Dasa Book Café
714/4, between Sukhumvit Soi 26-28, 02-661-2993. www.dasabookcafe.com. Open daily 10am-8pm. This two-story book café is possibly the best secondhand bookshop in town, stocking over 16,000 books in several languages (mainly English). There’s lots of current stuff, like fairly recent bestsellers and prize-winners. You can even check out their online database before your visit. Bring in interesting titles to exchange for store credits or cash. And once you’re there, try their sinful brownies with a cup of coffee.
Elite Book House
593/5, between Sukhumvit Soi 33-35, opposite Benjasiri Park, 02-258-0221. www.eliteusedbook.com. Open daily 10am-8pm. More cramped and chaotic than Dasa, Elite is the oldest foreign secondhand bookshop in Thailand, dealing in books written in English, Japanese, German, Russian, French, Chinese and more. Fiction and non-fiction aside, they also have magazines in several languages.
7/1 Sukhumvit Soi 51, next to WTF Cafe and Gallery. Maft Sai’s relocated vinyl store is keeping hipster company in the alley where WTF and Opposite are also located. This sexy shop has a leather couch for impromptu listening parties and a vast collection of molam, look thung, reggae and dancehall records. Don’t worry, the less hip among you may find the odd Donna Summers record, too.
The Old Story
Amarin Plaza 1st Floor Zone ID1. Open Everyday from 10:30am to 20:00pm. 08-1372-6724. Vintage clothing and jewelry from the 40s-80s. Unique items from boat neck dresses to knee length skirts with great retro patterns. They also have a collection of glam vintage jewelry and accessories including buttons, zips and buckles. Priced between 190-2400 Baht. A Bangkok institution for ladies who love the baby doll vintage style.
1/F, Baan Ekamai, Ekkamai Soi 21, 02-711-4783. Open daily 1-9:30pm. Ten years ago, Cocue managed to kick the local fashion scene up a notch by doing inter looks when everyone else was going for cute and girly. Although the Siam Square outlet does have some great garments, we’re bigger fans of their new warehouse at Baan Ekamai which feels like a secondhand clothing store in Brick Lane, London. Our tip: the real vintage treasures are in the back, where you can find old military jackets, vintage dresses and classic pairs of jeans.
1/F, Park Lane, 081-833-3655. Open daily 11am-10pm. Founder and owner Pu, has been a fashion enthusiast since a very early age. After working in broadcasting for 17 years, this chatty and amiable fellow decided to leave the media world behind and do what he’d always been passionate about—antique furniture and fashion. The shop focuses on secondhand U.S. import Ralph Lauren shirts (starting from B800), rare Levi’s jeans from the 50s, and tailor-made leather shoes.
Ekkamai Soi 10 (next to Happy Monday), 083-906-0767. Open Mon-Sat 10am-10pm. Recently opened, VTG was co-founded by JJ market’s What’s Vintage, Hello Stranger and Ti from Happy Monday. The store is home to shirts and old polos, as well as a smaller selection of sneakers and accessories. Prices range from B500 to B10,000. We uncovered some rare concert t-shirts and old Levi’s dolls that the owners, alas, are disinclined to part with. Oddly enough, they also do a hair-cutting service, for B400-500.
Opposite Siam Square Soi 1. Pi Pae, the owner of Bangklyn Project is considered by many to be the lead mover and shaker in the vintage fashion world. His devotees say that whatever he wears today is what we can expect to see cluttering the streets and stalls in the next two years. He personally hunts down quality vintage fabrics from the US, mainly New York, and then adapts the material into his own designs. His custom-made products are mostly shirts embodying a contemporary minimalist, yet vintage. The shop also does sunglasses, shoes and jeans. (See his interview, page 7.)
Him & Her
1/F, Baan Ekamai, Ekkamai Soi 21, 087-644-2169. www.himandhershop.com. Open daily 1-9:30pm. At this baan-baan lcommunity mall, there is a little closet hidden by the staircase showcasing both new and secondhand fashion gems. The shop is co-owned by the young Thai celeb Ploi Horwang, and, her bold style is what you’re going to get out of that cupboard. It’s a shame that this store is set to shut down soon, but you can still check out their cool stock on Facebook, or take a trip to the Launderette Offline Market (23/6 Sukhumvit Soi 36) the first weekend of every month.
Again & Again
Room B1A, Market Place, Thong Lor Soi 4, 089-486-5359. www.vintageagainandagain.com. Open Mon 11am-8pm, Tue-Sun 11am-9pm
Unlike other more ragged-looking vintage clichés, Again & Again is the It shop to hook you up with more hi-so vogue. Glittery dresses, shirts, and selections of great quality skirts and pants are arranged nicely by colors on the racks. Buying online is very popular among the shop’s fans and new stock comes in twice a week. Although their girly vintage outfits are the focus, they do have shirts, jackets and shoes for men too. Prices range from B590-20,000.
(Un)fashion Vintage Collection
Ekkamai Soi 10, Next to Happy Monday, 02-726-9592. www.facebook.com/unfashionvintage. Open Mon-Sat noon-9pm . Hundreds of leather shoes line the red-bricked walls, compelling passersby to just pop-in for a look. All the shoes are shiny, well-cleaned and well-curated with a clear sense of style. Most of the shoes are imported from Italy and date back from the 1970s, while the oldest pair ever stocked in the shop was from 1930. Prices aren’t heart attack-worthy and range from only B380-5,000. Note that new stock comes in every Wednesday.
Old Samyan Market, Chula Soi 50, 081-647-7371, www.fotoguffy.com. Open Mon, Wed, Fri 6:30-9:30pm and Sat 4-8pm. The owner of this shop, Boy, buys his rare photo-focused toys from eBay and showcases his finds on the shelves in his white-painted shop. His collection ranges from brand new lomo cameras to an old Polaroid EE-100 for B6,500. If you prefer not to fight the prime-time Bangkok traffic, online shopping is also available through his website, with an extra B100 for delivery.
Room 31, 11/F Mercury Tower, opposite Central Chitlom, 081-431-0351. www.siamtlr.com. Open daily 11am-7pm. Vintage camera lovers will swoon over the rare classic twin lens, single lens, rangefinder, half frame, folding and box cameras at Siam TLR. Panorama, Polaroid, ancient lomo cameras and expired films are also here in abundance. Most of their gems are still working, but some are only for collecting, like the 1930s Vigilant Six-20 Junior Model D by Kodak (B3,500). The owner is pretty generous with his advice and also offers a cheap rental service (with deposit) at prices from B300-600. Apart from cameras, his tube radios and telephones are also well worth a look.
Thai Auto Vintage
Between On Nut Soi 57 and 59, 081-613-7777. www.thaiautovintage.com . Open daily. Apart from selling ready-to-drive retro cars, they also stock old spares and offer specialized restoration services. Their highlights include a restored vintage Ferrari, a gorgeous Porsche, an Alfa Romeo, a Jaguar, and a ready-to-drive 1965’s black Mercedes Benz 190 Fintail MT.
S. Sombat Kanamuji
Bantatthong Rd., between Chula Soi 34-36, 081-423-1438. www.sombatkanamuji.com. Open daily 9am-6pm. Offers over 1,000 used bicycles from Japan including BMX, foldable bikes, mountain bikes and fixies. They also have a decent stock of brand new bikes available. Prices range from B2,000-7,000. The owner is very kind and will let you pedal around the block before you find your dream ride.
59/27 Sukhumvit Soi 26, 080-900-2610. www.velayenn.com. Open Tue-Sun 5pm-midnight. A group of fixie hipsters opened up their own workshop serving mostly vintage custom made bikes and spares. If you just want to drop by and have a chat, Sugarlust (next door) serves homey food and cocktails as well. Night rides take place every Monday from 9pm-1am.