Live – and dress – in the past.

Often underappreciated when it comes to fashion, Vienna has found it somewhat difficult to stand out from the crowd and be noticed, perennially living in the shadows of its stylish neighbors Milan and Paris. However, this glamorous city has a rich, stylish history, remaining mysterious and ever so chic by flying just under the radar. Home to an abundance of game-changing designers, Austria spawned Hattie Carnegie (1880-1956), Rudi Gernreich (1922-1985) and Helmut Lang (1956- ), all celebrated at their specific time for capturing the zeitgeist with show-stopping designs. Gernreich for instance created the monokini, the epitome of the permissive, liberated 1960s – though rarely worn in public.

Journey through time as you discover eccentric outfits worn by arguably even more eccentric denizens from Vienna’s past. Think decadent ball gowns embellished with jewels, 1960s mustard-hued wool suits, and ivory-and-black beaded flapper dresses. Not only are there plenty of second-hand shops showcasing vintage Vienna garments, there are antique stores scattered over the city selling a plethora of second-hand homeware, furniture and all manner of kitsch, retro oddities.

The Viennese are mindful about the environment and recycling, which is why second-hand shopping is such a big part of Viennese fashion – perpetuated by Flohmärkte (flea markets) taking place regularly.  With sustainable shopping always in fashion, here are some of the best spots.

1. FLO Vintage / Nostalgische Mode

Authentic and original pieces galore are just waiting to be discovered at FLO Vintage / Nostalgische Mode, receiving nothing but shining reviews from pleased shoppers. Open since 1978, this popular retro boutique slightly vintage itself; its owner, Ingrid Raab, has gained a strong following of loyal customers, maintaining an imposing mix of rarities and beauties throughout the decades.

Address: 4., Schleifmuehlgasse 15a

Price range: €€€

2. Burggasse 24

Inviting and inspiring, the vintage shopping and exhibition space Burggasse 24 has rails upon rails of bohemian, retro garments to search through. This place is a feast for the eyes, with psychedelic walls and a statement table made with what appears to be a mannequin on all fours. They also have a cozy café to stop off at, serving coffee and eats.

Address: 7., Burggasse 24

Price range: €€

3. Design 1900-2000

With enticing window displays beckoning passersby inside, Design 1900-2000 is brimming with retro lamps, 1950s decor and Art Nouveau furniture. Just opposite Vienna’s famous Naschmarkt, this vintage homeware and furniture emporium offers some very exciting pieces. Bear in mind that Design 1900-2000 is only open Saturdays between 11:00 and 15:00.

Address: 4., Rechte Wienzeile 25

Price range: €€€

4. Polyklamott

Polyklamott showcases only the finest items in their stylish store, curated by a team of vintage connoisseurs and fashion students. While their shop isn’t particularly big, they prove that quality, not quantity, always prevails in the end. However, what really makes this place stand out is it’s retro vending machine, full of vintage accessories right outside their door. We love it!

Address: 6., Hofmühlgasse 6

Price range: €€

5. Carla Nord

Carla Nord boasts an impressive selection of antique household treasures, toys, instruments, furniture and clothing – and you can be safe in the knowledge that your money is going to a good cause: Carla Nord is run by the catholic charity, Caritas. They have another branch in the 5th district; it is a lot smaller however and doesn’t feature as many homeware items.

Address: 21., Steinheilgasse 3

Price range: €€

6. Bootik 54

Popular with Vienna’s young fashionistas, this vintage store stocks hundreds of classic All Star Converses, round-framed sunglasses, oversized Levi’s denim jackets and extravagant faux fur coats. Bootik 54 often throws “kilo sales” – selling garments by weight – for €10 per kilo. Check their facebook for up-to-date information.

Address: 7., Neubaugasse 54

Price range: €€€

7. Humana

An international charity that collects old clothes, Humana runs several thrift shops spread out over the city. To find a real gem, you may have to spend quite a bit of time digging through the chaff, but you can’t deny that’s part of the fun! The Lerchenfelder Straße branch is one of their better stores, with a massive collection of retro garments.

Address: 7., Lerchenfelder Str. 45-47

Price range: €€