Should you ever fall prey to an uncontrollable desire of crocodile leather (surely one of life's more offbeat but underestimated hazards), there is always the option of visiting Olga's Retro in Gent.
In fact, you should go even if you don't have a particular longing for reptile skin, if only because there never was a true Gantoise like Olga. She represents everything I associate with characteristic Gent personalities: stern at first sight, but with a heart of gold, and quite a mouth on them. It's hard not to like Olga - she's a firecracker. On top of that, vintage clothing really is her passion. She opened the store when she was 58. Takes some guts, right?
The shop is tiny, but well stocked. There's an array of clothing, but Olga focuses on purses, shoes and coats. She has a steady supply of high quality leather goods, and I have to say, we found some magnificent purses during our hunt. Among them was a beautiful and impeccable crocodile bag for - if I remember this well - 500 euros. A small fortune, yes, but not compared to the thousands and thousands of euros you'll pay for a new one.
You'll find a lot of vintage brands here (Delvaux especially). Olga told us some purses are sold within a few hours of their arrival, so if you've really got your mind set on something, I would check back from time to time. And if you're worried about overspending, Olga will no doubt mollify your mind: