Retro Gifts to Get the Vintage Lover in Your Life

Buying gifts is a perennially difficult task, no matter the occasion and no matter who you’re buying for. It can be a stressful job, and one not made any easier by the pressure of getting it ‘right’. Often, setting limits for yourself is the best way to breed creativity, and the same goes for choosing gifts. All the better if your friend is someone who has a particular love for vintage items, whether due to the stories they tell or the aesthetics they hold. Here are some great vintage gift ideas to win over the vintage lover in your life.

Film Camera

Literally everyone has a camera today, thanks to the relentless march of technology and the prevalence of digital-camera-wielding smartphones. But there’s something trivial about taking smartphone pictures; when was the last time you looked at those gig pictures you took four years ago? Not to mention the technological limitations, that make for mediocre pictures no matter how hard you try.

Herein lies the joy of the film camera, especially for those who have a predilection for the vintage and forgotten. Film cameras come with a ritual: the purchasing of film, the careful loading of the camera, the weighing-up of each and every shot – not to mention the delivery to a developer, and the wait to get them back! All of this to say, there is something deeply special about shooting on film. With film cameras easy to find in charity and vintage shops everywhere, and inexpensive to boot, they can make for the perfect gift.

Turntable and Records

Taking photos on film is a gloriously analogue way to capture a memory. In keeping with the ‘analogue’ theme, the analogue ways of enjoying music have been making a big comeback in recent years. Vinyl record sales are creeping ever higher as consumers rediscover the joys of owning physical media, and all the artwork that comes with it.

If your friend has yet to indulge in the record renaissance, you should consider treating them to one of the new turntables available online or in shops – as well as a couple of records to tide them over. Charity shops are once again a great source for cheap records, though you will need to sift through around 17 Neil Sedaka records before you find anything worthwhile…

Home Decorations

Vintage shops, car boot sales, charity shops, market stalls; there are endless sources of vintage goods you can plumb for the right gift for your friend. An often-overlooked corner of vintage shopping relates to homeware, especially ornaments and house furniture. Drinks trolleys are an incredibly fun household installation, and commonly found in vintage furniture shops. Meanwhile, crockery and ceramics are in abundance, giving you the chance to buy a memorable piece for them to display on their mantelpiece.

Postcards from Another Time

Lastly, another niche but common vintage find in shops is bundles of old postcards. These can be beautiful things, with striking designs from yesteryear adorning their fronts – and, if you are lucky, a message from the past inscribed on the back. Postcards are mini time-capsules, and can make for an extremely characterful decoration.


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