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Shopping for vintage clothes in Bandung

Vintage shopping in Bandung might involve digging through smelly piles of clothes and haggling, but the most dangerous part is perhaps discovering that you are running out of space in the two big shopping bags you brought for the purpose.

Back in 1996, word of a new shopping spot in Bandung called Cimol — short for Cibadak Mall— began to spread.

Cimol, however, is not actually a mall. It is composed of numerous street vendors selling used clothes at very cheap prices, some as low as Rp 5,000 (51 US cents) a piece, on Jl. Cibadak.

Reeking piles of clothes cover the footpath, while nicer ones, usually sold at a much higher price, are hung-up.

And so suddenly Bandung’s fashionistas began to rave about Cimol. Perhaps because it was the time when everybody was getting into 1960s and 1970s style and wearing bell-bottom pants and tight patterned shirts, thus, making Cimol the place to hunt for these items. Soon, Jakarta began to hear the whispers too.

However, Cimol was to be short lived as the fashion craze was all about the glimmering millennium and welcoming Y2K and so the vendors moved to Tegal Lega and Gede Bage Market.

Fast-forward to 2011, and a trip to Bandung Post Office on Jl. Asia Afrika reveals two spots selling vintage clothing. These stores, inside buildings next to the post office, have good collections and are much more comfortable compared to Cimol.

The first store is Cimol in an effort to channel the legend, and the second is Dezon.

Dezon, which is inside a colonial building, is larger and more comfortable compared to its darker neighbor Cimol. While Cimol houses only one seller, Dezon is composed of many.

Cimol is open anytime of the day unless they need to close for family matters but just to be safe go there around the same time as Dezon's opening hours, which is daily from 10 a.m to around 6p.m.

Both places sell mostly woman's clothes such as dresses, skirts, shirt dresses, tops, coats and even winter attire.

Owners of both Cimol and Dezon quoted the same source for their collection.

"Korea. Some are pre owned clothes and some are new but could not be sold because the export or import quota had been reached," the owner of a stall at Dezon said.  "We buy them in volume or by weight," he added.

That could explain the signature damp, earthy smell that clings to the clothes.

Shopping for vintage records at Bandung's DU 68

 

Here are some tips to make your shopping for vintage clothes here a winning trip:

If you come here by car, try to park at the post office parking lot, which is easier to get to before 10 a.m or after 3 p.m.

Alternatively, park at Jl. Alkateri, preferably at the same time of the day as the post office car park.

Take the time to visit both places to compare and find the best pieces. When you do find clothes you like, put them aside as it's going to be hard to find them again!

The sellers here are really nice, so even if you do not buy anything it is unlikely that they would mind.

Cash only. Set a budget aside and stick to it. 

Bargain. Do not always agree on the first price.

Check for defects and stains. Judge if you can reduce or remove the stains by normal washing. If you shop at Cimol always check by bringing the clothes outside to the bright light. If you decide to buy, despite imperfections, try to ask for a further discount.

Bring some wet tissues not only to clean your hands but to test if the stain on the fabric is easy to remove with proper washing.

While you are in the neighborhood, reward yourself with a nice cup of coffee and kaya toast at the vintage Warung Kopi Purnama at Jl. Alkateri, which is located within walking distance.

Read also: Finding treasures in Jalan Surabaya

 

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  • Daphne Rosela 1 years ago

    Those dresses you found are beautiful! Can't wait to hunt vintage stuffs myself. Nice article!

    Reply
  • Nicolas Loizou 1 years ago

    I think this would be an alternative shopping destination compared to other factory outlet. Thanks for sharing the article!

    Reply
  • Faris Rachman 1 years ago

    I'm basically a thrift store junkie and find this piece of information very useful. Gosh, how I love a cheap finds!

    Reply
  • Faris Rachman 1 years ago

    i'm a thrift store junkie and this piece of information is very useful. gosh, how I love a cheap finds!

    Reply
  • Emma Pieters 2 yearss ago

    Cool information. I like to hunt vintage goods, clothes, and whatever as long as vintage is. This is quite interesting and the price, i can bargain it, cool..

    Reply
    Nisha 'Icha' Rahmanti 1 years ago

    likewise! i LOVE everything vintage too... so finding this place was like finding a treasure! :)

  • Sarah Goth 2 yearss ago

    Oh how I love vintage dress. I've heard about Pasar Senen in Jakarta from my Indonesian friend, but she doesn't like its atmosphere and smell. Well, I have to ask her to accompany me to go to Dezon someday.

    Reply
  • Laura Hilde 2 yearss ago

    Love vintage! And price is unbelievable cheap! Nevertheless, i have to learn to bargain. I can't good bargain in Asia countries. Don't know why.. huhu

    Reply
    Nisha 'Icha' Rahmanti 1 years ago

    practice and persistent :)) do not give in too fast or look to eager might do the trick, or have your local friend to bargain for you is always work

  • Inka Prawirasasra 2 yearss ago

    How come I never knew this place . OMG! Heaven!!!

    Reply
    Nisha 'Icha' Rahmanti 2 yearss ago

    Yes dear, it is, good luck on spending according to your budget as you'll be tempted to splurge more thinking you might not get it again and the price is so cheap :))

  • Greta Russo 2 yearss ago

    Gosh! This market is lovely! I guess I'd go to Bandung to visit this market. TFS!

    Reply
    Nisha 'Icha' Rahmanti 2 yearss ago

    welcome! :)

  • Gerald Brandon 2 yearss ago

    Seriously? So i can spending much money for shopping.. but still, i doubt about the qualitily because of the prices are low

    Reply
    Nisha 'Icha' Rahmanti 2 yearss ago

    never single piece i got from this shop let me down. they usually in mint condition and after proper wash and ironing, people won't tell you got it from here. but that depends on your selection as well. you can truly get a lot of great deal for a very cheap prices here

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