Flea markets are a thrift seekers paradise; who knows what may be lurking beneath those 2006 editions of Readers Digest? In fact, we can't think of a better way to spend a weekend than being elbow-deep in other people's cast-offs. My Daily plays finders keepers at the world's best flea and vintage markets.
The best flea markets
The spiritual home of the plaid shirt also became the home of one of New York's best flea markets in 2008, when the Brooklyn Flea set up stall in Forte Greene with a 150 local vendors selling everything from vintage bikes and vinyl, to vintage clothing, handmade jewellery, retro kitchenalia and kitsch trinkets. It's a little more polished than you're conventional flea, but everything here is of a standard, and there's so much variety we dare you to try and go home empty handed. Street style photographer Garance Dore has been known to venture down to the market to snap the beautiful people, so just because it's a flea market doesn't mean you can start slacking in the style stakes either.
Location: 176 Lafayette Avenue, Fort Greene & N. 7 Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (from April 3).
Held: Between April and Thanksgiving every Saturday (Fort Greene)10am-6pm and every Sunday (Williamsburg) 10am-5pm.
A new kid on the block, the roaming and fantastically eccentric Circo dell Pulci - is, as the name might suggest, part flea market and part travelling circus. The circus angle comes in the guise of avant-garde cabaret, while the flea market aspect is the vintage fashion jumble which provides the backdrop to some wild performances. The promoters describe it as Italy's Super Market, and we tend to rather agree.
Location: Roaming, please check website for latest details.
Held: Next event is April 4th, in Rome.
So good, they can only do it once a year - the Lille Braderie, held every September, is the world's largest, and possibly best-known flea market. It's estimated that over 2 million people attend the 48-hour flea which sprawls over the picturesque city of Lille. Hawkers claim a little patch of pavement and set out their stall - or unfurl their picnic blanket - and the bargaining begins. Absolutely brimming with vintage and antique treasures amidst the fair share of tat, La Braderie is a must in all flea-lovers calendars.
Location: Throughout Lille.
Held: Annually on the first weekend of September 2pm-12am.
Trends come and go, but there's always Portobello; if everyone else is off to East London these days, then applying fashion counter-intuitive psychology, that means West London is actually cool again, right? Anyway, while hipsters battle it out in Spitalfields over an 90s denim jacket, you can still trust Portobello to come up with the real gems; from antique jewellery to dusty archive designer labels - if you put the effort in, you will reap the rewards. Pricey, but worth it.
Location: Portobello Road, Notting Hill.
Held: Every Friday & Saturday 7am-5pm.
Yes, everyone else will tell you to go to Clignancourt but Vanves is actually our pick of the Paris flea markets - amazing embroideries, vintage textiles, granny pearls and plenty of Parisian back-chat. You can't fault it.
Location: Avenue Georges Lafenestre and avenue Marc Sangnier, 75014 Paris.
Held: Every weekend: avenue Marc Sangnier 7am-1pm, avenue Georges Lafenestre 7am-5pm.
Oh to live in LA where the sun always shines, the people are always pretty and vintage is actually affordable...well, not always, but at Pasadena's Rose Bowl flea, there's always a cheeky bargain to be haggled over. LA's most popular outdoor market - there are over 2,500 vendors and almost ten times as many visitors - is a dust bowl of heat and haggling every other Sunday off the month when the bold and the bargain-hunters come out in their droves to buy vintage clothes and accessories, retro trinkets, vinyl, antique homewares, textiles and collectibles. A people-watchers paradise.
Location: 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena.
Held: The second Sunday of every month, 5.30am-4.30pm.
Possibly the fashion world's favourite vintage fair, Florence's annual Vintage Selection is a red letter day for designers, vintage hoarders and collectors. With some of the highest quality, rarest designer archive and original period costume for sale, this is the stuff our vintage dreams are made of. Yes, it's not technically a flea market - but it deserves a special mention.
Location: Stazione Leopolda, Viale F.lli Rosselli, Florence.
Held: Every January for 5 days.