East London shopping

Your critical guide to the best stores in east London

What east London lacks in big brand chain stores, it more than makes up for with its wide choice of independent boutiques and some of the capital’s coolest clothing shops. From retro emporiums like Beyond Retro and Blitz, to cutting edge hipster hangouts No-one and LN-CC, the east is the best when it comes to buying something a little different. Discover our favourite east London shops, plus read our guides to shopping in east London neighbourhoods including Stoke Newington, Hackney and Dalston.

Women’s fashion shops in east London

  • Mercantile London

    Mercantile London, 17 Lamb St, London, E1 6EA

    While most of Spitalfields Market's units are being snapped up by global brands, this exceedingly tasteful new boutique is an example of independent retail at its best. The shop is designed to be airy, soft and welcoming rather than stark and modern (there's even a well-behaved shop dog called Robert), and rails are filled with wearable, affordable labels from all over Europe. Owner Debra McCann is adept at selecting the best bits from their ranges and, on our last visit, that meant broderie blouses from Pyrus, lace dresses from Bolongaro Trevor and silk tops from Danish designer Second Female. View the Mercantile London listing

  • Playful Promises

    Box Park, Bethnal Green Rd, London, E1 6GY

    Boxpark, a mini shopping village made up of lorry containers re-purposed for retail, is a mixed bag of sporty chains and more quirky outlets. One of the highlights, and one you wouldn't necessarily expect to find sandwiched between streetwear sellers, is this teeny lingerie shop. Normally with women's underwear, the smaller and prettier it is, the more you have to pay for it. But price tags for really covetable smalls are very reasonable indeed at Playful Promises. Cute neon triangle bras, that wouldn't look out of place at Agent Provocateur, sell for £18, while proper screen siren bullet bras are still only £29.50. View the Playful Promises listing

  • Relax Garden

    40 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8DA

    Tucked under a bridge on this increasingly hip Shoreditch stretch, the tiny Relax Garden manages to pack a punch despite its small size. Unassuming and modest from the street, this independent shop has attracted the likes of Alexa Chung with its Tokyo street style-inspired stock. Dresses range from £40-£100, light leather French ballet pumps can be found on sale for £45 (although sizes available are limited) and unique patterned T-shirts sell for £28. View the Relax Garden listing

East London shopping guides