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The five quirkiest vintage shops in Edinburgh

Written by
Vanessa Piras

Spring is finally here! Time to get rid of boring multi-layered winter outfits and experiment with warmer colours, softer and lighter fabrics and unique patterns. But forget the High Street and get something unique from these vintage gems.

1. W Armstrong & Son

W Armstrong and Son

With their main shop situated in the picturesque and lively Grassmarket, W Armstrong & Son is an Edinburgh institution. It's a powerful kaleidoscope of colours, fabrics, styles and eras where antique uniforms, sparkly 1920s dresses, Victorian gowns and biker jackets live together, comfortably blended in a cushy and timeless place. Dressing Edinburgh fashion lovers at affordable prices since 1840, the shop is now showcasing at Topshop in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. And if that is not enough, two smaller branches located in the heart of the Old Town and Newington will hopefully satisfy your thirst for vintage.

83 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HJ; 64-66 Clerk Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9JB; 14 Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2QZ

2. Those Were The Days

Those Were The Days

A tiny, deliciously decorated vintage wonderland lies hidden in St Stephen Street basement in Stockbridge. Those Were The Days stocks an admirable collection that includes creations from Chanel, Versace and Givenchy as well as bespoke and beautiful vintage pieces. Not the cheapest of shops, but it is definitely the right place to grab some timeless and sophisticated fashion investments and enjoy the relaxed and lovely atmosphere. The bridal wear and jewellery sections also deserve a look around. You will definitely go back for more.

26 St Stephen Street, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, EH3 5AL

3. Herman Brown

Herman Brown

Founded in 1983, Herman Brown has spent the intervening years gathering fine and unique pieces from Munich to Amsterdam and Brick Lane to the Barrowlands. The shop reflects the eclectic taste of its owner, Anna Nicholson, who started her business in markets and fair stalls before finding her cosy, wee home in the middle of West Port. A brilliant selection of accessories and quirky, old-fashioned jewels at reasonable prices is what makes this place a little vintage heaven in town.

151 West Port, Edinburgh, EH3 9DP 

4. The Frayed Hem

The Frayed Hem

Entering this shop is like stepping into the work room of a sophisticated old lady with a profound love for fur coats, 50s-style dresses, denim jackets, Singer sewing machines and china cups. Established in 2010, this retro treasure, situated just off the historic Royal Mile offers vintage pieces for both men and women at very affordable prices. The decorated vintage antlers hanging on the walls (and on sale) give the place an ultimate unique twist.

Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1BS 

5. Godiva


The independent fashion boutique Godiva opened its doors to vintage clothing only in 2003. The intimate and fairy-lighted showroom in West Port is the result, and it also aims at promoting local and independent designers and providing truly original and unconventional solutions to whoever is looking for an alternative to high street fashion. Bright and warm colours and quirky, fun patterns are imperatives at Godiva.

9 West Port, Edinburgh, EH1 2JA 

See more things to do in Edinburgh from Time Out.

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