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Carnaby Street

Listed under Shopping in London, United Kingdom.

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Photo by flickr user dearbarbie
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In the 60's this street swang and grooved with the best of them. Girls wearing shoes with platforms with more vertical inches than their skirts tottered though between getting their hair bouffed by Vidal Sassoon or make up done by Mary Quant, passing generation peace-ers, wearing the asexual uniform of jeans, paisley shirts, love beads and long hair sifting though the stores wafting with incense at the other end of the street. So now it's famous. And people want to go there. But be warned – the days of free love and free lunches have passed and now the closest you're going to get to the 60's on Carnaby Street is the name of one of the stores, Miss Sixty...

New mods can shop at Ben Sherman and Lambretta, and Miss Sixty may have something for girls wanting to reference the hippy chick, but the selection of stores now is more about who can pay the premium rents asked for a piece of central London prime pedestrian only retail real estate, so you've got your Boss, your Diesel and your Pepe Jeans. Kingly Court, above Ben Sherman still sells clothing from the heyday of Carnaby Street, naturally it's all vintage now – but the prices would keep a 60's commune in substances for a year.

Liberty watches over the serious top end, just off Oxford Street while the Soho end is now the field of sports stores, so the variety's improved, but at the cost of the atmosphere. If you're looking for an authentic London 60's fashion shopping experience you're better off trying the markets, but as an extension of Oxford and Regent Street this is a quieter, safer corner due to the lack of traffic.

Shop for: Brand Fashion, Sports Fashion

Café Stop: The options are a bit bland – Pret, Starbucks...but luckily round the corner is Sacred, where they'll serve you loose leaf tea blended specially in mismatched teapots and coffee like they should – hold out for it – definitely one of the best things about shopping here!

Arrive: Oxford Circus Underground

Written by  Kat Mackintosh.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

The whole of London is going 60's mad - just look at the shows in Theatreland - the Kinks, The Beatles, Carole King, Motown, Jersey Boys!

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