Five thrift shopping spots in Brussels
Not many people would describe Brussels as a shopping-walhalla. Aside from the Nieuwstraat with the gigantic Primark as the main attraction or the Dansaertstraat for the somewhat more high-end fashionistas, it looks like the Belgian capital doesn’t offer that much of a shopping experience. But sometimes, the narrow alleys in this gigantic Brussels labyrinth, can make you stumble upon true hidden gems. Small shops with numerous treasures to give your look the extra touch it might need. "Seek and ye shall find!” does the well-known proverb say. But in order to make your quest a little bit easier, we took it upon ourselves to select five top spots you should definitely check out.
Nederlandse versie van dit artikel. Text: Sandy Demandt, translation: Alexander Coenegrachts.
A few steps away from the Dansaertstraat, in the trendy Sint-Katelijne district, the window of Docks Caviar immediately catches our eye. Docks Caviar is the right spot for everyone who's looking for that one of a kind look, and still wants to be up-to-date on the latests trends. Vendors Lou and Kyllian are always at your service if you cannot see the wood, or in this case the well-stocked clothing racks, for the trees.
The shop carries a unique collection which is supplemented weekly with a new selection of quality clothing. The main focus of the collection is the ‘all american vintage’ look like original fringe jackets, tie-dye t-shirts and the classic Levi’s and Lee jeans. Even old-skool sneakers and hip summer dresses complete the wide range of items. Still looking for a pastime on a lazy Sunday afternoon? Then you're in luck, since Docks Caviar is open on Sundays, so don’t hesitate to go snoop around. Another bonus is the shop's tracklist: tunes from Ty Segall, Slaves, Dune Rats or The Garden will definitely add even more fun to your shopping experience.
Vlaamsesteenweg 70-72, 1000 Brussels
The second stop on our vintage shopping tour through Brussels, brings us to a side alley of the Anspachlaan. Foxhole has become a consistent name on the monthly Brussels Vintage Market and is well known amongst Brussels residents who are looking for original items. The two shops in Brussels are part of a retail chain and the items can be a little bit pricey sometimes.
In the smaller of the two shops, only women can feast on up-to-date second hand clothing. At the other address, at the Marolles, men can also go ahead and splurge in search of a ‘new’ outfit. Both boutiques regularly complement their old vintage collections with completely new items.
Rijkeklarenstraat 4, 1000 Brussels
Vossenstraat 6, 1000 Brussels
With already 11 shops throughout Flanders en Brussels, Think Twice is probably no stranger to the frequent second hand shopper. When you enter a Think Twice store, chances are quite low you'll be there all alone. Ranging from young to old, men and women can start their quest looking for unique pieces to fulfill their wardrobe. The only disadvantage is that it’s often hard to get your hands on the smaller sizes. For anyone who has no problem working a sewing machine or who's just very creative, this should not pose a problem, though. Besides, there is nothing more cozy than drowning yourself in an oversized sweater.
Think Twice also collaborates with Humana. This organization arranges the collection, sorting and distribution it to the right stores. Their goal is to keep everything affordable for everyone. The collection is renewed every five weeks, which results in massive discounts during the last two weeks. In fact, the last day everything is sold for 1 euro!
Oude Graanmarkt 57, 1000 Brussels
Spoormakersstraat 71, Brussels
People that have some experience with thrifting in Brussels, will have definitely already visited Episode at some point. Next to Brussels, this chain of thrift shops also has stores in foreign fashion capitals such as Copenhagen, Paris and Amsterdam. The prices are almost identical to those at Zara or Urban Outfitters, but of course the offer is a tad more original. Especially urban 90s style lovers will feast on what Episode has to offer.
To ensure the proper price/quality ratio Episode developed their own label. Here you can find typical mom jeans, overalls and jeans jackets that received an upgrade from the Episode recycle team. Think extra colors, colorful patches or other nice additions. Plus, if you also believe in giving sneakers a second chance, this is the place to be for sure.
Violetstraat 28, 1000 Brussels
Melting Pot Kilo
The last address on our tour across Brussels, brings us to one of the many small alleys near the Zavel. As the name might suggest, Melting Pot Kilo, has something to do with a wide variety of different things and a scale. The concept was first used somewhere in France in the 80’s and is extremely simple: one kilo of clothes costs 15 euro. So how much you spend doesn’t exactly depend on what you buy, but only on what it weighs.
A simple chiffon dress can only cost you a few cents, a solid jacket can be found for less than 20 euro. But you better be cautious when planning a trip to the Melting Pot Kilo: since there is such a wide variety of interesting items you might like, you will reach a kilo sooner then you would expect. Fortunately, the store is accommodated with sufficient scales to weigh your potential purchases, so you are not facing too large a surprise when standing in front of the cashier.
Hoogstraat 154, 1000 Brussels