Pop, Manchester – Vintage Retail and Café Replenishments
To the uninitiated local, Pop Boutique is probably best known as that Vintage Shop on Oxford Street with a café attached. To the Mancunian with the know-how however, Pop is perhaps known as one of the cities leading proprietors of vintage fashions, all expertly appointed and presented in a vibrant urban setting which has the benefit of a café next door to rest up after some retail therapy. Buying vintage clothes is often a precarious endeavour. Discerning what is timeless and what is just tat can take hours of rifling through bargain buckets in charity shops or boutiques that don’t present their wares in a way to inspire a shopper to purchase anything at all. Vintage clothes buying shouldn’t be draining, wherein at the end of a tiring trip out, you merely have a raggedy old cardigan to show for it. Pop Boutique however, is assured to sell the best of vintage and manages to stay both mindful of the past but ahead of current trends in its stock.
Although I am discussing the Manchester branch of Pop, it should be noted that the store has locations in Liverpool, London, Leeds and even in Gothenburg in Sweden.
Throwback but Contemporary; Pieces from Across Decades of Fashion
Founded in 1983, Pop’s beginning was entrepreneurial to say the least. The Boutique began as a van-operated retail operation, selling vintage pieces picked up from flea markets and church sales. However, before long, Pop laid roots in Manchester’s famous alternative haven, Afflecks Palace. What remains is attentiveness to individual vintage pieces, and despite being a chain store; Pop yields nothing but high quality and wearable fashions of yesteryear.
It should be noted that Pop does have its own collection however. These are more staple pieces and can best be described as simple appropriations of 50s cuts and designs but in a modern manner.
The décor in Pop reflects the clothes on sale there. The boutique is eclectic and colourful, very much reminiscent of the sixties influences which give it its name. It would be fair to describe Pop as hippie but edgy, and the alternative aesthetic is suitably seen throughout. Overall, Pop is a visual setting, with artistry on its walls and in its racks, for competitively priced vintage fashions, Pop is undeniably a reliable place to go.
Mod Pop Café, Where Rockers are Welcome Too
Take the not so epic journey to Mod Pop Café, where shoppers are greeted with a psychedelic 60s setting and humble and delicious café food. Mismatched wallpaper patterns, mugs, chairs and furnishings may be demonstrative of Hendrix’s domestic interior, but at Mod Pop Café, make the setting for a simple but effective place to dine and relax.
The food at Pop, as pictured is unpretentious and hits the spot. Expect comfort food and rainy-day warmers. The calories spent perusing the aisles can be replenished with the savoury and crisp bacon in a sandwich of fresh wholemeal bread. The Café menu may be more conventional than the clothes in store, but it makes for a compelling parallel.
For the savvy Mancunian, or even the visitor to the City, I recommend no other than Pop for stylish and carefully curated vintage fashion in the urban centre.