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Recycled Vintage Clothing Online East London

February 15, 2024

East London, that haven of cool clubs, interesting haircuts and vegan cupcakes! As well as fashion boutiques galore. Some are pop ups from new designers, some are retro stores. However, if you can’t make it over there, why not bring the vibe to your door with recycled vintage clothing online East London.


There is a wide range of vintage stores all over London, each with a different buyer who will curate a different type of collection of vintage pieces. Some specialise in different eras, others have a soft spot for denim or workwear. They also source their garments from different countries. There are online store s and bricks and mortar. Here’s a little rundown on some kinds of classic workwear from different places.

Vintage Americana

The obvious example of Americana are jeans. These were worn in the Wild West to protect the cowboys’ legs from all that cowboy’s legs need protecting from. Like snakes, thorns and really rough rocks when they sit down out in the furthest reaches of the ranch. If you think about it, it makes sense. Denim is very tough. I recommend the film “The Power of the Dog” partly because it’s just a really good film (please suspend judgement until the end) but also because it shows very clearly the way that cowboys wore jeans and other denim items, and the way that this workwear was contrasted against the formal wear of the times, the suits and shirts.

Jeans. Publicity photo from sears catalogue, 1962

Jeans. Publicity photo from sears catalogue, 1962 Author: Todd Lappin CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed


There is even a scene where someone buys his all new cowboy wear from the store, and later is pitied for not knowing that you have to soak the jeans before you wear them, as they would have been so stiff that it would have caused discomfort. It’s set in 1925 and I think the costumes are pretty accurate. So yeah, for vintage Americana, you can’t go wrong with some vintage vintage jeans, to start with. They don’t have to be from 1925 and belong to a psycho-killer, though. Oops, spoiler. Normal vintage levi will be OK.

All the Other Wild West Accessories

Other examples of American cowboy workwear are the cowboy hat, cowboy boots and Western shirt. In some states of America these are worn as everyday wear, and in other places they are regarded as flamboyant or ironic. For most people who are not American or from that culture, it’s going to look like dress up if you wear the whole lot at once – jeans, cowboy hat, cowboy boots and Western shirt. But you can pick one item (two, if you include jeans) and make it work.

Recycled Vintage Clothing Online East London – Western shirts

For example, the Western shirt. These are distinctive, and have beautiful appliqués and embroideries. A feature is often made of the yoke across the shoulders, extending down the front and back. The very word yoke, which is widely used for that part of a shirt, comes from Wild West terminology. It is from the wooden yoke oxen are fitted with, to pull ploughs to work the land. A yoke on a Western shirt can be cut into a decorative design, or piped to make it stand out. Sometimes the top pockets are incorporated into this. They usually have flaps to stop things from bouncing out when on a horse. There is also the “smile” design of pocket, which is curved and slanted, with reinforcements at the ends just like a rather sardonic smile.


Instead of buttons, Western shirts traditionally have pearlised plastic snap closures. This is so that the cowboy can strip them off in a hurry if a scorpion gets inside. They can also get them on quickly without fiddling with buttons in the early morning when there is a cow calling for help, fallen down a ravine, and the cowboy needs to look presentable in case there is a fellow cowboy he fancies (see Brokeback Mountain) but also get dressed very quickly. The shirts also have very long tails, which are good for tucking into your jeans and not showing your bum crack when bending over riding a horse.

Vintage Japanese workwear


Noragi jacket from Japan

Noragi jacket from Japan.
Author: Karl Zetterström
CC BY 4.0


There is an increasing trade in vintage Japanese kimonos, Haori, Samue and Jinbae. Although you might perhaps think beautifully embroidered ceremonial wear is the extent of Japanese traditional clothing available via Recycled Vintage Clothing Online East London, in fact there’s much more to it. And silk kimonos are indeed beautiful and artistic, but they are not that practical. A real kimono is too long for a dressing gown, as it is designed to be worn hitched up with an Obi belt. And the sleeves are too wide to avoid dipping in your porridge in the morning, unless you are exceedingly dexterous. Which I am not, especially pre-coffee. You can, of course, alter these lovely garments or hang them on the wall as art works.


However, similar, but more practical jackets are haori. They are hip or thigh length, with smaller sleeves. Haori come in many colours and fabrics, and are worn by both men and women in Japan as a light summer jacket. These have been made and worn for a long time in Japan, and women started wearing them in the 1930s. So you can get some great vintage versions through Recycled Vintage Clothing Online East London.

Samue and Jinbei – Recycled Vintage Clothing Online East London

Samue and Jinbae are simple garment sets which are designed for work or relaxing. They are usually block colours like indigo, white or grey. They consist of a top and trousers, (Samue) or shorts (Jinbei). The shorts are for summer wear. Samue may be padded for colder weather but Jinbei are for the heat and so they are always light and flimsy. This is what monks wear, it is easy to move in, practical and sober. However, it’s not a religious garment as cooks wear it too – for example, “Master” in Tokyo Diner is never seen wearing anything else, lending him an elegant air. Westerners could wear them for pyjamas, or separate the top and trousers if the look is too much with them together. They are fine for men and women to wear.

Vintage Yugoslavian Workwear

A classic workwear item of the former Yugoslavia are the famously comfortable and iconic Borosana shoes. They were invented in 1968, developed by a team which included an orthopedist to be practical, breathable, and comfortable for nurses and waitresses who spent long days on their feet. Borosana are a type of inexpensive canvas and rubber shoe, but not a sneaker; they have pinned, open toes, an open heel area and a small rubber heel. They are unique to look at, and originally came mainly in practical colours like blue, black, white and blue and white stripes. Since then, more colourful and patterned varieties have developed. They are still produced today, but you can find vintage ones too, perhaps via Recycled Vintage Clothing Online East London.

Recycled Vintage Clothing Online East London 

Now you have some ideas about workwear from different regions, it only remains for you to put it together in a stunning outfit. The best way is generally to take one stand out item – an exquisite pair of cowboy boots, or a stunning haori – and wear it with a background that steps back a bit. A failsafe is black trousers and a black polo-neck top. Or jeans and a white t-shirt. You can picture the sort of thing.


The other way, if you’re that way inclined, is to create a riot of colours, cuts and cultures. If want to, you can absolutely mix your upcycled clothing, fast fashion, luxury fashion, fashion brand, vintage clothing, vintage fashion, limited edition, designer brands, clothing brands, designer pieces, vintage jeans, borosana with your jinbei and any other clothing and accessories. Then you can wear them in whatever colours and patterns you fancy. Just hunt out vintage shops in East London. The fashion industry is found on Brick Lane.