When I visited this new vintage shop for the first time, I almost had to be dragged out by my boyfriend! Although it looks small from the outside, this basement store is deceptively large and has a huge range of records, homeware, ladieswear and menswear.
In an area with so many vintage shops, you need to have some very fancy frocks and low prices to stay ahead of the competition. But luckily, Bratt's has both. There's rails and rails of gorgeous dresses, seventies blouses and kitsch vintage sportswear, all priced at around £15 to £20! The ace 70s and 80s homeware is even more reasonable, with well-priced furniture and highly collectable vintage telephones at the retro price of £20 each. Now all I need to do is move to an unfurnished flat, so I can squeeze 'em all in!
So there I was, wandering round the Northern Quarter looking for something new, and POOF it appeared! In a shadowy doorway near Leo's gross Fish Bar, is a little staircase, lined with cool music posters and a couple of outfits on hangers. To be honest, I didn't hold out much hope as I descended the stairs. The sign above the door isn't the best (though it gets kudos for being simple) and, let's face it, vintage shops are ten-a-penny nowadays, and Manchester's NQ selection is already so good, it'd be hard to live up to that. But, I am glad to report, Bratt's does it admirably.
Located in a cellar, basically, Bratt's takes advantage of the exposed brick work and low ceilings, and the arched alcoves in the wall are used as features; one of them houses much of the homewares selection (more on that later) and the other has been curtained off as a fitting room, which is almost too cool for words. It's the best fitting room I've seen since Rags to Bitches' silky tent.
In terms of stock, Bratt's has really got it. Endless racks of good quality, well-cared-for vintage merchandise line the tardis-like cellar, organised, by style and material. So you'll find all the cricket jumpers together, offset by a great collection of retro trackie-tops and a bunch of good-looking furs (faux, or no? I dunno.) There's a multitude of jolly good womenswear, from all eras and epochs, and a seriously decent selection of knitwear. There's also a fantastic array of upcycled dresses and skirts by Love Me Again. I love upcycling, and you should too!
The homewares, though mainly concentrated in one area, are scattered round the shelves. The awesomeness is too much to list, and I'm sure it's changed since last week, but expect to see vintage telephones, Atari consoles, the odd coffee table and some very nice mirrors. The perfect addition to any bijous dwelling, and the sort of thing I yearn for, but cannot have, in my modernist gaff. Sigh. Anyway, if you've got a kitsch aesthetic going on, you could do a lot worse than to pop to Bratt's for a vintage milk jug. (£3!)
Not only is the stock great, the people here are fab too. The manager was more than happy to have a wee chat about the place, and told me that originally he'd planned to open a bar there. Thank God he didn't; this vintage shop is far too good to miss out on. As well as Mr Bratt (j'assume) there's a lovely female shop assistant who wafted around being the epitome of vintaahhhge styyyyle, dahhhhling, making it look totally effortless. She's hard to hate, though, because she's so damn lovely.
Considering the instant awesomeness of Bratt's, only two weeks after opening, I think this place is one that will go quickly from hidden gem to firm fave, and rightly so.
A new vintage shop in the Northern Quarter! Shock, horror! It's not as if we don't have already have more vintage shops per square mile than pretty much anywhere else I can think of (apart from Camden).
Bratt's Vintage is a charming little place though. Set down in a basement on Oldham Street, it's got some cool retro clothing that's been handpicked by the owners - don't expect to come here having to sift through loads of tat to find cool clothes, they've already done it.
They also sell some cool retro LPs and best of all, they have a retro leather covered telephone. This thing is literally amazing and I would have bought it if I actually had a landline. Let's hope that Bratt's manages to survive in the competitive Manchester vintage market.
What a really cool vintage addition. Downstairs you go and explore and be fascinated and prepared to shell out on some very amazing pieces.
Fancy a batman mobile telephone? A very old sewing machine? Listening to Rock FM and admiring the brickwork, the poster work and breathing in that vintage smell? Get yourself down to Bratts. Brilliance.
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