Second-hand mania: looking for used designer wear and accessories?

Second-hand clothes: the romantic and the thrift-minded like them used. It is a matter of both price and history. A skirt bought in 1973 at a flea market in the Parisian neighborhood of Marais that now hangs in an Athens window may be far more tempting than a new one. A New York purse may hide some secret to be discovered. Second-hand shops have recently become more than a mere trend. There are countless holes-in-the-wall across the city that are like time capsules. The back streets of the city center smell distinctly of the 60s – plaid shirts that remind you of your grandpa and oversized sunglasses. Trailblazers fear it might be a passing fad, but romantics will always have a different view of time as they tell it on a watch purchased at some London thrift-store.

Kilo Shop
A concept born in Paris and slowly catching on in cities around the world: you buy used or new pieces of clothing by the kilo. The first kilo shop in Athens has been around for about a year now and it has proven wildly successful as new ones keep popping up one after the other, featuring the whole gamut of apparel from the vest to the bridal gown. You are only a hanger away from discovering your next sartorial jewel: Levi's denim shorts for 15 euros, Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirts for €9. You need a lot of time (for a thorough search) and very little money. Not a bad deal at all! 120 Ermou / 20 Kolokotroni St., Chalandri.

The American Market
Just what's in the name: clothes with an American air, all lightly used, imported mainly from New York. From “dressy” dresses, gowns, and vintage items, to furs, jackets, T-shirts, and pants. Tops at €5, skirts at €15, Burberry and London Fog trench coats at seriously low prices. An ideal source for theater costumes! 30 Athinas St., 210 3217876.

Second Hand Lux
Never has a used clothes shop exuded such an air of luxury. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Prada, Chloé,  Hermès, Christian Louboutin, are only some of the luxury brands to be found here. Clothes, shoes, and accessories from the world's most acclaimed designers, looking almost new, which, understandably, translates in the price.“Beautiful clothes should be loved again” say the shop's owners. We couldn't agree more. 27 Charitos St., 210 7258745.

Closet to Closet
A small boutique in Pangrati that smells of Paris. Purses, shoes, and stunning prêt-à-porter items by the biggest international brands: Dries Van Noten, Μanolo Βlahnik, Louboutin, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, in excellent condition and prices you simply cannot imagine. 9 Arrianou St.,Pangrati.

Top of the list for used designer clothes and accessories, it not only sells, but also buys. The crème de la crème of luxury brands is right there, before your eyes, at bargain prices. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Prada Bottega Veneta, Marc Jacobs. Just the place to get that party dress that's missing from your closet... 39 Ippokratous St., 210 3389202

Luxury toys
Fashionistas love this place whose eclectic stock comes directly from the wardrobes of Paris and New York. Not all designer accessories – bags especially – are in good shape, but there is plenty from which to choose. There is also a large selection of luxury watch brands to browse through:Rolex, Panerai, Omega, Cartier, Hublot, Vacheron Constantin, Chopard & Franck Muller. And if you own a designer piece, whether an item of clothing or accessory that you no longer want, here is the place to sell it and get the best deal possible – pas mal! 15 Voulis St., Syntagma, 210 3233775 / 33-35 Laodikis St., Glyfada, 210 8940696 / 8 Kolokotroni St., Kifissia, 210 8012402 / 40 Apollonos St., Vouliagmeni, 210 9670292

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