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  • Writer's pictureShreeya Pattekar

Exploring Rome's Vintage Stores

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

Fashion Editor


Around the second half of the 20th century, Italy began its journey as a key player in the fashion industry. In the modern day, Italy is known for its innovative and luxurious, yet practical, clothing. While the lush nature of Italian clothing is known worldwide, this article serves to explore a different side of Italian fashion.


From the beginning of 2019, sustainable fashion began taking a spotlight in the market. While many sustainably-made clothing brands have higher prices and less variety, second hand clothes are a great way to sustainably dress yourself. Thrifting has surged in popularity throughout the world, and the Eternal City is no different.


King Size Vintage: Via Leonina, 78, 00184 Roma RM

Specialty: Overcoats

Price: $$$

Located in the center of Rome, midway between the Trevi and Colosseum, King Size Vintage has been one of the most popular thrift stores in the city for more than ten years. Stepping inside the store I was immediately struck at the majority of merchandise covering the store’s walls as well as ceilings. Rows and rows of every kind of clothing you can imagine fills the store. From the ceiling hung rows of vests and swimsuits. Strangely enough, there was a traditional Indian dress hanging as well. In fact, throughout the store I found multiple pieces of cultural clothing from Asia. The store’s interior decorations cannot be classified into a single category. While there were the traditional graffiti style paintings covering some parts of the store, there were also multiple religious paintings. These included Renaissance style paintings of Jesus as well as posters of Hindu goddesses. Some other notable decorations included American presidential posters, and the Jamaican flag. The specialties that I saw, the products which had the most amounts included Levi jackets, leather jackets, fur coats, bomber jackets, and overcoats. However, again this was not what the store was limited to; there is a large variety of other products as well. The store houses brands such as Valentino, Prada, Fendi, Hermes, Nike, Asics and many other high-end brands. Due to these brands, the store is on the pricey end, but the quality and variety of products is worth it.



Pifebo Vintage: Via dei Valeri, 10, 00184 Roma RM

Specialty: Denim jackets, jeans, sunglasses, boots, sports attire

Price: $$


The primary noticeable feature about Pifebo Vintage is its location. Seemingly located in the middle of nowhere, it was a fifteen minute walk from King’s Vintage on a route where we were surrounded by empty streets and the occasional cars passing by. The second feature of interest was the shop’s boisterous American theme. Stepping inside the store one is immediately struck by the red lighting, American music blasting over the speakers, and of course- a huge American flag hanging on the wall. This view was also observed by a fellow customer.


“You walk into a small room, and all of a sudden you see how Americans view Italian fashion,” says Suja Thakali, a junior at the American University of Rome.


In terms of clothing itself, the variety of the store ranges from printed denim jackets to late 1800’s style dresses. However, the most largely stocked sections included the Levi’s denim jackets, sports attire, jeans and a large selection of Vivienne Westwood sunglasses. From my observations, the denim jackets available at Pifebo vintage were considerably cheaper than King’s Vintage, and my companion was able to purchase a medium washed Levi’s denim jacket for 30 euros vs the 45 euro one available at King’s Vintage. A useful feature of the store is its obscure amount of sports clothing- the biggest room in the store is dedicated to sportswear. Available to purchase included vintage Team Italia soccer jerseys-much better priced than the original ones at the stadium. The most unique feature of the store was a boot showroom. One side of a smaller room was covered in boots, while the other was covered entirely in a mirror. This addition allowed the customer to see themselves walking in the boots available. The store’s affordable prices and specialties make it a great place to find jackets, jeans and sportswear.


Humana Vintage: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 199, 00186 Roma RM

Specialty: Prints, sweaters, skirts

Price: $


Humana Vintage is both a chain of thrift stores and a humanitarian organization focused on supporting projects in the Global South. Located in the center of Rome, this store includes clothing ranging from the 1960’s to the 1990’s. While the store itself has a lesser variety of clothing compared to the stores mentioned previously, the price and quality of the products themselves are ones not to be missed. Immediately catching my eye, the variety of prints covering much of the clothing of the store is a unique find in a city like Rome, where solid colors are favored over bright prints.


“You’re bound to find something that catches your eye, whether it's a cozy autumn sweater or a one of a kind silk slip dress,” says Clarissa Steinbrecher, a junior studying at the JFRC campus.


While the store’s selection is mostly advertised to women, the men’s section is small but capable of dressing its customers in stylish clothing.


Stravaganze Romane: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 142, 00186 Roma RM

Specialty: Grunge, leather jackets

Price: $$


While the three previous stores have all had slightly similar and overlapping styles, Stravaganze Romane is a completely different deal. Located in northern Rome, one’s glance might pass over the store due to its exterior hole in the wall facade. However, once paying closer attention, you can see the rows and piles of clothing available for purchase in the shop. The store merchandise consists almost entirely of jackets. For those looking for grunge clothing, or even simply a leather jacket, this is the perfect place. All varieties of outerwear are available in good condition for very affordable prices.




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