe overhaul without spending your life savings, make sure to pay a visit to Lộn Xộn. Prices range from 150,000 to 380,000 VND, with the majority of items unisex and oversize, making your purchases easy and quick. The store has an enormous Instagram presence, so check out their posts and stories to get a feel for the best deals and offerings before heading over.

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Facebook
10 a.m to 8 p.m.
36 Ngõ Giếng, Đống Đa.

2. Chăn Con Công – Vintage store

With over 130,000 followers on Facebook, it is fair to say these stores are pretty well-known. The name Chăn Con Công originates from the old-time precious vibrantly-patterned floral blankets that every Vietnamese household owned during the Subsidized-Economy Period (Bao cap). Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the store itself induces such strong nostalgic feelings, especially as the store located in an ancient French apartment. 

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Walking into Chăn Con Công can feel like a bit like going back in time. Groovy vinyl discs and classic photos are aesthetically hung on the walls, bringing out warm retro vibes that will have you quickly hankering for the past.

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Most of the outfits in the store are vintage and 1970s-inspired. Selection includes retro Levi’s, splashy floral dresses, feminine linen clothes, as well as summery and fashionably striped MAMA shirts and mini dresses. Most are French and very chic, and sizes can run small. Yet with a bit of effort, chances are that you can still find the right fit.

“Most people assume that secondhand clothes are only a thing for young people. In fact, most of our customers are middle-aged women ranging from 30 to 40 years old. They either order online through our Facebook livestream, or pay a regular visit to the store,” says Bach Duong, store employee.

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With three different store locations across Hoan Kiem district, Chăn Con Công update their extensive wardrobe every day, picking out the highest quality items to deliver to their stores. Over the past few years, the stores have become a top choice for foreign tourists (remember those?), and prices are very reasonable. Moreover, they run frequent sales, so do check out their Facebook and Instagram pages to find the latest deals.

9 a.m to 9 p.m.
8 Chân Cầm, Hoàn Kiếm

3. The Mint

Mint’s mission is “that everyone can benefit from secondhand clothes with simple designs and good materials, because if all people reuse something not only to save money, but also to look and feel better every day, then maybe the world can be a little better too.”

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In contrast to other vintage shops, Mint has has a young and fresh design with the use of bright palettes such as mint blue or white. The store is light and airy, full of clean lines with elegant simplicity, and, honestly, it does not look like a second-hand store at all. In fact, everything has been so well conditioned that it all looks brand new. Most customers are aged 20-30, though there are floral dresses that would look superb on slightly older patrons too.

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Compared to our other stores, The Mint is more spacious, with many dressing rooms available to save time during peak hours. Most of the clothing here are Korea or Japan-inspired, with the clothes generally handpicked from the two countries. Plain white and office items are prominent, but you can still find loose silhouette dresses and plenty of floral knee-length skirts to refresh your wardrobe at a reasonable price. Sizes vary, with something available for all body types.

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“We always strive to ensure the quality of our clothes. We make sure that every customer in our store will be comfortable and have the best experience,” says Luu Anh, the 23-year old manager.

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Indeed, the clothes in house are constantly ironed to retain their neat, new look. However, what particularly stands out for us is The Mint’s unique fragrance. The enchanting aroma will linger on your clothes, though Mint will not reveal the secret of their scent. For a relaxed spacious atmosphere and minimalist simplicity, nt to mention exceptionally friendly staff then this is the place.

Facebook | Instagram
9 a.m to 10 p.m.
226 Thái Hà, Đống Đa.
Tel: 0333008698.

4. House Of Vintage Jewelry Hà Nội

Though not a clothes store, this one undoubtedly a Chào favorite. Also, nestled on Chan Cam street, House Of Vintage Jewelry is an essential stop for any serious scavenger of authentic antique accessories, with an absolutely stunning treasure trove of items on offer, ranging from funky, fairly priced costume pieces, to one-of-a-kind high-end items you would be hard push to find anywhere else. Enter House of Vintage and you might end just up staying all day, despite its tiny size.

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Initially founded in 2013 in Ho Chi Minh City, the store soon expanded to Hanoi, as one of the owners told Chào she was “deeply in love with the capital” and wanted to popularize vintage boutique styles in city.

As the name indicates, the store houses massive collections of vintage-inspired jewels, often in boho style, with many intricate pendants with many fine details. Filled with awe-inspiring crystal necklaces, silver bracelets or rings, House Of Vintage Jewelry Hà Nội also pride themselves on collecting items uncommonly-used by Hanoians, like lapel pins for men suits or outré money clips.  The lapel pins on offer range the full gamut from McDonald’s Employee of the Month Badges from 1983 right through to genuine ones from the George Bush Senior campaign trail.

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Some of the earrings only come as single piece instead of being sold as a pair, which reinforces the stores don’t-give-a-damn approach to fashion. They firmly believe in not following “the rules” and aesthetically staying true to your desired look, regardless of what others think.

“I have always liked picking up and collecting vintage accessories. To me, vintage items are not just for stylistic effect, but a lifestyle I love. They are invaluable not only because of the stories they carry, but also the past reflected in them,” says Tong Vinh, the 32-year-old co-founder now-based in Hanoi.

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Rest assured that every accessory here is superbly well-preserved and of the highest quality. “All of our merchandise is handpicked from U.S. brand-name stores or flea markets, and are not just cheap reproduced versions from Chinese materials like other overhyped vintage stores,” Tong Vinh likes to emphasize. “They might be produced decades ago but still remain sealed and intact. Sure much of it is already used but it is still durable and retains the original look.”

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Blending classic style with modernity, all with ease and versatility, these antique accessories attract a diverse group of customers. “Most of our visits are from people working in the fashion industry, such as stylists. Age may vary from somewhat 20 to 50 or even 60, but one common trait is that they are all fashionistas and a little bit artsy,” Tong says.

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“I hope one day accessories can become staples in everyone’s daily life. Most people only expect to wear jewelry on special occasions, and overthink about how to mix them. But jewelry is meant to be worn, not saved. They are supposed to perfect your outfits and complement your figure every time you slip on a ring, slide an earring on, or fasten a brooch.”

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House Of Vintage Jewelry Hà Nội is an epic Aladdin’s cave of jewels, gold, and silver, and quite simply, is not to be missed. If you are into unique, stylish, one of a kind jewelry, this is an absolute must-see. Go there. Go there now. You won’t be disappointed.

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Opening Hour: 9 a.m to 10 p.m.
13 Chân Cầm, Hoàn Kiếm.
Tel: 0909198307

5. Na$ty

Na$ty is a bit more male-orientated than our other picks, and the closest to the expat epicenter that is Tay Ho. The store gives off strong 80s vibes and is the best pick for those that want high-quality branded gear, such as Kangol, Levi’s Lacoste, Adidas and Ralph Lauren. Despite the excellent quality, prices are affordable ranging from about 200,000 to 800,000 VND per item.

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“We don’t really have a concept. Just vintage stuff,” says cute yet insouciant store-manager Thao. “We are probably one of the oldest retro stores in Vietnam. Over 10 years. The boss travels all over the world to find the best items he can find, and Vietnam too.”

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Though a small store Na$ty is chock-a-block full of goods: flat caps, baseball caps, trilbies beanies, retro sunglasses, unusual Hawaiian shirts, Pink Floyd T-shirts, canvas bags and belts, all with an emphasis on bright poppy colors.

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If you do not want to venture as far afield as the Old Quarter (and come on guys, it really, isn’t that far) then this is the place to hit up. Just watch out for the store’s lively sausage dog; he won’t bite, but boy does he makes some noise and will be all too keen to get up in your grill.

Hanoi Best Thrift Shop Stores

23/32 An Duong, Tay Ho
10 a.m – 8 p.m.
+84902193513
nasty.store@gmail.com

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