YMCA Boutique

Shopping, Vintage shops Chelsea

Although only open for nine months, this YMCA flagship store already feels like a neighbourhood stalwart– albeit one slightly incongruous with its swanky Sloaney setting. Set over two large floors with room to expand over another two, this former HMV premises dominates the King’s Walk shopping centre, and is the nearest thing the capital has to a charity department store. It's the perfect place to find large pieces of quality furniture, a sprinkling of designer clobber amongst high street brands and there's also a sizable space for CDs, vinyl, cassettes and books.

Womenswear can be found on the ground floor, coloured coded neatly with a vintage section displayed amongst Singer sewing machines. Downstairs is a vast space with a menswear section, plus homewares including Wedgewood sets, and several practically new beds– we saw a simple but stylish four poster frame for £180. Other steals included solid pine dining tables for £300, and collectors’ vinyl at a third of what you can expect to pay in second-hand stores. The shop has events in the pipeline including fashion shows and customising workshops.


Venue name: YMCA Boutique
Address: Unit G15, Kings Walk Shopping Centre, King's Road
Opening hours: Open: 10am-6pm Mon-Sat
Transport: Tube: Sloane Square tube
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2 / 5

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This is not a nice charity shop, on the same area where the HMV store used to be it feels like where retail goes to die. There are some decent home stuff in the basement. I go past here every saturday and so far the only thing I wanted to buy was display only and not on sale. They have a wedding section, however, the dresses are still quite expensive (around £400) for cheap looking dresses. 

Plus points: The size of the shop is decent, with a large downstairs for gents and homeware. The effort was made to sort the clothes by colour, which is a great idea. 

Why I will pass: In the past years, the prices here have been going up steadily and I was surprised to find a Next t-shirt priced for more than its retail value (I bought the same one from Next). Wouldn't expect that of a second hand garment. The staff consists of volunteers, it seems. Don't expect a Hello or Thank-you... they are all terribly silent and not very helpful.

As for calling the shop the "flagship boutique"... there are barely any higher end fashion brands, like at the Oxfam boutique close-by, but the usual high-street stuff you'd find in any second-hand shop.