For the past, say, fifteen years, I’ve been shopping at Berlin’s Kleidermarkt stores, first as a yearly visitor to this fine city, then as a resident. While their Made in Berlin shops on Neue Schönhauser Strasse and Friedrichstrasse only sells priced ‘vintage’ clothing, Kreuzberg’s Colours and Schöneberg’s Garage also have large color-sorted sections where you buy your second-hand threads in bulk, by the kilo. Their unbeatable prices and mountains of American stock actually require that I limit my visits to two or three a year; I clearly already have enough amazing baseball and summer camp t-shirts to last several lifetimes.
Now Garage isn’t your regular vintage store, where each piece is unique, pressed, and priced; this is a case where quantity clearly triumphs over quality. Still, the staff do their best to filter out the best pieces and price them. Digging through the unpriced men’s section is still rewarding, though, as I’ve always found fantastic t-shirts (youth ministries! diving schools!), winter sweaters, spring jackets, and bootcut jeans in the per-kilo section, without even having to submit myself to the temptation of the preselected t-shaped treasures.
The experience of my female friends is slightly different. While the cutest dresses are usually already spotted and priced, there are still plenty of cozy sweaters; and of course the boyfriend jeans and shirts in the per-kilo men’s section!
As with all vintage shopping trips, to prevent too much glowering or backhanded changing-room comments, it’s best to go with differently-sized pals, as that way you can keep an eye out for stuff that’d look great on them instead of immediately calling dibs on each piece that fits both your fancy and your torso.
And did I mention they’ve got a happy hour? Every Wednesday between 11am and 1pm the already low prices drop 30%, even on the per-kilo prices, which can lead to mild chaos at the changing booths, as well as longer waits at lunch afterwards at Ixtys, of course.